Buybacks Get All The Macro Hate, But What About Dividends?

When it comes to the stock market and the corporate cash flow condition, our attention is usually drawn to stock repurchases. With good reason. These controversial uses of scarce internal funds are traditionally argued along the lines of management teams identifying and correcting undervalued shares. History shows, conclusively, that hasn’t really been true. Last year’s…


2017 Is Two-Thirds Done And Still No Payroll Pickup

The payroll report for August 2017 thoroughly disappointed. The monthly change for the headline Establishment Survey was just +156k. The BLS also revised lower the headline estimate in each of the previous two months, estimating for July a gain of only +189k. The 6-month average, which matters more given the noisiness of the statistic, is…

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The Two Parts of Bubbles

What makes a stock bubble is really two parts. Most people might think those two parts are money and mania, but actually money supply plays no direct role. Perceptions about money do, even if mistaken as to what really takes place monetarily from time to time. In fact, for a bubble that would make sense;…


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”…


Ending The Fed’s Drug Problem

Gross Domestic Product was revised slightly higher for Q4 2016, which is to say it wasn’t meaningfully different. At 2.05842%, real GDP projects output growing for one quarter close to its projected potential, a less than desirable result. It is fashionable of late to discuss 2% or 2.1% as if these are good numbers consistent…


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,…


GDP Might Have Been Almost 4% In Q2, But GDI of Just 0.6% Has The Quite Damning Weight Of Revisions

Lost in the euphoria over second quarter GDP revisions is the ongoing corporate struggle in terms of profits and how that suggests a more than reasonable proportion of GDP’s ability to measure the economy is overstated. To this point, I had focused more so on the productivity problems as they related to a potential over-optimism…