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Quick thought on how jobless claims matter

I have heard some people dismiss jobless claims as a data series for two distinct reasons that I want to flag given my view that claims data matter.

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Was it right to be on recession watch in 2016?

We are now three months into 2017 and we can look back on 2016 as a fairly good year economically for the US. So given that backdrop, was it right to worry about a recession in 2016? And what does that say about 2017? Here’s my view below.

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The US economy is doing OK right now

The US economy is doing OK right now

The composite picture I am getting shows the US economy still in that 2%ish channel it has been in for some time. This is lower than certainly President Trump wants and it is also lower than growth levels at cyclical peaks in the past. But it is still far from recession.

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Brexit is more important politically than it is economically

Brexit is more important politically than it is economically

Today’s news coverage is non-stop Brexit. And this is a big event. But it is the political implications which matter; the economic impact will be more muted.

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Subprime auto delinquency rate at highest level since financial crisis

Subprime auto delinquency rate at highest level since financial crisis

Increased delinquencies in the auto sector will spell trouble given the high LTVs of loans and lower credit scores of borrowers. And I am troubled by the OCC’s depiction of the commercial real estate sector; we could see heavy loan losses there in the next downturn.

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Did the Greek bailout money go to ‘liquor and women’?

Did the Greek bailout money go to ‘liquor and women’?

It is tragic that this ‘liquor and women’ quote is the discussion dominating headlines as the EU celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

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Jobless claims up somewhat to 258,000 in week to 18 March 2017

Overall, the figures tell us the US employment picture is the best it has been since the Great Recession.

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Some thoughts on Dijsselbloem’s ‘liquor and women’ intervention

Last week, I wrote how the Labour Party in the Netherlands suffered a historic defeat in parliamentary elections because voters questioned their priorities – and how this is emblematic of Western social democratic parties everywhere. And as if to prove my point, Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup leader Jeroen Dijsselbloem has produced an analogy on fiscal spending about ‘liquor and women’ that has outraged many. Let me put his comments in the proper context here to make a wider point about the European Union.

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You should be concerned about falling car prices and Ally’s profit warning

Yesterday, Ally Financial warned that profits would underperform expectations. Now, they dd not say that profits would fall or that they were taking credit writedowns. Neverthless, the warning is an important marker and should be of grave concern. Here’s why.

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Will Brexit’s trigger, now set for 29 March, mean recession?

Will Brexit’s trigger, now set for 29 March, mean recession?

British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger her country’s exit from the EU on 29 March, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister has confirmed. Afterwards, the clock will be ticking, as the UK will have two years to wind up any negotiations for exit before the country’s membership ends on 29 March 2019 after 46 years. The biggest questions are what this means for the UK economy, the EU economy and whether it is a precedent others will want to follow. Some thoughts below

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This is what the Dutch election was all about

This is what the Dutch election was all about

On Wednesday night, the Dutch elections saw the two parties in the governing coalition lose 37 of the 79 seats they now hold between them. That’s a massive defeat frankly. Yet, the Prime Minister’s party is spinning this as a win. And for some reason, the international press is focusing on the underwhelming gain of the anti-Euro PVV party as if that’s the big takeaway. It isn’t. 

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How jobless claims tick up before a recession hits

How jobless claims tick up before a recession hits

I am going to start commenting on the weekly jobless claims figure more actively because I like it as a real-time indicator. For me, it is the best real-time data point we have on how the employment picture intersects with consumption demand and GDP because it is released every week.

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