201602.05
7
1

The Monetary Root

How did the world get this way? I don’t mean the oncoming recession, if that is indeed, as it appears, the economy’s fate. How did the payroll statistics ever attain this kind of deference and even religious zeal? U.S. manufacturing is shrinking, corporate profits are declining and goods are piling up on warehouse shelves. Those…

201602.05
0
0

Empty Consumers

If the Chinese were intent on financial reform, and that meant trying perhaps the impossible task of a managed bubble deformation, the genesis of the idea was forged in the United States. China’s vast industrial machine was made to service US consumers and financed with the full throat of eurodollar expansion, leaving so many goods…

201602.05
1
0

Full Wages

Despite the disappointing headline Establishment Survey estimate, those inclined to believe the payroll report as an overall economic narrative had two fallback issues. U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but surging wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the…

201602.05
1
0

Full Employment

The headline Establishment Survey number disappointed at just 151k in January. The figure does not represent the actual amount of jobs gained, of course, since employment in January is typically about 3 million less than December. What that estimate represents is a combination of imputations about seasonality (comparing the actual change in the data set…

201602.04
9
0

Robust Job Growth Doesn’t Make Sense And The Numbers Show Why

With the BLS’s release of Q4 productivity figures, we get to check the BLS’s estimates just in time for tomorrow’s increasingly irrelevant payroll report. That much has become thoroughly apparent especially since the middle of last year as the Establishment Survey and unemployment rate only diverge with the overall breadth of economic indications. With GDP…

201602.04
0
0

Let’s Get This Over With: Factory Orders More Toward Finality

Factory orders declined for the fourteenth consecutive month. At -4.3%, the year-over-year drop wasn’t huge but we are now into comparing consecutive yearly contractions. In other words, factory orders in December 2015 were 4.3% less than December 2014 which were 2.4% less than December 2013. It isn’t so much the magnitude as the time now…

201602.03
1
0

If Services Stumble Too There Truly Is Nothing Left

So much for the services savior? The worries about manufacturing weakness spreading are spreading. It’s maddening only because it was entirely predictable, maybe even inevitable. If consumers aren’t buying goods, and they aren’t, it is not because they are otherwise healthy (in financial terms) and have only just recently decided they have in the aggregate…

201602.03
1
0

Potential Connections

You simply cannot act as a money dealer when the money you are dealing is highly suspect. I am not writing about money in the true sense, such as any tangible form that falls under property laws of custody and bailment, but rather the wholesale “money” that is derived under the much looser and unconstrained…

201602.03
2
0

NIRP Is So Simple

Why won’t monetary policy just work as designed? It sounds so utterly simple: To review: Interest rates are the price of lending and saving money. When interest rates throughout the economy are low, banks charge less for loans and individuals have less incentive to save; when they’re high, lenders charge more and individuals save more….

201602.03
2
0

Suicidal Tendencies, But ‘New and Improved’!

Advertising in the modern age is an extremely difficult task with all the clutter and noise. If you hadn’t noticed, it leaves many products experimenting with packaging in order to sell “new and improved.” The “easy pour spout”, for instance, became commonplace as if the old manner of detergent weren’t easy or comfortable to begin…

201602.02
2
0

No Confidence Vote – Raging RHINO

FOMC Voting Member Esther George issued a vote of confidence for the economy, despite financial turmoil returning across asset markets again today. With front month WTI back under $30, her idea of a strong economy and anchored inflation expectations is still highly imperiled. She remains completely dogged, however, undeterred for further “normalization” of monetary policy…

201602.02
2
0

A Relevant Liquidity Lesson For Complex Structures

In the third quarter 10-Q from Capital One, the bank notes a rather large change in funding. At the start of the year, Capital One had drawn $17.72 billion in advances from the Federal Home Loans Banks (which of the twelve isn’t stated and it is likely there were funding agreements with several). The FHLB…