Beyond the Build


Pulling Weeds and Planning for the Future

Winston Churchill was first credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” It’s my hope that we’ll all find a silver lining in the extra time as we are all hitting the pause button. In the meantime, I am working in my yard in the evenings and parallel planning for the future.

Over the last week or so, I have been involved with several calls related to next steps, and I compiled a few thoughts to share:

  • First and foremost, this is a public health issue. This is an “outside force” that is not reflecting a weakness in fundamentals. The checks that are coming are more of a relief package than a stimulus.
  • Before COVID, we were in record expansion for job growth and had a healthy, growing economy. Family savings rates were at an all-time high. FED surveys showed no for signs of weakness before the middle of March.
  • We are fortunate to have a strong, well-equipped Central Bank in our Federal Reserve System, and they learned from the financial crisis to act early and be nimble. This knowledge has been applied to the pandemic.

Ideally, after the public health issues are handled, we will just pick up where we left off, finding “The Bridge” over the virus crisis. This could look like a U, a V or a flat bottom V. How soon will we get back to normal? Its sounds like we need to get our public health issues fixed and then worry about recovering the economy next. We’re hoping third quarter might see a rebound.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.