201711.06
2
4

Aligning Politics To economics

There is no argument that the New Deal of the 1930’s completely changed the political situation in America, including the fundamental relationship of the government to its people. The way it came about was entirely familiar, a sense from among a large (enough) portion of the general population that the paradigm of the time no…

201709.07
1
3

Enough With The Labor Shortage Already, It Doesn’t/Can’t Exist

Can we finally put to rest all notions that the US economy is at full employment and doing well, and therefore wage inflation is right around the corner? I suspect not. This dance has been ongoing for years now, continuing through what was nearly a recession, so there is little reason to believe that economists…

201709.01
2
2

2017 Is Two-Thirds Done And Still No Payroll Pickup

The payroll report for August 2017 thoroughly disappointed. The monthly change for the headline Establishment Survey was just +156k. The BLS also revised lower the headline estimate in each of the previous two months, estimating for July a gain of only +189k. The 6-month average, which matters more given the noisiness of the statistic, is…

201707.31
8
4

Hyping Lean

Activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman succeeded in 2013 in ousting Procter & Gamble’s CEO Bob McDonald. It was noteworthy at the time because the company issued a strange memo repeating often verbatim answers to questions it posed to itself. Among them was if Mr. McDonald was fired or, as had been relayed publicly, he…

201707.19
Off
5

Y2K Was Really The Great Uncertainty

In late 1999, the Federal Reserve established what was ostensibly an emergency credit facility. On October 1 that year, this offshoot of the Discount Window went live. Its main feature was that it was to be a primary program, meaning that banks didn’t have to prove they could access funds elsewhere first. They could go…

201705.26
9
2

Simple (economic) Math

The essence of capitalism is not strictly capital. In the modern sense, the word capital has taken on other meanings, often where money is given as a substitute for it. When speaking about things like “hot money”, for instance, you wouldn’t normally correct someone referencing it in terms of “capital flows.” Someone that “commits capital”…

201705.10
3
2

Just Not Down As Much

It is one of those things that will never be stated outright, nor does there exist the kind of unassailable proof that would convict in any legal sense. Regardless, monetary officials here and elsewhere are clearly trying to have it both ways. They know very well what is driving inflation rates upward of late, and…

201704.25
2
1

Defining Labor Economics

Economics is a pretty simple framework of understanding, at least in the small “e” sense. The big problem with Economics, capital “E”, is that the study is dedicated to other things beyond the economy. In the 21st century, it has become almost exclusive to those extraneous errands. It has morphed into a discipline dedicated to…

201704.19
2
1

The Foggy Exit

The aging of the Baby Boomers is not something that caught economists completely by surprise. That generation has been the subject of (academic) study going back to the surge in birth rates right after World War II. In economic terms, the challenges presented by the prospective retirement years for this cohort has been anticipated to…

201703.30
1
2

Ending The Fed’s Drug Problem

Gross Domestic Product was revised slightly higher for Q4 2016, which is to say it wasn’t meaningfully different. At 2.05842%, real GDP projects output growing for one quarter close to its projected potential, a less than desirable result. It is fashionable of late to discuss 2% or 2.1% as if these are good numbers consistent…