Raghuram Rajan Interview – Noteworthy Comment

A June 17 2010 Raghuram Rajan interview contained several interesting viewpoints. While I don’t necessarily agree with what he says in this interview, I found it to be well worth reading. Of particular note was the following comment, which I found provocative – if not very much so – and thought-provoking, as its implications, if …

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Disturbing Charts (Update 1), Part II

As a continuation of the last post, here are three other charts that I find disturbing in nature. These charts raise a lot of questions.  Many of these questions I have discussed in the blog, as I believe they are very significant in nature.  Additionally, these charts should highlight the “atypical” nature of our economic …

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Four Erroneous Phrases

Over the last few months, four phrases have been used frequently in describing our economic condition.  I find these phrases to be inaccurate and misleading. Here are the four phrases (in italics) and some brief commentary: “the Great Recession” Many people have labeled the economic weakness (ended by the subsequent purported economic recovery) as “the …

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The “Paycheck To Paycheck” Condition

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal had a story about Wal-Mart’s results. I found two aspects of the story notable.  First, the sales results seemed particularly low in relation to the recent widespread media coverage of strong retail sales.  Wal-Mart “said that U.S. sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.1%, and store visits …

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“Is America In Decline?”

I found this exchange on last Sunday’s (May 9) “60 Minutes” to be interesting.  It is between Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” and Hillary Clinton.  For now I will simply post the exchange, and may comment upon it later: Pelley:  “Larry Summers, the president’s economic advisor, asked this question: ‘How long can the world’s biggest …

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Rising Costs And Inflation

“And long before this recession hit — for a decade — middle-class families had already been expensing — experiencing a sense of declining economic security.  Their paychecks were flat-lining even though the cost of everything from groceries to college educations to health care were all going up.” President Obama, during an April 2, 2010 speech …

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Four Confidence Survey Charts

Here are four charts reflecting confidence from the SentimenTrader.com site.  They provide a longer-term historical timeframe, which I have found to be rare. Here are the charts.  Each is plotted vs. the S&P500: Conference Board Consumer Confidence, last updated 4/27/10: University of Michigan Consumer Confidence, last updated 4/16/10: ABC News Consumer Comfort Index, last updated …

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Inventories

One of the key questions with regard to economic activity is the extent to which it is being driven by inventory replacement.   As seen in the CalculatedRisk blog of March 12, “the contribution to GDP in Q4 from ‘Change in private inventories’ was 3.88 of the 5.9 percent annualized increase in GDP.” Here are …

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