First Report of Q4 GDP Is Negative

The BEA is out with its Q4 first estimate of GDP (LINK).  I look forward to a detailed analysis from Dr. Rick Davis when he has had time to prepare one.

Here are some brief comments.  First, the BEA’s introductory summary:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor [...]

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The Trillion Dollar Coin

There has been much buzz in the past few days about a truly horrible idea.  Instead of having to negotiate with Congress to raise the debt ceiling so the Treasury Department can sell more bonds to pay for more spending, why not just mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin?  This coin would contain one ounce of [...]

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Bernanke Loosens Up

This excellent article by Austrian theory economist Frank Shostak appeared Friday on Mises.org. — JH

Bernanke Loosens Up

December 21, 2012

On Wednesday December 12, 2012 Fed policy makers announced that they will boost their main stimulus tool by adding $45 billion of monthly Treasury purchases to an existing program to buy $40 [...]

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Chaos

“Can an economy that has become dependent on lies, misrepresentation, ‘fudging’ of numbers, fraud, embezzlement and a multitude of skimming and scamming operations escape the moral and financial black hole it has created ? The self-evident answer is ‘no’.”

— Charles Hugh Smith, 28 August 2012, as quoted in [...]

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Very Good News About The Fed

It’s not what you were thinking (today’s FOMC report). The good news was that Bernanke and Geithner see the handwriting on the wall. They will both head for the unemployment lines if Romney wins. Geithner says he wants out if Obama wins. His replacement will be another lackluster Keynesian. While Bernanke’s appointment will not run [...]

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Par For The Pathological Course

Economic policymakers are like children in that they are held only partially accountable for their mistakes and misdeeds. And just as children learn to selectively deny responsibility to get away with naughty behaviour, so policymakers learn that they, too, can conveniently disown the ‘unintended consequences’ of their actions. It is thus refreshing to see that [...]

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Evidence of a Manufacturing Downturn Is Hiding in Plain Sight in Today’s Employment Report

One unfortunate detail that I have not seen discussed yet from today’s BLS employment report(s) comes from the “Establishment” survey.  Here’s a LINK.  If you scroll to page 5 (Summary table B) and go to the very last line, you will find the one-month diffusion index for the manufacturing sector of the economy.  This comprises 81 separate industries [...]

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The Greatest Trick

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

-     US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

 Never try to teach a pig to sing, advised Robert Heinlein. It wastes your time and it [...]

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Volcker Appears to Dislike QE 3

Tall Paul Volcker and Jeff Harding agree (per The Telegraph): 

QE3 will not fix America’s problems Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman credited with taming the inflationary threat of the 1970s, has warned that further quantitative easing will fail to repair economies in Europe and the US.

Mr Volcker, addressing a conference at Gleneagles in Scotland, [...]

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Ham and Yams and QE

Ben and I are stranded on an island, Robinson Crusoe-like and I, on my east side of the island, have been planting yams, collecting coconuts, and doing a little fishing. Ben decides to hunt on his west side and offers to trade a boar hindquarter for some yams. We negotiate and make a deal: 20 yams [...]

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The Fed May Fire Multiple Bazooka Rounds: Housing Bubble 2.0 Ahead?

Two decades ago, Dana Carvey got laughs by imitating President George H. W. Bush and saying:  “Wouldn’t be prudent”.  Those were “prudent” times- the Perot balanced budget movement, the recurrent tax rises to deal with budget deficits (not that I favor tax increases) and the like- but the point was made to the public.  If [...]

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