Apr 112016
 
NIRP's unintended consequences

What if the negative interest rate policies (NIRP) that have been adopted by major central banks had effects opposite what was intended? The idea is to fight DEflation and to nudge consumers to spend by penalizing banks for keeping money on deposit. The theory is that banks will lend rather [continue reading . . . ]






Mar 252016
 

I had to return something to Amazon.com the other day. The process was simple. Amazon provided for printing at home a return label and a bar-code to include with the item. It took a minute to print them out. It took five minutes to pack. Per Amazon’s instructions, I dropped [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 112016
 

A perfect illustration in today’s Seattle Times — and yes, I still read newspapers on dead trees, four a day in fact — how our economy operates today at warp speed. On Page 1, news that in response to competitive pressure from Airbus,  Boeing will be cutting costs and trimming [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 112016
 

I can’t help but think what’s going on in global markets seems like a re-run of what happened in the fall of 2008, when Lehman Brothers failed, banks had to be bailed out and the worst recession since the Great Depression ensued. AP business writer Alex Veiga neatly sums up [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 202016
 

Who would have guessed that incomes are more unequal in Communist China than in the United States? Not me. A new report from Peking University, cited in the Financial Times, says the richest 1% of China’s households own a third of the country’s wealth. The poorest 25% own just 1%. [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 042016
 
Magnet Northwest

Population of the Evergreen State has grown about 60% faster than the national average in first half of the decade. Only seven states have grown at a faster rate; only two of those seven have more population than Washington. International migration — people moving from other countries — accounts for [continue reading . . . ]






Dec 172015
 
Slow-growth world

Raising interest rates a quarter point as the Fed did this week does not change the fact that we live in a slow-growth world. Money markets and commodities markets are singing the same song in unison: Almost no inflation, and very little growth. To say that commodities prices have collapsed [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 302015
 
Needed: More, not fewer, immigrants

Worried about your Social Security benefits? You ought to be. Whether you are in your 70s or your 20s , the number of workers taxed to support you in our pay-as-you-go social-insurance system are or will be fewer than supported your parents and grandparents. We’re living longer and having fewer [continue reading . . . ]