201710.18
4
2

Sinking Apartments (Not From Storms)

Housing construction continues to slow in 2017, dragged down by fewer multi-family projects. Total permits and starts have essentially flatlined since 2015, a further slowdown from one already slowdown. The single-family market is still growing but at a historically tepid pace, leaving the pace of construction overall to be dictated by weakness in apartment development….

201508.17
1
0

Japan Is A Stimulated Disaster; Why Not More?

The Japanese economy sank yet again, more than suggesting there is no recovery from the “inflation”-led recession that began six months before any tax change. Almost right from the start of QQE, Q4 2013, Japan’s GDP has either been contracting or barely rising. The net result is the monetary hole left behind by so many…

201412.02
1
0

Toxicity

Honestly, there really isn’t much to say now that hasn’t already been said. At what point can we expect convention and mainstream commentary to stop referring to monetarism as “stimulus”? If we are to have a unified and ubiquitous qualifying description of the idea, it is far closer to toxin or poison than anything that suggests…

201408.19
4
0

It’s Not All Oil and Gas

In addition to this morning’s “noisy” and suddenly more tame CPI report, there is a broad-based decline in commodity prices that is more than a little bit outside of “usual” volatility. It should be noted at the start that commodity prices are not always direct reflections of economic activity or expectations for future activity, as…

201408.01
3
0

What Is Being Left Out of the ‘Inarguable’ Payroll Expansion Is Far More Important

With all due respect to durable goods, perhaps I was a bit too hasty in assigning it the moniker of most boring. There is certainly competition now, as the monthly payroll euphoria has become just as homogenous, curiously, and engrained enough where commentary can simply be copied and pasted from month-to-month. Most people probably will…

201406.02
2
0

Far Fewer Households Than People

There was more bad news for real estate recently beyond the consistent declines in housing stats. The one factor that housing bulls have been awaiting is household formation, though so far that one has remained a drag. And that was supposed to be the catalyst, in that eventually Americans had to begin moving out once…

201405.21
8
0

Systemic Poverty, Part 2

In advance of another rash of housing statistics, one of the main components driving more optimistic expectations is household formation. After being severely depressed by the Great Recession and then the lack of real recovery, at some point population dynamics should begin to drive actual demand for owning shelter. Of course, it seems like a…

201310.08
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0

Market Structure/Economic Structure

I’ve gotten a few emails asking for more detail on why the market structure seems to have changed or evolved since about 1990, particularly that relation to the Federal Reserve’s full implementation of interest rate targeting. Coincidence and correlation is not always causation, so it is useful to unpack the full chain of circumstances between…

201310.03
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0

Who Owns The Market?

Before 1950, if you asked who owned stocks, the answer was very straightforward: wealthy individuals. Ninety percent of all equities were owned by the household sector, concentrated in the wealthiest segments. Most individuals had little savings to speak of, so stocks really were a plaything of the rich. All data below is taken from the…

201304.12
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Retail Sales Slowing In Every Segment

This morning’s retail sales figure from the Census Bureau shows a Y/Y increase (unadjusted) of only 1.79%. That is the second worst month since the recovery took hold in later 2009. The worst month was actually last month, which means the current condition in retail trade is, by far, the worst two months since the…