• Matrimonial Money

    While wages of men and women with at least a HS diploma are similar early in life, they diverge dramatically with age. The gap peaks at about age 50 with men earning about $76,000/year and women earning about $49,000/year. However, at all ages there is no gap between single women, single men and … [Read More...]

  • Petrol Prices

    As recently as 2010, cheap oil was great for the US as oil production was low. However, due to fracking, US production has doubled since 2010 to 11.6 million bbl/day. Lower prices reduce corporate investment which leads to reduced employment. But due to productivity gains, oil field expenditures … [Read More...]

  • Energy Exporter

    For the week ending 11/30/18, the US exported 3.2 million barrels/day of crude oil and 5.8 million barrels/day of gasoline, refined products. Those 9 million barrels/day of exports exceeded the 8.8 million barrels/day of imports, making the US a net oil exporter for the first time in decades! US oil … [Read More...]

  • Copious Confidence

    According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence rose to 137.9 in October, its highest level since 9/00. According to the University of Michigan, consumer confidence is at 98.60, down slightly from the 3/18 reading of 101.4, the best reading since 1/04. While stock market declines and … [Read More...]

  • Vendor Value

    In 18Q3, the vendor most popularly expensed by business travelers in North America was Uber, accounting for 11% of all transactions. Starbucks followed with 4.09%, while Amazon was third at 4.05%. Delta, American Airlines, Lyft, United Airlines, Walmart, Shell and McDonald’s round out the top 10. … [Read More...]

Jan
18

Brilliant Bogle

The Friday File: Earlier this week, John Bogle, a crusader for investor’s rights and the man who virtually single-handedly invented index funds, died at 89. His relentless focus on cutting investment fees at his firm (Vanguard), and the reduction in fees at other firms that resulted due to … [Read more...]

Jan
17

Federal Fiasco

The US government directly employs 2 million civilians. Active-duty military number 1.3 million, and the USPS employs 500,000. There are also 1.3 million grant employees, persons paid through a federal grant and roughly 4 million contract employees. The total, 9.1 million persons. My ballpark guess … [Read more...]

Jan
16

Government Games

By announcing he won’t schedule debate on any bills to reopen the government Trump won’t sign, McConnell has empowered the President and reduced pressure on his caucus that would inevitably come from voting on such bills. To wit, the latest polls show just 5% of Americans blaming Congressional … [Read more...]

Jan
15

Confederation Collapse

While unionization has always been low in the US compared to other advanced democracies, trends are similar. Back in 1980, the unionization rate in OECD nations was about 50%; it’s now 18%. In the US, the rate has fallen from over 30% in 1960 to 10% today. Why, better pay and working conditions, and … [Read more...]

Jan
14

Matrimonial Money

While wages of men and women with at least a HS diploma are similar early in life, they diverge dramatically with age. The gap peaks at about age 50 with men earning about $76,000/year and women earning about $49,000/year. However, at all ages there is no gap between single women, single men and … [Read more...]

Jan
11

Super Seattle

The Friday File: After a glorious run of several years as the world’s most valuable company at over $1 billion, Apple has stumbled and lost a staggering $350 billion in value over the past few months on lousy iPhone sales. As a result, Microsoft was tops for the past month but was just overtaken by … [Read more...]

Jan
10

Pad Prognostications

Pending home sales have declined Y-o-Y for 11 straight months, existing sales peaked in 11/17, existing inventory has been rising Y-o-Y for four straight months, and appreciation has been slowing for six straight months. Starts have been flat since 11/16, new sales have been falling since 11/17, and … [Read more...]

Jan
09

Petrol Prices

As recently as 2010, cheap oil was great for the US as oil production was low. However, due to fracking, US production has doubled since 2010 to 11.6 million bbl/day. Lower prices reduce corporate investment which leads to reduced employment. But due to productivity gains, oil field expenditures … [Read more...]

Jan
08

Mediocre Manufacturing

In China, the key private sector index that looks at manufacturing showed activity shrinking in November, the first time since 5/17, and the official government index showed the same, the first time since 2/16. Here in the US, all five Federal Reserve manufacturing indices (Dallas, Kansas City, New … [Read more...]

Jan
07

Terrific Toil

312,000 net new jobs in November, the biggest increase since 2/18, upward revisions totaling 58,000 for September and October, and Y-o-Y wage growth of 3.2%, the best in over a decade, make the November employment report outstanding. Moreover, the unemployment rose to 3.9% from 3.7% because of more … [Read more...]