wages

Payrolls: Deadly Low

By |2018-08-03T13:00:17+00:00August 3rd, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Economists say that the labor market is being restrained by secular factors, those outside of regular macro potential. These are opioid use, demographic changes toward an older population, and the downside effects of globalization as it alters the skills required by employers. Between drug addicts, retiring Baby Boomers, and lazy Americans who won’t go back [...]

Why Hysteria Died, In One Day

By |2018-08-01T16:02:53+00:00August 1st, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Why did inflation hysteria die? The answer is surprisingly simple. Proponents way oversold the thing. They kept claiming that the labor market, via a truly booming economy, would force the Fed’s hand. Wage growth was about to explode, therefore monetary policy couldn’t afford to be complacent. Aggressiveness was about to become Jay Powell’s go-to position. [...]

Buybacks Get All The Macro Hate, But What About Dividends?

By |2018-07-11T18:33:17+00:00July 11th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

When it comes to the stock market and the corporate cash flow condition, our attention is usually drawn to stock repurchases. With good reason. These controversial uses of scarce internal funds are traditionally argued along the lines of management teams identifying and correcting undervalued shares. History shows, conclusively, that hasn’t really been true. Last year’s [...]

There’s No Income So There Can’t Really Be Shortages

By |2018-07-02T11:43:26+00:00July 2nd, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The plural of anecdote is not data. At any given time in any given economy you can find counterexamples. During the Great Depression, for example, millions of Americans were doing very well for themselves. It wasn’t difficult to locate and talk to those who were prospering during what was a legitimate catastrophe. It’s never all [...]

Proving The ‘L’ In Labor

By |2018-06-06T12:15:56+00:00June 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Back in 2011 and 2012, apple growers in the state of Washington got the government there to declare an emergency. They were expecting a record or near-record crop of fruit but they just couldn’t find enough workers to harvest it all. Faced with a potentially devastating labor shortage, Washington’s governor turned to convicts. I wrote [...]

The Unemployment Rate Is Useless, But That Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Useful

By |2018-06-01T18:15:50+00:00June 1st, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

At a campaign rally in New Mexico in May 2016, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump returned to one of his favorite themes. It was a package deal. He first talked about NAFTA and what he considered the negative effects the trade agreement had had on American workers. That easily segued into what had by then become [...]

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