Wednesday , June 29 2022
Home / Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken



Articles by Ryan McMaken

Wholesale Prices Rise More than 10 Percent, Pointing to Continued Price Hikes

3 days ago

Year-over-year PPI growth came in at over 10 percent for the sixth month in a row. This will put more pressure on the Fed to “do something.”

Original Article: “Wholesale Prices Rise More than 10 Percent, Pointing to Continued Price Hikes”

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released new Producer Price Index (PPI) data today, and it’s not good news for consumers.
The PPI is a measure of prices at the production phase of goods and services, and is often an indicator of where consumer prices are headed. Prior to 1978, the index was known as the Wholesale Price Index.
This May, year-over-year PPI growth came in at over 10 percent for the sixth month in a row, reaching 10.8 percent. This was a small drop from April’s year-over-year rate of 10.9 percent, but

Read More »

No, It’s Not “Greed” or “Price Gouging” that’s Driving up Gas Prices

11 days ago

Both consumer prices and producer rose near to multi-decade highs last month. Price inflation rose to 8.6 percent while wholesale producer prices rose by more than 10 percent.
In both cases, a significant factor behind rising prices—but certainly not the only factor—was high energy prices. This has been reflected in prices related to transportation and shipping. Prices for air travel, for example, have seen some of the biggest price increases in recent months while gasoline (naturally) has fueled sticker stock for households across the nation.
Perhaps most notable to the average consumer has been the increase in gas prices. In June, gasoline prices have risen on average to a new nominal high of over 5 dollars per gallon.
Short of recession (or depression), relief

Read More »

Slowing Money-Supply Growth in 2022 Points to Recession

14 days ago

Money supply growth fell slightly in April, falling below March’s eight month high. Even with March’s bump in growth, though, money supply growth remains far below the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. During thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent, well above even the “high” levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. As money supply growth returns to “normal,” however, this may point to recessionary pressures in the near future.
During April 2022, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 7.23 percent. That’s down from March’s rate of 7.41 percent, and down from the April 2021’s rate of 36.8 percent.
The growth rate peaked in February 2021

Read More »

Are Today’s Homeownership Rates Sustainable?

20 days ago

There is scattered evidence that home prices are finally starting to slow down. But, if the phenomenon is system-wide, we’re still waiting to see the evidence in numbers. Last week, the most recent Case-Shiller national data, for example, showed that home prices in March rose an eye-popping 20 percent, year over year. That’s well in excess of what we saw during the height of the housing bubble leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
That makes nine months in a row that year-over-year growth has been above eighteen percent. Asset price inflation in residential real estate has been compounding at more than 5 percent per year for most years of the past decade, and price growth accelerated to historic highs over the past two years. Yet, remarkably, there’s still no

Read More »

Debt-Fueled Demand and Oil Price Inflation Brings Airfares Roaring Back

23 days ago

If you’ve purchased any airline tickets lately, you’ve probably noticed that prices are up. It’s quite a reversal from the days of covid lockdowns, when airline tickets could be had for half the price of 2019 fares. Or even lower, in many cases.
But those days are apparently over, and as Yahoo Finance notes this week:
Airline fares soared 18.6% in April, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)…. The jump, which built on March’s 10.7% monthly rise in airfares, marked the largest increase since the inception of the series as a component of the public transportation index in December 1963.
On an annual basis, airline fares logged a 33.3% increase from the same time last year, the largest 12-month rise since

Read More »

Don’t Be Fooled: The World’s Central Bankers Still Love Inflation

24 days ago

The Bank of Canada on Wednesday increased its policy interest rate (known as the overnight target rate) from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent. This was the second fifty–basis point increase since April and is the third target rate increase since March of this year. Canada’s target rate had been flat at 0.25 percent for twenty-three months following the bank’s slashing of the target rate beginning in March 2020.
As in the United States and in Europe, price inflation rates in Canada are at multidecade highs, and political pressure on the central bank to be seen as “doing something about inflation” is mounting.
The bank is following much the same playbook as the Federal Reserve when it comes to allowing the target rate to inch upward in response to price inflation. The

Read More »

Police Botched the Uvalde Standoff. Now Gun Controllers Want to Give Police More Power.

