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The Real Boom Potential

By |2019-11-08T16:08:52-05:00November 8th, 2019|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy|

For the last five years Larry Summers has called it secular stagnation. It’s the right general idea as far as the result, if totally wrong as to its cause. Alvin Hansen, who first coined the term and thought up the thesis in the thirties, was thoroughly disproved by the fifties. Some, perhaps many Economists today [...]

Is The Negativity Overdone?

By |2019-09-09T18:40:36-04:00September 9th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Give stimulus a chance, that’s the theme being set up for this week. After relentless buying across global bond markets distorting curves, upsetting politicians and the public alike, central bankers have responded en masse. There were more rate cuts around the world in August than there had been at any point since 2009. And there’s [...]

The Lying Statistics Behind Globally Synchronized Growth, And What It Could Mean For The Globally Synchronized Downturn

By |2019-07-12T16:08:40-04:00July 12th, 2019|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Numbers really don’t tell us much all by themselves. Context always matters. That’s why 19th century British statesman Benjamin Disraeli claimed there are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies, and statistics. Numbers employed in isolation are either misleading or useless. In the 20th century, Darrell Huff wrote in his classic How To Lie With [...]

Contracting Factories, Curiously Rebounding Inbound Cars, And the Confirmed End of Decoupling

By |2019-07-03T11:52:14-04:00July 3rd, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The US manufacturing sector may not be in as bad a shape as its German or Japanese counterparts, though it appears to be catching up on the downside. The Census Bureau reports today that new orders for all types of goods in all industries fell 1.6% year-over-year (unadjusted) in May 2019. This was the first [...]

Commodities And The Future Of China’s Stall

By |2019-06-10T18:49:51-04:00June 10th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Commodity prices continued to fall last month. According to the World Bank’s Pink Sheet catalog, non-energy commodity prices accelerated to the downside. Falling 9.4% on average in May 2019 when compared to average prices in May 2018, it was the largest decline since the depths of Euro$ #3 in February 2016. Base metal prices (excluding [...]

All Of US Trade, Both Ways, And Much, Much More Than The Past Few Months

By |2019-06-06T19:00:55-04:00June 6th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The media quickly picked up on Jay Powell’s comments this week from Chicago. Much less talked about was why he was in that particular city. The Federal Reserve has been conducting what it claims is an exhaustive review of its monetary policies. Officials have been very quick to say they aren’t unhappy with them, no, [...]

Japan’s Surprise Positive Is A Huge Minus

By |2019-05-20T12:45:35-04:00May 20th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Preliminary estimates show that Japanese GDP surprised to the upside by a significant amount. According to Japan’s Cabinet Office, Real GDP expanded by 0.5% (seasonally-adjusted) in the first quarter of 2019 from the last quarter of 2018. That’s an annual rate of +2.1%. Most analysts had been expecting around a 0.2% contraction, which would’ve been [...]