• Crony capitalism and redistribution

    This is a thought piece. And so it’s going to be relatively) brief since I haven’t fleshed out all of my ideas here. But I want to run something by you based on a piece Matt Klein wrote over at FT Alphaville on macro policy. Let me point to the key extract from Matt’s piece on this: Here’s the gist […]

    Crony capitalism and redistribution
  • Why the downside risks of Brexit are mounting

    While the UK economy did better than predicted in 2016 in the immediate aftermath of the referendum vote on leaving the European Union, growth has since stalled and inflation has risen. Beginning in January, I have been saying that risks from Brexit are rising. Let me reiterate that case below. Now, because this is such a contentious subject, with Britain […]

    Why the downside risks of Brexit are mounting
  • Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup

    For years now within Germany’s policy circles, there have been many who have pushed for an ‘expulsion’ or ‘voluntary exit’ mechanism for the Eurozone. I am now hearing this position advocated by FDP head Christian Lindner, a potential finance minister in the new German governing coalition. I believe this affects Italy the most and sets up an existential crisis down […]

    Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup
  • What the 33,000 job loss means about where the US economy is right now

    The latest jobs number out of the US was a loss of 33,000 jobs in a hurricane-ravaged September. Despite the job losses, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.2%. Viewed narrowly, this number puts the Fed on hold until December. But viewed more broadly, I believe now is the time to talk about Minsky’s ‘instability of stability’ and what it […]

    What the 33,000 job loss means about where the US economy is right now
  • Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration

    Since Donald Trump became president, his core economic agenda has been sidetracked repeatedly by so-called cultural issues. However, now the administration is stepping up its tax reform effort. Even so, other issues threaten to derail this agenda item too. Moreover, it’s not even clear we’re talking about tax reform here. Thoughts below

    Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration
  • On the coming failure of Trump’s tax plan

    Recently I wrote that Donald Trump has failed to deliver any signs that tangible economic benefits are coming down the pike for his working class and blue collar base of support. It seems Trump has ‘sold out’ and is turning to corporate tax cuts at the expense of middle class tax relief. Some comments below

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • The oil price cliff dive will end the prospect of double-barrelled tightening

    A pause is being considered at the Fed, even by hawkish FOMC members. The oil price crash now gathering steam makes this pause more likely. Maybe Bullard’s infamous low dot on the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections is the right way to look at Fed policy.

    The oil price cliff dive will end the prospect of double-barrelled tightening
  • How Brexit makes Britain poorer, forcing Carney to stay his hand

    The risk in the UK is an inflationary recession. For now, Mark Carney is resisting a rate hike. But how long will the Bank of England hold out? And how long can British consumers keep spending if real wages are falling? Two things would ease this pressure. One is some sort of fiscal support for real wages. The second is the fall in oil prices. As in the US, I see oil prices as key.

    How Brexit makes Britain poorer, forcing Carney to stay his hand
  • Could the UK be headed for an inflationary recession?

    The Bank of England kept its key policy rate unchanged at a record low 0.25% . Three dissents show how a weak currency and rising inflation are making it harder to keep rates low. The worst case scenario is an inflationary recession, which would topple Theresa May.

    Could the UK be headed for an inflationary recession?
  • What are credit markets signalling about the US economy?

    The US economy has been very resilient during this post-crisis business cycle, as we are now into our ninth year of economic expansion. Soon we could hit a record for the length of an expansion. Yet, with that backdrop, 10-year Treasury yields were at 2.13% this morning – even as the Fed signals more hikes to come in 2017 as well as reverse QE. I think the bond market is signalling continued low growth and low inflation. Some thoughts below

    What are credit markets signalling about the US economy?

All Content

Water and mergers and acquisitions

Water and mergers and acquisitions

This is a follow-up on my entry water post from yesterday. The thesis here is that mergers will be a big part of the landscape as companies seek economies of scale and scope or vertically integrate to deliver water to their customers. But before I go into the corporate landscape, let me continue developing some thoughts on why water matters now.

