70 Words

Greenland Gander

The Friday File: Buying Greenland from Denmark is not so outlandish. The US purchased the USVI from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million so there’s precedent. As for Greenland, if the US offered $560 billion, each of its 56,000 inhabitants would receive a cool $10 million! Were a referendum held on the … [Read more...]


Rate Reduction

Despite just a thin majority of Fed interest rate setters supporting the last Fed cut, they will again cut rates in mid-September. This is because trade concerns have worsened, and more importantly, job growth for the year ending 3/31/19 was just revised down by 42,000/month! This means despite tax … [Read more...]


Beefy Buck

The US dollar is today very highly valued compared to other currencies and is approaching highs last seen in 2002. In part, it’s because interest rates in the US are higher than elsewhere, and that increases demand for dollars by foreign investors. However, it’s also due to large US budget deficits … [Read more...]


Retail Rescue

Industrial production in China slowed to 4.8% in July, the lowest since 2/02, and 19Q2 GDP grew 6.2%, the slowest since 1992. British GDP shrank at an annualized rate of 0.8% in 19Q2, and German GDP fell 0.1% in 19Q2. But US retail sales grew by a spectacular 0.7% in July and 19Q3 US GDP growth … [Read more...]


Daunting Debt

19Q2 marked the 20th consecutive quarter of increasing household debt. During the quarter, debt increased by $192 billion, to $13.86 trillion. Mortgage debt rose by $162 billion to $9.406 trillion, surpassing the previous high of $9.294 trillion in 08Q3. Total debt is now $1.2 trillion, or 9.3% … [Read more...]


Sneaker Stupidity

The Friday File: Very recently, a pair of unworn 1972 Nike waffle racing flat ‘moon’ shoes sold at auction for $437,500, surpassing the previous sneaker record of $190,373 set in 2017 for a pair of signed Converse sneakers worn by Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final. Recently, a lot … [Read more...]


Curve Concern

While the yield curve has inverted and the yield on the 10-year Treasury has fallen by half, it’s higher than in most of 2016 when it didn’t suggest a recession. The problem, in retrospect, was the Fed raised rates too much in 2018 thinking that the tax cut would do better for the economy than it … [Read more...]


GDP Germaneness

In 19Q1, US GDP was $21.06 trillion. The largest part was consumption, which totaled $14.25 trillion or 67.7% of GDP. Investment in structures, equipment and intellectual property was $3.81 trillion or 18.1%; government spending was $3.60 billion or 17.1% of GDP. Finally, net exports were -$603.4 … [Read more...]


Abode Affliction

In 19Q2, the homeownership rate fell to 64.1% from 64.3% in 18Q2, the first Y-o-Y decline since 2016. And high home prices are why. They’re high partly because inventory, which had been marginally improving for 10 straight months, was disappointingly flat in June, and because new construction … [Read more...]


Beijing Battle

The direct effects of the China-US trade spat on the US are small. It’s secondary effects, like weakening global growth, declining equities, Chinese retaliation, and falling US consumer and business confidence leading to reduced capital investment that’ll hurt. Moreover, the newest potentially … [Read more...]