This category contains 28 posts

Economic Shutdown and the Cost to Save a Single Life

America is facing a dilemma. Amid the greatest crisis since World War II,  and four weeks into an effective shut down of the U.S. economy as a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, public debate is turning towards the question of how long the shutdown should continue.  Last week President Trump released federal guidelines for “re-opening” … Continue reading

Inflation: Getting Your Hands on the Money First

Is wealth disparity the cause of economic problems, or are economic problems the cause of wealth disparity? The default government response to economic and financial troubles is to inflate. Just because there is not a rise in consumer prices does not mean that inflation is not present. Financial asset inflation is every bit as destructive … Continue reading

Keep an Eye on China

A good (despite the hyperbolic headline) post on Zero Hedge this morning about the Trump administration cracking down on trade issues with China:  Trump to Launch Trade War With China on Friday, Beijing vows retaliation. As we mentioned shortly after the election in Chines Currency Manipulation and the New “Giant Sucking Sound”,  trade relations with … Continue reading

Zero Hedge: What if Rates Rise Above 3.5% ?

Late last month the notorious financial blog Zero Hedge published an analysis  regarding the economic after shocks that could occur if interest rates were to spike above 3.5%. Indeed eight years into “recovery” from the great recession of 2008, it is easy to forget just how extraordinary Federal Reserve policy remains.  Just because the can … Continue reading

Chinese Currency Manipulation and the New “Giant Sucking Sound”

As Barron’s Up and Down Wall Street columnist Randall Forsyth wrote this weekend “for the currency markets, seven Chinese Yuan to the U.S. Dollar has become a milestone that seems as inevitable as Dow 20,000.” For decades Chinese officials worked to keep the Yuan artificially cheap in an effort to boost an export driven economy. … Continue reading

James Bianco on Bloomberg

Jame Bianco is President of Chicago Based Bianco Research. While not strictly an “Austrian” economist/strategist, he has long been writing and commenting on topics concerning Austrians such as credit expansion, central banking policy, politics and economics. He is certainly in the category of under the radar gurus (as in legitimate guru, not the carnival barker … Continue reading

After a Tough November for Bonds What’s Next for Investors?

Bond investors are in for a rude awakening when it is time to look at November account statements. While the ten-year treasury yield jumped from 1.83% to 2.37%, the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Total Return ETF (AGG) was down 2.68%. The 7-10 year Treasury ETF (IEI) was down 4.23% for the month, and the Long Term Treasury ETF … Continue reading

April FOMC Meeting Minutes: The stakes are raised for June

  The Federal Reserved released the minutes for the April FOMC meeting yesterday. According to Barrons.com   the tone of the minutes was surprising hawkish and indicates the the Fed is ready to ready to hike rates at the meeting scheduled for June 14 and 15. While there were some dovish sentiments regarding the need … Continue reading

February Employment Report: Steady as She Goes

On balance a very good employment report  for the month of February that saw an increase in nonfarm payrolls of 242,000 that easily beat the consensus estimate  of 190,000. In addition the December and January numbers were revised upwards for a total of 30,000 jobs. A number sure to stir some discussion however was the … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

 December 21, 2015 TIGHTENING BEGINS As anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark in terest rate by 0.25% last weekThe Federal Open Market Committee voted 10-0 to make the move. Its latest dot-plot forecast projects four rate hikes during 2016, which would put the federal funds rate above 1% by the end of next year. The Fed … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

  December 14, 2015 HOW LOW WILL OIL FUTURES GO? Did they hit bottom Friday afternoon, when WTI crude settled at $35.62 on the NYMEX? Maybe not, given the International Energy Agency’s new advisory that the oil glut may grow larger in 2016. Even Brent crude, the global benchmark, closed at $37.94 at the end … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

May 11, 2015 (content for this post provided by third party source)   HIRING REBOUNDS IN APRIL Employers added 223,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department noted Friday. That news made the March payroll gain of 85,000 look like an aberration. The main jobless rate fell to a 7-year low of 5.4% in April, … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

April 27, 2015 (content for this post provided by third party)               NEW HOME SALES DROP, RESALES CLIMB March brought a 6.1% advance for existing home sales according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened with a 4.6-month inventory of homes for resale, which is underneath the 6-month level characteristic of a thriving housing … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

April 20, 2015 (content for this post privded by third party)               MODERATE INFLATION RESUMES The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% for a second consecutive month in March, as did the Producer Price Index (in a marked departure from its 0.5% February retreat). Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

April 13, 2015 (content for this post provided by third party)   SERVICE SECTOR CONTINUES TO EXPAND At 56.5, the Institute for Supply Management’s March non-manufacturing index came in 0.4 points beneath its February reading but still indicated healthy expansion for the service industry. While business activity fell by 1.9%, new orders improved 1.1% and … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

April 6, 2015 (content for this post provided by third party)              EMPLOYERS ADD JUST 126,000 JOBS IN MARCH What led to this moderation in hiring, which snapped a yearlong streak of payrolls expanding by 200,000 or more per month? Are dollar strength and low oil prices now hampering corporate … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

March 23, 2015    (content for this post provided by third party service)                 FED MAY WAIT LONGER TO TIGHTEN March’s Federal Reserve policy statement provided less forward guidance than many investors expected. As anticipated, the word “patient” disappeared – but the Federal Open Market Committee also lowered … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

March 16, 2015 (content for this post provided by third party source)  WHERE ARE THE SHOPPERS? Retail sales were off again in February – the 0.6% decline reported by the Census Bureau was the third straight monthly retreat. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com anticipated an 0.4% advance. This severe winter may have prompted households to spend … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

  March 9, 2015 (content  provided by third party source)               JOBS REPORT MIGHT GIVE FED A SIGNAL Good news on Main Street was not so good for Wall Street. Non-farm employers added 295,000 new workers to payrolls in February, according to the Labor Department; the headline unemployment rate fell … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

March 2, 2015                                                                                                      (content for … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

(content for this post provided by third party vendor) February 23, 2015                 GREECE DEAL, FED MINUTES REASSURE INVESTORSOn Friday, Greece reached an agreement with eurozone finance ministers to extend its economic bailout through June. The four extra months of financial aid depend on reforms that the country will present to its creditors this … Continue reading

Q&A: The Collapse of Oil Prices

By Ted Barnhart The recent plunge in oil prices, poses a number of questions.  The Austrian School of Investment Thought Blog answers a few of them here. Q: Is the price of oil dropping because of deflationary forces i.e. an anticipated economic slowdown. A: No, but a couple of side bar discussions should go along … Continue reading

Are U.S. Banks Ready for a Break Up of the Euro?

Simon Johnson, is the former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is now at MIT.  Last month he wrote “The End of the Euro: A Survivor’s Guide.”  Today on Bloomberg.com he writes that U.S. Banks Aren’t Nearly Ready for the Coming Euro Crisis. Some of his thoughts on the matter: Very few … Continue reading

The Rain in Spain…

No sooner has the financial world breathed a collective sigh of relief over the results of the Greek Elections, than the dam appeared to spring another leak.  This time  in the form of surging Spanish bond yields. As reported by the WSJ.Com yields on the Spanish Ten Year Treasury “surged to the highest on record … Continue reading

Coming to a Theater Near You?

Back in April the Sun Sentinel news in Ft. Lauderdale, ran an investigative series titled Bad-Neighbor Banks, which focused on the side effects of the South Florida foreclosure crisis.  The article describes how some of “the world’s biggest banks” have left vacant homes to literally rot away. In Florida the problem is magnified by the … Continue reading

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