Sulking In America

This article originally appeared in my regular column in a local newspaper. — JH

I’ve been sulking ever since the elections. Just about everything and everyone I voted for lost. Locally the opposition Republicans ran mostly bad candidates and lost everywhere. But so did the Democrats and they won. For the record I [...]


ECRI: The 2012 Recession

The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) came out yesterday with a defense of its much criticized recession call. As readers know I am cautious about their calls mainly because they use a “blackbox” proprietary methodology which is kept secret by them (in order to justify their high fees). But they have an extraordinary record. And [...]


The Fed Panicked

Here is the Fed Open Market Committee’s announcement of November 25, 2008 announcing the implementation of QE1, a $600 billion bond purchase program:

This action is being taken to reduce the cost and increase the availability of credit for the purchase of houses, which in turn should support housing markets and foster improved conditions in financial [...]


Retail Sales Decline, As Expected

The two most interesting words coming from the media about the drop in retail sales were, “unexpected” and “unexpected.” Today’s Census Bureau report said that retail sales were down 0.5% in June, and even ex-autos, was down 0.4%. Why this should be “unexpected” reveals more about contemporary economics than anything else. After all, economists are [...]


ECRI’s Achuthan: “We’re Already In A Recession”

Once again ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan discusses his negative forecast with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene. Now he says we are already in recession. This is a very interesting observation because he says it’s more than just output, but things like unemployment, spending, and income. While the common definition of a recession is two negative quarters of GDP, [...]


The Economy Is Floating On Air

Much of what we see in recent economic growth is caused by one thing: cheap money and credit. This is obvious as we look at two important economic drivers: autos and homes. Both are significant in that they represent the two biggest purchases that most Americans will make in their lifetimes, so their dollar volume [...]


The Current Malaise: The Failure Of Stimulus

Alhambra Investment Partners’ Dr. John Chapman discusses the current malaise:

Recent data on the U.S. economy are not encouraging, and calls for a recession have risen in recent months. But there is after all a big difference between an economy growing at 1-2%, and one not growing, or shrinking, as in Europe at [...]


Unnatural Disasters: Jobs, Wages, And Savings

The employment numbers that came out today (Friday) were very bad and caught most economists and analysts by surprise. Nothing the Fed has done has worked. Once again the ranks of the unemployed grow, wages flatten out, manufacturing weakens, GDP declines, and savings are spent to maintain lifestyles. The U.S. and much of the rest [...]


The Ecclestone Girls Signal Market Top

There is no better sign of the top of a boom-bust monetary cycle than extravagant spending by those who have benefited the most from the sea of new money floating around the economy. With $2.1 trillion of fiat dollars available to financial players, the hedge funders and investment advisers have been the main beneficiaries of quantitative easing. They have [...]


OECD Leading Indicators – Reliable?

This is the OECD’s view of the world in terms of their leading indicators. For the methodology of their leading indicators, go here.



ECRI’s Recession Call Update

This is a heads up from DoctoRx who has followed ECRI for many years. This is ECRI’s latest public statement on their recession call, a call which has been met with scepticism since it was announced. — JH

Revoking Recession: 48th Time’s the Charm?

For the last three months, year-over-year growth in [...]