201504.24
1
0

Another Drop in Durable Goods

There were a lot of references to the top-line durable goods figure, which was better at 4% in March, but surprisingly almost every piece of commentary was acquiescent to the very disappointing internals. If there was weather depression in the Q1 “slump” so far, it should have abated in March and kicked off an unmistakable…

201504.23
3
0

Turns Out The ‘Rising Dollar’ Is Real

The purpose of trying to frame revenue and earnings as a figment of dollar calculations is, of course, to make it seem as if these are just numbers that have little meaning. The emphasis on “constant currency” terms is not just a means to alter the figures but the very meaning itself. As IBM has…

201504.22
2
0

It All Went So Quickly

It seems a very long way from here, but it was only December 23rd when the economy was taken as “booming.” That was the day that excited economists under direct confirmation, allegedly, that this time was different. The Commerce Department had reported Q3 GDP up to 5%, raising estimates for business investment and consumer spending….

201504.21
3
0

Aiming Now At the ‘Dollar’

With the PBOC’s apparent schizophrenia on display it is unsurprising that there would be another default. I don’t find any coincidence between the timing of that announcement, in Hong Kong, and the fact that the PBOC both “tightened” and “loosened” in the past few days. They have been pretty consistent about that going back to…

201504.20
1
0

China Literally Does It Again

The fact that China did something will always be treated with hyperventilation, but lately that includes an almost bi-polar nature. Last week, the PBOC branch in Shanghai made what looked to be a “tightening” gesture upon Chinese stocks, ordering commercial banks, in a memo, to check for risks in margin debt. They also banned margin…

201504.20
1
0

Getting October 15 Right, Even to Crude

It is becoming settled wisdom that the most dangerous aspects of any current financial contours are due almost entirely to some version of HFT or electronic trading. That is undoubtedly true, as far as it might relate to one aspect, but to claim that computers are the single biggest source, let along only source, of…

201504.17
5
0

Blame GDP

I think we are getting an even better sense of what might be the most ironclad law of orthodox economics. It seems as if there is a nonlinear proportionality between the desperation in which the mainstream denies it and the farther away from recovery the economy becomes. Last year was full of denial, especially as…

201504.15
1
0

US IP Too

It never really was weather to begin with, a statement that applies increasingly to not just this year. The fact that prior winters were wintry should have made no difference at all to an economy that is stable and moving via organic processes. It is only the artificial trends that can be subverted by all…

201504.14
4
0

A View To The Downside

With retail sales and some other recent indicators flashing deeper warnings about the current economic climate, the concerns I raised last week and before about the “bunker mentality” have increased in relevance as well as probability. Specifically, if recession on the consumer side is rightfully characterized by households taking on a “bunker mentality” then it…

201504.14
1
0

The Old School Ingredients

For the most part, retailers have been far more cautious about inventory than their wholesale counterparts. I don’t doubt that those two processes are actually related, with the inventory appetite swinging to wholesalers almost by default, but circumstances now dictate either a conscious break with that conduct or a convergence. With inventories already far too…