Jun
09

Delightful Dollar

With so much fiscal and monetary stimulus coming from DC, unfounded fears of the US dollar losing its position as the world’s reserve currency have cropped up. There is no real competitor. To use metaphors, Europe is a beautiful museum, Japan is an old age home, and China is moving quickly from … [Read more...]

Jun
08

Strong Statistics

May’s employment growth of 2.5 million jobs, pushing unemployment to 13.3% from 14.7%, was terrific and implies hiring activity bottomed in April - a month earlier than expected - and the rise in the employment-to-population ratio from 51.3% to 52.8% is proof! That said, there’s a ways to go; … [Read more...]

Jun
05

Tooth Trouble

The Friday File: The number of wisdom teeth removed in the US is 10,000,000/year! And with generally two teeth extracted at a time, that means 5,000,000 surgeries. At an average cost of $500/exodontia, that adds up to $5 billion/year. Separately, adults with at least one original tooth currently … [Read more...]

Jun
04

Troubling Trilemma

Fannie and Freddie are trying to do three things simultaneously; raise and protect their capital, generate a good rate of return for future investors, and in the public policy sphere, boost affordable housing and protect taxpayers. The problem, they can only achieve two of these objectives … [Read more...]

Jun
03

Dynamite Data

Earlier today, mortgage purchase applications came in higher for the seventh week in a row and are now up 18% Y-o-Y. May private payrolls fell by a terrible 2.76 million but well below the horrendous 9 million expected! Moreover, oil prices continue to steadily rise and the yield on the 10-year … [Read more...]

Jun
02

Baby Bust

In 2019, US live births totaled 3,745,540, down 1% from 2018, declining for the fifth year in a row.  They are at a 35-year low despite good economic growth during that period. Birthrates declined for females under 34, were flat for those aged 35-39, and were up slightly for those 40-44. Despite … [Read more...]

Jun
01

Rotten Rigs

After first reaching a high of 2,000 active US crude oil and natural gas rigs in early 2008 and then again in late 2011, the number of active rigs last week fell to just 318, breaking the record low of 339 set the week before! The rig count had finally stabilized at 772 the week of 3/17/20, down … [Read more...]

May
29

Sinking Seafood

The Friday File: While only 38% of eggs are consumed outside the home, in places like restaurants and schools, 54% of pork and beef are eaten in such places. That percentage rises to 59% for turkey and 60% for chicken. But it is 70% for seafood! Not surprisingly, seafood prices are plummeting. … [Read more...]

May
28

Healthcare Hurting

Surprisingly, healthcare was responsible for almost half of the 5% seasonally adjusted annual rate of decline in 20Q1 GDP, despite the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic. Turns out 1.5 million healthcare workers lost jobs in Q1 because hospital and doctors’ office revenues collapsed. Why? Because health insurance … [Read more...]

May
27

Hefty Housing

Housing is rebounding surprisingly well! Home prices are solidly rising by the low to mid-single digits, new home sales probably bottomed in March at 619,000, first-time mortgage applications are up 9% Y-o-Y after being down 35% just six weeks ago, and existing sales will bottom no later than June … [Read more...]