201606.29
1
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The Income of ‘Full’ Employment

In some contrast to spending or even “demand”, the economic problem is and has always been the lack of income growth. The difference in economy between income and spending is debt. As noted earlier, it was clear that the asset bubbles, based on debt via eurudollar expansion, created a boost in overall “demand” as represented…

201606.29
2
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Revisions Don’t Change The Great Dislocation

The final revision to Q1 GDP changed very little, at least in its natural format given that there are benchmark revisions coming in less than a month that could significantly alter all of this. Even with “residual seasonality” there is every reason to suspect that the economy is weak even as compared only to the…

201606.28
5
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The Warning Embedded Within The Interest Rate Fallacy

On November 4, 2010, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote his infamous oped for the Washington Post “welcoming” the world to a second round of quantitative easing. The very fact that there was a second iteration belied the whole point of “quantitative”, but the mistakes about “easing” have proven far more problematic. There wasn’t anything…

201606.28
2
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GDP Corporate Profits And Cash Flows Rebound in Q1, But Not Really

Accompanying the final estimate for Q1 GDP is the first estimate for the corporate profits and cash flow components. Profits rebounded from a dismal Q4, but that actually means much less than it sounds especially in the more important segments. Corporate profits before tax (without IVA and CCadj) were an estimated $1.86 trillion in Q1,…

201606.27
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Money Market Illiquidity Further Removes A Central Myth

It might be expected that monetary policy would fail to achieve its goal in attempting to manage the economy when it cannot even meet its own basic technical requirements. The main lever of Fed policy continues to be the federal funds rate even though it is entirely irrelevant, and has been for a long time….

201606.27
2
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Politics of the Monetary Noose

In June 2015, Pew Research Center conducted a poll of citizens in European countries in order to gauge public sentiment of the European integration project. They found what they thought was a rebound in favorability. The survey conducted in 2013 appeared then to have been the low point, with the 2014 update finding an uptick…

201606.27
2
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Liquidity And Risk

The real nature of liquidity is not what you see today but what we might find when the going gets tough. Though it is an intangible concept (not that that hasn’t kept economists from trying to quantify it), we can reasonably assume that if overall liquidity today appears impaired under relatively benign conditions, it will…

201606.26
5
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Scorecard While everyone was focused on the potentially negative impact of Brexit, the Census Bureau was reporting evidence of actual economic weakness in the form of the durable goods report. The report was weak pretty much across the board but the weakness in autos is particularly concerning. The auto industry, along with construction,…

201606.24
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Durable Goods Add To The Idea of Depression (Small ‘d’)

There wasn’t anything new or surprising in the advance durable goods report. Shipments (ex transportation) were flat and orders were up 1% year-over-year (NSA). Capital goods (non-defense, ex aircraft) shipments fell 3.4%, the tenth straight month of contraction, while new orders were down again (2.6%) for the sixteenth time out of the past nineteen months….

201606.24
1
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Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming (UPDATED)

It was a nice diversion while it lasted, I suppose. From the moment of the unfortunate murder of the British MP, funding markets, in particular, had been furiously “selling dollars” to get back some of the pound that was falling as Brexit had gained momentum. Media commentary talks about it as if that were the…