Census Bureau

Are Markets Overlooking A Clear & Present Danger?

Economic cycles do not last indefinitely. While fiscal and monetary policies can extend cycles by “pulling forward” future consumption, such actions create an eventual “void” that cannot be filled. In fact, there is mounting evidence the “event horizon” may have been reached as seen through the lens of auto sales.

St. Louis Just Hiked Minimum Wage By 43%; Guess What Happens Next

"A new analysis by Dr. David Macpherson of Trinity University and Dr. William Even of Miami University finds that an $11 minimum wage in St. Louis would cost the city roughly 1,000 jobs, with the job loss mostly occurring among the city’s most vulnerable populations."

Key Events In The Coming Week

The key economic releases this week are the consumer confidence report on Tuesday, the third estimate of Q4 GDP on Thursday, and the PCE report as well as Personal Income & Spending data on Friday. In addition, there are several scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials this week.

The "Retail Apocalypse" Is Officially Descending Upon America

“What’s going on is the customers don’t have the fucking money. That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.” Consumerism has long been a defining element of American society, but retail giants are now shutting down thousands of their locations amid a long-anticipated "retail apocalypse."

See Where Immigrants Out-Earn US-Born Citizens

Right across the country, households headed by persons born outside the U.S. earn less than households run by native-born Americans. But that wage gap varies widely per state, from close to $20,000 to less than $1,000. And in some places, the gap is even reversed, in favor of the immigrant households.

The U.S. Border Tax Would Hit Texas Hard

The border tax plan would basically transfer around $1 trillion from the companies importing goods in the big importing states to the less competitive Midwest. And Texas, being one of the top international trading and importing states alongside California, Florida and New York, would likely lose.

Retail Sales Decelerate, Rise 0.1% As Expected; Control Group Disappoints

Perhaps courtesy of the traditional aggressive seasonal adjustments, the Census Bureau announced that retail sales printed largely in line, and above the Bank of America suggested "whisper" decline, rising 0.1% in February, in line with consensus, but below last month's 0.4% growth. Similarly retail sales ex autos rose 0.2%, also on top of expectations, although the rate of increase slowed down from last month's 0.8%.

Raising Interest Rates Can't End Well

"The economy looks to me like a type of Ponzi Scheme. It depends on both rising energy consumption and rising debt. Judging from the problems we are having now, it seems to be reaching its limit in the near term. Raising interest rates will tend to push it even further toward its limit, or over the limit. The world economy is operating at too close to 'stall speed'. The financial system is too fragile."