Did China Really Win, or Did Everyone Lose?

Of all the economic accounts where last year’s big tropical storms would have had the greatest impact, any substantial boost in construction spending made the most sense. What is destroyed is most often quickly rebuilt, particularly in the public arena. One of the core functions of local government is infrastructure, and no local politician can…

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…


All Conundrums Matter

Since we are this week hypocritically obsessing over monetary policy, particularly the federal funds rate end of it, it’s as good a time as any to review the full history of 21st century “conundrum.” Janet Yellen’s Fed has run itself afoul of the bond market, just as Alan Greenspan’s Fed did in the middle 2000’s….


‘Dollars’ All Along, There Are No Winners

China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) on November 11, 2001. Its membership took a decade and a half to achieve, no small wonder given that when it started the process the country looked nothing like it did when it was complete. Even by 2001, the Chinese economy was growing fast, but that was nothing…


It Was ‘Dollars’ All Along

Ross Perot famously declared the “giant sucking sound” in the 1992 Presidential campaign. The debate over NAFTA did not end with George H. W. Bush’s defeat, as it simmered in one form or another for much of the 1990’s. Curiously, however, it seemed almost perfectly absent during the 2000’s, the very decade in which Perot’s…


Factories Or Money?

There are a few parts of the payroll reports that do make sense without requiring alternative interpretation. Among these face value statistics is the estimate for manufacturing payrolls. The BLS figures that employment in the manufacturing sector peaked in July 2015 and has been declining ever so gently since then. Total job losses are just…


The Effects Of Money On Trade

There can be little doubt now outside of orthodox economics that the global economy is actually slowing, not accelerating as has been predicted. Economists themselves, however, continue to claim that things are getting better when the data strongly suggests otherwise. The latest depressing figures are from a pair of (orthodox) supranational organizations. First, the World…


Who’s The Barbarian?

Very few people are against the concept of free trade, and those who are aren’t worth listening to. As a matter of economics (small “e”), free trade was established as a universal good that benefits all sides in one of the first scholarly debates that in the early 19th century helped turn political economics into…