201709.08
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Why So Much Inventory?

Liquidity and more so liquidity preferences are vastly misunderstood for a whole host of reasons. A lot of it has to do with the dominant strains of Economics battling each other (saltwater vs. freshwater) over which statistical model fails less frequently. In shifting to mathematics and statistics, something great has been lost. Economists don’t understand…

201709.05
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Demand Dearth

The fundamental problem is that we don’t know what’s wrong. In many ways that is a worse condition because it is one step further removed from a solution. Even after ten years “we” still have to prove that the one thing everyone largely believes can’t be the depressing issue is. Earlier this year as the…

201708.14
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Ignore The Idiot

Of the economic releases of the past two weeks the one that got the most attention was the employment report. That report is seen by many market analysts as one of the most important and of course the Fed puts a lot of emphasis on it so the press spends an inordinate amount of time…

201708.02
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Fourth Order ‘Rising Dollar’ Effects Hit 2017

Total construction spending fell considerably in June 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates released yesterday. Seasonally-adjusted, layouts for new construction declined by 1.3% from May. That’s the second time in the last three months there was such a large drop. Year-over-year (unadjusted), total spending grew by just 1.2%, the lowest rate of expansion since November…

201708.01
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Entirely Too Flimsy

For such an important set of data, the PCE stuff continues to suggest a whole lot of capriciousness. There has been a tendency to drastically revise figures such that they change not in the small ways regular revisions are supposed to produce. The whole purpose of especially benchmark revisions is to calculate a more accurate…

201706.21
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Committing To A World Without 3%

When President Trump nominated Congressman Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services he created a vacancy in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. After no candidate secured a majority in the first round of voting, a runoff was to take place yesterday among the top two contenders. Republican Karen Handel squared off against Democrat Jon…

201705.31
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When Up Or Down Might Not Matter

Many surveys of especially manufacturer sentiment were for most of the past few years highly volatile in their month-to-month changes. It wasn’t at all unusual for the Chicago Business Barometer, for example, to be up big one month and then down just as much if not more the next. What was important was not those…

201705.30
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Not A Cycle; Weakness Produces Further Weakness No Matter How Confident

If economists are hoping for more than signs of wage acceleration, revisions to the Personal Income data series are going to make it that much harder to justify still seeing them. Income was revised lower across-the-board. The base effect of oil prices that had been supporting “reflation” may have had the opposite effect on consumers….

201705.11
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Hopefully Not Another Three Years

The stock market has its earnings season, the regular quarterly reports of all the companies that have publicly traded stocks. In economic accounts, there is something similar though it only happens once a year. It is benchmark revision season, and it has been brought to a few important accounts already. Given that this is a…