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Steven Hansen  

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  • Walmart Lowers Sales Forecast, Confirms Economy Is Slowing [View instapost]

    Not only do I shop at Walmart, one poorly stocked one is within 1000 meters of my front door. i have been seeing this stocking problem for over 3 years.

    I seldom believe what we see is caused by a single dynamic (such as poor income or stocking issues). In my Walmart, the employees are unobservant, unmotivated, and generally uninformed. But it does not seem to me to be an employee issue - as Walmart centrally controlled managements knows full well the stocking levels at every store.

    This stock issue is caused by Walmart senior management. I have read some articles on this - and they are aware and are trying to solve it. Evidently they have a systems failure.
    Aug 18, 2013. 08:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hey, Chairman Ben - The Economy Is Decelerating [View article]
    dancing - we do not use ism or any other survey, nor do we use any forward looking index. the majority of the elements of our index comes from private sector sources directly, and we avoid using monetary measures.

    i saw one data point last week which would have marginally made the forecast "less negative" - but the majority of the data points released last week were only confirmations of our deteriorating June and July forecasts. there were no forward looking data points released last week except for a minor one.
    Aug 3, 2013. 05:14 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Low Inflation Works Against Economic Growth [View article]
    yes, high inflation is also bad.
    Jul 15, 2013. 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Low Inflation Works Against Economic Growth [View article]
    i too am looking for cause and effect - not correlations. there is no scientific proof of cause and effect in economics as one change cannot be made without holding other dynamics unchanged. that is why there are competing schools of thought who drag out diametrically opposed data to "prove" their theories.

    I am not trying to prove any theory - but providing correlations to consider.

    and if we could scientifically prove an economic theory, we still would still not know if a little change was good, and a bigger change was detrimental - or a series of dynamics when occurring were good or bad. the same dynamic sets do not reappear, and i believe we are extremely limited in what "proof" we can glean from past data. In general, the only "proof" possible is correlations by looking at past data.

    Higher interest rates have two dynamics - one for the borrower, and one for the lender. consider CD's - which put more money into the hands of the account owner which means one part of the economy would have less to spend while another part had more to spend.

    higher inflation is caused by many factors - including monetary policy. statements on effects of inflation need to consider the dynamics causing inflation. but in general current monetary thinking, very low inflation / deflation are as bad as very high inflation.

    If low prices were caused by productivity increases it likely would result in more consumption. If lower prices were caused by deflation, it likely means income may be deflating resulting in little real economic growth. If lower prices were caused by automation, there would be fewer jobs, and fewer people who have money to spend.
    Jul 14, 2013. 04:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Low Inflation Works Against Economic Growth [View article]
    no question population growth is a factor also. using the timeframe of figure 3, the headwind from lower growth is less than 1% between 1969 and the present.
    Jul 14, 2013. 03:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America's Median Wealth Is Surprisingly Low [View article]
    with housing prices backed out, the shape of the curve is almost identical. i was going to put those curves in this post, but thought they did not add or differentiate the discussion. Likely i should have included them.
    Jul 8, 2013. 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America's Median Wealth Is Surprisingly Low [View article]
    For some reason, the Credit Suisse is not showing up full size. here is the link to a full size image.
    Jul 7, 2013. 08:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Aftershock: Thinking Through The June BLS Jobs Report [View instapost]
    thanks Trader_Phil, a typo. I should not be one year behind :)
    Jul 7, 2013. 08:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Biggest Reason For Weak Economic Growth [View article]
    consider startups pay taxes other than income taxes ...
    Jun 5, 2013. 09:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Overview - A Gnarly Economy [View instapost]
    yes - i have read this but the weakness was caused by the weather also. one month is not a trend unless it fits within the existing trend. the trend is downward - and March fits into this trend. does bad weather help sales - hell no! but i ask you when was the last time you heard that the data was good because of good weather?

    all of these indices are noisy. census pasteurizes and homogenizes the data to the extent you do not understand whether you are coming or going. there are a lot of dynamics in play - but i suggest the number of paydays in the month may be the governing dynamic. there were 5 paydays in March. this tailwind should have pushed up retail sales.
    Apr 14, 2013. 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Market Overbought? [View article]
    and i also am uncertain, and that is why i wrote it the way i did. i do think that if i was not invested that i would increase my holdings right now - and if i was invested, that i would increase my holdings. this is not 2008 - and the dynamics are considerably different (and i consider the possibility of a major correction to be pretty low).

    but the real point is that the eurocrisis is not necessarily negative to the USA economy. we are seeing today inflows from Europe (and Japan).
    Apr 8, 2013. 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Government Debt Is Not Under Control [View article]
    maximusIII - this is the right question. this post was a think piece. too many argue theory without thinking through mechanics. i personally believe sovereign debt needs to be a problem. the problem is the way we account for it - and stupidly pay interest on the debt so that an economic growth spurts start crowding out the federal budget. i want people to understand the disingenuous arguments on all sides
    Mar 18, 2013. 09:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Economic Review: Seems The Economy Is Great, Or Is It? [View instapost]
    Dancing - if either party had a plan to get the USA house in order, i would be encouraged. but neither do, and a stupid solution being compromised with another stupid solution does not make a good solution.

    i do not see any solution using the current economic and fiscal tools we believe are proper - therefore the solution is in tools most are rejecting, or in tools we have yet to envision. on tool - i see no reason for the government to issue debt documents, but on the other hand, i fear the government would destroy the economy.

    but in all cases we need to regear the economy. our social programs are not in sync with the way the fiscal part of the economy is structure. there are many ways to do this.
    Mar 10, 2013. 09:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Falling Down The Economic Elevator Shaft [View article]
    good point -the cuts in the USA are far from what has been seen in southern Europe. Glad this was the first comment so we can understand that federal spending rises over the next few years in dollar terms but falls relative to the size of the economy.

    This article was drafted in response to those who believe it is possible to cut spending to get the federal budget in order.
    Mar 10, 2013. 08:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Summary: Sequester Is NOT The Big Story [View instapost]
    i am repeating the lies of the talking heads - but it was dividends and bonuses. (i am unsure how "special" they were).
    Mar 3, 2013. 09:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment