In most cases, it all seems so far away. I write about the shrunken global economy all the time. The evidence is all around, and yet still somehow it seems like some remote dreamscape. Human evolution hasn’t prepared us to be able to accept something so big and unconscionable. Most people’s initial response is, “what [...]
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We can add realtors to the list of those who are angry with Jay Powell. The housing market continued its perplexing slump in October, according to a broad section of data encompassing everything from construction to sales of existing homes. We have been told since Economics 101 that the central bank is, well, central, therefore [...]
In September 2015, the US EPA issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen. The European carmaker had, apparently, engineered its turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to turn on the vehicle’s emissions control only during testing. Discrepancies had been discovered by California regulators the year before, many involving European makes and models. The Volkswagen emissions scandal [...]
We often forget, the middle 2000’s was not uniquely a housing bubble. It commanded our attention because that’s what ended up affecting so many Americans personally; whether foreclosures or just the negative “wealth effect” of declining real estate values. This was also pretty easy to understand, an asset bubble though complicated in its full manifestations [...]
Data dependent, they claim. They aren’t. Mario Draghi at his last press conference admitted, “incoming information, [is] somewhat weaker than expected.” There is so much riding on the word “somewhat.” Because of the weasel, the head of the ECB told the assembled media policy normalization was unimpeded. He did so with a straight face. Good. [...]
Many attribute the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats” to President John Kennedy. He may have been the man who brought it into the mainstream but as his former speechwriter Ted Sorenson long ago admitted it didn’t originate from his or the President’s imagination. Instead, according to Sorenson, it was a phrase borrowed from [...]
The calendar last month hadn’t yet run out on US Industrial Production as it had for US Retail Sales. The hurricane interruption of 2017 for industry unlike consumer spending extended into last September. Therefore, the base comparison for 2018 is against that artificial low. As such, US IP rose by 5.1% year-over-year last month. That’s [...]
For the second consecutive month, retail sales recorded by gasoline stations surged by an annual rate of more than 20%. It was the fourth month in a row where sales have been up by nearly that amount. Last year’s jump in oil prices is feeding through in a number of ways. From headline inflation rates [...]
Liquidity preferences are one of the least discussed economic concepts. There are several channels into which monetary instability can hamper the real economy. A “dollar” squeeze doesn’t just impact banks, they often pass it along further down the economic chain. In its most extreme form, we had something like 2009. Some of the best companies [...]
The entire purpose of China’s presumed rebalancing act is supposedly that the country’s economy will no longer be strongly linked to industry. Manufacturing, for export in particular, is what made modern China into an economic powerhouse, transforming a once agrarian subsistence society (thanks to socialism). One need only look at overhead or satellite images of [...]