Contrarian Reads

How Central Bankers Are Killing Productivity Growth

This column has contended for several years, based on empirical data observations from several countries, that low interest rates worldwide were killing productivity growth. A University of Chicago paper finally provides some academic back-up for this contention and suggests a mechanism through which it takes place. There are other mechanisms also, and I would suggest …

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European Oil Demand Is Shockingly Weak

Most glaringly, demand in Germany has fallen significantly. According to Standard Chartered, demand in Germany fell by 302,000 bpd in December compared to a year earlier. That was the tenth consecutive month of an annual decline in consumption in excess of 150,000 bpd. In November, Germany seemed to be the only source of fragility. But …

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‘Father of Reaganomics’ Says ‘Get out of the Market’

David Stockman, the so-called “Father of Reaganomics,” is at it again with his most recent prognostication of doom for Wall Street and the broader economy, even as the stock market tests fresh highs for the year. The 72-year-old politician and businessman, who was the director of Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan …

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Plunging Demographics And The Baleful Outlook For The US Welfare State

But which age segments were reduced should send shivers down Americans spines when considering economic growth, unfunded liabilities, and debt service/repayment.  Growth among the 0-17 year old population has been slashed by 84%, the 15 to 44 year old child bearing population reduced by 60%, the post child bearing 45-64 year old population over a 20% reduction, but the 65+ year …

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Synchronized Global Growth, R. I. P.

To that end, IHS Markit also reports today what may seem a stunning and, as always, unexpected reversal taking place in the goods economy worldwide. The manufacturing sector seems to have found its danger point, emphatically coloring Maersk’s concurrent downgrade. Markit’s Japan flash PMI came in at 48.5 for February 2019, down from 50.3 in …

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Ooops! Q4 GDP Growth Outlook Slumps To 1.4%

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in December amid declining demand for machinery and primary metals, pointing to a sustained slowdown in business spending on equipment that could further crimp economic growth.         https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-durablegoods/u-s-business-spending-on-equipment-weakening-idUSKCN1QA1S0

Canary Down Under: Australia’s Housing Crash And Wealth Mal-Distribution Backlash Will Spread

After six years of tumultuous Liberal rule, the Labour Party is hoping to wrest back control of the government during elections later this year. And it sees tackling this intergenerational divide as the best way to do it. And combating the country’s increasingly unaffordable housing bubble is a key plank of its proposals. The party …

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Here Comes The Funny Math: Why There’s No Way China Can Boost US Farm Purchases From $20 Billion To $50 Billion

U.S. exports of agricultural products to China totaled $20 billion in 2017, so if China wants to buy another $30 billion, then China would more than double its intake of American farm goods. Unless China means they will hit $30 billion total, which does not seem to be the case, then there is no way …

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