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John Lounsbury  

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  • Employment Gains Will Get Worse Before They Get Better [View article]
    vinyl1 - - -

    What you say is true. However, let me offer two comments for additional thought:

    (1) The enterprise survey (non-farms payrolls data) almost certainly includes only W-2 reported employment. Unreported (W-2) employment would be included only in the household survey. The household survey is consistently lower over the past 3 years or so (with a few exceptions). Would this suggest that "off-the-record" employment has declined most of the time 2011-2015 from what it was 2007-2010?

    (2) Or does the data suggest that people changed they way they answered questions (systematically) in the more recent time period? (An interesting question which I think very difficult to try to answer.)

    The data shown by the author indicates something appears to be different between the two time periods. What it is doesn't seem to have any easy explanation. I think that is why his suggestion that the recent divergence without attempted analysis by the BLS is "unacceptable". Perhaps a statistically expert actuarial can look into this?
    Oct 10, 2015. 03:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time To Revise The Year-End Market Targets? [View article]
    Gayle - - -

    "Full blown recession"????? I think you overstate the situation.

    The two quarters of negative GDP growth (0.2% and 0.1%, quarterly rates 1Q and 2Q) reflect an oil shock but are pretty mild. The fact that employment has continued to rise (+193,000 in a year through August - +318,000 full time) - and the participation rate has increased year-over-year - have caused some to question if this downturn is really a recession. Others have called it the "best recession ever" because of its small impact on the economy. But few are predicting boom times either.

    As far as employment, which is a lagging indicator of the economy, we will not know the real impact there from this downturn for another year.

    Canada employment data:

    Weakness of downturn:
    Sep 8, 2015. 12:35 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Disaster Of GDP Analysis [View instapost]
    Yes, I was totally misreading what you wrote. GDP per quarter (which is what you said) hit a blind spot. I couldn't get my mind around the corner from full-year GDP. Thanks for tolerating my dullness.
    Sep 6, 2015. 03:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Disaster Of GDP Analysis [View instapost]
    Dig Deep - - -

    Not sure where you got $4.25 T Q2 GDP. The current GDP of the U.S. is close to $18 trillion. Or am I misreading what you meant?
    Aug 29, 2015. 11:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Disaster Of GDP Analysis [View instapost]
    Angel - - -

    bbro said GDP was up 4.7% w/o the lower energy price losses which held it down to 3.7%. Aren't both numbers better?
    Aug 29, 2015. 07:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For Signs Of Life In The Economy [View article]
    Andrew - - -

    Are you trying to say that shipping traffic is not a good coincident indicator of U.S. economic activity? If so please supply some data. It would help in my education.
    Aug 23, 2015. 06:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For Signs Of Life In The Economy [View article]
    Moon - - -

    I think the author addresses this concern:

    "There is reasonable correlation between the container counts and the US Census trade data also being analyzed by Econintersect. But trade data lags several months after the more timely container counts."
    Aug 23, 2015. 06:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking For Signs Of Life In The Economy [View article]
    James - - -

    I think the strike last winter is very evident in the data displayed by the author. The way I read this discussion he is talking about shipping traffic currently.
    Aug 23, 2015. 06:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: The Start Of Something Big? [View article]
    <<<Money grows on trees in Academia, State Houses and the Federal Government.>>>

    2/3 sarcasm and 1/3 factual. :-)
    Aug 23, 2015. 02:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: The Start Of Something Big? [View article]
    You are smarter than me (at least as of today): I bought DIS for $115.39 on July 8 and sold for $102.66 Thursday. :-(
    But I did make money doing something I almost never do: Held put options until expiration day. Sold them with more than enough profit to cover my DIS loss. Holding out-of-the-money options into the last week is a fools errand. I don't even like to hold past the first of expiration month. This time being a fool was a lucky gamble, but I won't do it again soon. :-)
    Aug 23, 2015. 02:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Things I Think I Think - Weekend Edition [View article]
    Dialectical Materialist - - -

    You wrote:

    <<<Senators with a minimal understanding of banking would be "educated" by not only the banking lobby but by nearly every wealthy and business savvy person they came into contact with. Very few capitalists are going to accept the wisdom of partial nationalization of the banking system.>>>

    I agree. The last thing that a capitalist wants is unencumbered free enterprise markets. The capitalist mind is all about gaining control of markets to the diminishment of competition. The capitalist mindset might better be call "monopolist". The system we have might, in some regards, be called "monopolism". (Although from time to time government "rules" are imposed to inhibit extreme levels of monopoly.)

    By what authority do I suggest this? I am a capitalist. And I strongly object to any rule imposed which could reduce my opportunity to "gain market share" - or otherwise establish dominance in any endeavor. So the strong opposition of private banking to public banks is very understandable to me. :-)
    Aug 17, 2015. 04:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Things I Think I Think - Weekend Edition [View article]
    EK1949 ---

    Agree with your observation about the political nature of public finance bottlenecks. The benefit of a public bank is that private profit is no longer extracted from public finance. That is both a benefit and a problem. The benefits I discussed in my original comment. The problem is that interest paid to the private sector by the government is a form of support for the overall economy. One observation about the Treasuries and MBS added to the Fed balance sheet is that they serve to depress growth of the economy because the better part of $100 billion in interest that would otherwise have been paid into the economy was returned by the Fed to the U.S. Treasury each year.

    So separation of public and private banking would "save the government money" and would "cost the overall economy money" to the extent that the government reduced its Treasury securities issuance to the public.

    I will repeat my suggestion that the banking "divorce" would serve to end the existence of TBTF; private banks would no longer live by nursing on the public teat. Free private enterprise would again become competitive on merit of performance.
    Aug 17, 2015. 03:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Things I Think I Think - Weekend Edition [View article]
    Cullen - - -

    I have this on the 'What We Read Today' reading/discussion list at GEI to be posted later this afternoon in a section with articles about shorting stocks. But I actually think your discussion of QE for the people is the most interesting part of your "thoughts". Your discussion of banking balance sheets gives rise to the question of public banking. Why should 'public business' federal expenditures be financed for private profit? Why not separate private and public banking?

    Ken Rogoff gave a generally ignored presentation in the fall of 2013 the same day that Larry Summers presented his much ballyhooed secular stagnation talk. Rogoff inspired a blog by Rajiv Sethi about reformation of the U.S. banking system. I tried to summarize what came out of this sequence:

    Ellen Brown, President of the Public Banking Institute, had a follow-on article after mine:

    Yes, the private sector does require low risk (zero risk?) treasury securities for efficient operations but such could be created as needed in a split banking system. Government "debt" not held by the government would exist only as needed for private sector savings. Otherwise the assets and liabilities of the federal public bank would government assets and liabilities.

    A big dividend of the dual banking structure: Too Big To Fail should vanish at the moment of creation of separate systems. Private banking and finance would become competitive enterprise again. The parasites now living off taxpayer funding would be free to prosper or fail according to their private enterprise function and successes (failures).

    I am curious if you think the federal public bank idea has any merit.
    Aug 16, 2015. 04:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stepping Back From GDP [View article]
    Good comment! There are two ways to measure GDP: (1) Real GDP for a country which is related to the "wealth of the nation"; and (2) Real GDP per capita which is related to standard of living or "wealth of the individual" (although it does not address the efficiency of distribution - a key element of your comment - without further analysis).
    Aug 8, 2015. 11:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Accuracy Of The Monthly Economic Releases Is Not Good [View article]
    I need a little help, Andrew. I cannot find the statement (question) you refer to in the article.
    Jul 25, 2015. 01:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment