Z1 Update to Money, Credit, and Thus Economy

The Federal Reserve updated the Financial Accounts of the United States (Z1) yesterday, meaning there is quite a lot of new data for the second quarter of 2017. It also means more than just that update, as each quarterly addition is often accompanied by revisions to past estimates. There were some substantial downward revisions to…


Why The Fed’s Balance Sheet Reduction Is As Irrelevant As Its Expansion

The FOMC is widely expected to vote in favor of reducing the system’s balance sheet this week. The possibility has been called historic and momentous, though it may be for reasons that aren’t very kind to these central bankers. Having started to swell almost ten years ago, it’s a big deal only in that after…


The Real Euro Watch

Everyone is now a euro watcher. The European common currency’s exchange value against the dollar has been on the rise, to put it mildly. Despite decades of declaring floating currencies the optimal framework, it really is quite entertaining to watch the furor when these things actually float one way or the other. This recent trend…


Weight Of Recovery

In 1871, W. Stanley Jevons in the preface to his book The Theory of Political Economy writes of a fundamental human issue with Economics. He makes a distinction between it and other sciences which do not suffer, as he said a century and a half ago, “the weight of authority.” Finding such words from so…


Irreführende Statistiken

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (DeStatis) reported today disappointing figures for Industrial Production. The seasonally-adjusted series fell in June 2017 month-over-month for the first time this year, last declining in December 2016. The index had been on a tear, rising nearly 5% in the first five months of this year. The move was considered by many…

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Draghi Did Not Keep His Promise

It is like a great many things forgotten now, but five years ago today the head of the ECB compared Europe to a bumblebee. That’s not quite right, however, as Mario Draghi really said the euro was like a bumblebee, but you’d be forgiven for mixing the two up. The purpose of his folksy analogy…

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No Flip Flop in Europe

Well, that clears that up. In case you missed it, back on June 27 Mario Draghi triggered the latest declared BOND ROUT!!! with what was characterized as a very upbeat economic assessment for Europe. And if things are moving forward there, they just have to be everywhere else. It came off as “hawkish” in the…

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Oh No, Not ‘Dovish’ At All

It is hypocritical, I suppose, to claim that Janet Yellen is irrelevant while at the same time constantly writing about the oblivious things she says. The Fed doesn’t matter but we need to obsessively focus on monetary policy anyway. Often the reasoning is upside down. By that I mean, we hope that by highlighting how…

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It’s Not The Downside, Where’s The Upside?

The IMF like so many others appears to have been caught up in “reflation.” Its models had in its April 2017 WEO outlook upgraded US growth prospects for the first time in a long time. In their final 2016 WEO, the institute projected US real GDP growth of 2.20% for calendar year 2017, and then…