70 Words

Mate Meeting

The Friday File: In 1995, 2% of couples met online, today it’s 39%. Meeting in bars went from 19% to 27%. Other methods have significantly declined. Meeting through friends has fallen from 33% to 20%, meeting through coworkers has dropped from 19% to 11%, meeting through family has tumbled from 15% … [Read more...]


Global Growth

While hardly surprising, the IMF cut its forecast of 2019 global economic growth to 3.3% from 3.5% in January; 3.7% in October. A key reason; world trade, which had been growing at 5%/year for a long time, slowed to 3.8% last year and is forecast to grow just 3.4% in 2020. Advanced economies will … [Read more...]


Shanghai Stimulation

In March, Chinese lending activity hit its highest level in a decade, the money supply is now growing at its fastest pace in a year, and exports have completely recovered from their dismal December. Thus, the stock market is up 33% YTD, and 10-yr Chinese Government bond yields have jumped from 3.1% … [Read more...]


National Numbers

Based on 4/19 IMF data and growth projections, US GDP will end 2019 at $21.3 trillion, China will follow with GDP of $14.2 trillion, then Japan at $5.2 trillion and Germany at $4.0 trillion. The big news; India will leapfrog both the UK and France to become #5 at $3.0 trillion. The UK will follow at … [Read more...]


Tax Time

Based on an IRS study from 2016 which looked at tax years 2008-2010, the size of the tax gap, the amount of money owed the IRS but not paid, averaged $406 billion/year. That means 16% of taxes went unpaid; about 2.8% of GDP. If the gap today is the same proportional size as it was then, the gap is … [Read more...]


Bad Batting

The Friday File: This past Monday, Baltimore Oriole’s First baseman Chris Davis went 0-for-5, and in the process set a major league record of 49 straight at-bats without a hit.  Wednesday night he made it 57 straight plate appearances without a hit, tying a major league (futility) record. However, … [Read more...]


Presidential Popularity

Going back to President Truman in the 1940s, President Trump’s approval rating has shifted less than any other sitting president. At its peak, Trump’s approval rating is 47%, at its trough it’s 38%. Obama’s approval rating was the next most stable, swinging just 16 points, and Clinton’s followed, … [Read more...]


Petroleum Profitability

For the first time ever, the profitability of the Saudi Aramco Oil Company was recently disclosed. In 2018, Aramco’s profit was a stunning $111 billion, easily dwarfing the world’s second most profitable firm Apple, which earned $59.4 billion. Apple is worth almost a trillion. Aramco is worth no … [Read more...]


Nasty Nominations

Nasty Nominations The nominations of Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Fed are a direct attack on its independence. Both called for higher rates when a Democrat occupied the White House and have conveniently reversed now that a Republican is there. While two votes won’t alter outcomes now, who … [Read more...]


Jolly Jobs

March’s job report was virtually perfect. 196,000 new jobs, upward revisions of 14,000 for January and February, wage growth that is steady at 3.2% Y-o-Y, the broadest measure of unemployment at 7.3%, its best showing since 3/01, and hours worked up from 34.4/week to 34.5/week. This report suggests … [Read more...]