labor shortage

BoJ On 2.3%: ‘the decline in the unemployment rate is insufficient’

By |2018-11-06T16:06:39+00:00November 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The 21st century central banker is a unicorn chaser. This has happened by default, a product of too little success despite ever-increasing interventions. In fact, the bigger these policy intrusions become the more likely it is the central bankers will attempt to turn something small into something big. It doesn’t matter that economies are noisy [...]

Incredibly Simple economics

By |2018-09-28T16:49:40+00:00September 28th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

There are more than 300 PhD Economists working on staff for the Federal Reserve. The central bank tells us that they “represent an exceptionally diverse range of interests and specific areas of expertise.” Perhaps, but they are all PhD Economists, aren’t they? These highly educated people cover a broad range of topics, for sure, and [...]

It’s A Dollar-based Boom Shortage More Than Anything

By |2018-09-06T17:33:38+00:00September 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Simple Economics of What Really Matters

By |2018-06-18T17:45:29+00:00June 18th, 2018|Markets|

The very idea of a labor shortage is supposed to be strictly an economic concept. No longer. It is now wielded almost exclusively in political terms. Anecdotes about how companies are unable to find workers pepper most commentary on the labor market if only because there is no (none) direct statistical evidence that a nationwide [...]

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 [...]

All The World’s A (Imagined) Labor Shortage

By |2018-05-11T11:20:48+00:00May 11th, 2018|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Last year’s infatuation with globally synchronized growth was at least understandable. From a certain, narrow point of view, Europe’s economy had accelerated. So, too, it seemed later in the year for the US economy. The Bank of Japan was actually talking about ending QQE with inflation in sight, and the PBOC was purportedly tightening as [...]