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

Housing rebounded sharply in May

by New Deal democrat Housing rebounded sharply in May One aspect of the economy that is important in terms of how well things will go once the pandemic ultimately recedes (which won’t occur until after next January 20) remains housing. And low-interest rates brought housing back from the depths in May. My look at the […]

George Floyd and the Costs of Racial Capitalism

George Floyd and the Costs of Racial Capitalism, LAWCHA, Ken Estey, June 10, 2020 Some History A little bit about LAWCHA. The “Labor and Working Class History Association” is an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators, and activists who seek to promote public and scholarly awareness of labor and working-class history through research, writing, and […]

S&P PE NOW BACK ABOVE FAIR VALUE

After the recent market rebound the S&P 500 valuation has risen from below my estimated fair value to just over the top of the fair value band. It is important to remember that much of the rebound in the S&P PE  is due to weaker earnings.  In the second quarter earnings are falling at double […]

Stephen Miller’s Racist Fix for Race Relations

Word is circulating that Stephen Miller is writing Donald Trump’s speech on race relations. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Trump’s “solution” to the current malaise in the U.S. will involve extending a ban on immigration and expanding enforcement and expulsion of undocumented individuals. This seems like a safe bet […]

Using insurance to improve policing

There are two insurance-related police reform ideas being discussed. One approach focuses on municipal liability insurance.  Many municipalities do not purchase liability insurance to cover lawsuits against officers, instead choosing to self-insure.  This is potentially a problem because insurers actually play an important role in loss control.  They provide information and services related to procedures, […]

Will confident conservatism end with a bang or a whimper?

I highly recommend David Hopkins blog.  Yesterday, he posted a piece on the end of confident conservatism.  It begins like this: After Richard Nixon’s 1968 election, many conservatives came to believe that their movement naturally represented the political views of most Americans. This conservative faith in the wisdom of the average citizen was cemented by […]

There is hope.

The barriers facing black people in America today are numerous and daunting:  poor schools, dangerous neighborhoods, lack of income, wealth, and connections, persistent formal and informal discrimination in so many settings.  The list goes on, and it certainly includes many problems with our criminal justice system, from over-criminalization to degrading conditions of imprisonment to oppressive […]

Ezra Klein is mad at the Democrats over automatic stabilizers

The HEROES act passed by House Democrats did not include a formula that would keep expanded unemployment insurance benefits in place until the economy has recovered.  The always thoughtful Ezra Klein is very critical of this omission.  His argument can be boiled down to two points: If Biden wins the presidency, Republicans will predictably try […]