US Economy


Bernie Sanders runs amok on Fox

Via The Guardian: At every turn they clapped and cheered, enamored with the candidate’s prescriptions for universal healthcare, a humane attitude toward immigrants and the rejection of climate change denialism. Bernie Sanders was the candidate, and the people clapping and cheering were audience members who turned out in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a televised town hall on


US jobs preview

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for March. The consensus is for an increase of 170,000 non-farm payroll jobs in March, and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.8%. Last month, the BLS reported 20,000 jobs added in February. Here is a summary


US growth exceptionalism not over

Via FTAlphaville: For most of 2018, US assets were exceptional. Thanks to a hefty dose of fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration, the economy surged at a time when growth elsewhere was slowing down. And when the Fed moved to further tighten monetary policy — as the likes of the ECB and BOJ held firm —


Will the Fed cut interest rates?

Via S&P: Fed Will Cut Rates If 10-Year Yield Breaks Under 2.4% The Treasury bond market was stunned by the drop in the Federal Open Market Committee’s “dot chart” projection for year-end 2019 fed funds’ midpoint from the 2.875% of December 2018’s projection to 2.375% as of March 2019’s projection. Moreover, the FOMC formally announced


Previewing US jobs

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for February. The consensus is for an increase of 178,000 non-farm payroll jobs in February, and for the unemployment rate to decline to 3.9%. Last month, the BLS reported 304,000 jobs added in January. Here is a summary of


El-Erian: US growth leadership to persist

Via Reuters: “People are underestimating how quickly Europe is slowing,” El-Erian said. The International Monetary Fund revised down its forecast for euro zone growth to 1.6 percent in January from 1.9 percent three months prior, but El-Erian thinks even the lowered outlook is overly optimistic. El-Erian, the former chief executive of Pimco, the bond investment


Previewing US jobs

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for January. The consensus is for an increase of 158,000 non-farm payroll jobs in January (with a range of estimates between 140,000 to 183,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.9%. Last month, the BLS reported


Trumps tax cuts trickle into nothing

by Chris Becker As US stock markets recover from the December rout, even as the Trump shutdown rolls into its 29th day, it’s critical to look at what goosed the S&P500 to its previous highs before this latest correction. A year into Trump’s presidency and the US economy was sailing along if measured by lower


US student debt hinders home ownership

by Chris Becker The US Federal Reserve as an interesting report out (unlike the US government, Trump can’t shutdown the Fed! on the impact of student debt on new homeowner rates in the US. Salient because the Coalition wants the education cake and to eat it too. Last year the Senate passed the HECS/HELP adjustments


Could Trump’s shutdown push US into recession?

by Chris Becker The record US government (partial) shutdown moved into its 25th day overnight, with both sides digging in as Senate Leader McConnell blocked another continuation vote in the Senate to re-open the government. The impact is being felt at a micro level by the near 1 million US government employees who haven’t been


Is the Trump shutdown coming to a close?

by Chris Becker It’s been nearly three weeks since Donald Trump shutdown the US Federal Government over his intransigence to fund a “wall”, even though one already exists across most of the US-Mexico border. Equity markets leading up to the shutdown were in a tailspin with the Dow down nearly 3000 points or a little over


Sell gold! Or why the US dollar is not going to weaken

Via Bloomie: The U.S. dollar may be poised to decline, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases, strategists at Goldman wrote in a note Saturday. Powell cited the events of 2016, when rates were kept unchanged through


US jobs report preview

From Calculated Risk: Note: The Employment report will be released as scheduled, and not postponed by the government shutdown. On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for December. The consensus is for an increase of 180,000 non-farm payroll jobs in December (with a range of estimates between 160,000 to 200,000),


When will the Trump shutdown end?

by Chris Becker As adult supervision returns to Congress (but not the Senate) on January 3rd, the US Government shutdown rolls on with news this morning that President Trump has invited the new Congressional leadership to the White House. From The Hill: Trump will host the leader and whip of each party from both chambers,


US Treasury secretary reassures markets again

Via CNN: In a precautionary move, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent Sunday on the phone speaking with the chief executives of some of the country’s largest banks to avoid yet another market whiplash when Wall Street opens Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The secretary, who has been visiting his children in


When will the Fed blink?

Via Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Monetary tightening by central banks is like trying to pull a brick across a rough surface with elastic: nothing happens; still nothing happens; then it leaps up and hits you in the face. The US Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell may have a broken nose after asserting stubbornly this week that he would


Does the US have a new housing bubble?

“No” is the short answer, via Calculated Risk: Last Friday, Professor Robert Shiller wrote in the NY Times: The Housing Boom Is Already Gigantic. How Long Can It Last? We are, once again, experiencing one of the greatest housing booms in United States history. How long this will last and where it is heading next are


Goldman doves up on Fed, lifts AUD

And so it begins, from Goldman which has been far too hawkish this cycle all along: Relative to the turmoil in the financial markets, the economic numbers have been remarkably stable recently. Admittedly, jobless claims have risen and November payrolls fell somewhat short of expectations. But a report showing 155k new jobs and a decline


US jobs preview

Via Calculated Risk: On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for November. The consensus is for an increase of 190,000 non-farm payroll jobs in November (with a range of estimates between 140,000 to 220,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.7%. Last month, the BLS reported


What has Cold War 2.0 cost Trump’s stock market?

Via FTAlphaville: Just days after President Trump broke bread with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires and agreed to a ceasefire in the US-China trade war, Trump tweeted that his administration is working closely “on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible”. If not, the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” warned that new


Is the Fed about to stop hiking rates?

Via Goldman: How Does Fed Policy React To Stock Market Declines? The equity market sell-off since the beginning of October has led to questions around whether the Fed will maintain its current path of rate hikes. Historically, the Fed appears to have responded with more accommodative policy after stock market sell-offs, on average (Exhibit 1). This


Why Trump tax cuts failed

From Paul Krugman: The answer, I’d argue, is that business decisions are a lot less sensitive to financial incentives — including tax rates — than conservatives claim. And appreciating that reality doesn’t just undermine the case for the Trump tax cut. It undermines Republican economic doctrine as a whole. About business decisions: It’s a dirty


Westpac: US wage inflation contained

Via Westpac: Nonfarm payrolls rebounded strongly in October following a disappointing September print – a consequence of Hurricane Florence’s disruption. October’s 250k gain leaves the three-month average at 218k, in line with the month-average for 2018, but ahead of 2017’s 182k. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% – a near 50-year low – as


US debt markets still solid despite equity ructions

Via Moody’s: Net Stock Buybacks and Net Borrowing Have Yet to Alarm Recent outsized advances by equity prices probably owe something to either actual or anticipated buybacks of common stock. Both the relative steadiness of corporate credit quality and ample amounts of corporate cash now improve the outlook for equity buybacks. In the Financial Accounts