Mar
27

Frequent Flicks

The Friday File: 8% of American who were recently surveyed considered “binge-watching” to consist of watching two straight episodes of a show. 27% thought three back-to-back episodes qualified as binge-watching, and 22% thought four episodes is what is needed. 13% thought it was five episodes, 5% … [Read more...]

Mar
26

Plummeting Positions

For the past several years, weekly job losses averaged about 225,000/week. Last week they jumped to 282,000, and the all-time high was 695,000 set during the week ending 10/2/82. During the Great Recession, first time unemployment claims peaked at 665,000 during the week ending 3/28/09. Last week, … [Read more...]

Mar
25

Ponderous Politicians

On first review, it looks like the $2 trillion Coronavirus aid package is good. Assorted aid to adversely affected individuals and families, loans to businesses both big and small, incentives for firms to hold on to their employees, as well as aid to state/local governments, and health-care … [Read more...]

Mar
24

Airline Assistance

While many industries and business need a rescue package, so do airlines and their employees. In the case of airlines, there must be a quid pro quo. While some want to prevent share buybacks, why not ban baggage and change fees? Better yet, increase competition by forcing every dominant airport … [Read more...]

Mar
23

Fantastic Fed

This morning, the Fed essentially said it would do “whatever it takes” to keep credit markets functioning after doing the same for funding markets last week. The Fed is committed to unlimited quantitative easing (which will help housing), the purchase of corporate bonds, lending to small and midsize … [Read more...]

Mar
20

Precious Paper

The Friday File: The average American flushes 57 sheets of toilet paper/day, almost 21,000 sheets/year; slightly over 100 rolls/annum. That works out to 384 trees over a lifetime! US spending on toilet paper rolls up to $9 billion/year; $27.70/person. For the week ending 3/7/20, US retailers cleaned … [Read more...]

Mar
19

Dangerous Data

For the week ending 3/16/20, hotel occupancy rates fell 24.4% Y-o-Y. In PA, NJ and DE, February manufacturing activity plummeted to its lowest level since 7/12; in NY, manufacturing declined more. For the week ending 3/14, job losses jumped 70,000 to 281,000, the highest level in years. Next week’s … [Read more...]

Mar
18

Disregard Debt

While our debt is painfully high at slightly over 100% of GDP, now isn’t the time to start worrying about it! Give the healthcare sector whatever it needs, giving everyone $1,000 is a decent idea given the immense time crunch we are under, ensuring that the Fed can act as a lender of last resort is … [Read more...]

Mar
17

Fiscal Force

With the economic toll of Covid-19 rising sharply, the government must offer a large stimulus package to prevent a precipitous decline in aggregate demand. We must stop firms from layoffs which will deepen the falloff. A new program of 2% of GDP or $400 billion would be a good start. Offer … [Read more...]

Mar
16

Fed Functions

This past weekend, not only did the Fed cut rates by one full percentage point, but it also began flooding financial markets in general, and Treasury and mortgage-backed securities markets in particular, with cash so they function smoothly. They’re also making sure other central banks have ample … [Read more...]