Jun 122015
 
Condemned to slow growth?

June marks the end of the sixth year since the Great Recession passed into history. At 18 months, it was the lengthiest recession since World War II, surpassing the 16 months of the other notably long-lived  post-war recessions, ended in March 1975 and November 1982. For duation, of course, the [continue reading . . . ]






May 102015
 
Good jobs report, but . . .

Friday’s jobs report showed the U.S. headline unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4%, the lowest since mid-2008. Good for us, but hold the applause. The underemployment rate, including those working part time involuntarily, remains relatively high (10.8%) for this stage of the recovery. It has been nearly six years since [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 222013
 

I have four topics lined up for my stint on KUOW‘s Weekday program tomorrow. Sometimes the host sticks to the topics I suggest, some times not. Here are my bullet points: Dreamliner Blues: The grounding of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is obviously at the top of everyone’s radar screen. I’m not [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 172012
 
QE and financial repression

Say what you please about Ben Bernanke’s unconventional monetary policies (quantitative easing, QE for short, and Operation Twist), they’ve been good for the stock market. The first chart shows that stock prices have roughly doubled, give or take a few percentage points, since Dr. Ben launched the first round of [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 112012
 

“For Big Companies, Life is Good.” That was the headline on the Marketplace Section front page of the Wall Street Journal April 9. The item reported that sales, profits and employment of the largest American companies, the Standard and Poor’s 500, last year exceeded the highs reached before the Great [continue reading . . . ]






Jul 032011
 

The bad news is that the United States – indeed, much of the developed world – is in the midst of a “contained depression.” The private sector continues to de-leverage. Unemployment remains high. Pay for most is static or declining. Deflation remains a bigger threat than inflation. Depressions eventually end, [continue reading . . . ]






Jun 102011
 

Now you know. It is all right there on the front page of today’s New York Times, and in fewer than 300 words in this edited excerpt: Workers are getting more expensive while equipment is getting cheaper, and the combination is encouraging companies to spend on machines rather than people. [continue reading . . . ]