201807.16
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Pay Attention To Nominal Not Real China GDP

For the second half of 2015, how dicey did it really get in China? It’s difficult to assess going by something like real GDP given how notorious the Chinese have become for hitting their growth targets no matter what. But for those two quarters we can infer a whole bunch of nasty problems by the…

201807.16
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Retail Sales Still In The Green

It would be easier if we could just know the right amount of oil futures backwardation. The literal answer for the question of what’s the correct level is the curve’s shape at any given moment in time. That’s a little too close to the theory of perfectly efficient markets for me. Whatever it may be,…

201806.19
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Examining Rates

Is the rate hiking cycle almost done? Not the question on everyone’s minds right now so a good time to ask it, I think. A couple of items caught my attention recently that made me at least think about the possibility.  There has been for some time now a large short position held by speculators…

201806.15
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A Lot Underneath Retail Sales

The retail sales report for the month of May 2018 was generally positive on the headline, which is to say it was one of the better months of recent years. Total sales growth was 6.35% year-over-year (unadjusted). A big part of it was due to an 18% year-over-year gain in retail sales at gasoline stations….

201806.14 8

China’s Hatches Further Battened

The problem with global growth, synchronized or not, is that it isn’t really a thing. It is a made-up concept that accompanies confusion. Why is the economy about to pick up when there is no evidence for that expectation? Global growth. It’s a nonspecific bogeyman that anyone can point to and expect little or often…

201806.12
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A Different Look Behind The Retail Apocalypse

Even the apocalypse is a process that takes time. Like a financial crash that isn’t really a condensed all-at-once occurrence, the retail industry’s long-described reset has for another year reached even greater proportions in 2018. It’s not clear when the term first showed up, but by now it is a mainstream staple. No article on…

201806.05 9

What Happens When The Dollar Double Whammy Lands On You (Again)

A recent poll in Brazil showed that one-third of Brazilians favor “military intervention.” The country had been gripped by a crippling trucker’s strike, the results of which have been almost complete economic shutdown. Intervention, as it is softly termed, would be nothing less than a coup. The direct cause of the strike is quite simple….

201805.21
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Growth Expectations Break Out?

There are a lot of reasons why interest rates may have risen recently. The federal government is expected to post a larger deficit this year – and in future years – due to the tax cuts. Further exacerbating those concerns is the ongoing shrinkage of the Fed’s balance sheet. Increased supply and potentially decreased demand…

201805.15
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Anchoring Globally Synchronized Growth, Or We Gave Up Long Ago?

January was the last month in which China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) specifically mentioned Fixed Asset Investment (FAI) of state holding enterprises (or SOE’s). For the month of December 2017, the NBS reported accumulated growth (meaning for all of 2017) in this channel of 10.1%. Through FAI of SOE’s, Chinese authorities in early 2016…

201805.15
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Tax Cuts And (Less) Spending

After being rumored and talked about for over a year, at the end of last year the tax cuts were finally delivered. The idea had captured much market attention during that often anxious period of political flirtation. Prices would rise or fall by turn based on whether or not it seemed a realistic possibility. Public…