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

Existing home sales down 25%; price increases keep steamrolling on

Existing home sales now down 25% from peak; but price increases keep steamrolling on Although existing home sales are less economically important than new home sales, what has been happening with their prices, given the experience of the housing bubble and bust 15 years ago, is of added importance. The simple summary is that sales […]

Assorted News on Various Topics

A collection of interesting reads, news, and articles from the last week. Healthcare “Fauci to Retire by End of Biden’s First Term” (medscape.com), “Biden’s chief medical officer (Fauci), who has also been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, told Politico he is not planning to wait for COVID-19 to […]

Sharp downturn in June housing starts

Sharp downturn in June housing starts confirms earlier negative signals from permits, sales, and mortgage applications For the last few months, I have highlighted the record number of housing units that had permits but had not yet been started, pointing out that it distorts the economic signal. Last month I closed with the statement: “The […]

Listening To Dmitri Shostakovich’s Music

Listening To Dmitri Shostakovich’s Music, Econospeak by Barkley Rosser  While recovering from a bout of Covid-19 (getting there), I have found myself listening to a lot of music by Soviet/Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, mostly some of his 15 symphonies, which cover quite a range of styles from his first in 1926 to his last in […]

Inflation, Should the Fed continue to raise rates – and whether it is “behind the curve”

A note on inflation and whether the Fed should continue to raise rates – and whether it is “behind the curve” No important economic releases today (july 18), and almost no reporting by States as to COVID counts over the weekend, so let’s back up and take a look at something that’s been simmering on […]

The uses and limits of bipartisanship

Many Democrats seem to view bipartisanship as a trap for naïve centrists.  This view is understandable given the way Republicans play political hardball.  But the right response to hardball is to use bipartisanship strategically, the way Republicans do, not to eschew it altogether. There are several advantages to pursuing bipartisan agreements.  First, many people hate […]

The air we breathe

Most of the earth’s oxygen doesn’t come from forests or jungles but from ocean plankton. A recent survey found an alarming drop in Atlantic plankton levels likely due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and resulting ocean acidification. “Plankton is a blanket term for the billions of tiny sea organisms living close to the surface of […]

Our Obsession With Growth Must End

Pulled from Comments Section. Fred Dobbs Commentary NY Times magazine – July 17 Pioneering Economist Says Our Obsession With Growth Must End, NYT, David Marchese  Growth is the be-all and end-all of mainstream economic and political thinking. Without a continually rising G.D.P., we’re told, we risk social instability, declining standards of living and pretty much […]

June industrial production: second sharp monthly decline in manufacturing

June industrial production: second sharp monthly decline in manufacturing  – by New Deal democrat Industrial production declined -0.2% in June, and May was revised downward to unchanged. Even worse, manufacturing production declined -0.5% in June, and May was revised downward to -0.5% as well: This corresponds to the sharp deterioration in the regional Fed new orders […]