Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

Venezuela's economy has collapsed. This is the result of years of socialism, incompetence, and corruption, among other things. An important element that mirrors the economy's collapse is Venezuela's currency, the bolivar. It is not trustworthy. Venezuela's exchange rate regime provides no discipline. It only produces instability, poverty, and the world’s highest inflation rate for 2018.  Indeed, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate at the end of 2018 was 80,000%.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

China is slowing down. Forget all the reported statistics and those that have recently been discontinued—like Guangdong’s monthly purchasing managers’ index—money and credit tell the tale. Indeed, there is a strong link between the broad money growth in China and nominal GDP growth. For example, during the 2003-2017 period, the money supply (M2) grew at an average annual rate of 14.92% and nominal GDP grew at a 14.67% annual rate.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

Today, the Fed defied President Trump’s irreverent Tweets. Indeed, the Fed did what it signaled it was going to do long before Trump pushed the “Tweet” button. Yes, the Fed—with all 10 members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voting “yes”—increased the federal funds interest rate by 25 basis points to the 2.25-2.50% range. And, as night follows day, the U.S. equity markets, currency markets, and precious metals markets took a hit.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

Venezuela has been suffering from hyperinflation since November 2016 and holds down the top spot on my list, with an annual inflation rate of 72,062%.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

The results of the U.S. mid-term elections were good news for not only the winners, but for most Americans. Yes, the federal government works better when divided, not unified. The 116th Congress—with the House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats and the Senate and White House under Republican command—may work better than the unified 115th Congress did.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

Public infrastructure in the U.S. is in bad shape and has been so for many years. Washington has fingered the importance of doing something about the decrepit state of America’s infrastructure for decades. It’s the bipartisan thing to do.