Added Amiability

The Friday File: It turns out that, on average, we are more likeable than we think we are. The Liking Gap was first demonstrated in 2018. Researchers randomly paired persons for five-minute conversations after which each participant was asked to rate how much they liked the other and how much they … [Read more...]


Valuable Veterans

Montana and Virginia are the states with the highest percentage of veterans among their civilian population over 18, at over 10%! States with 8.0%-9.9% and going from west to east are WA, NV, ID, AZ, WY, NM, CO, ND, SD, OK, MO, AR, TN, AL, FL, WV, SC, DE, NH and ME. We owe a debt of gratitude to our … [Read more...]


Increasing Inflation

As measured by the CPI, October inflation rose 6.2% Y-o-Y, the fastest pace since 1990 and the fifth month in a row above 5%. Similarly, core-inflation rose 4.6% Y-o-Y, its largest move since 1991. Inflation is rising rapidly because demand has fully recovered while supply hasn’t, causing … [Read more...]


Making Multifamily

Apartment developers are on track in 2021 to create 20,100 new multifamily units from old office, hotel, and retail buildings, more than any time since 2010 and well up from the 2017 post housing-bust peak of 15,000. Currently, 41% of the conversions are, interestingly, in former office buildings, … [Read more...]


Good Gains

US employers added 531,000 jobs in October. Moreover, the lousy months of August and September were upwardly revised by 235,000, leaving the jobs number just 18.6%, or 4.2 million, below its pre-Covid-19 high. Unfortunately, the labor force grew by just 104,000 and the labor force participation … [Read more...]


Counting Cans

The Friday File: In 2019, 127 billion metal cans were manufactured in the US, up 1.5% from 2018. 76% were for beverages, 24% were for canned food. In 2018, 22.7% of consumed vegetables were canned, down from a peak of 31.7% in 1971. Pull-tab cans were invented in 1964 and Bell canning jars … [Read more...]


Insufficient Income

In 2/20, the month before Covid-19, real personal income (including wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, royalties, and interest payments) excluding government monies (such as stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, social security and so on) was $14.23 trillion. In 9/21, the latest month for which … [Read more...]


Flat Fed

To the surprise of nobody, the Fed announced that tapering at the rate of $15 billion/month will soon start. The mild surprise, tapering will start this month and will thus probably end in June. This expedited start to tapering will give the Fed more time between the end of tapering and the start of … [Read more...]


Troubling Taxation

Raising taxes is difficult, the Democrats have made it unnecessarily hard. They should have begun treating carried interest as regular income because that’s what it is, not capital gains. They could have also eliminated stepped-up basis at death by explaining that SUB allows capital gains taxes to … [Read more...]


GDP Guesstimate

One day before being announced, the Blue-Chip consensus of top business economists predicted 21Q3 GDP growth of 4%. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model anticipated 0%. To prove all wrong, 21Q3 GDP was 2%! The future, even when a day away, is unknowable. GDP fell from 6.7% in 21Q2 due to the rise of the … [Read more...]