• 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...]

  • Election Elucidation

    This is the 59th US presidential election. The first and only one to be held in an odd numbered year saw George Washington defeat John Adams in 1789. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison followed. Those were candidates! The Adams’ were the first couple to live in the White House. President George H.W. Bush … [Read More...]

  • Overwhelming Outlays

    The FY2020 (10/1/19-9/30/20) budget deficit of $3.1 trillion more than tripled from $984 billion in FY2019. As a share of GDP, the deficit rose from 4.6% to 15.2%, the largest since 1945. Revenues totaled $3.4 trillion, down just 1% from a year earlier, as revenues from Oct-March rose 6% due to … [Read More...]

  • Safety Seats

    Since 1977, and especially since the mid-1990s, states have steadily raised the age for which a child must sit in a car safety seat. These laws have saved 60 lives/year. So few because seatbelts are as safe as child car seats for children over two. These laws have, however, reduced births by … [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...]

Nov
24

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...]

Nov
23

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...]

Nov
20

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...]

Nov
19

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...]

Nov
18

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...]

Nov
17

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...]

Nov
16

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...]

Nov
13

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...]

Nov
12

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...]

Nov
11

Valorous Veterans

Veterans Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day on 11/11/19, the first anniversary of the end of WWI, and in 1938 it became an official holiday. In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who serve and have served our nation. Today there are 17.4 million … [Read more...]