Skip to main content

Black Swan Events

Black Swan Events

"A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, and their severe impact ..."

From Investopedia.


On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a pandemic. The COVID-19 black swan was followed by the Saudis’ decision to significantly discount oil prices, disrupting the marketplace, and providing the world with a second black swan.

Health concerns, a dramatic decline into correction territory for the S&P 500, and declining oil and copper prices have combined to create a high level of uncertainty about what to expect from an economic perspective for the rest of 2020. Through our frequent subscriber updates, blog posts, and TrendsTalk episodes, we are cutting through the media noise to bring you objective, numbers-driven insights.

If you have any questions not covered by the resources below, feel free to contact us. For regular updates delivered to your inbox, join our email list.


Upcoming Webinars

Disparate Opportunities Post COVID-19 - Friday, April 24 at 2 p.m. EDT

60-minute presentation

Some sectors of the US economy, and the global economy, will recover in 2021. This means that activity will reach pre-recession levels (typically set in 2019). Others will not complete the recovery until 2022. Still others won’t see the recovery from the dual black swans until 2023 or beyond. Knowing which markets fall into which recovery designations will help businesses focus scarce resources where they will do the most good and understand their own recovery prospects and tactics.

The Road Map to Recovery - Friday, May 8, at 2 p.m. EDT

60-minute presentation

Together we will assess the general economic landscape while discussing how to have confidence in what the leading indicators are saying about your industry. Then we will look at objectives for industries based on ITR’s business cycle phase analysis and our general outlook for the industry segments. We will present the relevant Management Objectives™.

A Data-Driven Outlook - Friday, May 22, at 2 p.m. EDT

60-minute presentation

Together we will look at data, not opinions, and determine the likely outcome of the data trends and what they mean for our families and our businesses. A lot will be known by May 22 about opening up the economy. We can look at the plans and determine if the world is tracking as we discussed in March and April. Together we will look at what is and determine what will be, and we will do so for various industry segments. We will move beyond GDP and US Industrial Production in our dive into March and April results.

Sign Up

ITR is here to help

M. Lee Williford III, The Wash House Laundromats

I have been following ITR for six years now. By listening to and incorporating the practices of your leadership and excellent forecasting, my company is set to weather this COVID-19 storm while providing our employees with extra PTO and time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked. Thank you for continuing to provide measured and up-to-date forecasts for your audience. I’m very grateful for ITR’s measured analyses and objective outlooks. Your work is greatly appreciated, by large and small firms alike. Keep up the great work and give my best to the whole team.

Shared by ITR teammate

Every year when I see Mark Mullen of Griggs Steel Company on the onsite visit, he sings our praises to the board who attends the retreat. He loves how ITR cuts through the noise and speculation and gives him the calm and rational outlook that we can rely on. He is someone that really hones in on the 3MMT outlook, but is also really amazed at how our year-end 12MMT forecast is so close to what happened. He recently told me last week that’s he’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t try to adjust the forecast on his end because he is now at a point that he trusts us, and it was a waste of his time. I always say Mark is so onboard and on top of what ITR does and says that he could work here. He really is a great example of why our forecasting and our forecast checking is so important to our clients and how they make big decisions off it.

Shared by ITR teammate

Jeb Bell of Equipment Controls is a huge fan of ITR and has been since 2007. ITR is part of their internal lexicon on a weekly basis and we are always a part of any financial discussion internally or externally. He is always telling people about our forecasts, the people here, and how it is worth every penny he pays us, and then some! He told me that Brian’s webinar on Friday was attended by his team and they felt incredibly better after the webinar. They went into it “looking for an end”, and they left the webinar knowing it would end and they can continue with their planning and operations. It was a great help to them.

Bill Gillespie, Pittsburgh Valve & Fitting Co.

These updates are reassuring and calming during this time of media hysteria. Much appreciated.

Renee Merker, PMPA

Thank you also for providing the early info on the Coronavirus – “It will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better” – and for your solo pep rally for the US economy. It was calming and uplifting at the same time.


Since 1948, we have provided business leaders with economic information, insight, analysis, and strategy. ITR Economics is the oldest privately held, continuously operating economic research and consulting firm in the US. With a knowledge base that spans six decades, we have an uncommon understanding of long-term economic trends as well as best practices ahead of changing market conditions. Our reputation is built on accurate, independent, and objective analysis.