Forget all the talk about CPI or as they call it in Europe HIPC (harmonized index of consumer prices) floating just under 1%. The true measure of inflation is credit expansion. And for the second month, credit contracted in the Eurozone.
By now you know the Food and Drug Administration, in conjunction with effort by First Lady Michelle Obama, proposed new food labeling. The thinking is new labels would prompt shame and embarrassment on to food companies forcing them to create healthier products.
I’m not writing today about possible alternatives to the Fed or big-picture issues dealing with monetary policy. Instead, I want to highlight three rather positive signs about Janet Yellen, the new Chair of the Fed’s Board of Governors. (You read that right.)
Anyone who claims to be hurt by Obamacare, is apparently a Koch Brother pawn… At least that’s according to Harry Reid, who recently said all Obamacare victims are liars and cheats. Someone should explain to the Nevada Democrat that not everyone is like him.
To me, a far more revealing and insightful indicator than the unemployment rate, is the payroll to population data released by Gallup each month. As I said at the World MoneyShow in Orlando recently, this is some of the scariest data out there.
It was bad enough that the IRS would target O’Donnell with a politically motivated audit, an illegitimate lien and the public release of her private financial information. Now, worst of all, the IRS is successfully thwarting efforts to find and prosecute illegal conduct within the agency, despite the fact that the IRS actions impacted a US Senate race.
The absurdity of comparing reasonably healthy e-cigarettes to a box of tar-packed cancer sticks aside, the Nannycrats’ main point seems to be that electronic alternatives to carcinogen-flavored cigarettes will drive people to smoke the real thing… Because everyone likes standing in 20 degree weather for their addictive habits.
Using the polar bear to politicize the wrong political message? How low can you get get?
President Vladimir Putin ordered a drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces in western Russia on Wednesday. Officials said the purpose of the exercises is "to check the combat readiness of the armed forces in the western and central military districts as well as several branches of the armed forces."
New home sales report shook up the street because it was pretty good...all things considered. But, new home supply, while improving, is currently at a 4.7 month supply. That is significantly less than its peak, which was above its 12 months supply in 2008.
To make fun of big efforts that produce small results, the famous Roman poet,Horace, wrote “The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth.” That line sums up my view of the new tax reform plan introduced by Congressman Dave Camp.
Well, well, well… America might finally be catching on: The Majority of Americans don’t think Mr. Obama’s doing such a swell job in the White House. The biggest surprise, really, is that it took so long. Also: Special audio of a Liberal UCLA student melting down after she lost a vote to boycott Israel…
While everyone is blaming the weather for the anemic economy, there is much more to be considered. The underlying fundamentals for a strong housing market simply aren’t there. A steady market is probably the best we can expect.
Hawaii has proposed a take over by the state for the state's Obamacare Exchange, but one Hawaii Democrat has cautioned that that could cause an even bigger train wreck. An even bigger train wreck?
Illinois: The state’s pensions are underfunded by at least $100 billion. Powerful teacher unions can shut down schools to win pay hikes from nearly broke school districts. A temporary tax increase is liable to be made permanent – or worse, replaced with a progressive income tax.
Russia and Crimea appear to be preparing for Crimean secession from Ukraine and affiliation with Russia. If so, this would be the same punishment strategy that Russia used in Georgia. Russian annexation of Crimea in response to a local government request would be easier and easier to defend because of the presence of the Black Sea Fleet.
Sure, it was pretty easy for lawless tribal bands in a rural corner of the planet to spread terror and conquest, but there will be leaders in the future with a desire to rule the world. With America's military being whittled down to its lowest head-count since 1940, it's going to become even more difficult to back-up hollow threats and false red lines.
Time for another great moment in red tape. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that banks treat customers poorly in part because of bad laws and regulations from Washington. You may think that only cranky libertarians are unhappy about this system. But that’s not the case.
Meet a Chinese Cyber-Security company... Now, much like when I was first introduced to the company, you’re probably wondering, “based in China?” “Hasn’t that been a source of attacks?”. Well, those were my first thoughts as well.
Despite their reputation for their investment prowess, hedge funds haven't exactly set the financial world on fire over the past five years. As a recent Bloomberg article pointed out, hedge funds have underperformed the S&P 500 by 97 percentage points since the end of 2008.
Over the past several months, I’ve found myself engaged in numerous conversations with the Millennials, also known as members of Generation Y. Normally, it’s the Baby Boomer set with whom I talk politics, sports, and world events, so it’s definitely been a change of pace.
In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA's most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate.
As Obamacare continues to pull down the healthcare industry (not to mention the economy), it might be worth mentioning that Hillarycare was pretty similar in concept… In fact, the entire Democrat approach to government seems to be focused on repackaging failed ideas.
How is it that companies can now have more cash than anytime in history, while unemployment remains so high, inflation in many goods so low, and national income grows so anemically? Oh, yeah. Democrats at work. Shhhh.
I have been under constant barrage of unsolicited phone calls recently. The phone calls typically begin with the same lie: "We have a really good investment opportunity"... This is the kind of thing that happens at market tops. Everyone wants in, and the fraudsters come out in force to take advantage.
