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

Slower Mail Has Become A Fact of Life

People keep asking about when will Biden fire trump appointee Louis DeJoy? President Biden can not fire Dejoy. Federal law prevents the president from terminating the postmaster general under any circumstances. The nine-member board of governors nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate has the power to do so. Only five members of […]

The housing market’s downward turn begins

The housing market’s downward turn begins: new home sales in February, plus a comment about affordability As of this morning Mortgage News Daily shows the 30 year mortgage rate up to 4.72%, 1.9% higher than their lows 15 months ago, and the highest in four years. That means the housing market is in some serious […]

Real retail sales for February: not recessionary, but not healthy either

Real retail sales for February: not recessionary, but not healthy either Let’s take a look at the February update for one of my favorite indicators, real retail sales. For the past few months, I have suspected that a sharp deceleration beginning with the consumer sector of the economy was more likely than not. At the moment, […]

Another big increase in consumer prices in February

Another big increase in consumer prices in February, as the yield curve tightens Consumer prices increased 0.8% in January, the fourth time in five months that it has exceeded 0.5%. YoY inflation is now 7.9%, the highest rate since 1982. My favorite measure, CPI ex energy, is also up 6.6% YoY, the worst since the 1981-82 recession […]

Consumers still spend, real income declines, leaving them vulnerable to price shocks

Consumers still spend, but real income declines, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to price shocks Nominal personal income was unchanged in January, while spending rose 2.1%. In real terms after inflation, personal income declined -0.5%, and personal consumption expenditures rose 1.5%, completely reversing December’s decline, and adding about 0.2%. I have stopped comparing them with their […]

Climate Change, Front and Center, Government Wrestles With Itself

We as a nation are seriously confronted by a changing environment that is leaving more rain in some spots, and less in others. To the west of the Powell Meridian, drought scorched plains, to the east, floods, washouts. In both, crop failure and societal pressure of devastating loss of both property and life. Take for […]

The Frustration of Government Grants

There has been quite a lot of news over the past few years regarding agriculture specific to governmental assistance, from providing crop subsidies during the Trump Trade War to the Biden Administrations attempt to tamp down inflation via meat processing capacity increases, as well as an attempt to revive a few ideas that had been […]

Omicron declines sharply

Coronavirus Dashboard for February 8: Omicron declines sharply; did Delta provide protection against the worst outcomes? As I mentioned yesterday, I haven’t posted a Coronavirus dashboard in awhile, and with Omicron in rapid retreat, it’s time for an update. To begin with, deaths are presently peaking at roughly 2450 a day, while nationwide cases are […]