May 28, 2022

First it was Columbine. Then it was Parkland. Now, we learn that at Robb Elementary School, police officers again stood around outside a school while the killer was inside with children.
NPR reports today:
Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team.
“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde.

Read More »

Real Wages Fall Again as Inflation Stays Near 40-Year Highs

May 14, 2022

Inflation is so high in America that we’re now supposed to believe that inflation is “moderating” if it doesn’t go above 8.5 percent. That, at least, was the message in much of the speculation yesterday around what April’s CPI inflation numbers would show. Much of the “consensus” was that inflation would come in around 8 percent, and that inflation overall had peaked and is therefore moderating. It’s too early to know if inflation has peaked, but one thing if for sure: there’s no reason to celebrate yet another month of wealth-killing inflation at levels not seen in decades. After all, once purchasing power is lost to inflation in our modern economy, it’s gone forever.
The central bank will never allow inflation to persist for any sizable period, so that

Read More »

Expect Washington to Throw a Fit over China’s New Deal with the Solomon Islands

May 7, 2022

Washington regards the entire world as its “sphere of influence.” But now Beijing is looking to follow the US playbook on hegemony and expand Beijing’s network of military bases abroad.

Original Article: “Expect Washington to Throw a Fit over China’s New Deal with the Solomon Islands”

Over the past twenty years, the United States has increasingly tried to claim that Washington does not believe in spheres of influence and that only supposedly imperialist states like Russia are interested in spheres of influence. This has always been nonsense, of course, especially since Washington’s Monroe Doctrine explicitly claims a sphere of influence for the United States. But the US doesn’t even stop there, and further claims a global sphere of influence through its

Read More »

The Fed’s New “Tightening” Plan Is Too Little, Too Late

May 5, 2022

Since 2008, a key component of Fed policy has been to buy up mortgage-based securities and government debt so as to both prop up asset prices and increase the money supply. Over this time, the Fed has bought nearly $9 trillion in assets, thus augmenting demand and increasing prices for both government bonds and housing assets. Moreover, these purchases were made with newly created money, contributing greatly to liquidity and the easy-money policies that have prevailed since 2009.
For all this period, the Fed repeatedly stated that it would at some point “normalize” the balance sheet, presumably by returning the Fed’s total assets to a level at least somewhat close to its pre-2008 levels below $1 trillion.
Many skeptics of Fed policy frequently wondered aloud when

Read More »

It’s Mid-2022 and the Fed Has Still Done Nothing to Fight Inflation

May 4, 2022

It was last August when Jerome Powell began to admit that inflation just might be a problem. But even then, he was only willing to say that inflation would likely be “moderately” above the arbitrary 2 percent inflation standard. Back in August, low inflation—not high inflation—was still perceived to be the “problem.” But things had certainly changed by late November when Powell was forced by reality to retire “transitory” as the preferred adjective to describe price inflation. At that point, the Fed began strongly hinting that it would finally do something to rein in price inflation. But exactly when that might happen remained anyone’s guess.

Fed Talks Big, Does Little
Throughout the end of 2021 and into early 2022, the Fed settled into a comfortable pattern of

Read More »

1991: When America Tried to Keep Ukraine in the USSR

May 1, 2022

The US government today likes to pretend that it is the perennial champion of political independence for countries that were once behind the Iron Curtain. What is often forgotten, however, is that in the days following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Washington opposed independence for Soviet republics like Ukraine and the Baltic states.
In fact, the Bush administration openly supported Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to hold the Soviet Union together rather than allow the USSR to decentralize into smaller states. The US regime and its supporters in the press took the position that nationalism—not Soviet despotism—was the real problem for the people of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
Indeed, in the case of Ukraine, President George H.W. Bush even traveled to Kyiv in

