Please Pass the Generic Fat Solids

Feb 10, 2021 | Mark Ryan


As newlywed students, we spent a Valentine’s Day dinner something like 30 years ago on the cheap with another student couple, good friends of ours. There were no babies in any of our lives yet, so no worry about sitters. And there weren’t resources for anything more than some potluck and a small-screen VHS rental for the 4 of us.


We couldn’t afford real margarine, and the stuff on my potatoes wasn’t melting properly, which was suspicious. Generic fat solids not melting on the potatoes, and later generic ice cream not melting next to the generic chocolate also not melting, all of which is probably still stuck to my arteries all these years later.


My friend’s mom and dad dropped by on their way out for a romantic dinner and drinks, and, seeing our spread mentioned directly that “youth is wasted on the young.” To which I caught myself muttering: “money is wasted on...” And then we sat around and watched Wayne’s World, laughing hard, and puzzling over the strange ingredients on the menu.


But we’re on the other end of that formula now. The butter melts away with the mortgage balance and that small light staring me down is the light of lights at the end of the tunnel.


A low bar for high growth? Away from much of the market noise and volatility in recent weeks, incoming data continues to suggest to us that the fundamental backdrop for the U.S. economy remains on remarkably solid footing.


Earnings season better than hoped for – Fourth-quarter profits are on track for 1.0% y/y growth, a significant feat considering the year-ago (Q4 2019) comparison was the final quarter without a COVID-19 impact.


Regional developments: Canadian monthly GDP estimates surprise to the upside; U.S. equities rebound as earnings better than anticipated; Markets cheer Draghi, negative rates in UK unlikely; China’s recovery slowed in January


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Enjoy your weekend,