Small Business Surveys Suggest New Downtrend Despite Incomplete Recovery From the Great Recession

The National Federation of Small Business and Gallup have recently published results of small business surveys, which are consistent with other data which are presented below.

The recent trend has worsened according to several different sources.  Conditions had never improved to levels seen in prior business expansions, but the recently-reported sales and profits data have [...]


Optimism, Albeit Restrained, Comes to Zero Hedge: A Sell Signal?

This bearish chart appeared on a guest post from Lance Roberts on Zero Hedge along with a surprisingly  upbeat denial of its implications (LINK).

The author says:



What Next for the Markets?

In a recent post, I presented evidence that there is in many circles a great deal of optimism about the future for the U.S. economy.  Evidence for the extent of this optimism continues to accumulate, and not only for the U.S. reports with a headline that is a bit ironic, in that 18 months [...]


Recent Data Do Not Point to an Imminent Economic Upturn

In a recent post, I demonstrated that there is a large amount of optimism amongst many Keynesians.  The general consensus was that if only the Fed could be allowed to perform more quantitative easing and thus allow the “fiscal cliff” issues to be deferred to yet a later date, the U.S. economy is something like [...]


Keynesians Chortle in Their Joy

Now that Ben Bernanke continues to have a friend in the White House, all’s going to be well in the world- at least economically.  At least, that’s the impression large segments of the media is promoting.  

When any segment of the media and market participants are feeling so good about things that they appear [...]


Investors Remain Optimistic in the Face of Declining Stock Market Prices

Last weekend, I said that risk assets were getting frothy, and showed that speculation was rampant in several financial sectors.  I also pointed out that essentially the entirety of the total return to investors for several years, and perhaps for several decades, might be able to be explained by the appreciation in price (decline in [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Q1 GDP Report: Final BEA Obfuscation

In their third estimate of the first quarter 2012 GDP, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) left the annualized rate of U.S. domestic economic growth unchanged at 1.88%, which is still more than a percent below the growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2011. This revision to the prior month’s report does not reflect [...]


John Hussman Makes New U.S. Recession Call

Economist turned money manager John Hussman has become the first economist I’m aware of to opine that the United States has entered a fresh recession.  This would of course be unwelcome if verified as data comes in.  Here are some comments from his article that is fresh off the digital presses:

Very often, the first real-time [...]