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

Climate change and insurance markets: let’s focus on real solutions, not finger-wagging

I don’t know why I’m writing about this when our democracy is on fire.  Maybe I need to focus on something cheery, like climate change. The American Prospect has a couple of pieces up on insurance and climate change.  One identifies a genuine issue, the other misses the mark. In this piece, Alexander Sammon asks […]

Fed’s Powell Sees Agriculture Inflation Continuing

Agri-Economist and farmer Michael Smith talking inflationary impacting crops and farmers. Higher inflation rates “will likely remain so in the coming months,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged today in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell has been in meeting this week discussing the persistent inflation going into next year.  Powell noted the effects […]

The producer portion of the economy continues to do well

The producer portion of the economy continues to do well First, a little blogging note. This week is light on data. House prices tomorrow, jobless claims Thursday, then a bunch of month end/beginning data on Friday. In other words, don’t be surprised if I take a day off. This morning the report on durable goods […]

Means-testing the Child Tax Credit

Matt Yglesias has published an interesting essay at his substack by Simon Bazelon and David Shor arguing that Democrats should introduce stricter means testing into the Child Tax Credit. Their key points are as follows: The current CTC design already has means-testing for very high incomes, which means that the administrative burdens associated with means-testing […]

Job Growth Twice as Fast in States Retaining UI

August Job Growth Was Twice as Fast in States That Retained UI – “People’s Policy Project,” Matt Bruenig, September 21, 2021 I ran across this author and his site while reading a commentary (referencing Matt Bruenig’s story) on McDonalds experience in Denmark at Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism. Since my background over 40 odd years has […]

Returning to work and unemployment benefits

Diane Lim writes an analysis of the economic theory of the marginal incentives people have to go back to work at her blog EconomistMom. Worth a visit: Quote: “Get ready to see lots of press on the ending of pandemic unemployment benefits in some parts of the country and what it shows about how much […]

New home sales continue rebound in August, as price increases continue slight deceleration

New home sales continue rebound in August, as price increases continue slight deceleration Housing is a long leading sector of the economy, and new home sales, while very noisy and heavily revised, tend to lead all of the other housing indicators. [Note: FRED hasn’t updated its charts with this morning’s information, so graphs below do […]

Reconciliation and Climate-Smart Agriculture

Angry Bear’s Mike Smith; I am a little baffled by our governments assessment of agriculture. Just today they released a few details about paying farmers to plant cover crop, as per this article here. House Budget Plan Offers Big Injection of Funds in USDA Conservation Programs House Budget Plan Offers Big Injection of Funds in […]

New Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in August

New Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in August on Increased Apartment Construction, Commenter and Blogger RJS, MarketWatch 666 Microsoft Word – newresconst_auto_text_202108.docx (census.gov), The August report on New Residential Construction (pdf) from the Census Bureau indicated that their widely watched estimate of new housing units that were started during the month was at a seasonally adjusted […]