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

Industrial and manufacturing production improve for the month, but 16+ month fading trend continues

Originally Published at The Bonddad Blog Industrial production is an indicator that has faded somewhat in importance in the modern era since China’s accession to normal trading status in 2000. Before that, a downturn in production was an excellent coincident indicator for a general downturn in the economy. Since then there have been several downturns, […]

Good news and bad news Thursday: the bad news is real retail sales

 Bonddad Blog – by New Deal democrat This morning brought us both good and bad economic news. The good news was that initial jobless claims continue very low, at 209,000, down -1,000 from last week, while the four week average declined -500 to 208,000. Even better, after major downward revisions, continuing claims rose 17,000 to 1.811 […]

High school financial literacy?

I thought this might make a fun follow-up on my post on 8th grade algebra. Over at, Kevin Drum discusses a proposal to make a semester of financial literacy a high school graduation requirement. He feels that this would fill a much-needed gap: “There are no long-term tests of financial literacy that I can […]

King Canute economics comes to Massachusetts

According to legend, King Canute tried to order the tide not to come in. Needless to say, he failed, divine rights of kings nonwithstanding. Back when we lived in North Carolina, we visited the Outer Banks a few times. There were many expensive homes on the shoreline. These were often casualties of hurricanes that would […]

The most potent labor market indicator of all is still strongly positive

The Bonddad Blog  – by New Deal democrat On Monday I examined some series from last Friday’s Household survey in the jobs report, highlighting that they more frequently than not indicated a recession was near or underway. But I concluded by noting that this survey has historically been noisy, and I thought it would be […]

Probing the Impact of Private Equity in Healthcare

Not rewriting anything on this commentary or adding to it. Shahon Firth covers a lot of territory in his brief commentary. Probe Into Private Equity in Healthcare Launched, MedPage Today, Shannon Firth Government officials announced a joint investigation into the role of private equity and “corporate profiteering” in healthcare during an online workshop hosted by […]

February consumer inflation: the tug of war between gasoline and shelter continues

February consumer inflation: the tug of war between gasoline and shelter continues The Bonddad Blog  – by New Deal democrat Last month I described the trend in consumer inflation as an ongoing “tug of war” between energy and housing. Energy (mainly gasoline) peaked in June 2022 and made its low in June 2023, while housing, […]

Scenes from the February jobs report: yes, the Household Survey really was recessionary

Later this week we get a lot of interesting reports, including CPI tomorrow, retail sales on Thursday, and industrial production on Friday. In the meantime, let’s take a further look at some of the more noteworthy data from Friday’s employment report.

The economics of lighting

I grew up with the admonition that you always turn off the lights if you’re the last to leave the room. Or “close the lights,” as my grandma used to say. But home lighting technology has evolved considerably over the past couple of decades. 1. Does it save money to turn out the lights when […]