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
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…

201705.22
1
3

Further Trying To Define Liquidity

On December 3, 1999, Enron Communications announced that the company had begun operations selling bandwidth as an energy commodity. After publicizing the venture in May that year, it seemed natural given that they had been selling similar products in the energy sector, pioneering all sorts of products along the way. As the internet matured there…

201705.19
0
4

A Lousy State

I don’t pay much attention to the 2 year part of the UST curve because I think it is susceptible to information spoilage, distortions that aren’t strictly related to what a “risk-free” 2s should tell us. But as my colleague Joe Calhoun often reminds me, just because I don’t think it as important doesn’t mean…

201705.19
1
4

Dereliction: They All Had One Job

What is truly frustrating is that only now is the world trying to come to terms with the last ten years, and only because it ignored the major, seismic developments over the preceding forty. It’s not a question of too little, too late, it’s more so that after being bludgeoned with failure there are no…