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

A note on Hurricane Harvey and unemployment claims

A note on Hurricane Harvey and unemployment claims Initial jobless claims for last week were reported at 298,000 this morning, a jump of over 50,000 from recent levels. As most people probably already know, this huge jump had everything to do with Hurricane Harvey shutting down southeastern Texas, including the entire 7 million Houston metro […]

The August jobs report smacked of late cycle deceleration

The August jobs report smacked of late cycle deceleration As promised, here is my abbreviated and late take on this morning’s employment report. While the additions to temporary positions (a leading indicator for jobs overall), and construction, and manufacturing jobs were welcome, this report sure looked like late cycle deceleration. The YoY% growth in jobs […]

Trickle-down, with the emphasis on “trickle”

Trickle-down, with the emphasis on “trickle” Since the turn of the Millennium, a torrent of corporate tax cuts has resulted in a trickle of investment growth. This morning Dean Baker objects to: the argument … that reducing corporate taxes will lead to more investment and thereby greater wage growth in the future. The data from […]

Notes on Harvey: if Karma could bring her litter to visit the Texas GOP

Notes on Harvey: if Karma could bring her litter to visit the Texas GOP First of all, as many of you already know, the M.I.A. proprietor of Bonddad blog, Hale Stewart, resides in the Houston area.  I traded messages with him on Saturday, and as of then, he was doing OK. Secondly, when Superstorm Sandy […]

An economy on autopilot between Scylla and Charybdis

An economy on autopilot between Scylla and Charybdis Interest rates are a vital determinant of longer term growth. While the economy has remained on autopilot for the last several years, with almost no political stimulus or disruption — though that may well change next month — the Fed has to steer a course between the […]

On the erection of Confederate memorials: in which I have to get this off my chest

(Update…Dan here…I erroneously posted this post under Barkley”s name but it is NDd.) On the erection of Confederate memorials: in which I have to get this off my chest Below is a photograph of the World War Two Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Keep it in the back of your mind. I’ll […]

Real retail sales disappoints . . . the Doomers

Real retail sales disappoints . . . the Doomers This morning’s report on July retail sales once again belies the claim that “hard data” and “soft data” are divergent.. Not only did July come in at a strong +0.6% (+0.5% ex-autos), but June was revised up as well. Given basically non-existent inflation, this means that […]

One tiny little ray of hope

One tiny little ray of hope After the Charlottesville, VA white supremacy violence, and his failure to explicitly condemn it, Donald Trump’s Gallup approval rating has fallen to a new low of 34%, and his disapproval to a new high of 61%: This puts him below the lowest ratings during their entire term of Lyndon […]

“The Changing of the Guard:” the prescient 1980 book that foretold neoliberalism

“The Changing of the Guard:” the prescient 1980 book that foretold neoliberalism About a month ago I read the synopsis of an interview in which Thomas Frank described the near evisceration of the Democratic Party.  Here’s his simple version: “[T]he Democrats have, what happened is that some years ago they decided they didn’t want to […]

In which I (partially) disagree with Dean Baker about the stock market

In which I (partially) disagree with Dean Baker about the stock market Dean Baker complained yesterday about pundits who talk about the stock market in terms of economic well-being: As someone who routinely considers both corporate profits and stock prices in terms of economic well-being, I disagree — somewhat.