201805.23
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It’s Not The Minutes, It’s The Months and Years

It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to overlook and not think too deeply about. Recall the basis of inflation hysteria: the economy was poised to take off and do so convincingly; that plus the ubiquitous LABOR SHORTAGE!!! meant that wages then inflation were going to break out higher; accelerating consumer prices were then to…

201804.18
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Why The Last One Still Matters (IP Revisions)

Beginning with its very first issue in May 1915, the Federal Reserve’s Bulletin was the place to find a growing body of statistics on US economic performance. Four years later, monthly data was being put together on the physical volumes of trade. From these, in 1922, the precursor to what we know today as Industrial…

201802.05
5
2

The Austerity Path

What happened to the recovery? It’s a complex question with a surprisingly simple answer. The density of the topic, particularly entangled as it was in close proximity to the calamity of the Great “Recession”, clouded the diagnosis. If you ask ten different academic economists you might get ten different answers, though I suspect seven or…

201712.12
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The Story of Shipping Is Our Economic Story

There was a lot of talk about the supposed oil supply glut around early 2015, for good reasons that only partially related to the supply of oil. That wasn’t the only industry impacted by what was really going on, meaning the falling demand side to the world economy. Shipping companies have faced a supply glut…

201712.05 5

Giant Sucking Sound Sucks (Far) More Than US Industry Now

There are two possibilities with regard to stubbornly weak US imports in 2017. The first is the more obvious, meaning that the domestic goods economy despite its upturn last year isn’t actually doing anything positive other than no longer being in contraction. The second would be tremendously helpful given the circumstances of American labor in…

201711.14
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4

Historical Precedence For How A Bond ‘Bubble’ Ends

The UK government tried very hard to hold on. They had been able to raise $200 million from JP Morgan, a significant sum at that time under those circumstances. The British had also secured an almost equal amount from banks in France. The new National Government had produced a budget slashing spending by £70 million,…

201709.13
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When You Are Prevented From Connecting The Dots That You See

In its first run, the Federal Reserve was actually two distinct parts. There were the twelve bank branches scattered throughout the country, each headed by almost always a banker of local character. Often opposed to them was the Board in DC. In those early days the policy establishment in Washington had little active role. Monetary…

201707.11
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JOLTS Disharmony Is More Than JOLTS, or Jobs

Last month it was Job Openings that soared to a new record high of more than 6 million (for April 2017), while the pace of hiring slammed lower to just more than 5 million. This month (May 2017), the opposite. Hires surged to nearly 5.5 million, while Job Openings fell sharply (and were revised lower…

201705.19
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A Lousy State

I don’t pay much attention to the 2 year part of the UST curve because I think it is susceptible to information spoilage, distortions that aren’t strictly related to what a “risk-free” 2s should tell us. But as my colleague Joe Calhoun often reminds me, just because I don’t think it as important doesn’t mean…

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…