Struggling Services

In the Eurozone, a key monthly purchasing manager sentiment index for service providers declined from 50.5 to 47.6 in September (below 50 signals contraction), its worst reading since May; for manufacturers the index rose from 51.7 to 53.7, tops in 25 months. Weakening services are in direct … [Read more...]


Alternative Arrangements

Economists believe in free markets and the prices and outcomes they produce because they are generally much more efficient than the alternatives. Some, however, argue that government should have a larger role and point, for example, to the very high prices for PPE early in the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic. … [Read more...]


Great Ginsburg

There have been 119 Supreme Court Justices. The current number of nine came to be in 1869 after six earlier efforts. The longest serving, William O. Douglas at 36.6 years. Justice Ginsburg was on the bench for 27.1 years. She was a trailblazer for many, especially women, and flourished in the face … [Read more...]


Numerous Names

The Friday File: The fifth most popular US sports team name (including high schools, junior colleges, colleges, semi-pro leagues, and all professional leagues) is Wildcats with 969 teams. In fourth place is Panthers with 1,124 and in third is Bulldogs at 1,136. Comfortably in second is Tigers with … [Read more...]


Unsettling Uncertainty

Housing, autos, retail sales, and equities are doing well, as is manufacturing. But first-time claims for unemployment remain stubbornly high and permanent job losses are rising as the service sector necessarily shrinks. Congress and the White House can’t agree on the size of another stimulus … [Read more...]


Dismal Deduction

Taxes paid to state and local governments are currently deductible up to a maximum of $10,000/year. There is now talk of eliminating the cap. Why? 96% of the benefits of repeal would go to the top 20% of income earners, reducing their taxes by $2,640/year, 57% of benefits would benefit the top 1%, a … [Read more...]


Irrelevant Inflation

While the CPI rose by 1.3% Y-o-Y and core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy, is up 1.7% Y-o-Y, their highest levels since Sars-Cov-2 arrived, inflation will not be a concern for years. Inventory shortages, which have been a meaningful contributor will soon dissipate, and high … [Read more...]


Millennial Migration

In 7/20, 52% or 26.6 million adults ages 18-29 lived with at least one parent, up from 47% or 24 million in 2/20. This is the highest percentage since at least 1940 when it was 48%. This percentage bottomed at 29% in 1960 and has steadily risen since. Importantly, unmarried college students living … [Read more...]


Drink Data

The Friday File: In 20Q2, liquor imports totaled $1.8 billion, down from $2.5 billion in 19Q2. The decline has been severe for whisky and cognac/brandy; vodka and gin sales haven’t budged. With bars/restaurants closed, demand for high-end cocktail hooch is on ice. Trump’s tariffs imposed on European … [Read more...]


Carbon Contraction

In 2013, Exxon’s market capitalization was $415 billion, and it was the most valuable firm in the world. Today, it’s worth $180 billion. In 2008, energy comprised 13.3% of the S&P 500, today, it’s 2.5%. Recently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average bid adieu to Exxon, the longest tenured firm in … [Read more...]