Where Innovation Just Doesn’t Belong

Some things are not supposed to be innovative. It’s no surprise that given the high technology of our modern lives that modern humans tend to be drawn to the new and shiny. We’ve marked the advance of society along the lines of big leaps in understanding and doing. Quite easily, we can get lost equating…


Sintra +1

Does a year matter? It seems like a sufficient length of time whereby solid conclusions might be reached. While that may be true in a lot of disciplines, it is not so in Economics. Recall that in late June 2017, ECB President Mario Draghi kicked up a minor fury over presumed “hawkish” comments. It triggered…


Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Examining Rates

Is the rate hiking cycle almost done? Not the question on everyone’s minds right now so a good time to ask it, I think. A couple of items caught my attention recently that made me at least think about the possibility.  There has been for some time now a large short position held by speculators…

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The Simple Economics of What Really Matters

The very idea of a labor shortage is supposed to be strictly an economic concept. No longer. It is now wielded almost exclusively in political terms. Anecdotes about how companies are unable to find workers pepper most commentary on the labor market if only because there is no (none) direct statistical evidence that a nationwide…

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Stupid’s On The Other Foot Now

We’ve noted over the past few weeks just how much things have changed since earlier this year. We started off 2018 in the grips of inflation hysteria, the more extreme corollary to globally synchronized growth. Things were going to be so good, they said, it would be bad. Now there’s just growing worries about only…


BoJ Blames Amazon; Or, What A Difference A Few Months Make

The Bank of Japan gathered its policymaking members in Tokyo at the end of last week. The statements released and the commentary given pursuant to it exuded a renewed darkness. When they had last met on April 26 and 27, things were already different. But the conclave before that, March 8 and 9, they were…


Chart of the Week: Pure Risk

Well before Jerome Powell changed his dots a little, or the ECB chickened out, the Reserve Bank of India had already acted. For the first time since January 2014, on June 6 the RBI raised its benchmark repo rate. Rather than reverse the rupee’s slide it appears to have renewed it. The euro may have routed…


Chinese Inflation And Money Contributions To EM’s

The People’s Bank of China won’t update its balance sheet numbers for May until later this month. Last month, as expected, the Chinese central bank allowed bank reserves to contract for the first time in nearly two years. It is, I believe, all part of the reprioritization of monetary policy goals toward CNY. How well…

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What A Difference A Few Months Make, Highest Inflation in Six Years And Market Shrugs

What a difference a few months make. Perhaps given all that has happened since January people have regained some badly needed perspective. The core of inflation hysteria was the belief the economy was about to take off which would exacerbate underlying price pressures. That would necessitate more aggressive Federal Reserve reaction, corroborated by an epic…

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Proving The ‘L’ In Labor

Back in 2011 and 2012, apple growers in the state of Washington got the government there to declare an emergency. They were expecting a record or near-record crop of fruit but they just couldn’t find enough workers to harvest it all. Faced with a potentially devastating labor shortage, Washington’s governor turned to convicts. I wrote…