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

Manufacturing and housing – turn even hotter

Two leading sectors of the economy – manufacturing, and housing – turn even hotter Last month I wrote that both the manufacturing and housing sectors were “on fire.” If anything, this month they turned white hot, with both construction spending and ISM manufacturing data at levels not seen in years. The overall ISM manufacturing reading […]

Good decision, big institutional problem on minimum wage work-around

From WAPO: Senior Democrats are abandoning a backup plan to increase the minimum wage through a corporate tax penalty, after encountering numerous practical and political challenges in drafting their proposal over the weekend, according to two people familiar with the internal deliberations. . . . Economists and tax experts have said that the tax outlined […]

Canceling Outstanding Student Loans in Default

Some State AGs Take Action Seventeen State Attorney Generals signed and sent a letter to Congressional leadership (Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, McCarthy) calling on Congress (Friday February 19) to pressure President Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student load debt for borrowers as a part of pandemic relief. The AGs write: “As the […]

Weekly Indicators for February 22 – 26

by New Deal democrat Weekly Indicators for February 22 – 26 at Seeking Alpha My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. After months of virtually no changes in any of the time frames, suddenly there is activity in all of them. Some of it: – is short term noise due to the disaster in […]

January personal income and spending show how important government stimulus has been to keeping the economy afloat

January personal income and spending show how important government stimulus has been to keeping the economy afloat This morning’s report on January personal income and spending shows just how important the stimulus packages enacted by the federal government both last spring and last month have been to sustaining the economy.After adjusting for inflation both personal […]

The Postal Service wants to slow down the mail, Congress says not so fast

Steve Hutkins at Save The Post Office continues his dialogue on planned changes to USPS operations with one change amongst the others resulting in later deliveries of first class mail. The Washington Post was the first to report on this change as well as other changes. You may be able to catch portions of Louis […]

New home sales rise m/m, but signal caution for housing market going forward

New home sales rise m/m, but signal caution for housing market going forward New home sales increased to a three month annualized high of 923,000 in January. This is of a piece with the positive news last week on housing permits. At the same time, the pace remains below the recent high of 979,000 annualized […]

Initial jobless claims: it appears that the worst of the winter 2020-21 increase is behind us

Initial jobless claims: it appears that the worst of the winter 2020-21 increase is behind us Let me start off this week’s review of initial jobless claims by pre-debunking something I am sure is going to be said elsewhere: a lack of reporting in Texas did *not* appreciably skew this week’s numbers. Applying the same […]

Back to the Future: The USPS, PRC, and Mailers revisit the meaning of PAEA

Steve Hutkins at Save the Post Office Continued discussions between the mailers who are faced with higher rates, PMG Louis DeJoy, and Congress. The mailers are in court as we read Steve’s excellent review of what is taking place. Also, PMG DeJoy has plans of increased prices for mailers also includes slower service and higher […]

Has Elon Musk Damaged His Portfolio By Buying Bitcoin?

Has Elon Musk Damaged His Portfolio By Buying Bitcoin?  After tweeting repeatedly for some time about bitcoin and the originally satirical degecoin, both of which have gone up massively in the past year, on Feb. 8 Elon Musk put his money where his mouth had been and had his Tesla EV company buy about $1.5 […]