NFIB Continues in Recessionary Mode, as the U.S.-Japan Analogy Plays Out

The National Federation of Independent Business is now out with its December survey results.  Given all the politics going on, the optimism/pessimism part of the survey is not worth commenting upon.  The actual earnings trends, however, are.  Here is the relevant graph (LINK):

For some reason, these companies have a baseline earnings trend of [...]

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A New Year May Merit New Investments: A Quick Look at Spain

On this change of year, on the last day  of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the third millenium of the Christian Era, the lyrics of another Jew with a bent to preaching (and a convert to Christianity), Robert Zimmerman, (better known as Bob Dylan), come to mind  (LINK):

The line it is [...]

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The Strange Nature of the U.S. Economic Recovery Seen in State-by-State Employment Trends

Calculated Risk has a nice chart up that helps to illustrate the ultra-unusual nature of the post-Great Recession business expansion (LINK).  This chart focuses heavily on employment statistics rather than gross state production.

The United States has not experienced this sort of volatility in employment trends during an (alleged) business expansion.  This time [...]

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Economic Data at Variance with the Optimistic Zeitgeist; Thoughts on This Dichotomy

 I want to share some updated thoughts here rather than in my trading blog because they tie into the broad theme that inadequate capital has been rebuilt following the “Great Recession” to allow a durable economic expansion in the U.S., and thus this sort of thinking makes it easy to accept the ECRI premise that unfortunately another [...]

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No Jobs: The Result of Wizard of Oz Economics

Recent economic data, and especially today’s unemployment numbers reveal the powerlessness of the Fed in the face of underlying economic problems that they fail to understand. The Fed has tried every trick in the book for the past 4 years to revive the economy only to see it continue to weaken. Unfortunately they only know [...]

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Rosenberg: “We Are Living In A Modern Day Depression”

This comes from an interview with David Rosenberg, one of my favorite analysts, who claims “We are living in a modern-day depression.” As I went down the list of his points, there is nothing I can really disagree with since we have been saying the same things. He’s not “Austrian” but his thinking is very close. [...]

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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 [...]

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Are U.S. Stocks “Scared Enough” Yet?

I want to make a few points briefly. 

First, if you haven’t, please read Dr. Davis’ discussion of our economic data two posts below this (or click HERE).  He documents that economic times remain difficult, in line with the Gallup.com polling data I have frequently referred to.  He also points out how difficult it is to [...]

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Trees And Forests: Consumer Sentiment, Production, and Jobs

It is easy to become distracted by the data that comes in daily. Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (starring Mickey Mouse), it can overwhelm you. It can take your eyes off the “Big Picture”. This is what curses most analysts. Today’s data is so perverse that it (almost) doesn’t make sense … [...]

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Rising Consumer Debt Reveals Economic Weakness

Consumer credit expanded at a 10.2% annual rate in March. Of that, nonrevolving credit grew 11.3%. This “includes automobile loans and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers, or vacations.” Revolving loans, mainly credit card debt, grew at 7.8%. For the Fed’s G19 report go here.

[...]

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Reinhart and Rogoff Fight the Fed

In 2009, Drs. Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff published This Time Is Different:  Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.  This academic work became topical as it was nearing its completion due to the “Great Recession”.  They added a long ending chapter to deal with the crisis and predicted a great deal of what has transpired:  several [...]

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