A Final Review of 2012 Holiday Shopping Season From CMI

On several occasions we have tried to help our readers visualize consumer behavior during the last quarter of 2012 by comparing consumer activity during the recently ended quarter with the same quarter of 2008. We chose 2008 as our comparison year because both years contain the economic distractions of a contentious presidential election — an [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


World Entrepreneurship 2006 – 2012

This is not a good statistic. This is the latest data from the OECD. Note that this is a relative statistical construct (2006=100). While 2006 was not a bad year in the U.S., relative to other countries we are flatlining. In France start-up rates were boosted in 2009 and 2010 by new legislation supporting auto-entrepreneurs. [...]


The Truth About The Middle Class

My favorite man of letters and prolific letter writer, Don Boudreaux, usually tells it like it is as he does in this letter to PBS economics reported Paul Solman. The middle-class is NOT shrinking. PBS is nothing if not a leading proponent of what passes for mainstream economics. Enjoy this letter. [...]


A Tweet Too Far? A Look At Unemployment Numbers

Former GE CEO Jack Welch recently ignited a firestorm over his ‘tweet’ that the US September labour market data appeared to have been manipulated for political reasons. Indeed, there were some curiosities in that particular report, but they hardly end there. The fact is, much official US data are misleading in some way, if not [...]


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 [...]


The Mess We’re In

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”

- The late Gore Vidal.

“It’s a mess, ain’t it, [...]


The Unemployment Charade Or, Ignore The Headlines

While employment rose by 160,000 jobs in July, the overall unemployment rate remained at 8.3%.1 “Hurrah” is not the correct response to these data. (“Hurrah” is the response seen the most in the MSM.) First, the trends:

The payrolls chart (right) reveals a largely flat trend for the past year, which says that job [...]


QE3′s Looming Failure Means Ben’s Days Are Numbered

July 26, 2012

The above-the-fold headline of  [last week's] Wall Street Journal, “Fed Moves Closer to Action”, signals an impossibly deluded Federal Reserve utterly blind to the damage its machinations are bringing to the U.S. and global economy.  Though the Fed’s policies are the single greatest barrier to economic growth, Ben Bernanke, its walking, talking contarian indicator [...]


Please Don’t “Get To Work, Mr. Chairman”

This week’s data builds a further case for a declining economy and likelihood of the Fed doing another round of QE. These data hit all of the Fed’s marks for action: joblessness and unemployment, declining industrial production, low price inflation and possible price deflation, and declining retail sales. These are the things that the Fed [...]