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

How Wall Street Stole Main Street

This graph speaks volumes: Profits as a Percent of GDP: Financial Corporations vs. Nonfinancial Corporations We saw a big decline in real businesses’ profit share in the 40s, then a slower semi-steady decline through the 70s, as wages constituted a larger share of GDP. Financial corps doubled, expanding and increasing profits, but they remained small […]

Medicare Claim Costs Growth Under 1% in 2013??? Why?

“All nine of S&P Healthcare Economic Indices showed slower annual growth rates for February 2013 compared to January 2013. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans rose by 4.62% in February, down from +5.41% reported for January. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs increased by […]

Trans-Pacific Partnership and US European Union free trade

Via Naked Capitalism comes more comment on two major global trade agreements also discussed here at Angry Bear. I keep wondering when our national conversation will get around to acknowledging ‘pro-business’ as having a second question to answer: which businesses mostly benefit and which lose out? And a third: what are the rules of free […]

Ron Fournier Says Abraham Lincoln Wasn’t a Great President

Great presidents rise above circumstance. Not Obama, at least not yet. At a news conference Tuesday marking the 100th day of his second and final term, the president seemed unwilling or unable to overcome stubborn GOP opposition. — Ron Fournier, National Journal, yesterday (h/t Jonathan Chait, New York magazine, today) Fournier’s right, of course. About […]

The Villain of Building Energy Efficiency: Triple-Net Leases. Not Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit

An old friend dropped by recently and we had a few beers on the back deck. He runs his family’s commercial real-estate business; they own and operate half a dozen or so pretty large properties (and just bought another) — a mall, office buildings, mixed use. I was really curious to talk to him about […]

Debt and Growth III

I’m going to try to make this post brief and comprehensible.  It contains no information not in an earlier post but I delete a whole lot of distracting data. The question is does the Reinhart Rogoff (hence R-R) data set on public debt and real GDP in 20 rich countries post WWII contain evidence that a […]

All Currency is “Fiat” Currency

Or to be more precise, all currency is consensus currency. Units of exchange (dollar bills, great big rocks at the bottom of the ocean) can have value merely because everyone in a community agrees that they have value. That value need not be declared, defined, or enforced by by some “fiat” authority with powers of (ultimately […]