Read More »

To Fight Russia, Europe’s Regimes Risk Impoverishment and Recession for Europe

April 23, 2022

European politicians are eager to be seen as “doing something” to oppose the Russian regime following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Most European regimes have wisely concluded—Polish and Baltic recklessness notwithstanding—that provoking a military conflict with nuclear-armed Russia is not a good idea. So, “doing something” consists primarily of trying to punish Moscow by cutting Europeans off from much-needed Russian oil and gas.
The problem is this tactic doesn’t do much to deter Russia in anything other than the short term because Russian oil can turn to numerous markets outside of Europe. Most of the world, after all, has declined to participate in the US and European embargoes and trade sanctions, opting for more measured approaches instead.
By limiting

Read More »

Real Wages Fall Again as Inflation Surges and the Fed Plays the Blame Game

April 23, 2022

Money printing may bring rising wages, but it also brings rising prices for goods and services. And those increases are outpacing the wage increases.

Original Article: “Real Wages Fall Again as Inflation Surges and the Fed Plays the Blame Game”

According to a new report released Wednesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased in March by 8.6 percent, measured year over year (YOY). This is the largest increase in more than forty years. To find a higher rate of CPI inflation, we have to go back to December 1981, when the year-over-year increase was 9.6 percent.
March’s surge in consumer price inflation is also the twelfth month in row during which the increase is well above the Federal Reserve’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation

Read More »

Real Wages Fall Again as Inflation Surges and the Fed Plays the Blame Game

April 13, 2022

According to a new report released Wednesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased in March by 8.6 percent, measured year over year (YOY). This is the largest increase in more than forty years. To find a higher rate of CPI inflation, we have to go back to December 1981, when the year-over-year increase was 9.6 percent.
March’s surge in consumer price inflation is also the twelfth month in row during which the increase is well above the Federal Reserve’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. March’s CPI inflation rate was up from February’s rate of 7.9 percent. The month-over-month increase (seasonally adjusted) was 1.2 percent, which was the highest since September 2005.

The price inflation was driven largely by increases in

Read More »

The Ukraine War Shows Nukes Mean Safety from US-Led Regime Change

April 12, 2022

Some journalists like Steve Portnoy of CBS seem unable to grasp that escalations that might lead to nuclear war are a bad thing. The journalist seemed incredulous last week when asking White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki why the United States has not started a full-on war with Moscow. Psaki’s position—with which any reasonable person could agree—was that it is not in the interest of Americans “to be in a war with Russia.”
Washington’s reluctance to go to war might seem odd for anyone who has paid attention to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. After all, for more than thirty years, Washington has been enthusiastic when presented with an opportunity to start wars with many countries—including the civilians who live there. Iraq has been a target

Read More »

NATO: Our International Welfare Queens

April 11, 2022

The states of Europe have more than enough wealth and military potential to deal with a second-rate power like Russia. The American taxpayers, on the other hand, deserve a break from Europe’s grifting.

Original Article: “NATO: Our International Welfare Queens”

American policy makers have shown a surprising amount of sanity so far in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While some war enthusiasts among the American punditry have certainly been agitating for World War III, the leadership in both the White House and Congress has repeatedly and straightforwardly refused most calls to escalate the conflict.
Unfortunately, a number of foreign parliaments among the US’s NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) “partners” have not been nearly as hesitant to

Read More »

Money Supply Growth Heads Back Up: February Growth Up to 7 Percent

April 7, 2022

Money supply growth rose for the third month in a row in February, continuing ongoing growth from October’s twenty-one-month low. Even with February’s rise, though, money supply growth remains far below the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. During thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent, well above even the “high” levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. As money supply growth returns to “normal,” however, this may point to recessionary pressures in the near future.
During February 2022, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 7.1 percent.
That’s up from January’s rate of 6.8 percent, and down from the February 2021 rate of 39.1 percent.

