The Holiday Season Is Upon Us: Ho, Ho or OH, Woe?

Ho, Ho or Oh, Woe, depending on which Americans you talk to now that the holiday season is upon us. Some 55 million Americans gave up the peace and undisturbed quiet of working from home to visit relatives and friends for this past weekend’s Thanksgiving celebration, about two-thirds ignoring the high price of gasoline, the […]

Why Work if the Best Things in Life are Free

There are times when anecdotes trump data, make things clearer than abstract statistics can. This is one such time. The boss of a company that is losing $4 million every day has told his employees that they must show up for work forty hours per week “at high intensity” or leave the company, later modified […]

If You Are Worried About America, Model 2022, Consider 2024

Republicans have a problem. Donald John Trump intends to run in 2024 for what he calls his third term after causing an electoral disaster for Republicans last week. Democrats have a problem. Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. intends to run for a second term in 2024, notwithstanding the fact that he will be a bit more […]

Powell vs. the Fed, and the Winner is…

The Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policy committee announced last week the fourth consecutive 0.75% increase in its benchmark interest rate, bringing it to a range of 3.75% to 4%, still negative when inflation is taken into account. No surprise. That came when it advised that “in determining the pace of future increases … the Committee […]

Oil, Oil, Everywhere, Nor Any Barrel For America

Last week more numbers relating to the US job market and inflation descended on us. They were picked over, and those that suited some preconception were selected for highlighting. Useful, but a process removed from the real world of job creating, job hunting, supermarket shopping and politics. No debate about that real world. It is […]

Timing is Everything

The best of our forecasters put the probability of a recession next year at around 65 per cent. Inflation is wiping out the value of the wage increases generated by a tight labor market. Joe Biden’s administration is on a spending spree that has sent the national debt over the $30 trillion mark, and rising, […]

There Will Be Pain

Now we know where the American economy is headed. More precisely, we now know where the Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policymakers believe they are taking us. Chairman Powell has warned there will be pain to drive inflation out of the system, and he now offers the Fed’s view of just how much. Last week he […]

It’s Powell vs. Biden and the Winner is…

There is bad news coming from the battlefront. No, not the Ukraine-Russian front lines, where things seem to be going better than expected, at least for now. But from the battle between the Fed and the President. The Federal Reserve Board, fighting inflation, is hurling its fraction-of-one-per cent interest rate increases against the President’s trillions […]

Work From Home Meets Labor Day, Cook’s Apple A Hard Sell

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go. Or not. For Americans the last day of summer is and always has been Labor Day, the first Monday of the month, this year September 5th. The following Monday traditionally has been the first post-summer day in the office. That day is today. It is […]

Powell Tightens And Rests Until September, Biden Loosens And Gears Up For November

They came, they met, they gave speeches and today are headed home from their central bankers’ conclave in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They shared the latest reading from their models, crystal balls or chicken intestines. Leading the parade was Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Last year he declared that the […]