Category Archive: The United States

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The Fed did, as expected, hike rates at their last meeting. And interestingly, interest rates have done nothing but fall since that day. As I predicted in the last BWER, Greenspan’s conundrum is making a comeback. The Fed can do whatever it wants with...

Forget ObamaCare, RyanCare, and any Future ReformCare-the Healthcare System Is Completely Broken

It's time to start planning for what we'll do when the current healthcare system implodes. As with many other complex, opaque systems in the U.S., only those toiling in the murky depths of the healthcare system know just how broken the entire system is.

The Inverse of Keynes

With nearly all of the S&P 500 companies having reported their Q4 numbers, we can safely claim that it was a very bad earnings season. It may seem incredulous to categorize the quarter that way given that EPS growth (as reported) was +29%, but even...

Renters Now Rule Half of U.S. Cities

The American Dream increasingly involves a lease, not a mortgage. Detroit was once known as a city where a working-class family could afford to own a home. Now it’s a city of renters. Just 49 percent of Motor City households were homeowners in 2015,...

The Deep State’s Dominant Narratives and Authority Are Crumbling

This is why the Deep State is fracturing: its narratives no longer align with the evidence. As this chart from Google Trends illustrates, interest in the Deep State has increased dramatically in 2017. The term/topic has clearly moved from the...

All In The Curves

If the mainstream is confused about exactly what rate hikes mean, then they are not alone. We know very well what they are supposed to, but the theoretical standards and assumptions of orthodox understanding haven’t worked out too well and for a very...

TIC Analysis of Selling

When the Treasury Department released its Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for December, what was a somewhat obscure report suddenly found mainstream attention. Private foreign investors had sold tens of billions in US securities primarily US...

Durable Goods After Leap Year

New orders for durable goods (not including transportation orders) were up 1% year-over-year in February. That is less than the (revised) 4.4% growth in January, but as with all comparisons of February 2017 to February 2016 there will be some...

Economics Through The Economics of Oil

The last time oil inventory grew at anywhere close to this pace was during each of the last two selloffs, the first in late 2014/early 2015 and the second following about a year after. Those events were relatively easy to explain in terms of both price...

Was There Ever A ‘Skills Mismatch’? Notable Differences In Job Openings Suggest No

Perhaps the most encouraging data produced by the BLS has been within its JOLTS figures, those of Job Openings. It is one data series that policymakers watch closely and one which they purportedly value more than most. While the unemployment and...

Solutions Abound–on the Local Level

Rather than bemoan the inevitable failure of centralized "fixes," let's turn our attention and efforts to the real solutions: decentralized, networked, localized.Those looking for centralized solutions to healthcare, jobs and other "macro-problems"...

Industrial Symmetry

There has always been something like Newton’s third law observed in the business cycles of the US and other developed economies. In what is, or was, essentially symmetry, there had been until 2008 considerable correlation between the size, scope, and...

Retail Sales: Extra Day Likely, no Meaningful Difference

Retail sales comparisons were for February 2017 skewed by the extra day in February 2016. With the leap year February 29th a part of the base effect, the estimated growth rates (NSA) for this February are to some degree better than they appear....

Further Unanchoring Is Not Strictly About Inflation

According to Alan Greenspan in a speech delivered at Stanford University in September 1997, monetary policy in the United States had been shed of M1 by late 1982. The Fed has never been explicit about exactly when, or even why, monetary policy changed...

Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. The Fed spent the last month forward guiding the market to the rate hike they implemented today....

Now That Everyone’s Been Pushed into Risky Assets…

If we had to summarize what's happened in eight years of "recovery," we could start with this: everyone's been pushed into risky assets while being told risk has been transformed from something to avoid (by buying risk-off assets) to something you...

Mugged By Reality; Many Still Yet To Be

In August 2014, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer admitted to an audience in Sweden the possibility in some unusually candid terms that maybe they (economists, not Sweden) didn’t know what they were doing. His speech was lost in the times,...

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates again at their meeting next week. They obviously view the recent cyclical upturn as being durable and the inflation data as pointing to the need for higher rates. Our market based...

Earnings Update – A Poor Sort of Memory

“I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully confusing!’ ‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first–‘ ‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment. ‘I never heard...

The Next Domino to Fall: Commercial Real Estate

Just as generals prepare to fight the last war, central banks prepare to battle the last financial crisis--which in the present context means a big-bank liquidity meltdown like the one that nearly toppled thr global financial system in 2008-09.
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