Read More »

If Ukraine Joins the EU, It Will Be the Poorest Member by Far

April 3, 2022

Within days of the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian regime applied for membership in the European Union. This is understandable from the perspective of Kyiv. If Ukraine is going to be denied membership in NATO—as increasingly looks to be the case—The Ukraine regime could nonetheless increase its geopolitical connections to the West by joining in the EU. Moreover, given the fact the EU is moving toward creating its own EU military institutions, EU membership could mean membership in a Western military pact.
The response of many EU members to Ukraine membership has been “ok, but not yet.” This response is understandable from anyone with familiarity with the actual economic situation in Ukraine.
Ukraine is very close to being the poorest

Read More »

Will Biden Sanction Half the World to Isolate Russia?

March 31, 2022

The United States is no longer in any position to remake the world in its image. It’s not 1945 or even 1970. Yet the US seems to be gearing up to bully half the world into compliance with the US Russia sanctions.

Original Article: “Will Biden Sanction Half the World to Isolate Russia?”
It is becoming increasingly apparent that isolating Russia and totally cutting it off from the global economy is not going to be easy.
As I discussed last week, from Mexico to Brazil to China to India and much of Africa, the world is resisting Washington’s call to treat Russia as a pariah nation. In the words of James Pindell, “Most of three huge continents—Asia, Africa, and South America—are either still working with Russia or trying to project the image of neutrality.”
Yes, the

Read More »

Russia Isn’t Nearly as Isolated as Washington Wants You to Believe

March 29, 2022

Those gloating about Russia being “cut off” are overstating the case. In fact, many of the world’s largest countries have shown a reluctance to participate in the US’s sanction schemes, and even close US allies aren’t going along with it.

Original Article:

Some US policymakers and pundits are declaring that Russia—and its population—are cut off from the rest of the world. For example, political scientist Nina Khrushcheva has declared “Russia is hated by the rest of the world” and that “Russia is the global enemy.” The New York Times concludes Russia is now “an economic pariah” and that a “new iron curtain” is falling.
There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed by wealthy Western nations will negatively impact the Russian regime, the Russian economy, and

Read More »

Biden Admits that Sanctions Don’t Work and they Make Us Poorer

March 26, 2022

President Biden on Thursday made two big admissions about the US-led economic sanctions on Russia. The first is that the sanctions will lead to food shortages for many countries other than Russia, and that this is simply the price that Americans ought to be forced to pay.
The second admission was that sanctions haven’t worked to change Moscow’s policies, and that “sanctions never deter” the targeted regime from carrying out aggression.
So, Biden has helpfully now explained this week not only that sanctions haven’t actually deterred Moscow, but that the people of the United States ought to pay more for food in order to maintain sanctions that don’t work.
These admissions come after repeated claims from the White House and Biden supporters claiming that sanctions

Read More »

Will Biden Sanction Half the World to Isolate Russia?

March 24, 2022

Sorry, I’ve looked everywhere but I can’t find the page you’re looking for.
If you follow the link from another website, I may have removed or renamed the page some time ago. You may want to try searching for the page:

Search

Searching for the terms %3Futm+source%3Drss%26utm+medium%3Drss%26utm+campaign%3Dmcmaken+biden+sanction+the+world+isolate+russia …

Read More »

With Inflation at a 40-Year High, the Fed Is Too Afraid to Act

March 12, 2022

Price inflation has been accelerating upward since April of last year. Yet the Fed has done virtually nothing. What’s the Fed waiting for?

