70 Words

Deficit Decline

In July, the federal budget deficit was $211 billion, a 30% Y-o-Y decline. Over the first ten months of FY2022, which ends 9/30/22, receipts are up 24% and spending is down 18%, resulting in a $726 billion deficit, 71% lower than the $2.5 trillion last year. For FY2022, the deficit is projected to … [Read more...]


Labor Loss

Since Covid-19, the demographic group with the largest percentage point decline in their labor force participation rate is workers with less than a high-school degree with an eight-percentage point fall. Next, with a decline of slightly more than four percentage points are those with some college or … [Read more...]


Dollar Devaluation

The softer than expected July inflation reading resulted in markets now expecting fewer Fed rate hikes than earlier predictions. As a result, the US dollar had a dreadful week, falling 1% against a trade-weighted index of developed country currencies. At the other end, the New Zealand and Australian … [Read more...]


Psychedelic Percentages

The Friday File: When asked about legalizing psychedelics including psilocybin (mushrooms), LSD (acid), and MDMA (ecstasy), westerners, who are most accustomed to legal recreational marijuana, are most likely to be in favor with 34%, 25%, and 24% respectively responding affirmatively. … [Read more...]


Container Costs

Before Covid-19, the cost to ship a 40ft container from Shanghai to the Port of LA had generally been slightly below $2,000. Soon after Covid-19 appeared, shipping costs doubled to $4,000, where they stayed through the first four months of 2021. They then increased explosively and by late 2021 the … [Read more...]


Inflation Impulse

While headline CPI inflation fell from 9.1% Y-o-Y to 8.7% and monthly headline inflation fell from a shockingly high 1.3% in June to 0% in July, contain your enthusiasm. This only suggests inflation has peaked. Y-o-Y core inflation remains at 5.9% and Y-o-Y services inflation, which includes rents, … [Read more...]


Equity Examination

Among firms in the S&P 500, information technology had a great run last week and led all sectors, rising 2%. Consumer discretionary and communication services followed, each with a gain of slightly more than 1%. Industrials and utilities were also up but just barely. Energy was the big loser, … [Read more...]


Excellent Employment

With 528,000 net new jobs, upward revisions to prior months, and employment now slightly above its pre-Covid level, the July jobs report was absolutely gobsmacking. However, the unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, tying a 52-year low, the labor force shrank, and wage growth accelerated. These … [Read more...]


Baseball Bazaar

The Friday File: Earlier this week, reliever Eric Chavez was traded, making it the 10th time he has changed uniforms in the major leagues, thus making him the most traded player in baseball history. Former pitcher Dick Littlefield is next at eight. It would have been nine, but his 1956 trade by the … [Read more...]


Congressional Control

While the anticipated Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 might do great things for the environment, healthcare, and the deficit, it’s unlikely to much help inflation, and any benefit is likely to be years out. It’s because the overall spending and revenue effects are very modest, equaling, at most, … [Read more...]