2008 April

What Now?

Are we near an inflection point in markets? I have heard numerous talking heads on CNBC recently saying that markets are near a turning point. The mantra goes something like this: the dollar is near a bottom, therefore commodities are topping out and stocks will move higher. While all this may come true, I think .. read more

On April 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Fed Speak

The FOMC cut interest rates by another 1/4 point today. Here is the statement released after the meeting with my interpretation of its real meaning: The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 2 percent. We really didn’t have any good reason but .. read more

On April 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Still Waiting…..

1st Quarter GDP grew 0.6%. Not a great number under any circumstances but still not a negative number. I have been consistent in my belief that the US economy will avoid recession – for now. The problems in the economy are primarily financial problems. These problems are obviously having an effect on the economy but .. read more

On April 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Putting a Face on Free Trade

Democrats who oppose the free trade agreement with Columbia (I would say “politician” but I can’t find a Republican who opposes the deal) claim their opposition is due to human rights abuses in Columbia, specifically murders of labor officials. Nicholas Kristof points out in this NYT Op-Ed that the real human rights abuse is in .. read more

On April 25th, 2008, posted in: Economy by 2 Comment

Where Our Money Goes

Arnold Kling has a post at EconLog that shows how our tax dollars are being spent: Figures in parentheses are from FY 2000, when we ran a $200 billion surplus. I am estimating as best I can from these tables Defense: $515 billion ($294)Homeland Security: $38 billion ($0; was in Domestic Necessary)Domestic Necessary: $713 billion .. read more

On April 25th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Protect Us From Bacon Dogs!

Drew Carey has a new video at Reason TV on the efforts of the LA County Health Department to protect us from Bacon Dogs. Apparently it is critical that LA remove these hazardous items from the streets of LA. Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles, there exists another world, an underground world .. read more

On April 25th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Recession? Not Yet….

Kelly Evans has in interesting post at the WSJ economics blog about the potential for recession: We know by now that the old rule of thumb for recession – two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product (GDP) – is out the window. Still, at least there were two quarters of contracting GDP .. read more

On April 24th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Feed the World? Free the Market!

Sean Corrigan points out that the solutions being offered to food shortages will only make the problems worse: Instead, the policies actually being pursued can only enhance scarcity, while the inability to finance such mechanisms of self-defeat honestly can only lead to a further descent into inflation — an age-old curse poised to undermine prosperity .. read more

On April 22nd, 2008, posted in: Economy by