201802.22
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Blaming The Boom Basis

Once the sick man of the global economy, Europe’s system had roared back in 2017. According to the narrative, everything is right right now on the Continent. Manufacturing couldn’t possibly be any better, and the ECB forced into “emergency” monetary measures for longer than almost anyone else (except, as always, Japan) is talking confidently about…

201802.06
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US Imports: A Little Inflation For Yellen, A Little More Bastiat

US imports rocketed higher once again in December, according to just-released estimates from the Census Bureau. Since August 2017, the US economy has been adding foreign goods at an impressive pace. Year-over-year (SA), imports are up just 10.4% (only 9% unadjusted) but 9.3% was in just those last four months. For most of 2017, imports…

201801.29
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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…

201801.05
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What’s Missing In Europe Is What’s Missing Everywhere

American central bankers and economists aren’t alone in their Phillips Curve nightmare. They are joined by others practically everywhere else around the world. In Europe, for example, the unemployment rate there continues to fall while inflation keeps on misbehaving in its meandering. Unlike the US, however, the Europeans don’t have the luxury of burying millions…

201711.30
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It’s More Than Just The Absence of Acceleration, It’s The Synchronization Where There Should Be None

According to the latest ECB figures, as of yesterday total “liquidity” added to the European banking system for that central bank’s ongoing monetary “stimulus” was just shy of €2 trillion. The outstanding balance in the core current account (reserves) held on behalf of the banking system was €1.296 trillion. In the deposit account, banks are…

201711.07
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The Economics Definition of Sanity: Keep Doing The Same Thing Over and Over Because It Has To Work One of These Times

We live in an age of statistics. They are everywhere, including a whole lot of junk numbers (endless studies) that don’t pass minimum scrutiny. Somehow, statistics have become the gold standard for at least the mainstream media in framing our view of everything from new discoveries to further exploration into how things work. That’s fine…

201711.06 5

Europe Is Booming, Except It’s Not

European GDP rose 0.6% quarter-over-quarter in Q3 2017, the eighteenth consecutive increase for the Continental (EA 19) economy. That latter result is being heralded as some sort of achievement, though the 0.6% is also to a lesser degree. The truth is that neither is meaningful, and that Europe’s economy continues toward instead the abyss. At…

201711.03
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Synchronized Global Not Quite Growth

Going back to 2014, it was common for whenever whatever economic data point disappointed that whomever optimistic economist or policymaker would overrule it by pointing to “global growth.” It was the equivalent of shutting down an uncomfortable debate with ad hominem attacks. You can’t falsify “global growth” because you can’t really define what it is. Japan…

201710.17
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Distinct Lack of Good Faith, Part ??

It was a busy weekend in retrospect, starting with Janet Yellen and other central bankers uncomfortably facing a global media that has become (for once) increasingly unconvinced. Reporters, really, don’t have much choice. The Federal Reserve Chairman might not be aware of just how much she has used the “transitory” qualifier since 2015, but others…

201710.16
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Global Inflation Continues To Underwhelm

Chinese producer prices accelerated in September 2017, while consumer price increases slowed. The National Bureau of Statistics reported this weekend that China’s PPI was up 6.9% year-over-year, a quicker pace than the 6.3% estimated for August and a 5.5% rate in July. Earlier in the year producer prices were driven mostly by 2016’s oil rebound,…