The Financial Times has published a series of insightful articles on the state of Ukraine's economy and its economic overlords. While on the surface the struggle is being described as a fight for freedom and rights, there is a significant incongruity in the overthrow of a government primarily over a suspended economic agreement.
There is a (temporary) sigh of relief now that Ukraine has seen its latest strongman leader flee to parts unknown, but anxiety remains. And why not; the nation has a history of struggle with self-determination. (Actually, that comment is an understatement.)
One of my goals is to convince people that even small differences in long-run growth can have a powerful impact on living standards and societal prosperity. In other words, the economy is not a fixed pie. The right policies, such as free markets and small government, can create a better life for everybody.
Most of us can remember feeling that someone had done us a great injustice. On those occasions, we want nothing more than to exact revenge. I remember being unfairly treated as a lowly ROTC cadet by one of the sergeants who resented the fact that my brother had been promoted to captain and company commander over him.
Remember when Americans used to hate the idea of government getting involved in people’s lives? With the FCC’s plan to infiltrate news rooms on hold (it’s not going away for good), now might be a good time to kiss the FCC good bye. Economist Mark Skousen also joined the show to talk about the Fed’s intrusion into the economy.
President Obama and many of the nation’s top economists entered 2014 predicting a breakout year for the economic recovery. However, troubles in the housing sector indicate more difficulties and several more years of mediocre growth lie ahead.
The last few weeks have been far more than just interesting. We’ve been barraged by a number of winter storms that are taking their toll on January economic data. Given the severity of the winter weather, was any of that really a surprise?
The problem with freedom, according to the academic left, is that it gets in the way of progressive agendas. So, for the sake of academics who want to thrust upon the rest of society their Utopian vision of “social justice”, freedom must be limited. The Progressive dream lives on at Harvard.
Allowing kids the emotional dignity of making some decisions for themselves is vitally important. You just have to make sure this liberty is supervised and comes with parental warnings and protections.
In the real world, people have to eat. They have to buy gasoline for their cars. They have to buy clothes when they wear out. They have to heat their homes. Those are relatively inelastic demands. None of these inflation cheerleaders discuss what happens if wages do not keep up.
The behavior of the armed forces, through inaction or direct action, determined the overthrow of every Arab Spring government, just as it did for Ukraine. Moving forward, Ukraine could become a model for government overthrows in other European countries under conditions of stress.
I saw headlines last week that the world was on fire and on the brink of disaster, primarily facing citizens of Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela. The world isn't on the brink of disaster, and in fact most of the world is moving along day-by-day in an attempt to make life better.
When resources are allocated by political forces, cronyism and pork cause inefficiency and waste. That’s why statist nations languish and market-oriented countries flourish. Of course Paul Krugman has a different perspective on these issues...
When stock markets are in a bubble mania (contrary to Mr. Greenspan’s opinion), everyone who’s invested in the market feels just like the top 1% — it’s money that’s made by simply pressing a button, going long, and then it’s off to the country club for drinks and a spot of tennis.
The world is a dangerous place… It’s even more dangerous when America’s foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. Ambassador John Bolton joined the program to discuss the significance of Ukraine’s protests, and President Obama’s role in the collapse of American global influence.
Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight.
Liberal media, to the great dismay of some, can’t make money calling swamp water a soup no matter how much pork barrel spending they add to it.
Lawyers for a Democrat in Michigan have claimed that a recent AFP ad is “misleading” and “deceptive”; and therefore could violate broadcaster’s obligation to “protect the public” from such information under FCC regulations. Yep: Michigan Dems are willing to use the FCC to censor a cancer victim. Oh, but it gets better…
It was a bad idea to provide subsidies to water the desert in the first place.
Roughly every three months, we take a snapshot of Standard & Poor's earnings forecast for the S&P 500's earnings per share.
Well folks the world is about to get it, and it won’t be coming in the form of on-high decrees from the president and his cronies.
All sentient human beings should know higher minimum wage laws will mean more unemployment.
The recent anti-gun protest in front of Visa’s Washington office, was less about expressing rage at Visa, and more about trying to demonize the NRA. The protestors aren’t angry with Visa for extending business offers to a legitimate civil rights organization. They’re upset that the credit card giant doesn’t share their complete hatred for the NRA.
So we have the satisfaction of knowing that at a time when the private sector is struggling to create jobs, Obama will guarantee it will get harder for them rather than easier. Again. And Again. And Again.
I'm sorry. I had trouble typing that last line because I had to reload my semi-automatic weapon that I use to change the channels on cable TV.
President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev and is now in an Eastern Ukraine city closer to Russia.
It's time to update the picture for Chevy Volt sales in the United States from our previous snapshot last August
The only reason the Democrats and the Republicans continue to spend money like they have is because the cost of US debt is near 0%. When interest rates rise...
What happens if there’s an issue pitting Obamacare and bureaucrats against each other? Would I be able to pick sides?
Nothing comes out of the Obama White House by mistake. Everything is planned, analyzed, and focus group-tested.
In Other News: Massachusetts School Board Moves to the Right of Democrats - Becomes Socialist | Michael Schaus
Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for October 20th, 2014 | John Ransom