Category Archive: The United States

The Criminalization of Financial Independence

Just as the "war on drugs" criminalized and destroyed large swaths of African-American and Latino communities, the "war on cash" will further criminalize the few remaining avenues to financial independence and freedom. The introduction of "entitlement"...

The Stinking Politics of It All

It is largely irrelevant, but still the political theater is fascinating. As is now standard operating procedure, whatever comes out of the Trump administration immediately is conferred as the standard for awful. This is not my own determination, mind...

No Acceleration In Industry, Either

Industrial Production in the United States was flat in January 2017, following in December the first positive growth rate in over a year. The monthly estimates for IP are often subject to greater revisions than in other data series, so the figures for...

United States Economic Freedom Tumbles To Historic Low

After eight years of the regulation-happy Obama administration, the United States has undergone a huge slide into the 17th most economically free country in the world, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom.

Their Gap Is Closed, Ours Still Needs To Be

There are actually two parts to examining the orthodox treatment of the output gap. The first is the review, looking backward to trace how we got to this state. The second is looking forward trying to figure what it means to be here. One final rearward...

Why Aren’t Oil Prices $50 Ahead?

Right now there are two conventional propositions behind the “reflation” trade, and in many ways both are highly related if not fully intertwined. The first is that interest rates have nowhere to go but up. The Fed is raising rates again and seems more...

U.S. CPI after the energy push

The Consumer Price Index for January 2017 rose 2.5%, pulled upward by its energy component which thanks to oil prices now being comparing to the absolutely lows last year saw that part of the index rise 11.1% year-over-year. Given that oil prices...

This Is How the Status Quo Unravels: As the Pie Shrinks, Everybody Demands Their Piece Should Get Bigger

The politics of the past 70 years was all about horsetrading who got what share of the growing pie: the "pie" being cheap energy, government revenues and consumption, sales and profits. Horsetrading over a growing pie is basically fun. There's always a...

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The economic data since my last update has improved somewhat. It isn’t across the board and it isn’t huge but it must be acknowledged. As usual though there are positives and negatives, just with a slight emphasis on positive right now. Interestingly,...

Real Wages Really Inconsistent

Real average weekly earnings for the private sector fell 0.6% year-over-year in January. It was the first contraction since December 2013 and the sharpest since October 2012. The reason for it is very simple; nominal wages remain stubbornly stagnant...

A New Frame Of Reference Is Really All That Is Necessary To Start With

In the middle of 1919, the United States was beset by a great many imbalances. Having just conducted a wartime economy, almost everything before then had been absorbed by the World War I effort. With fiscal restraint subsumed by national emergency,...

Want to Bring Back Jobs? It’s Impossible Unless We Fix these Four Things

It's your choice, America--you can keep your cartels and the captured government that enables and protects them, or you can fix what's broken and unaffordable. If there is any goal that might attract support from across the political spectrum, it's...

No China Trade Interpretations

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China does not publish any of the big three data series (Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Fixed Asset Investment) for the month of January. It combines January data with February data because of the large...

Jobless Claims Look Great, Until We Examine The Further Potential For What We Really, Really Don’t Want

Initial jobless claims fell to just 234k for the week of February 4, nearly matching the 233k multi-decade low in mid-November. That brought the 4-week moving average down to just 244k, which was a new low going all the way back to the early 1970’s....

The Colonization of Local-Business Main Street by Corporate America

This is what our mode of production optimizes: ugliness, debt-serfdom, and servitude to politically dominant corporations.

The Central Banks Pull Back: Now It’s Up to Fiscal Policy to “Save the World”

Another problem is the rise of social discord, for reasons that extend beyond the reach of tax reductions and increased infrastructure spending. Have you noticed that the breathless anticipation of the next central bank "save" has diminished? Remember...

Which Assets Are Most Likely to Survive the Inevitable “System Re-Set”?

Your skills, knowledge and and social capital will emerge unscathed on the other side of the re-set wormhole. Your financial assets held in centrally controlled institutions will not. Longtime correspondent C.A. recently asked a question every American...

What Would a Labor-Centered Economy Look Like?

How about moving the power to create money from the apex of the pyramid down to its lowest level? Let's spend a moment deconstructing the word "capitalism." Note it contains the word Capital. So far so good. Obviously the key concept here is capital....

Why Our System Is Broken: Cheap Credit Is King

You want to fix the economic system, reduce political bribery and reduce rising income inequality? Shut off the cheap unlimited credit spigot to banks, financiers and corporations. Cheap credit--newly issued money that can be borrowed at low rates of...

Ein Macher im Weißen Haus

Donald Trump sagt den alten Eliten den Kampf an. Europas Bürokraten müssen sich warm anziehen. Kürzlich stellte der Hedgefonds-Mogul Ray Dalio eine Analyse des Führungsteams von Donald Trump ins Netz („Reflections on the Trump Presidency, One Month...
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