70 Words
Nov
01

GDP Guesstimate

One day before being announced, the Blue-Chip consensus of top business economists predicted 21Q3 GDP growth of 4%. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model anticipated 0%. To prove all wrong, 21Q3 GDP was 2%! The future, even when a day away, is unknowable. GDP fell from 6.7% in 21Q2 due to the rise of the … [Read more...]

Oct
14

Payment Problem

During the Housing Boom peak of 7/2006, it took 42% of median household income to cover mortgage payments on a median-priced house. That percentage bottomed at 26.9% in 1/2013 and peaked at 32% in 11/18. In 2019 and 2020, the Fed lowered rates, dropping the ratio to just 28.6% in 8/2020. As of … [Read more...]

Jul
14

Strengthening Strip

YTD gaming revenue in Vegas is $4.06 billion, down just 5.2% from Jan-May 2019, and YTD auto traffic is up 5.6% compared to two years ago. However, deplaned passengers and room nights are both down 41%. But, comparing 5/21 to 5/19, gaming revenue is up 25.9%, auto traffic is up 9.8%, and deplaned … [Read more...]

Jun
04

Judge Judy

The Friday File: Since starting in 1996, Judy Sheindlin will have adjudicated roughly 12,750 cases when her last show airs on 6/8/21. Judge Judy has had the #1 first-run show in syndicated TV for 11 straight years, and is on track for a 12th, with an average of 7.8 million viewers. That is why her … [Read more...]

May
21

Pool Problem

The Friday File: In addition to semiconductor, chicken wing, and lumber shortages, you can add chlorine. When Covid-19 first, hit DIY handwashing solutions often recommended adding chlorine powder. Add to that a surge in the demand for pools, and a fire in a chlorine manufacturing plant, and … [Read more...]

Mar
10

Monetary Machinations

The Powell Fed has made it clear it will continue purchasing Treasuries and MBS for the foreseeable future and keep short-term rates at rock bottom levels, but will not counter rising long-term rates. This is because financial conditions are loose, and liquidity is plentiful. Moreover, the Fed sees … [Read more...]

Mar
02

Asset Appraisals

Through 20Q2, the value of US farmland was $2.6 trillion, and investment grade bonds (BBB rated debt and higher) were valued at $6.4 trillion. That pales compared to Treasury bonds which were worth $19.9 trillion, and US commercial real estate at $20.4 trillion. Equities were almost double that at … [Read more...]

Feb
25

Moving Matters

In 2020, Idaho enjoyed the highest percentage of net migration, with 70% inbound and 30% outbound, a net of 40%. SC followed at 28%, then OR at 26%, AZ and SD at 24%, and AL, FL, NC, and TN at 20%. AR was 10th at 18%. CA at -18%, CT at -26%, IL at -32%, NY at -34% and NJ at -40% struggled most. … [Read more...]

Feb
17

Power Problem

If small changes in price lead to large changes in quantity demanded, think pizza, the item is elastic. Some goods, like gasoline, are inelastic. A change in that price does not alter the amount driven. Some things are infinitely inelastic, like electricity on a freezing day. The price per megawatt … [Read more...]

Feb
09

Minimum Money

Had the current minimum wage of $7.25/hour increased annually by the rate of inflation it would now be $9/hour. Since the minimum wage was adopted in 1938, its inflation-adjusted value peaked in 1968 when it became $1.60/hour, about $12 today. Raising it to $15/hour would lift 900,000 out of … [Read more...]