201805.21 4

Italy Went Boom A Long Time Ago (and that’s the point)

On June 21, 2017, Italy’s Parliament approved Law #96. The new regulation altered Law #130 of 1999. Pertaining to limitations on the activities of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), the 2017 amendment expanded their scope. The intention was clear; SPV’s were going to be used as the primary method of cleaning up Italian banks as a…

201805.16
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And Now For Something Completely Different

Back in February, Japan’s Cabinet Office reported that Real GDP in Japan had grown in Q4 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. It was the longest streak of non-negative GDP since the 1980’s. Predictably, this was hailed as some significant achievement, a true masterstroke of courage and perseverance. It was taken as a sign that…

201805.15
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An India Canary?

The sweeping tide of populist election victories has not been limited to just the US and Europe. There have been torrents in Asia, too. Though there is some disagreement whether he counts among them or not, India’s Narendra Modi swept to a historic electoral triumph in May 2014 sure sounding a lot like one, maybe…

201805.07
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What Really Happened In Europe

The primary example of globally synchronized growth has been Europe. Nowhere has more hope been attached to shifting fortunes. The Continent, buoyed by the persistence of central bankers like Mario Draghi, has not just accelerated it is actually booming. Or so they say. Last September, politicians were lining up to confidently declare as much, often…

201805.07
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Oil, Interest Rates & Economic Growth

The yield on the 10 year Treasury note briefly surpassed the supposedly important 3% barrier and then….nothing. So, maybe, contrary to all the commentary that placed such importance on that level, it was just another line on a chart and the bond bear market fear mongering told us a lot about the commentators and not…

201804.30
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Doubleplusgood Boom

In 1967, the US Personal Savings Rate averaged just a little more than 12%. That was pretty consistent with consumer behavior observed throughout the decades before, and the one that followed. What that meant, in terms of economic theory, was that if you as a central bank intended to accelerate the economy via the manipulation…

201804.27 5

The Longest Falling Expansion

The current expansion is already one of the longest on record. With another quarter entering the BEA’s books, it has been 35 since the last declared recession. At +2.3% for the current one, there won’t be another considered anytime soon putting this economy within reach. Yet, out of those 35 quarters only 10 have contained…

201804.10
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China’s Xi Really Had No Choice

Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to back off the heated trade rhetoric over the past few months. In a speech drawing intense focus, Xi, while stating nothing that could be taken as definitive, pledged a “new phase of opening up” China’s vast marketplace. China does not seek [a] trade surplus. We have a genuine desire…

201803.28
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Stocks’ Price to Eventually Ratio

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised upward fourth quarter 2017 Real GDP. The second estimate had been revised lower to 2.50458% (continuously compounded annual rate of change) from the advanced estimate. The third and final calculation raises the quarterly increase to 2.84707%. None of the changes are substantial. Accompanying these revisions are the BEA’s…

201803.22
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If Powell Is Angry And Disgusted, That’s A Small Positive

According to one research company, new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was disgusted and angry at his press conference yesterday. The firm, Prattle, employed facial recognition software to track Powell’s expressions throughout his inaugural press conference. By their count, he was disgusted 36 times, angry 41 times, and expressed contempt another five. Powell conveyed joy…