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No Sharp Turns From China’s Potential

Most people can be forgiven for suffering the misimpression. Some of it is intentional, as reflation – and those selling it – absolutely require a healthy Chinese contribution to reach their strong global rebound. As we’ve documented over the last decade, it almost doesn’t matter what numbers China’s economy actually puts forward, that system is always “strong.”The only time it wasn’t was understandable. In the first quarter of last year, the world was told about COVID and the “successful”...

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The Role of the Living Will

Go to an attorney for a Will and you’ll get not one document, but several—the Will, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney, and what may be the most overlooked and under-appreciated of the documents, a Living Will. The Will lays out what happens after you die. The other three documents focus on what happens while you’re alive. Brad Henry is an estate and elder law attorney at Strauss Attorneys PLLC in Asheville, North Carolina. He says “Living Will” is a confusing name...

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Conventional Wisdom Is Nothing of The Sort

If you had known in October all that would transpire over the next 2 ½ months, how would you have positioned your portfolio? The conventional wisdom before the election was that a Biden win would be negative for stocks because he has promised to raise taxes and specifically corporate taxes. In 2016, conventional wisdom was that a Trump victory would be bad for stocks because of his protectionism. In both cases, conventional wisdom turned out to be nothing of the sort. After the November...

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If the Fed’s Not In Consumer Prices, Then How About Producer Prices?

It’s not just that there isn’t much inflation evident in consumer prices. Rather, it’s a pretty big deal given the deluge of so much “money printing” this year, begun three-quarters of a year before, that consumer prices are increasing at some of the slowest rates in the data. Trillions in bank reserves, sure, but actual money can only be missing. OK, fine. What about commodities? If the Fed’s monetary fires haven’t fed through to corporate pricing power for the stuff going out the door,...

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Consumers, Producers, and the Unsettled End of 2020

The months of November and December aren’t always easily comparable year to year when it comes to American shopping habits. For a retailer, these are the big ones. The Christmas shopping season and the amount of spending which takes place during it makes or breaks the typical year (though last year, there was that whole thing in March and April which has had a say in each’s final annual condition). The calendar being what it is – we’ve never been forced to use the French Revolutionary...

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Rising Probability For A Second Payroll Minus (and its implications)

Revolving consumer credit declined again in November 2020, according to data released by the Federal Reserve last week. Though the monthly seasonally-adjusted change was small, it still represents significant uncertainty and material mistrust of the underlying economic condition among a broad section of consumers. Those who are paying down their credit card balances, while avoiding taking on higher revolving debts, they are the very consumers Fed policymakers are counting on to lead any...

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What To Do After Your Spouse Dies: A Checklist

The wife of a friend of mine passed away recently. He’s going through the grief and loneliness you’d expect after being married 53 years. And now he has a new challenge, one I’ve seen with so many other widows and widowers—dealing with the long list of legal and financial items that come up after the death of a spouse. The grief of losing a loved one obscures many of the mundane tasks required to settle your spouse’s estate. Here’s a checklist of what to do after a spouse dies.   Don’t...

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Episode 41; Part 2: Professor Copper’s Got Other Courses To Teach

41.2 Copper Prices Signal Inflation (or something else?) [Emil’s Summary] Mary Toft had delivered a litter of rabbits – that was the news that reached the court of King George I in 1726. Obstetrician John Howard arrived at Toft’s bedside in September where he was presented with several animal parts, ostensibly from the supernatural womb. In October, she delivered nine dead baby rabbits, prompting Howard to write a letter to England’s greatest doctors and scientists, as well as the King’s...

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Suasion, Sure, But Is It Really Moral?

One of the concepts educators sort of snuck into the curriculum was something they called “moral suasion.” This term has meanings outside of Economics, but within the discipline it refers to one key element to the monetary policies of central banks. Basically, persuading markets or economic groups to act in the way officials want using rhetoric or threats without having to resort to overt and explicit means. If central bankers have walked softly all these years, the so-called big stick they...

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