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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Chart Review - Return To Reality

This morning's 4:30am alarm reminded me that my "Spring Break" family holiday was indeed officially over and I am faced with the inevitable "return to reality." Since I was traveling this past weekend, I didn't get a chance to write the weekly newsletter (subscribe for free weekly e-delivery) where I generally provide  ...

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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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The 2015 State Of The Union

It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Over the weekend, the Associated Press discussed President Obama's retooled message stating: "For most of last year, President Barack Obama tempered his pitch on the economy: It may be improving, he woul ...

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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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About That Surge In Building Permits

Yesterday, the media spin went into full overdrive as the most recent housing data was released on starts and permits. The following is Econoday's summary: "Don't let the headline fool you, the housing starts & permits report points to solid strength for the housing sector. Starts came in at a 1.036 million rate in  ...

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The Fed's Window For Hiking Rates Continues To Close

During the last year, the Federal Reserve has hinted that the period of "ultra accommodative monetary policy" was coming to an end. The Fed started that process last October by terminating the latest "Quantitative Easing" program which induced massive amounts of liquidity into the financial markets. Subsequently, the Fed ha ...

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Who's Right - Commodities Or Fed?

I have been suggesting for quite some time that the Federal Reserve is stuck in a "liquidity trap" which makes it very difficult for monetary policy to be effective. More importantly, beginning in January of this year, I have suggested that the Fed is being forced to choose between the "lesser of two evils," to wit: "Th ...

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The BEA Is Still Overestimating Growth

Back in May, I penned a missive entitled "If You Don't Like It, Change It" which discussed the pending changes to the GDP calculation by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). To wit: "Now, for all of you playing the home version of "Nail That GDP Number," it was just a couple of years ago that the BEA decided that the  ...

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