Today’s U.S. manufacturing report is at the top of a mountain of bad economic news coming out. Whether these data will lead to a “new” recession (as defined by the NBER) remains to be seen, but at the very least the U.S. economy is stagnating, and it is likely to remain that way for some [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
“JP Morgan Chase last night announced a surprise $2 billion trading loss on credit derivatives trading, which chief executive Jamie Dimon blamed on “errors, sloppiness and bad judgment”, warning it “could get worse”.
- From The Financial Times, Friday 11th May 2012.
Today’s economic reports continue to point to weakness rather than growth. This is something we have been forecasting for some time. We had forecast at best stagnation for the second half of 2012, and, at worse, a “double-dip.” It reinforces my belief that it will put the Fed into a corner and cause them to unleash [...]
In the wake of recent market volatility and the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting on April 24-25, calls for another round of Fed easing, ”QE3,” have again been stoked. It is worth sorting out the pros and cons of such a move for both the U.S. economy and financial markets.
Unemployment rates remain high as job growth sagged and the so-called “improving” data has more to do with a shrinking pool of job seekers than job growth. Consumer credit also sagged with two months of contractions, especially in credit card debt. The Empire State manufacturing report was down, reflecting higher inventories and flattened new orders. [...]
Economists cling to statistical data like barnacles in order to have some kind of anchor to explain what is going on in the world. They will try to cram the square data peg into the round holes of economic ”laws” rather than abandon them when they are obviously wrong. Which is not a very satisfactory way to explain things. [...]
Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law … economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of [...]
We are within a few days of the twelfth anniversary of the NASDAQ peak. Some readers will remember how the stock market suddenly dominated the national psyche. All of a sudden, millenial fervor mixed with recurring stock market surges that supported the idea that we were #1. U-S-A all the way and that sort of [...]