70 Words

GDP Growth

CY2018 US GDP growth should average 3.1%, led by rising employment, strong income gains, tax cuts, increased defense spending and very strong consumer and small business confidence. During CY2019, growth is likely to steadily slow, yet still average a solid 2.6% as tax cut impacts fade, trade wars … [Read more...]


Poor Promotions

Research shows that high-performing sales representatives are more likely to be promoted into management. For example, a doubling of sales boosts the probability of promotion by 15% above baseline. But the new manager’s pre-promotion doubling of sales is also associated with a 7.5% reduction in the … [Read more...]


Largest Lingos

The Friday File: Looking only at native speakers, the most spoken language in the world is Chinese with 1.3 billion first-language speakers. A distant second is Spanish with almost 440 million speakers. English is third with 372 million native speakers, and Arabic follows with 295 million. In fifth … [Read more...]


Facebook Failure

 Last Thursday Facebook lost $119 billion, 19% of its market value, after predicting slowing revenue growth in the remainder of 2018. It was the largest one-day dollar decline for a US company ever, ahead of Intel’s $90 drop in 4/00.  This decline was equal to the GDP of Kuwait or Morocco. The … [Read more...]


Trade Tariffs

Already announced trade tariffs should reduce GDP by 0.1% at peak impact in mid-2019. If widened to include all proposed tariffs including autos, a 10% tariff on $400 billion of Chinese goods and equivalent retaliation, the temporary maximum hit to GDP would be 0.5% by summer 2019. The worst-case … [Read more...]


Jumpin’ Jobs

Net June job creation was a strong 213,000, and April and May numbers were collectively revised up 37,000! The unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.8% as the labor force participation rate pleasantly climbed to 62.9% from 62.7%. Wage growth remained quiescent at 2.7% Y-o-Y; 0.2% M-o-M. This is … [Read more...]


OPEC Obsolescence

OPEC appears to be again losing control over oil prices. Oil has been rallying despite promises of higher production from the cartel. Prices are rising due to plummeting Venezuelan production, Iranian sanctions, problems in Libya and other production crises. But the key reason is major producers … [Read more...]


Exquisite Equation

The Friday File: When 14 mathematicians were given fMRI scans of their brains as they viewed 60 mathematical formulas, the formula that generated the most activity in the brain area stimulated by moral, musical and visual beauty was ei pi+1=0, or Euler’s (pronounced oilers) Identity, which magically … [Read more...]


More Money

In 18Q1, US household wealth increased 1% to a record $100.8 trillion, or 6.83 times disposable income, close to the peak of 6.85 set in 17Q4, and well above the pre-recession 2006 peak of 6.50. These steady increases in household wealth since early 2009 are juicing the economy less than in previous … [Read more...]


Sorry Security

Spending on Social Security recipients will exceed revenues this year for the first time since 1982. Worse, the SS trust fund, which holds $3 trillion, will be empty by 2034, after which recipients will receive 75% of scheduled benefits absent programmatic changes. Medicare’s insurance fund will be … [Read more...]