Economics

Poll Shows Why QE Has Been Ineffective

I have discussed many times in the past the Fed's ongoing Quantitative Easing (QE) programs and their ineffectiveness of generating "self-sustaining" economic growth.  While the Fed's interventions have certainly bolstered asset prices by driving a "carry trade," these programs do not address the central issue necessar ...

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NFIB: String Of Improvements End

In the last review of the National Federation of Independent Businesses survey, I discussed the overall subdued levels of optimism by small business owners. "The December report showed that small business optimism did end the year slightly higher than November coming in at 93.9.  Unfortunately, this is still well b ...

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2 Charts Explain Slowest Economy In History

Earlier this week I discussed the expectations for an increase in reported earnings of 50% over the next two years: "Currently, according to the S&P website, reported corporate earnings are expected to grow by 20.26% in 2014, and by an additional 20.28% in 2015.  In total, reported earnings are expected to grow ...

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Chart Of The Day: Confidence & Retail Sales

As I was reviewing and updating my economic data, the following chart jumped out at me.  Historically, as one would expect, retail sales and consumer confidence have been very highly correlated.  That is until 2009, when bailouts, cash for appliances, cash for clunkers, housing rebates, etc. flooded the system.&nb ...

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Will Consumer Credit Drive The Next Economic Boom

Just recently the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its quarterly survey of household debt which showed an increase of $24.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.  My friend Cullen Roche commented on this increase stating: "This was the first year over year increase in debt since 2008.  It’s a pretty  ...

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Answering A Question On Peak Employment

Earlier this week I posted a piece asking "Have We Reached Peak Employment?"  The article elicited numerous responses in which many all carried a common thread: "If we are creating between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs a month, how could we be at peak employment?" The point is very valid and made me realize that a m ...

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NFIB: Confidence Improves, Obama Creates Uncertainty

In last month's review of the National Federation of Independent Businesses survey, I discussed the overall subdued levels of optimism by small business owners. "The December report showed that small business optimism did end the year slightly higher than November coming in at 93.9.  Unfortunately, this is still we ...

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Have We Reached "Peak Employment"

The latest employment report was filled with something for just about everyone needing to spin the data for either a "bullish" or "bearish" viewpoint.  Joe Weisenthal wrote for Business Insider that: "After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls, the civilian labor force rose by 499,000 in  ...

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Mother Nature Blocks Economic Run

Over the last few months, mainstream economists have been hopeful that after five years of economic growth that has averaged 1.87% that 2014 would be the year of acceleration.  Market participants have likewise run up stock valuations in anticipation of stronger earnings growth in the months to come.  However, muc ...

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The 2014 State Of The Union

Tomorrow the President of the United States is set to deliver his annual "State Of The Union" address.  This past week, I discussed the upcoming speech with Dave Boyer at the Washington Times who hit on some of the key issues that will be addressed: "Mr. Obama’s nationally televised speech to a joint session of Con ...

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CFNAI: Was It " A Summer Of Recovery" Just A Bounce?

I discussed previously that the bounce in the economic data in Q3 may have been a temporary anomaly.  That statement was based on the extraordinarily weak start of 2013 due to the combined impact of Hurricane Sandy and the "fiscal cliff."  To wit: "It has been a 'Summer of Recovery' for the U.S. economy w ...

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Chart Of The Day: JOLT Quit/Discharge Ratio

Today's chart of the day is presented with little comment.  One of the most disturbing and revealing dynamics in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Opening Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) report is that the ratio of people who are quitting jobs as compared to those being laid off.  This ratio is rising s ...

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Corporate Profits & Income Inequality

Last night on "The Lance Roberts" show I was discussing the ongoing battle surrounding income inequality.  The current Administration has taken on the "war on poverty" as its primary battle ground going into the mid-term elections later this year.  I quoted Bill Dunkleberg recently in "NFIB/Gallup: Government Is T ...

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NFIB/Gallup - Government Is The Problem

Each month I do a review of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business survey as it is a reflection of what I see as a small business owner/entrepreneur myself.  Last month's report specifically discussed the lack of optimism by small businesses during the holiday shopping season (November and Decem ...

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A Quick Look At Retail Sales

Yesterday, I discussed whether corporate fixed investment would indeed make a resurgence, as many analysts and economists are hopeful of, in 2014.  In that article, I discussed the link between personal consumption expenditures and business capital investment.  What is becoming clear is that, on an annualized basi ...

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Fed's Economic Projections - Myth Vs. Reality (Dec 2013)

Each quarter the Fed releases their assessment of the economy along with their forward looking projections for three years into the future. (See Fed Projections Myth Vs. Reality for the September analysis)  I started tracking these projections beginning in early 2011 and comparing the Fed's forecasts with what even ...

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Is The Consumer Slowing Down?

There has been much debate in Washington about how to get the economy growing again.  Unfortunately, fiscal policy has done little to address the core of economic growth, which is the consumer, or the productive investment required to generate real employment and wage growth.  Currently, real (inflation adjusted)  ...

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NFIB - Not Much Holiday Cheer

The latest release of the small business survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed only a small rise in optimism following the government shutdown in October.  As discussed previously in "NFIB: Optimism Fades" "Two components, the outlook for business conditions and the outlook for  ...

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Is The Deficit Reduction Just A Mirage

There has been quite a bit of discussion lately over the rapid reduction in the government's budget deficit as it relates to economic growth going forward.  Just recently my friend David Rosenberg noted in his daily missive: "The federal deficit, 10% of GDP just four years ago, is below 4% today and on its way to b ...

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QE Deflationary? No Kidding!

There was a very "wonkish" article by Stephen Williamson over the weekend discussing the impact of quantitative easing on inflationary expectations.  The article is filled with economic equations discussing interest rates and inflationary expectations but the real crux of the article was: "In general, if we think t ...

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