DATA DEPENDENT: COVID-19 vs the U.S. Dollar is the smackdown of smackdowns.

For a very long time, the U.S. dollar has maintained a relatively strong position compared with most, if not all, of the world’s other currencies. King Dollar reigned supreme, unchallenged and unconcerned. Then it met COVID-19 and all that changed.

These two sets charts pretty much tell most of the story. (Of course, the run-up to and conclusion of the U.S. presidential election also played a role.)

U.S. COVID-19 trends over time.

In April, the epidemic took hold in earnest. Since then, there’s been no looking back. (Though you could say that there’s been a lot of looking down from the increasing heights of COVID-19’s 7-day average.)

The U.S. Dollar Index.

After trading sideways for a bit between March and mid-May, the descent of the dollar has been so steep it looks parabolic if we pulled the chart’s timeframe back further. It took a pause in August-September during the less chaotic summer months, though COVID-19 continued to creep through the American Midwest.

Anyone smart enough to take up a short position way back in spring can pat themselves on the back. They can also thank the Trump Administration for mishandling the crisis of a generation.

WORDS: Marc Landas


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