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

Need to remember

Many of the photos were taken before water and air pollution were fully regulated. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, and the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972.

Baltimore, Birmingham, Cleveland, Delaware, Denver, Kansas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco all feature here, in shots filled with smoke, smog, acid, oil, rubbish, and sewage.

None of the 35 photos are pretty (other than the film-photo haze), but it’s worth remembering what US cities used to be like before we cared what we put into the air, soil, and water.

Via Business Insider

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Weekly Indicators for August 12 – 16 at Seeking Alpha

by New Deal democrat

Weekly Indicators for August 12 – 16 at Seeking Alpha

My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.

The data continues to be dominated by a steep decline in long term interest rates. These have both inverted further portions of the yield curve and reinvigorated the housing market.

As usual, clicking through and reading should not only be educational for you, but put a penny or two in my pocket to reward me for my efforts.

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Amazon, FedEx and the Post Office

Both Amazon and Fed ex have embarked on plans to deliver their own “last mile” package delivery previously contracted with the US Post Office. Here is a link to run75441 (postmaster Mark Jamison’s) piece on this process Fake News, Flawed Analysis, and Bogus Tweets from 2018 for a much more complete description. I have pulled a quote from the more recent Business Insider post on “last mile” delivery.

 

According to the US Postal Service Inspector General, the new requirement to pre-fund retiree benefits accounted for $55 billion of the agency’s $62 billion loss incurred between 2007 and 2016.

Because of that, the Postal Service can’t make the massive investments into its logistics networks that its competitors have been able to.

Business Insider

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My preliminary long leading forecast through midyear 2020

by New Deal democrat

My preliminary long leading forecast through midyear 2020

This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

This is my first look at economic conditions into next summer. I suspect that it is contrary to most punditry that you will read.

In any event, as usual clicking over and reading helps reward me for the effort I put in to this endeavor.

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Q2 Credit conditions were decidedly mixed

by New Deal democrat

Q2 Credit conditions were decidedly mixed

Credit conditions are one of my categories of long leading indicators. I track the Chicago indexes weekly, but the more comprehensive Senior Loan Officer Survey only comes out once per quarter.

The 2nd Quarter Survey was published earlier this week. I have a post describing what it shows up at Seeking Alpha.

As usual, clicking on the link at reading should give you good information, and reward me with a little jingle.

P.S. I have all the graphs queued up and ready for my long leading forecast through midyear 2020. Now I just have to get motivated enough to write all the descriptions….

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The optics are as bad as they look

(Dan here…lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)

by Robert Waldmann

The optics are as bad as they look

 Dean “The Optics aren’t as bad as they look” Baquet just confirmed that he actually doesn’t do his job any more. He doesn’t decide what is on the front page of the New York Times. He doesn’t explain what he does (except force reporters to tone down their story on the Trump campaigns connections to Russia until it falsely asserted that the FBI had found no clear links *after* the FBI had obtained 2 FISA warrants based on probable cause to believe two Trump campaign employees (one of them campaign chairman) were foreign agents).Look, if he isn’t willing to edit, maybe his job should be eliminated as he eliminated the public editor, breaking a solemn promise to readers and destroying the paper’s credibility which can only be restored if he is fired.

Also he presents a false dichotomy (an error of thought more common than any other error of thought or any valid method of thought). He asserts (without any evidence or logic) that the only choice of for the Times to continue to do what it has been doing or to act as the opposition to Trump.

He doesn’t even consider the possiblity that it could act like a serious newspaper and not quote unreliable sources without fact checking (even if the demonstrably unreliable source happens to be President). He assumes that the most recent claims must be reported without noting the proof that they are lies. Basically his position is that the facts don’t matter, or maybe that they must not be reported, because they have a liberal bias.

I think it is very important that Baquet be fired immediately.

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