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

Topical thread…who voted for who?

Via Truthout comes this thought:

In 2016, the big takeaway was that 53 percent of white women voters cast their ballots in favor of Donald Trump, according to exit polls, helping cement his victory. But, in 2020, white women voters surpassed their 2016 levels of support as, according to exit polls, 55 percent of white women turned out to vote for the president…

Via the New York Times exit poll reporting reflects this impression from the Edison Research polling.

Weekly Indicators for November 9 – 13 at Seeking Alpha

by New Deal democrat

Weekly Indicators for November 9 – 13 at Seeking Alpha

My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.

With Joe Biden assuming the Presidency on January 20, and an announcement of a successful vaccine by Pfizer that should be available by next spring or summer, the short and long leading indicators should once again be giving their usual signals for next year. And we have a pretty good idea of what that means…

As usual, clicking over and reading should bring you virtually up to the moment about the economy, and also reward me a little bit for my efforts.

2020 “Globie”: The Carry Trade

by Joseph Joyce

2020 “Globie”: The Carry Trade

It is time to announce the recipient of this year’s “Globie”, i.e., the Globalization Book of the Year. The award gives me a chance to draw attention to a book that is particularly insightful about some aspect of globalization. This year’s winner is The Rise of Carry: The Dangerous Consequences of Volatility Suppression and the New Financial Order of Decaying Growth and Recurring Crisis by Tim Lee, Jamie Lee and Kevin Coldiron. The prize lacks any monetary reward, but no doubt the distinction of having won has value in itself. Previous winners are listed at the bottom.

The classic carry trade involves borrowing and investing in different currencies. For many years the Japanese yen served as the source of cheap loans that could then be exchanged for Australian dollars that yielded a higher return. At the end of the period the dollars would be exchanged for yen, and the loan repaid. As long as the funding currency had not appreciated in value, the trader would profit from the difference in returns. A profitable carry trade, however, violates uncovered interest rate parity, which stipulates that any difference in returns should be offset by an expected appreciation of the funding currency. At times the currencies would realign, and purchasing the originating currency to repay the loan could eliminate any previous gains.

The authors extend the concept of carry trades to include all those transactions that provide a stream of income but are subject to the risk of “…a sudden loss when a particular event occurs or when underlying asset values change substantially.”  Since carry transactions are based on borrowing, leverage is a key component. Buying stock on margin, for example, is another form of carry trade, as is a private equity leveraged buyout.

“Spencer England,” In Remembrance, November 8, 2020

Dan here: I received this note from Spencer’s son Matt late afternoon yesterday. Thank you Matt for the note. I knew Spencer as an economist who had a fact-based analysis of industry trends and a direct and clear way of demonstrating and describing a point to the discussion for over a decade. 2011 provides an example. Dean Baker noticed at times. I cannot find Paul Krugman’s mention but here is part of the year 2013.

Matt Spencer sent this note about his dad:

I regret to inform you that Spencer England passed away at 4:30 this morning Nov 8, 2020, due to health related issues.

He was a former Marine, had a love for economics from a very young age, and spent many years with the Central Intelligence Agency dissecting world economies after he served. He then went on to publish subscription-based monthly economic forecast models for major industries around the world until he retired about 2 years ago.

He loved submitting posts to your blog and would often talk about the stories he read here.

We hope that your readers enjoyed his posts as much as he did writing them.

He is survived by his wife, 3 children, and 9 grandchildren. You will be missed, rest in peace Dad.

Matt England

Weekly Indicators for November 2 – 6 at Seeking Alpha My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.

by New Deal democrat

Weekly Indicators for November 2 – 6 at Seeking Alpha

My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.

With the almost certain election of Joe Biden to the Presidency, we can expect a much more organized and effective Federal response to the pandemic beginning on January 20. If the pandemic is brought under control by spring sometime (and maybe a vaccine becomes available), the ordinary function of the leading economic indicators will be resumed – which means they start to have extra importance right about now.

As usual, clicking over and reading will bring you up to the virtual moment in terms of what those indicators forecast, and reward me a little bit for giving you that information.

P.S.: Because I am in much better frame of mind for some reason over the past few days, I will probably put up an edition of the Coronavirus Dashboard later today or tomorrow, as well as a post-mortem of the election nowcasts.

Weekly Indicators for October 26 – 30 at Seeking Alpha

by New Deal democrat

Weekly Indicators for October 26 – 30 at Seeking Alpha

My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.

Neither of the two constraints determining where the economy will go in the next few quarters are economic themselves. Rather, they are (1) the course of the pandemic, which will in turn be heavily influenced by (2) the outcome of the US elections on Tuesday.

As usual, clicking over and reading rewards me a little bit for my efforts as well as bringing you up to the virtual moment on the economy.