Department Of Commerce

As The Dust Settles: Goldman Q&A On Life In Trumplandia

Expect the election result to increase policy uncertainty, warns Goldman Sachs, as a result of an increased pace of legislative action in 2017 without clarity, so far, regarding which issues the administration will prioritize. Over the near-term, much will depend on how financial conditions respond to the policy positions of the new administration. Despite today’s favorable market reaction, investors may take a dimmer view on proposals to raise tariffs or otherwise restrict international trade.

Frontrunning: November 7

  • FBI boost for Hillary as tight race hits final day (Reuters)
  • Risk plays roar back as Clinton's prospects brighten (Reuters)
  • Stocks, Dollar Rally After FBI Finds No New Evidence to Charge Clinton (WSJ)
  • Don’t Worry When the Stock Market Goes Crazy After Election (BBG)
  • Republicans, Democrats vie for control of Congress on Tuesday (Reuters)
  • The Bond Market Is at an Epic Turning Point (BBG)

Goldman Fears "Persistent Headwind To Growth" As State/Tax Revenues Tumble

The latest confirmation that the US economy continues to deteriorate comes not from the Federal Government but from state-level data, where year-over-year growth in state tax revenues slowed dramatically in the last two quarters. As Goldman notes, this has subtracted an average of 0.25 percentage points from GDP growth, raising the question of whether municipal finances could again be a persistent headwind to growth.

"Pre-Crime" Returns To America With New Airbnb Law

With stupidity like this so pervasive in government, it’s no wonder why the productive and entrepreneurial spirit is being crushed in the Land of the Free. When a broken system and out-of-touch political class make it more difficult for people to produce, prosperity suffers.

Half Of American Adults Exist In A Government Accessible Facial Recognition Network

One of the key aspects of an increasingly pervasive use of facial recognition technology is the total lack of regulation or informed consent that goes along with the collection and use of this intimate personal information. It’s a total wild, wild west environment where both corporations and government basically think they can do whatever they want. Indeed, they will continue to do exactly that until we the people make enough of a stink about it.

Judge Denies Attempt To Block Transfer Of Internet Oversight

An Obama-appointed federal judge ruled Friday that the transfer of internet domain systems oversight to an international governing body can move forward, overruling opposition from several state attorneys general and lawmakers.

Did US Consumers Finally Tap Out? BofA Internal Card Data Shows Significant July Spending Slowdown

According to Bank of America's internal aggregated credit and debit card data, consumer spending slowed in July, with retail sales ex-autos down 0.3% mom on a seasonally adjusted basis. As the bank concludes, "In our view, this sets up for a softer Census Bureau retail sales report on  Friday – we would not be surprised to see either disappointing July sales and/or a downward revision to June."

US Admits It "Found A Problem" In Calculation Of GDP

For years we have complained against both the BLS' and the BEA's comical seasonal adjustments, which "serve" just one purpose: to goalseek the data to a desired, politically-mandated outcome, and which culminated last May when the Department of Commerce announced it would seasonally adjust last year's woeful Q1 GDP data not once but twice in order to get a better result.  Now, it appears that there indeed was a problem.

Factory Orders Scream Recession... And This Is How A Big Miss Was Avoided

Even without digging too deep into the factory orders number, it was dreadful: while "rising" 1.9% monthly, or in line with expectations, the series posted its 18th consecutive annual decline. A stretch of declines this long has never happened before in US history without the economy being in concurrent recession.

The Stunning Idiocy Of Steel Tariffs

It took these several centuries of learned debate to finally get rid of most of Charlemagne’s extensive and absurd price controls. So essentially, today’s bureaucrats are assuming the role  once played by kings, popes and their representatives in determining “just” prices. It sounds almost as though more than a thousand years of progress have just gone “poof”. Obviously though, the governments involved in this trade spat are only acting in the best interests of steel workers. Just as they are only acting in the best interests of taxi drivers when regulating Uber out of existence in a city. Why, we should actually consider bringing back VHS video while we’re at it. Someone must have made those tape machines and tapes, and obviously they’re all out of a job as well. How are we ever going to have jobs if we don’t stop progress?