Falling Starts

By |2018-07-18T15:32:04+00:00July 18th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Home construction estimates are notoriously variable. They can change oftentimes by a substantial amount on a month-by-month basis, and the numbers are just as frequently subject to serious revisions in the short run. Still, we have to note when there are big moves even in these high frequency series, though keeping in mind no definitive [...]

Sinking Apartments (Not From Storms)

By |2017-10-18T17:37:58+00:00October 18th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Housing construction continues to slow in 2017, dragged down by fewer multi-family projects. Total permits and starts have essentially flatlined since 2015, a further slowdown from one already slowdown. The single-family market is still growing but at a historically tepid pace, leaving the pace of construction overall to be dictated by weakness in apartment development. [...]

Japan Is A Stimulated Disaster; Why Not More?

By |2015-08-17T18:16:18+00:00August 17th, 2015|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The Japanese economy sank yet again, more than suggesting there is no recovery from the “inflation”-led recession that began six months before any tax change. Almost right from the start of QQE, Q4 2013, Japan’s GDP has either been contracting or barely rising. The net result is the monetary hole left behind by so many [...]


By |2014-12-02T17:32:10+00:00December 2nd, 2014|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Honestly, there really isn’t much to say now that hasn’t already been said. At what point can we expect convention and mainstream commentary to stop referring to monetarism as “stimulus”? If we are to have a unified and ubiquitous qualifying description of the idea, it is far closer to toxin or poison than anything that suggests [...]

It’s Not All Oil and Gas

By |2014-08-19T15:42:26+00:00August 19th, 2014|Commodities, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In addition to this morning’s “noisy” and suddenly more tame CPI report, there is a broad-based decline in commodity prices that is more than a little bit outside of “usual” volatility. It should be noted at the start that commodity prices are not always direct reflections of economic activity or expectations for future activity, as [...]

What Is Being Left Out of the ‘Inarguable’ Payroll Expansion Is Far More Important

By |2014-08-01T14:38:29+00:00August 1st, 2014|Economy, Markets|

With all due respect to durable goods, perhaps I was a bit too hasty in assigning it the moniker of most boring. There is certainly competition now, as the monthly payroll euphoria has become just as homogenous, curiously, and engrained enough where commentary can simply be copied and pasted from month-to-month. Most people probably will [...]

Far Fewer Households Than People

By |2014-06-02T14:51:57+00:00June 2nd, 2014|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Real Estate, Stocks|

There was more bad news for real estate recently beyond the consistent declines in housing stats. The one factor that housing bulls have been awaiting is household formation, though so far that one has remained a drag. And that was supposed to be the catalyst, in that eventually Americans had to begin moving out once [...]

Systemic Poverty, Part 2

By |2014-05-21T15:28:37+00:00May 21st, 2014|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Real Estate|

In advance of another rash of housing statistics, one of the main components driving more optimistic expectations is household formation. After being severely depressed by the Great Recession and then the lack of real recovery, at some point population dynamics should begin to drive actual demand for owning shelter. Of course, it seems like a [...]

Market Structure/Economic Structure

By |2013-10-08T15:39:31+00:00October 8th, 2013|Markets|

I’ve gotten a few emails asking for more detail on why the market structure seems to have changed or evolved since about 1990, particularly that relation to the Federal Reserve’s full implementation of interest rate targeting. Coincidence and correlation is not always causation, so it is useful to unpack the full chain of circumstances between [...]

Who Owns The Market?

By |2013-10-03T10:39:39+00:00October 3rd, 2013|Markets|

Before 1950, if you asked who owned stocks, the answer was very straightforward: wealthy individuals. Ninety percent of all equities were owned by the household sector, concentrated in the wealthiest segments. Most individuals had little savings to speak of, so stocks really were a plaything of the rich. All data below is taken from the [...]

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