201709.15
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Expectations and Acceptance of Potential

The University of Michigan reports that consumer confidence in September slipped a little from August. Their Index of Consumer Sentiment registered 95.3 in the latest month, down from 96.8 in the prior one. Both of those readings are in line with confidence estimates going back to early 2014 when consumer sentiment supposedly surged. During that…

201709.06
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Of Rules And Slack, And The Real Rule of Slack

In 1993, Stanford economist John B. Taylor wrote an influential paper that introduced the economics profession (statisticians, almost all) to what was later called the Taylor Rule. The need for such a “rule” was an unspoken outgrowth of monetary evolution. In the 1960’s and 1970’s long-established regression models estimating the influence of then-defined money on…

201708.11
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JPY Joins EDM; End of Week Chart Dump

Brexit, Trump’s election, even the Bank of Japan rumored to be thinking helicopter. Last year was the year of thinking differently and therein was hope. No matter how many times some markets and especially media blindly accepted the “stimulus” or “recovery” judgments of economists over the years, by 2016 and the near-recession globally that accompanied…

201705.10
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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
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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
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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…

201704.17
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Transitory

I suspect that Federal Reserve officials would prefer to not speak about inflation, nor ever again be asked about it. When oil prices first crashed at the end of 2014, they said it was a “transitory” phenomenon not worthy of much attention. Or if it was to be given some consideration, it was a benefit…

201704.12
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Is It Other Than Madness?

As earnings season begins for Q1 2017 reports, there isn’t much change in analysts’ estimates for S&P 500 companies for that quarter. The latest figures from S&P shows expected earnings (as reported) of $26.70 in Q1, as compared to $26.87 two weeks ago. That is down only $1 from October, which is actually pretty steady…

201703.24 4

The Inverse of Keynes

With nearly all of the S&P 500 companies having reported their Q4 numbers, we can safely claim that it was a very bad earnings season. It may seem incredulous to categorize the quarter that way given that EPS growth (as reported) was +29%, but even that rate tells us something significant about how there is,…