Payroll Report; The State of Slowing Or Not Slowing

The payroll report for June 2017 was the first “good” one in some time. There are now a few indications that the “reflation” in the economy may be finally having positive effects on the labor market. The headline Establishment Survey gain was relatively solid at 222k, though it was above 200k for just the fourth…

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Valuations: It Is Different This Time

(with additional contributions from Margie Fernandez; edited by Joe Calhoun) The Net Worth of Non-financial Corporate Business declined slightly in Q1 2017 according to the Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States (Z1). The revised quarterly figures suggest that economic net worth eased to $23.62 trillion after a record high $23.69 trillion in Q4…


Clickbait: Bernanke Terrifies Stock Investors, Again

If you are a stock investor, you should be terrified. The most disconcerting words have been uttered by the one person capable of changing the whole dynamic. After spending so many years trying to recreate the magic of the “maestro”, Ben Bernanke in retirement is still at it. In an interview with Charles Schwab, the…


Defining Labor Economics

Economics is a pretty simple framework of understanding, at least in the small “e” sense. The big problem with Economics, capital “E”, is that the study is dedicated to other things beyond the economy. In the 21st century, it has become almost exclusive to those extraneous errands. It has morphed into a discipline dedicated to…


It Was And Still Is The Wrong Horse To Bet

The payroll report disappointed again, though it was deficient in ways other than are commonly described. The monthly change is never a solid indication, good or bad, as the BLS’ statistical processes can only get it down to a 90% confidence interval, and a wide one at that. It means that any particular month by…


Incomes Always Deviate Negative

Personal Income growth in February 2017 was more mixed than it had been of recent months. Nominal Disposable Per Capita Income increased 3.73% year-over-year, while in real terms Per Capita Income was up 1.57%. For the former, that was among the better monthly results over the past year, while the latter was near the worst….



Janet Yellen was sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on February 3, 2014. One of her first acts as Chairman was to participate in the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference held in March that year in Chicago. She addressed her audience in a speech specifically directed at the labor market….


Inflation, But Only Where It Hurts

The Consumer Price Index increased 2.74% in February 2017 over February 2016. That was the highest inflation rate registered in this format since February 2012. As has been the case for the past three months, the acceleration of headline inflation is due almost exclusively to the sharp increase in oil prices as compared to the…


Fiscal ‘Stimulus’ Will Be Starting From Less Than Zero

For a “reflation” regime predicated as much on government spending, it was an inauspicious start. Construction spending fell sharply in January, as lackluster growth in the private sector could not offset sharp declines in government activity. At the state and local level, construction spending fell nearly 5% from December (seasonally-adjusted), while at the federal level…


Headwinds Of The Negative Feedback

As oil prices remain as they are in relation to where they were one year ago, measured inflation rates have come back up, some faster than others. This does mimic the real world situation where consumers are paying more now for gasoline than they did last year. Even though they are paying less than three…