70 Words
Sep
16

Strong Statistics

Not only did August retail sales rise a strong 0.4%, but June and July sales were revised up. We care because retail sales are about 25% of consumer spending, and consumer spending accounts for 68% of GDP. Thus, retail sales are 17% of GDP! Moreover, average hourly earnings rose at the fastest pace … [Read more...]

Sep
10

Inflation Imbroglio

Argentina is suffering a classic currency collapse. They usually happen like this: A sudden currency decline, usually the result of bad policy, causes imported goods (like oil and food) to dramatically rise. That reduces living standards, pushing workers to demand higher wages, which in turn fuels … [Read more...]

Aug
30

Mongolian Master

The Friday File: Last week, Bob Long won the Mongol Derby. What’s so amazing is that Mr. Long, originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, is 70 years old, and the Mongol Derby is the longest multi-horse race in the world at 1,000 kilometers. Bob crossed the finish line on the 8th day of the race having … [Read more...]

Jul
30

Good GDP

19Q2 GDP came in at 2.1%, which, while a big decline from 3.1% in 19Q1, is in line with the 2.3% average over the entire record-breaking 121-month recovery we are enjoying. Business spending was negative, the first time since 16Q1, and exports declined due to trade tensions, slowing global growth … [Read more...]

Jul
19

Nifty NASA

The Friday File: Tomorrow at 4:17pm EDT is the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s lunar landing! Armstrong subsequently set foot on the Moon at 10:56pm EDT; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. That ended the Space Race with the USSR and fulfilled President Kennedy’s national goal. … [Read more...]

Jun
19

Right Rate

When the Fed last met, economic data was looking good. Now, not so much. Manufacturing is probably in recession, inflation is weakening, the yield curve is inverted, the dollar is strong, and trade concerns are elevated. However, equities are near records, unemployment is ridiculously low, and … [Read more...]

Jun
04

Tiananmen Tragedy

30 years ago today the Chinese government murdered hundreds, if not thousands, of student protestors across China, but particularly in Tiananmen Square, agitating for nothing more than freedom and democracy. In China, this event has been completely expunged. The Tiananmen Massacre was when the … [Read more...]

May
14

Troubling Tariffs

Existing tariffs on Chinese imports and Chinese retaliatory tariffs reduce US GDP by 0.15 of a point. Last week’s tariff increase from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods will decrease GDP by another 0.15. A further 25% tariff on another $325 billion of Chinese imports would lower GDP by … [Read more...]

May
06

Goldilocks Gains

There were 263,000 new jobs created in April, with all sectors but retail gaining. This strong growth is more proof of a solid economic rebound after a tough start to 2019. While pay rose 3.2% Y-o-Y, wage increases have been steady at 3.2% since 8/18, dampening inflation fears despite unemployment … [Read more...]

May
01

Data Drama

During the brief economic downturn late last year, bond yields fell along with equities because there was fear the economy was slowing, corporate profits were weakening, and inflation was expected to fade. Now, the stock market is at a record high while bond yields remain very low. This divergence … [Read more...]