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…

201804.23
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QE Through The Housing Channel

Even after several years of them, monetary policymakers continued to tread carefully with large scale asset purchases (LSAP). Otherwise known as quantitative easing (QE), in the US they were first announced all the way back in the darkest days of global financial panic in 2008. Yet, in 2012 and 2013 concerns remained that they could…

201802.26
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Yeah, About This Boom

In October 2006, the Communist Party of China unveiled a landmark new policy aimed at easing social and societal unrest in the country. The Chinese leadership would strive for a “harmonious society”, reaching this goal no later than 2020. As one of the final works for 16th Party Congress convened in 2002, it would stand…

201802.20
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The Einstein Stimulus Equation

The housing bubble began to reverse in the middle of 2006. Strangely, Economists presented with the possibility were almost uniformly confident that it wouldn’t matter. Forgetting the market and liquidity issues, even by the middle of 2007 it was clear the end of the housing bubble had already restrained economic growth. Confidence abounded anyway, largely…

201712.20
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A (More) Rational Basis For Expectations

With UST yields backing up a little bit after the yield curve collapsed so far so fast, the combination of tax cut and reform “stimulus” juxtaposed with the constant, non-transitory mainstream message of recovery and growth has left us with yet another BOND ROUT!!! It has been somewhat if not completely reminiscent of earlier in…

201710.24 2

An Unexpected (And Rotten) Branch of the Maestro’s Legacy

The most significant part of China’s 19th Party Congress ended in the usual anticlimactic fashion. These events are for show, not debate. Like any good trial lawyer will tell you, you never ask a question in court that you don’t already know the answer to. For China’s Communists, that meant nominating Xi Jinping’s name to…

201710.19
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Officially A No-growth World

I really don’t think people quite understand just how much trouble China is in right now. That’s no mystery because in the Western media the Chinese economy is almost always described as somewhere between awesome and magnificent (only slight hyperbole). Their government, on the other hand, is not fooled. General Secretary Xi Jinping opened the…

201709.27
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A Different Kind, But Corruption Nonetheless

The problem with the Federal Reserve is that it is corrupt. I don’t mean that its staff is busy filling their days thinking up ways to cheat the American taxpayer, rather it is a philosophical sort of debasement. Many people think the Fed is evil and nefarious, others that its policymakers are plain stupid. Neither…

201705.04
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About Those Secondary Speculators

Back when the WTI curve was at its steepest contango, who was it that was buying up all that oil? A sheer vertical curve is an invitation to almost free money, very much like other curves everywhere else during the “rising dollar.” You could simultaneously buy crude at spot and sell it for delivery years…

201704.19
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The Foggy Exit

The aging of the Baby Boomers is not something that caught economists completely by surprise. That generation has been the subject of (academic) study going back to the surge in birth rates right after World War II. In economic terms, the challenges presented by the prospective retirement years for this cohort has been anticipated to…