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First piece of data that tells you the US economy is humming

First piece of data that tells you the US economy is humming

As we await the jobs number tomorrow, we should be fairly confident that the results will show an improving employment picture, especially in the wake of a hurricane plagued report last month.

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Let me tell you why I’m still worried before detailing the positive economic data

Let me tell you why I’m still worried before detailing the positive economic data

Yesterday I promised you to “look at individual economic data points and tell you why I think they bolster the case for optimism about the economic trajectory.” But before I get into that let me tell you why I still worry about the foundation of this global recovery. And a lot of it has to do with the pace of growth and with inequality. Let’s look at the US here.

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The global economy is hitting its stride right now

The global economy is hitting its stride right now

Most of the recent economic news from developed economies has been good. European growth, in particular, seems to have accelerated. Nothing I see in the economic data causes me worry. So I am cautiously optimistic that this upturn will last at least through 2018. So let me go through the data, my outlook and my concerns.

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Brexit was a cry of financial pain and not the influence of the old

Brexit was a cry of financial pain and not the influence of the old

There has been much debate on the determinants of the vote for Brexit. This column uses newly released data from the Understanding Society study to examine the characteristics of individuals who were for and against Brexit. Unhappiness contributed to the vote to leave the EU, but this was driven by feelings about individual financial situations rather than a general dissatisfaction with life. Brexit does not appear to have been caused by the old – only those under the age of 25 were substantially pro-Remain.

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Overbought

Overbought

“I had to cover my shorts.” That’s what my friend Matt told me after the company came out with its quarterly earnings and issued upbeat projections. I asked Matt, “how long are you going to keep shorting these companies. This is like the 10th time you’ve been forced to cover.” I don’t remember anymore how Matt responded. But I do […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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