Jul
06

Developing Destruction

Developing nations are being hit hard due to indirect effects of Sars-Cov-2. Monies sent home from those working in developed nations has plummeted, tourism revenues have evaporated, and collapsing commodity prices have reduced export earnings. Additionally, the strong US dollar has made paying US … [Read more...]

Jul
03

Awesome Anniversary

The Friday File: Tomorrow’s our 244th birthday! In 1776, there were 2.5 million residents of the world’s newest nation, today there are 329.9 million. The state with the longest name, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The place with the highest per capita income, DC at $200,000, … [Read more...]

Jul
02

Exceptional Employment

Net job gains in June were an eyepopping 4.8 million, up from 2.7 million in May! The corrected unemployment rate is down to a still painfully high 12.1% from 16.3% last month. However, new Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing and at 50,000/day are squeezing restaurants/hotels/bars/gyms/retail and … [Read more...]

Jul
01

Divided Dwellings

May existing home sales fell 26.6% Y-o-Y to 3.91 million, the lowest level of annualized activity since 10/10. Conversely, May new home sales rose 12.7% Y-o-Y to 676,000. May new home sales reflect May signed contracts. May existing sales reflect contracts signed in March and April. As a result, … [Read more...]

Jun
30

Credit Conundrum

As part of the CARES Act, lenders that allow borrowers to defer debt payments may not report those payments as late to credit-reporting firms. As such, borrower FICO scores are no longer as good at separating good borrowers from bad. As a consequence, many lenders are compensating by tightening … [Read more...]

Jun
29

Vital Virology

New CDC estimates suggest more than 20 million persons living in the US have contracted Covid-19, roughly 10 times the official count. This means even with all the interventions aimed at reducing Sars-Cov-2 illnesses, the death rate is about 0.6%, six times greater than the annual flu. As for herd … [Read more...]

Jun
26

Seat Sale

The Friday File: The inflation-adjusted cost of the Mercury space program was $140 million/seat/flight. The Gemini program that followed was $120 million/seat/flight and the Apollo missions were a hefty $400 million/seat/flight. The reusable, and cheaper, Space Shuttle came in at $170 … [Read more...]

Jun
25

Covid-19 Complications

While first-time unemployment claims fell 60,000 last week to 1.48 million, they’re barely down from 1.54 million two weeks ago and 1.57 million three weeks ago. Prior to Covid-19, the record high was 695,000! Contemporaneously, the number of unemployed fell by 767,000 to 19.6 million. First-time … [Read more...]

Jun
24

Suburban Strength

In 2010/11, US cities grew 1.07% while suburbs grew 0.91%, a difference of 0.16 percentage points. That gap peaked at 0.25 in 2011/12 when cities grew 1.17% and suburbs 0.92%. The growth gap persisted for three more years but narrowed. By 2014/15, cities grew 1.03% while suburbs expanded by 0.95%. … [Read more...]

Jun
23

Possible Probabilities

While US equities continue recovering lost ground, markets may be discounting two key risks. The first, a powerful fall Covid-19 wave, let alone the current rise in new case counts in AZ, CA, FL, TX and elsewhere. Second, markets appear to be ignoring polls suggesting Democrats will almost certainly … [Read more...]