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Tag Archives: imports

Someone’s Giving Us The (Trade) Business

The NBER has made its formal declaration. Surprising no one, as usual this group of mainstream academic Economists wishes to tell us what we already know. At least this time their determination of recession is noticeably closer to the beginning of the actual event. The Great “Recession”, you might recall, wasn’t even classified as an “official” contraction until December 2008 – a full year after the NBER figured the thing had begun. Rather than becoming much...

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GDP + GFC = Fragile

March 15 was when it all began to come down. Not the stock market; that had been in freefall already, beset by the rolling destruction of fire sale liquidations emanating out of the repo market (collateral side first). No matter what the Federal Reserve did or announced, there was no stopping the runaway devastation. It wasn’t until the middle of March that the first major shutdown orders began to appear – on Twitter feeds – and these weren’t the total lockdowns...

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Three Straight Quarters of 2 percent, And Yet Each One Very Different

Headline GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2019 was 2.05849% (continuously compounded annual rate), slightly lower than the (revised) 2.08169% during Q3. For the year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) puts total real output at $19.07 trillion, or annual growth of 2.33% and down from 2.93% in 2018. Last year was weaker than 2017, the second lowest out of the six since 2013. And that’s where the good news ends. Eurodollar Disruption, Peaks &...

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The Big And Small of Leading Japan

In the middle of 2018, Japan, they said, was riding so high. Gliding along on the tidal wave of globally synchronized growth, Haruhiko’s courage and more so patience had finally delivered the long-promised recovery. The Japanese economy had healed to a point that its central bank officials believed it time to wean the thing off decades of monetary “stimulus.” They even publicly speculated on just when QQE would be terminated. At least that was the story, one which...

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Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again). Narrative yes, sentiment maybe, data nope. The vast majority of the economic accounts, anyway. There are a...

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The Real Trade Dilemma

When I write that there are no winners around the world, what I mean is more comprehensive than just the trade wars. On that one narrow account, of course there are winners and losers. The Chinese are big losers, as the Census Bureau numbers plainly show (as well as China’s own). But even the winners of the trade wars find themselves wondering where all the spoils are. They may be winners because of it but somehow they all still end up in the losing column. Late...

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More Trends That Ended 2019 The Wrong Way

Auto sales in 2019 ended on a skid. Still, the year as a whole wasn’t nearly as bad as many had feared. Last year got off on the wrong foot in the aftermath of 2018’s landmine, with auto sales like consumer spending down pretty sharply to begin it. Spending did rebound in mid-year if only somewhat, enough, though, to add a little more to the worst-is-behind-us narrative which finished off 2019. That’s the version that is being described, Jay Powell’s underlying...

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If Trade Wars Couldn’t, Might Pig Wars Change Xi’s Mind?

Forget about trade wars, or even the eurodollar’s ever-present squeeze on China’s monetary system. For the Communist Chinese government, its first priority has been changed by unforeseen circumstances. At the worst possible time, food prices are skyrocketing. A country’s population will sit still for a great many injustices. From economic decay to corruption and rising authoritarianism, the line between back alley grumbling and open rebellion is usually a thick...

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More Signals Of The Downturn, Globally Synchronized

For US importers, October is their month. And it makes perfect sense how it would be. With the Christmas season about to kick into full swing each and every November, the time for retailers to stock up in hearty anticipation is in the weeks beforehand. The goods, a good many future Christmas presents, find themselves in transit from all over the world during the month of October. For the Census Bureau’s trade data, that means this is the month that shines above...

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The Real Boom Potential

For the last five years Larry Summers has called it secular stagnation. It’s the right general idea as far as the result, if totally wrong as to its cause. Alvin Hansen, who first coined the term and thought up the thesis in the thirties, was thoroughly disproved by the fifties. Some, perhaps many Economists today believe it was WWII which actually did the disproving. For many of them, it is the typical broken windows stuff. The war devastated Europe and much of the...

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