Economics and the Return of History?

In Friday’s edition of NY Times, David Brooks wrote a very interesting column (link) discussing the state of economics. Although subtle and rigorous in its assertions I doubt that the field of economics needs a fundamental change in the philosophical origins of economic methodology. I agree with the author that economists often ignore the . . . → Read More: Economics and the Return of History?

Consumers Releasing Pent Up Demand – Q1 GDP will be Stronger than Q4

On Tuesday there was more evidence that U.S. consumers are starting to release their pent up propensity to spend. Redbook reported an extremely strong plus 4.4% year-on-year same-store sales rate in the March 27 week — by far the strongest gain of the recovery thus far.

Redbook also upped its estimate for a plus . . . → Read More: Consumers Releasing Pent Up Demand – Q1 GDP will be Stronger than Q4

Economic Events on March 31, 2010

At 8:15 AM EDT, the ADP Employment Report will be released.  Investors will be watching this number to get advance notice on the state of the job market in advance of the government’s report on Friday.

At 9:45 AM EDT, the Chicago PMI Index for March will be announced.  The consensus index value is . . . → Read More: Economic Events on March 31, 2010

This Century and the Last One: A Report Card for the First 10 Years

When we look back at the sweep of history, the 20th century stands out. It stands out as a time of immense progress in our knowledge, a time of great carnage, and the time when the great debate about socialism and the market economy ended. I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who said . . . → Read More: This Century and the Last One: A Report Card for the First 10 Years

CFTC Gold And Silver Hearing Is Old News

Starting 25 March 2010 the CFTC has been conducting an investigation into the concentrated short positions in the gold and silver markets. There has been some very interesting testimony come out of the Goldman Sachs vampire squid’s mouths that the informed gold bugs already knew. The size and scope of this Ponzi scam is . . . → Read More: CFTC Gold And Silver Hearing Is Old News

Economic Events on March 30, 2010

The weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report will be released at 7:45 AM EDT, and another strong week of sales is expected.

The monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home price index report will be released at 9:00 AM EDT.  Given that most economists don’t expect the overall U.S. economy to improve until housing prices end their decline, the . . . → Read More: Economic Events on March 30, 2010

Taxpayers About to Benefit Handsomely from Citigroup Bailout

You may remember that last year Citigroup (C) got a $25B bailout that was much bigger than the rest of the big banks. Now — about a year later — the company is about to pay dearly for the taxpayer provided lifeline.

In today’s market, the TARP’s 27% take in Citi has grown in . . . → Read More: Taxpayers About to Benefit Handsomely from Citigroup Bailout

Health Care

Health care in the USA is completely broken. Health care is a difficult problem, to be sure, but I think it’s clear that we’re currently solving it very badly. Two problems with health care: One is that people expect everyone to have the same health care as a rich person, even if they’re not . . . → Read More: Health Care

Economic Events on March 29, 2010

The monthly Personal Income and Outlays report will be released at 8:30 AM EDT.  The consensus for Personal Income is an increase of 0.1% over the previous month, which is the same rate of increase as January.  The consensus for Consumer Spending is a 0.3% increase since January, and the consensus Core PCE price . . . → Read More: Economic Events on March 29, 2010

Demographics, Housing, and Global Imbalances

Most, if not all, of the deficit nations that make up the Bretton Woods II edifice and subsequent global imbalances have seen notable housing and construction bubbles as part of their path towards excess leverage. The demand for housing and thus in some sense construction on the aggregate macroeconomic level can be tied . . . → Read More: Demographics, Housing, and Global Imbalances