Inoculation Incentives

If you are soon to gain a large inheritance, you will become more careful and less likely to be self-destructive. The arrival of a vaccine alters our behavior very similarly. When the vaccine is a distant hope, benefits are discounted, and incentives to self-protect are less likely. With it now … [Read more...]


Schooling Squeeze

Assuming 4 million full-time working parents with school age children under the age of 14 who are unable find child-care and must quit their job, the resulting reduction in September-December GDP is probably 0.5%, and over an entire school year 1.25%. We are probably seeing evidence of this as the … [Read more...]


Yay Yellen

After being the first woman to lead the Fed since its inception in 1913, Janet Yellen is poised to now become the first female Treasury Secretary in its 231-year history. She will push for stricter bank regulations, fiscal help for households, and be tough on China. She is acceptable to Wall Street, … [Read more...]


Maximum Music

The Friday File: The animated song “Baby Shark” by South Korea’s PinkFong is the most popular YouTube song ever with an amazing 7.1 billion views, about 1 view/person on the planet! In a close second is the song “Despacito” by Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with 7.05 billion views. Coming … [Read more...]


Peak Performance

From 1945 through 1980 there were eight recessions, never did it take longer than 24 months for employment to surpass its pre-recession peak. The 1982 recession was different, it took almost 30 months before the pre-recession peak was bettered. Each of the three subsequent recessions has taken … [Read more...]


Receding Retail

US retail sales rose just 0.3% in October, their slowest pace since spring. This suggest that, at minimum, consumers are becoming more cautious and possibly that the recovery is slowing as job growth softens, virus cases rise, and government assistance peters out. Moreover, debit and credit card … [Read more...]


Pandemic Pricing

For the nine months ending 3/20, 14% of all homes purchased were priced at $500,000 or more. Between 4/20 and 6/20, that percentage jumped to 25%! Relatedly, since the start of Covid-19 home buyer median income is $110,800 compared to $94,400 for pre-pandemic purchasers. Not surprisingly, the … [Read more...]


Infinitesimal Inflation

Headline Y-o-Y Personal Consumption Expenditure inflation (PCE) is running at a benign 1.4%, and core PCE inflation, the Fed’s favorite inflation measure, is up a weak 1.5% Y-o-Y, and economy wide GDP inflation is just 1.2%. Relatedly, employment cost inflation has been steadily falling over the … [Read more...]


Lotsa Life

The Friday File: Based on NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope exoplanet data set and stellar data from the European Space Agency, astronomers estimate that of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy, four billion are sunlike. Assuming 7% of those have an Earth sized rocky planet orbiting them at a distance … [Read more...]


Dismal Dining

Before Covid-19, employment in foodservice and drinking places peaked at 12.3 million in 2/20. Employment bottomed in 4/20 at 6.3 million, slightly lower than the 5/91 post-dot-com level! There has since been a recovery, and employment is now 10.2 million, the same level as in 2/13. Of the 9.9 … [Read more...]