201802.14
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3

So, Where Is It?

The Fed in its Beige Book as well as in the speeches of several of its officials has referenced a labor shortage for years now. On the one hand, that is understandable given the trajectory of the unemployment rate. All the way back in 2013, during the so-called taper tantrum, it was the rapid drop…

201802.09
5
7

Inflation? Not Even Reflation

The conventional interpretation of “reflation” in the second half of 2016 was that it was simply the opening act, the first step in the long-awaiting global recovery. That is what reflation technically means as distinct from recovery; something falls off, and to get back on track first there has to be acceleration to make up…

201801.29
3
2

Globally Synchronized What?

In one of those rare turns, the term “globally synchronized growth” actually means what the words do. It is economic growth that for the first time in ten years has all the major economies of the world participating in it. It’s the kind of big idea that seems like a big thing we all should…

201801.12
1
4

Good or Bad, But Surely Not Transitory

When Federal Reserve officials first started last year to mention wireless network data plans as a possible explanation for a fifth year of “transitory” factors holding back consumer price inflation, it seemed a bit transparent. One of the reasons for immediately doubting their sincerity was the history of that particular piece of the CPI (or…

201801.10
2
2

Inflation Correlations and China’s Brief, Disappointing Porcine Nightmare

Two years ago, China was gripped by what was described as an epic pig problem. For most Chinese people, pork is a main staple so rapidly rising pig prices could have presented a serious challenge to an economy already at that time besieged by massive negative forces. It was another headache officials in that country…

201712.26 3

From ‘Definitely Transitory’ to ‘Imperfect Understanding’ In One Press Conference

When Janet Yellen spoke at her regular press conference following the FOMC decision in September 2017 to begin reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, the Chairman was forced to acknowledge that while the unemployment rate was well below what the central bank’s models view as inflationary it hadn’t yet shown up in the PCE Deflator. Of…

201712.20
2
1

A (More) Rational Basis For Expectations

With UST yields backing up a little bit after the yield curve collapsed so far so fast, the combination of tax cut and reform “stimulus” juxtaposed with the constant, non-transitory mainstream message of recovery and growth has left us with yet another BOND ROUT!!! It has been somewhat if not completely reminiscent of earlier in…

201712.13
3
3

Two Very Different Monetary Cases, And Their One Common Theme

When we look back at the period known as the Great Inflation there is a tendency, I believe, to truncate the episode only to the most well-known parts. What many people remember are things like gas lines, where oil problems and embargoes left Americans at several points in the seventies too often stuck for trying…

201711.15
3
0

Can’t Hide From The CPI

On the vital matter of missing symmetry, consumer price indices across the world keep suggesting there remains none. Recoveries were called “V” shaped for a reason. Any economy knocked down would be as intense in getting back up, normal cyclical forces creating momentum for that to (only) happen. In the context of the past three…

201711.09
1
1

The Inflation of China’s Condition

One day after the China’s government reported disappointing but consistent trade figures, that country’s National Bureau of Statistics published inflation estimates that are being branded at least on this side of the Pacific as some degree of “hot.” As is usually the case, the characterization is wildly off. China is no closer now to an…