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

NFIB small business optimism vs. reality

(Better late than never…Dan) This is a really slow news week – on the economy!  My retrospective on the Trump Presidency is nearly complete and will be published tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here is a brief note on the Small Business Optimism index which was updated for December last week, showing a steep decline […]

Debt and Taxes III

I don’t know if I should try to make my contributions to AngryBear a noahpinion sub substack or if I should put this over at my personal blog, but I am always stimulated by Noah’s posts . His most recent “No one knows how much the government can borrow” is on a topic I’ve mentioned […]

“Those who cannot see must feel:” a retrospective on the Trump presidency

Four years ago I wrote “Those Who Cannot See Must Feel,” which is the (quote)“translation of an old German saying that I used to hear from my grandmother when I misbehaved.  It is pretty clear that, over the next four years, the American public is going to do a lot of feeling .…  The results […]

Good news (industrial production) and bad news (retail sales)

Good news (industrial production) and bad news (retail sales) This morning’s two reports on industrial production and retail sales for December were a case of good news and bad news. Let’s do the good news first. Industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators, rose 1.6% in December. The manufacturing component rose by 1.0%. Needless to […]

Debt and Taxes I

There might be such a thing as a free lunch. There will soon be a Democrat in the White House and Republicans will soon rediscover their hatred of deficits (which were no problem when they were cutting taxes on firms and rich individuals). We are going to read a lot of arguments about irresponsibly burdening […]

Jobless claims highest in three months – but seasonality still playing a huge role

Jobless claims highest in three months – but seasonality still playing a huge role On a unadjusted basis, new jobless claims rose by 231,335 to 1,151,015. Seasonally adjusted claims also rose by 181,000 to 965,000. The 4 week moving average rose by 18,250 to 834,250. Here is the close up since the end of July […]

Scenes from the December jobs report

Scenes from the December jobs report Friday’s December jobs report saw the first decline in employment since the lockdowns of March and April. Let’s take a closer look.As I pointed out Friday, the losses were concentrated in the food and dining (restaurant) and amusement and recreation sectors, both of which are shown below normalized to […]

Programming note

by New Deal democrat Programming note   Four year ago I wrote a valedictory piece about the Obama Administration, and separately wrote of my fears of what the Trump Administration would wreak. Needless to say, especially in light of events of the past week, I intend to do the same retrospective as to Trump and […]

November JOLTS report shows the renewed impact of the pandemic, partial lockdowns

November JOLTS report shows the renewed impact of the pandemic, partial lockdowns This morning’s JOLTS report for November (remember – a month in which there were total job gains) showed a jobs market recovery that at least paused due to the increasing effects of the out of control pandemic. Hires were up (good), while quits […]