201705.26
2
1

The Disappeared Economy

At the end of April 2015, the Commerce Department reported that unadjusted durable goods shipments (ex transportation) had totaled $177.6 billion in the month of March 2015. That represented just a half of one percent year-over-year gain, but at a crucial moment in economic history the plus sign was quite welcome for the attempt at…

201705.26
2
0

Simple (economic) Math

The essence of capitalism is not strictly capital. In the modern sense, the word capital has taken on other meanings, often where money is given as a substitute for it. When speaking about things like “hot money”, for instance, you wouldn’t normally correct someone referencing it in terms of “capital flows.” Someone that “commits capital”…

201705.25
8
3

So, Bitcoins

Bitcoins are a remarkable bit of innovative technology. When they were first introduced quietly at the end of October 2008, nobody noticed it or the fitting timing. The design paper for the cryptocurrency was published anonymously at the very same moment the dominant global currency, the eurodollar, was undergoing its severe reckoning. The latter is…

201705.25
0
1

Almost Certain

It doesn’t appear as if the OPEC decision went as the oil ministers might have hoped. Agreeing to a nine-month extension, more than the usual six months, it was still less than the whispered year that had been rumored and seemingly supported as late as yesterday. Still, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was encouraged. We…

201705.24
1
1

There Is Clarity In Oil’s Increasingly Cloudy Forecast

Problems aren’t supposed to be always intractable, are they? It has gone on so long that maybe long ago memories of minor adjustments are a bit fuzzy, but seemingly no matter what over the last decade every that issue arises and is met by the usual, standard efforts, is instead of being solved by them…

201705.24
0
3

Act Accordingly, Again

For once, it does seem like the FOMC was asking of its members the right question. They spent years incredulous over the lack of effect due to whatever of the multiple QE’s without changing expectations. No matter how little evidence for their initial let alone ongoing success, they would always, always keep up the “recovery…

201705.24
3
3

(Political) Logic

According to Larry Summers, the Trump administration’s recently released budget contains a most heinous elementary error that disqualifies the whole thing and every single person involved in it. Apart from being hugely convenient for his side of the political debate, the error smells a little too familiar, or at least it should coming from Dr….

201705.23
1
3

Suddenly Impatient Sentiment

Two more manufacturing surveys suggest sharp deceleration in momentum, or, more specifically, the momentum of sentiment (if there is such a thing). The Federal Reserve’s 5th District Survey of Manufacturing (Richmond branch) dropped to barely positive, calculated to be just 1.0 in May following 20.0 in April and 22.0 in March. It follows an all-too-familiar…

201705.23
1
3

Not Do We Need One, But Do We Need A Different One

On March 24, 2009, then US President Barack Obama gave a prime time televised press conference whose subject was quite obviously the economy and markets. The US and global economy was at that moment trying to work through the worst conditions since the 1930’s and nobody really had any idea what that would mean. As…

201705.22
2
3

Stuck Between Dollar And De-Dollar

As we move past all the calendar effects pressed to the front of each year, some trends are starting to come into view. Not only are there trends but a few round numbers, even. The Chinese monetary system is one that is predicated on “dollars”; not all in dollar-denominated assets, but the type of foreign…