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Unemployment

For Nine Million, Unemployment Benefits Have Suddenly Ended

The Economic Implications One of the major Wall Street investment houses recently lowered their Q3 GDP growth rate from 6.5% to 2.9% (!!), apparently realizing that two-thirds of the quarter was history, that the data have all been weakening (like August auto sales), and that the fiscal stimulus (helicopter money) was now in the rear-view mirror.  Readers of this blog know that we have been discussing much slower growth than …Read More

A Softening Economy Will Be Buffeted by Stimulus Withdrawal

While the story of the week was the big “miss” in Nonfarm Payrolls, most of the incoming data continue to be much softer than the markets or financial media let on, as they continue to ignore the implications.  The chart above shows U.S. vehicle sales beginning in 2015.   Note the steady sales levels until the pandemic, the climb out to just above normal, and now a renewed falloff.   Sales in …Read More

Delta-Variant, Soft Data Bode Ill for Near-Term Growth

The markets waited all week for Fed Chair Powell to speak at the Kansas City Fed’s Annual Jackson Hole Symposium.  Due to the Delta-variant, like many other business meetings, this one was held virtually.  There was growing market concern that Powell would turn somewhat more hawkish, especially since some Regional Fed Presidents appear to have done so in recent speeches and media appearances.  As a result, interest rates, as measured …Read More

Inflation Is Fading; So Is The Economy; But Jobs Will Grow

The “inflation” story has now moved to page two, not because it isn’t still the financial media’s mantra, but the disaster of the Afghanistan exit has taken its place.  We don’t think it will make its way back to page 1.  The reason: the burst of economic activity, for the Q1 and Q2 economic reopenings, and the rounds of helicopter money are now both in the rear-view mirror.  Almost all …Read More

Why Interest Rates Are Falling

#*!? CRASH BAM @#$ Suddenly, markets (well, at least the bond market) now see falling interest rates in the short and intermediate term. The 10-Year U.S. T-Note fell from 1.47% on June 30 to close at 1.29% on Thursday July 7 (a big move in just four market sessions). Some of the rapid fall was due to short covering, so the slight give back on Friday (to 1.36%) wasn’t a surprise. For context, …Read More

The Fed ‘Dots’ Put Financial Markets In A Tizzy

Financial markets became temporarily unglued with the release of the Fed’s post-meeting statement on June 16 and the publication of its “dot-plot” table. The dot-plot, originated in the Bernanke Fed in 2012, represents the 18 individual policy committee member views as to what the Fed Funds Rate level will be on December 31 of the next three years and then a longer-run view.  Despite Chair Powell’s reiteration at the post-meeting press …Read More