Our Future On Full Display Right Now

The Bank of Japan has already been pressured by events to reduce its economic expectations for 2014. At the end of 2013 there was enough cautious optimism that Japanese officials went ahead with their dubious proposal to try to appear fiscally responsible. The tax increase was expected to create a mild contraction in GDP before .. read more

They Really Should Begin to Model The Inverse

As I noted yesterday with US housing construction, there has been a very unusual amount of emphasis added to the month-to-month changes of various indications. Maybe that is no more than normal, but it seems as if the confidence displayed in the minutiae has been amplified. Given the circumstances, that is both understandable and reprehensible .. read more

Japan’s GDP Problems, The Big Picture

In late February 2014, the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan put on a seminar with guest lecturer Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The topic of discussion was Abenomics, more broadly, and the Japanese brand of QE specifically. Mr. Posen, from his perch atop an establishment/inside think .. read more

Japan’s GDP Problem Extends In Both Temporal Directions

This may be a more globally universal problem than specifically limited to just Japan, but since the Japanese have been encapsulated here by far the longest it has lost almost all meaning. At some point, there has to be a penetrating numbness that becomes downright debilitating which is why a degree of sympathy is called .. read more

It’s Never Enough

Not much needs to be said about Japan, as they continue to get what they wanted. While mainstream “news” outlets have been framing this as “not as bad as it could have been” based on the expectations of economists, that is an awfully thin, but familiar, basis for taking the “bright side.” What has been .. read more

Pity Japan

I have little doubt that the most perverse aspect of orthodox economics is the idea of monetary neutrality. Taken as nothing more than an article of faith, monetary practitioners use the principle as cover to undertake drastic and blunt intrusions into markets and economies, with no guilt over having done so because they can simply .. read more

It’s Not Coming

Entrenched narratives die extremely hard, with all due respect to John McClane’s [Bruce Willis] aging franchise, and I cannot remember something so cemented as the recovery idea this year. That is really saying something considering that each and every New Year’s Day after the trough of the Great Recession has brought out the same exact .. read more

A Return To Normalcy

I think sometimes, with the stock market doing its best imitation of the Energizer bunny, we forget just how extraordinary are the times in which we live. We’ve been lulled to sleep by the relentless and mesmerizing march higher of stocks and all manner of risky assets. Maybe it’s just that having lived through two .. read more