Original Article: “With Inflation at a 40-Year High, the Fed Is Too Afraid to Act”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 7.5 percent in January, year over year. This was, the BLS notes, the “largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1982.” Moreover,
The all items less food and energy index rose 6.0 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. The energy index rose 27.0 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 7.0 percent.
When it comes to food, the largest increases were found in “meats, poultry, fish, and

Read More »

Why Sanctions Don’t Work, and Why They Mostly Hurt Ordinary People

March 10, 2022

The United States and its western European allies have in recent days repeatedly increased economic sanctions against not only the Russian regime, but against millions of ordinary Russians.
It has done this by cutting much of Russian trade and Russian finance out of international markets. Moody’s and S&P global have both downgraded Russia’s credit rating. The US has frozen Russian reserves and cut many Russian banks off from SWIFT, the international banking communications system. Europe is planning on big cuts to its purchases of natural gas from Russia. The US is mulling a stop on all purchases of Russian crude. The ruble has fallen to a record low against the dollar. Russia is at risk of defaulting on its foreign debts for the first time in more than a century.

Read More »

Ukraine’s Regime Is Now Kidnapping Fathers for Military “Service”

March 1, 2022

As the Ukraine regime has imposed martial law in the wake of the Russia invasion, it has also apparently imposed a new near-universal conscription order. USA Today reports:
The Ukraine State Border Guard Service has announced that men ages 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving the country, according to reports.
“In particular, it is forbidden for men aged 18–60, Ukraine citizens, to leave the borders of Ukraine,” a statement from the service said, according to CNN. “This regulation will remain in effect for the period of the legal regime of martial law. We ask the citizens to take this information into consideration.”
Naturally, in order to enforce this on unwilling conscripts, Ukrainian officials will have to physically force men into service and ship them where

Read More »

Russian Weakness and the Russian “Threat” to the West

February 24, 2022

At 146 million, the population of Russia is smaller today than it was in 1989—when it was 147 million. Russia’s population is expected to decline even more. Some estimates conclude Russia’s population could fall below 100 million by 2100. This continues a trend that was already in place across the Soviet Union at the time of that state’s collapse. Union-wide population peaked at around 290 million in the late 1980s, and has never recovered.Like many Western wealthy countries, Russia is facing a demographic problem in which the working-age population will have to work harder to support the economic needs of the elderly who increasingly rely on pensions. But unlike the West, which is already wealthy, Russia—much like China, which faces a similar problem—faces a

Read More »

The Fed Has No Real Plan, and Will Likely Soon Chicken Out On Rate Hikes

January 27, 2022

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released a new statement today purporting to outline the FOMC’s plans for the next several months. According to the committee’s press release:
With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate. The Committee decided to continue to reduce the monthly pace of its net asset purchases, bringing them to an end in early March. Beginning in February, the Committee will increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $20 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $10 billion per month.
The Federal Reserve’s ongoing purchases and holdings of securities will continue to foster

Read More »

What the Regime Will Do to Fight Private Digital Currencies

January 16, 2022

During a confirmation hearing with the US Senate this week, Fed chairman Jerome Powell was asked about whether or not a digital currency issued by a central bank could exist side by side with private cryptocurrencies. Powell responded that there is nothing that would prevent private cryptos from “coexisting” with a “digital dollar.”
This, of course, is obviously true so long as federal regulators do not decide to ban the usage of cryptocurrencies.
Business Insider meanwhile has reported that Powell’s comments “appeared to be a shift” from his earlier comments stating that “you wouldn’t need” cryptocurrencies in a world of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
It’s not clear that this is a “shift,” however. Powell’s earlier comments simply communicated Powell’s

Read More »

Ending Fiat Money Won’t Destroy the State

January 9, 2022

A certain meme has become popular among advocates of both gold and cryptocurrencies. This is the “Fix the money, fix the world” meme. This slogan is based on the idea that by switching to some commodity money—be it crypto or metal—and abandoning fiat currency, the world will improve greatly.
Taken in its moderate form, of course, this slogan is indisputably correct. State-controlled money is immoral, dangerous, and impoverishing. It paves the way for government theft of private wealth through the inflation tax, and thus allows the state to do more of what it does best: wage wars, kill, imprison, steal, and enrich the friends of the regime at the expense of everyone else. Privatizing the monetary system and imposing a “separation of money and state” would help

Read More »