Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The 2017 GOP tax scam may hurt the economy this spring

 by New Deal democrat

The 2017 GOP tax scam may hurt the economy this spring

It turns out that part of the GOP tax scam of 2017 might hurt the economy this year. That’s because the total decline in the amount of tax refunds going to tax filers this looks like it is going to be enough to affect consumer spending significantly this spring.

This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

Special bonus: a few RW commenters there really don’t seem to like it!

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What does a “Recession Watch” mean?

by New Deal democrat

What does a “Recession Watch” mean?

On Wednesday I went on “Recession Watch” beginning Q4 of this year.

Yesterday I explained what that means in detail over at Seeking Alpha.

So, what happens after this?

  1. If the weakness persists and spreads to the short leading indicators, the “watch” turns into a.warning.
  2. If the weakness abates without spreading into the short leading indicators, the “watch” is lifted.

As always, I will be relentlessly data-driven.

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The Empty Quarter, Greenwich and the Mason Dixon Line

by Robert Waldmann  (lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)

The Empty Quarter, Greenwich and the Mason Dixon Line

I recall being surprised to learn that I was born, bred and then living South of the Mason Dixon line. I considered the border between North and South to be the Patomac river (honestly felt I was entering enemy territory when I entered Northern Virginia — this was very long ago). My dad explained it was the border between Pennsylvania (North) and Maryland (South). My 91 year old mother recently confessed that she had some doubts about moving South of the Mason Dixon line to live with my Dad. The border is now roughly where 270 shrinks into a normal sized highway. The line is arbitrary.I thought of it when I saw the very common figure showing the empty quadrant of US public opinion. A solid majority is more egalitarian than the center and more socially conservative than the center.

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Q4 Senior Loan Officer Survey says …

by New Deal democrat

Q4 Senior Loan Officer Survey says …

The Senior Loan Officer Survey is one of my list of long leading indicators. The Q4 report came out yesterday.

The news wasn’t good. This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

Meanwhile, since the dates for publication of neither housing permits nor Q4 GDP were announced last week, I am going to go ahead and put up a preliminary forecast for the second half of this year sometime this week.

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