The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now model is tracking a Real GDP growth rate of 4.9% for Q3, which would be the fastest quarterly growth rate since the earlier part of the COVID recovery.
While the Fed kept rates unchanged at today’s meeting, between the press conference and forecast updates, Powell and Co. gave plenty of ammo to keep the financial press busy speculating about what may come at the next FOMC meeting this Fall.
The University of Colorado Buffaloes are undefeated and suck up a lot of oxygen in the college football world.
Inflation averaged 1.8% in the ten years pre-COVID. Don’t expect inflation to average that low in the decade ahead. Not until the US finds a way to repeat the 1980s policy mix.
Back in the 1980s, President Reagan took enormous political heat (Sam Donaldson comes to mind) for being fiscally irresponsible. His offense? Presiding over a budget deficit that peaked at 5.9% of GDP in Fiscal Year 1983.
At the heart of our assessment of the stock market is our Capitalized Profits Model.
What’s going on with the markets and the economy? Long-term Treasury yields are up substantially since last Fall while the stock market, after a big rally, has stumbled so far this month. Meanwhile, the real economy appears to continue to chug along – even accelerating!
Wars cost money, and throughout history, countries have borrowed to fight them. There are plenty of examples of wars bankrupting countries, but the US was so dominant in the 1940s that at the end of World War II, its debt only cost about 1.8% of GDP to service.
What would you do if you won the Mega Millions? It’s now up to a record $1.55 billion! We would start a not-for-profit to educate people not to play the lottery.
Take the 2008 financial panic. Was it market failure and bad business models or was it using the government to subsidize housing plus mark-to-market accounting? We believe the latter…without the subsidies and bad accounting rules, the recession might not have happened at all.
No one should be popping champagne when they see Thursday’s GDP report. The good news is that it won’t be negative.
The best news last week was that inflation came in below expectations for June. Consumer prices rose a moderate 0.2% for the month, while producer prices increased only 0.1%.
Prior to 2008, when the Federal Reserve ran a “scarce reserve” monetary policy, just about every bank in the US had a federal funds trading desk. These trading desks lent and borrowed federal funds (reserves) amongst each other.
In 1852, Karl Marx said, "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves but under circumstances directly encountered and transmitted from the past."
We get a big bunch of data reports this week: GDP revisions and economy-wide corporate profits for the first quarter; durable goods, new home sales, personal income, and consumer spending for May; home prices for April.
Lately, it’s been easy to see the optimism. As of the Friday close, the S&P 500 is up 15% so far this year (not including dividends) and up 23% (again, without dividends) versus the lowest bear-market close back in October.
The Federal Reserve will meet this week and announce its decisions on Wednesday.
We have used the word “unprecedented” to talk about the economy during and after COVID. We have never before locked down economic activity, while printing trillions of new dollars to help finance trillions of extra government borrowing to pay people not to work.
The stock market finished Friday on a high note, with the S&P 500 index just north of 4,200 for the first time since August 2022 and up 17.6% versus the market bottom in October.
We live in unprecedented times. Since the COVID pandemic, the economy has been deeply influenced by a massive increase in government spending, COVID-related shutdowns, and a huge increase in the money supply.
If you’ve been to a high school or college commencement lately, then you know the drill: at some point at least one speaker will urge the graduates to be “agents of change,” suggesting they’d like to see these students make the world a better place through some sort of social activism.
It’s hard to open up a newspaper these days and not see a scary story about the debt ceiling debate. The Biden Administration is saying that a “default” is approaching if an agreement isn’t reached soon.
Yes, we have banking problems. No, this is not 2008. It’s much more like the 1970s Savings & Loan problems.
The Fed raised short-term interest rates by another quarter percentage point today to a range of 5.00 – 5.25%, just like most analysts and investors expected. In addition, policymakers made changes to its official statement that hint that this rate hike might be the last of the cycle.
For nine of the last fifteen years, few people thought about the Fed. Sure, we discussed QT and QE, but the Federal Reserve held interest rates at zero year after year.
In spite of weakness in some economic data, problems in the banking sector, and much higher interest rates, real GDP in the first quarter will almost certainly show moderate growth.
The US economy is being tugged in two different directions right now. On the positive side we have the lingering effects of the massive stimulus of 2020-21, the renormalization of the service sector after COVID Lockdowns, and, as always, the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the American people.
History is full of economic and societal collapses. The Incan and Roman societies disappeared, the Ottoman Empire fell apart, the United Kingdom saw the pound lose its reserve currency status. So, anyone who says the US, and the dollar, couldn’t face the same fate doesn’t pay attention to history.
Fifteen years ago, in 2008, the Federal Reserve started an experiment in monetary policy, switching from a “scarce reserve” system to one based on “abundant reserves.” This switch has created massive problems that are hitting not just the private banking system but the Fed itself.
If you were bullish for 2023…congratulations!
The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates by another quarter point on Wednesday.
The Fed raised short-term rates by another 25 basis points (bp) today and made no changes to the expected peak for short-term rates later this year.
The late great Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was often in dissent in key legal cases during his long career.
In multiple ways, this is the most difficult time we have ever seen to make a forecast.
In the past few weeks, a growing chorus of economists and investors have decided that the pessimistic narrative had it wrong all along, that the US isn’t headed for a hard landing, which would mean a recession, it isn’t even headed for a soft landing, which would mean a prolonged period of low economic growth.
You can’t read or watch financial news these days without a heavy dose of speculation about what the Fed is going to do with short-term interest rates, when it’s going to do it, and how long it’s going to do it for.
Markets have been volatile, with reports convincing many that the Fed is done hiking rates.
At the beginning of the season, not many predicted that the Philadelphia Eagles would be in the Super Bowl this year.
The Fed downshifted to a smaller rate hike to start 2023, but the job is far from done.
The US federal budget is on an unsustainable path…but not for the reasons that most people think.
First, the good news: we estimate that real GDP grew at a solid 2.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter.
We wrote last week about the soft landing that markets now seem to expect.
Not long after Friday’s Employment Report multiple analysts and commentators were calling it a “goldilocks” report, by which they meant it showed that the economy was neither “too hot” nor “too cold,” but instead, “just right.”
The housing sector was a huge and early beneficiary of the super-loose monetary policy of 2020-21.
Last week Zero Hedge achieved the impossible, they managed to make a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve go viral.
What a difference a year makes!
The Fed downshifted to smaller rate hikes but isn’t close to done.
Our position on the economy has been that the US is headed for a recession, but we’re not quite there yet.
It’s that special time of the year, and we will all hear and read a great deal about Black Friday, Thanksgiving Weekend, and Cyber Monday during the next few days. Many pundits are going to make sweeping conclusions about the economy based on these very limited reports.
We will forever believe that locking down the economy for COVID-19 was a massive mistake. There is virtually no evidence that death rates were lowered by government mandates and lockdowns.