Congressional Budget Office

Trumped! Washington's Fiscal Hypocrisy Is Too Rich For Words

You have to love it when one of Donald Trump’s wild pitches sends the beltway hypocrites into high dudgeon. But his rumination about negotiating a discount on the Federal debt was priceless. No sooner did the 'unschooled' Trump mention out loud what is already the official policy of the US government than a beltway chorus of fiscal house wreckers commenced screaming like banshees about the sanctity of Uncle Sam’s credit promises.

'Public Servants' - Who Is Serving Whom?

For the sake of argument, let’s just say we need government employees for maintenance of fisheries, mail delivery, and invading Middle Eastern countries. Fine. Can we at least dispense with the misnomer public servant? A servant who makes more money than those “served” (by threat of force), provides subpar service, takes away jobs, and is immune to firing cannot be accurately titled servant.

Jim Grant Asks When The World Will Realize "That Central Bankers Have Lost Their Marbles"

Does the deployment of helicopter money not entail some meaningful risk of the loss of confidence in a currency that is, after all, undefined, uncollateralized and infinitely replicable at exactly zero cost? Might trust be shattered by the visible act of infusing the government with invisible monetary pixels and by the subsequent exchange of those images for real goods and services? To us, it is the great question. Pondering it, as we say, we are bearish on the money of overextended governments. We are bullish on the alternatives enumerated in the Periodic table. It would be nice to know when the rest of the world will come around to the gold-friendly view that central bankers have lost their marbles. We have no such timetable. The road to confetti is long and winding.

Obamacare To Unveil "Price Shock" One Week Before The Elections

The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.

Still Looks Like A Trap

“If the weather forecast suggests it might rain, wouldn’t you carry an umbrella?

Why The US Output Gap Means The 10 Year Is Going Below 1%

In an asset management context, US Treasury interest rates tend to trend lower when there is an output gap and trend higher when there is an output surplus. This simple, yet overlooked rule has helped to guide us to stay correctly long US Treasuries over the last several years while the Wall Street community came up with any reason why they were a losing asset class. We continue to think that US Treasury interest rates have significant appreciation ahead of them. As we have stated before, we think the 10yr US Treasury yield will fall to 1.00% or below.

America's New Impossible Trinity: You Can't Have Higher Wages, Steady Inflation And High Profits At The Same Time

America’s ongoing labour productivity slump has created a new impossible trinity – policymakers can only choose two of the following three desirable outcomes: higher nominal wage growth, steady inflation and high corporate profits. The theory behind this new ‘impossible trinity’ is intuitively simple. If workers’ wages rise faster than their productivity, the companies paying those higher wages face two choices. They can either pass on the extra costs to customers, thereby leading to higher overall prices and rising inflation, or they can absorb the extra costs resulting in lower profit margins.

These 2 Charts Show The Next Recession Will Blow Out The US Budget

Only during the halcyon economic days of the 1960s have we seen a longer recovery; but that record, too, will be eclipsed sometime in 2019—if we don’t see a recession first. And note that we were growing at well over 3% in the 1960s, not the anemic 2% we have averaged during this recovery and certainly not the positively puny 1.5% we have endured lately. Global growth is slowing down. Given the limited number of arrows left in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy quiver, the US is going to have a difficult time dealing with the fallout from a recession. Even worse, a number of factors are coming together that will require serious crisis management.

The Costs & Consequences Of $15/Hour

The unintended consequences of a minimum wage hike in a weak economic environment are not inconsequential. Furthermore, given that businesses are already fighting for profitability, hiking the minimum wage, given the subsequent “trickle up” effect, will lead to further increases in productivity and “off shoring” of jobs to reduce rising employment costs. So much for bringing back those manufacturing jobs.

CBO Misses Its Obamacare Projection By 24 Million People

Three years ago, on the eve of Obamacare’s implementation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that President Obama's centerpiece legislation would result in an average of 201 million people having private health insurance in any given month of 2016. Now that 2016 is here, the CBO says that just 177 million people, on average, will have private health insurance in any given month of this year - a shortfall of 24 million people. Indeed, based on the CBO's own numbers, it seems possible that Obamacare has actually reduced the number of people with private health insurance.

Is This The Debt Jubilee?

The two concepts - NIRP and deficits - dovetail in a fairly terrifying way: All the new debt we take on to rekindle growth will have to be refinanced in the future. So the more we borrow now the more we’ll have to roll over then — and the bigger the impact on government budgets of an eventual rate normalization. Unless the ultimate plan is to never raise rates to old-school positive levels, in which case the world of the future is so different from that of the past that we may as well toss existing theories of market dynamics and individual freedom out the window.

A Conversation With My Neighbor "Sam"

“What if the banks stop loaning you money to make your payments on your loans? What happens then?”

“I guess I’m assuming that won’t happen.”

The Cost Of Democratic Socialism (In 1 Stunning Chart)

With a growing number of Americans appearing willing to jump on the socialism-by-any-other-name bandwagon, JPMorgan CIO Michael Cembalest digs into the details of Bernie Sanders' tax proposals. As the following chart sums up so extremely, his plan would certainly represent a unique and unprecedented event in the history of US taxation, if it were enacted.