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The one data series you should follow to know if the US expansion is in good shape

The one data series you should follow to know if the US expansion is in good shape

Since we experienced a severe economic trauma due to the subprime financial crisis, there has been an almost reflexive disbelief in the durability this economic expansion. There are times when I would count myself amongst the disbelievers. For example, during the shale oil bust, I worried that Fed rate hikes would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But […]

Read more ›
Crony capitalism and redistribution

Crony capitalism and redistribution

This is a thought piece. And so it’s going to be relatively) brief since I haven’t fleshed out all of my ideas here. But I want to run something by you based on a piece Matt Klein wrote over at FT Alphaville on macro policy. Let me point to the key extract from Matt’s piece on this: Here’s the gist […]

Read more ›
Why the downside risks of Brexit are mounting

Why the downside risks of Brexit are mounting

While the UK economy did better than predicted in 2016 in the immediate aftermath of the referendum vote on leaving the European Union, growth has since stalled and inflation has risen. Beginning in January, I have been saying that risks from Brexit are rising. Let me reiterate that case below. Now, because this is such a contentious subject, with Britain […]

Read more ›
Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup

Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup

For years now within Germany’s policy circles, there have been many who have pushed for an ‘expulsion’ or ‘voluntary exit’ mechanism for the Eurozone. I am now hearing this position advocated by FDP head Christian Lindner, a potential finance minister in the new German governing coalition. I believe this affects Italy the most and sets up an existential crisis down […]

Read more ›
What the 33,000 job loss means about where the US economy is right now

What the 33,000 job loss means about where the US economy is right now

The latest jobs number out of the US was a loss of 33,000 jobs in a hurricane-ravaged September. Despite the job losses, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.2%. Viewed narrowly, this number puts the Fed on hold until December. But viewed more broadly, I believe now is the time to talk about Minsky’s ‘instability of stability’ and what it […]

Read more ›

Hurricane Irma, jobless claims and economic growth

Irma, the devastating hurricane that hit Florida with its full force, was not as destructive as it could have been. But the impact on the economy, beginning with unemployment, has already been felt. As the Hurricane made its way toward the US mainland, damage estimates ratcheted up. But the ‘Bermuda High’ dampened the impact. Here’s how Bloomberg describes it: The […]

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Policy divergence revisited

Policy divergence revisited

Three years ago, the Fed had begun tightening and all other central banks were still on easy street. Now, we are at an inflection point where other central banks are likely to tighten more than the Fed. That’s negative for the US dollar and positive for longer duration US Treasuries.

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Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration

Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration

Since Donald Trump became president, his core economic agenda has been sidetracked repeatedly by so-called cultural issues. However, now the administration is stepping up its tax reform effort. Even so, other issues threaten to derail this agenda item too. Moreover, it’s not even clear we’re talking about tax reform here. Thoughts below

Read more ›

Quick thoughts on the failure of Fed-engineered unemployment

I am a sceptic of thinking about low unemployment as a bad thing – which is what people who think about policy in terms of the Phillips curve do. Now a study by the Philly Fed is saying that the Phillips Curve is a poor forecasting tool. Will this have any meaningful impact on policy? Some thoughts below

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

On the coming failure of Trump’s tax plan

Recently I wrote that Donald Trump has failed to deliver any signs that tangible economic benefits are coming down the pike for his working class and blue collar base of support. It seems Trump has ‘sold out’ and is turning to corporate tax cuts at the expense of middle class tax relief. Some comments below

Read more ›

The failure of the Trump presidency

We are only seven months into Donald Trump’s presidency. And I think we can call it a failure. I’ll have a lot more to say on that momentarily. But I want to flag this as not being a dealbreaker for the US or global economy because people put too much emphasis on the political economy in Washington. But Donald Trump is failing.

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The limits of monetary policy in today’s fiat currency world

The limits of monetary policy in today’s fiat currency world

As the Federal Reserve meets at Jackson Hole this week, I thought now would be a good time to talk about the limits of monetary policy – and why monetary policy alone cannot restore robust growth. And as I write this I want to make clear the goal of policy and the assumptions I am making.

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