Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View levin70's Comments BY TICKER:

Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Comparing Total Real Labor Compensation Growth Across Economic Expansions [View article]
    Except if you were to normalize each graph in each period with the number of people actually working vs total population and not use averages for hours worked and hourly rate, you would see just how much SUCK has occurred in the current expansion.

    All you are doing is looking at the average of the bodies still standing. It totally looses out the context of the fact that when you adjust for the actual number of people working out of the total population, the numbers don't look so good.

    How about do an analysis of total wages earned in the economy adjusted for total population levels on an inflation adjusted basis and tell us how great the current expansion is?

    And i saw your earlier graphs and the conclusion you jumped through to that it was all because of the costs of child rearing. Except for those millions out of work now claiming disability of course.
    Nov 20, 2015. 06:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greenspan: More And More People Producing Less And Less [View article]

    The slow down is concentrated in the african american community in the US, which you really cannot compare to against Japan - which is essentially a homogeneous asian community - note if you look at the breakdown by race in the US ( asian life expectancy in the US is higher than Japan, nor can you really compare to against the EU, as most states in the EU are near homogeneous also (most especially in the north)

    If you look at your second link - again look at the categories that the fact checker ranked on

    Financial fairness gets a 25% ranking, while distribution of services gets a combined 37.5% ranking.

    None of those go to the heart of the matter, which health care system produces the best results. Again, i go back to my original statement, the US healthcare system does.

    At least in the US, no one ever is starved to death in a hospital because of lack of resources
    Nov 19, 2015. 01:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Not Just Print More Money? [View article]
    I believe that EO was revoked under Regan
    Nov 18, 2015. 03:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greenspan: More And More People Producing Less And Less [View article]
    If you look at the actual studies, the reason that US healthcare gets ranked as having lower outcomes is almost entirely because the US healthcare is not single payer - they are not actually ranking health outcomes, but cost shifting outcomes. When you actually look at health outcomes, such as cancer survival, US healthcare is better ranked than pretty much everyone else out there.
    Nov 17, 2015. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Not So Puerto Rico [View article]
    The re-scheduling was a voluntary effort between the state and its creditors - there was no one way deal, which a bankruptcy court can enforce.

    So therefore, Puerto Rico can do the same thing that Arkansas did, enter into a voluntary agreement with its creditors to re-schedule its debt.

    What you may be thinking of was the 1943 purchase by a federal agency created at the start of the great depression of the highway bonds formerly re-scheduled. Different matter. Since that agency no longer exists, new authority would be needed. Won't happen in this congress, and in my opinion, no authority should be granted. By the way, the 1943 bond purchase was only $1.88 billion in today's dollars, not the 70 plus billion that PR wants taken care of.
    Nov 11, 2015. 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Not So Puerto Rico [View article]
    States cannot declare bankruptcy. They are sovereign entities.
    Nov 4, 2015. 12:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No, The Fed Did Not Enable Large Budget Deficits - You Did! [View article]
    To the OP:

    As the monopoly supplier of reserves to commercial banks, there are interest rates that are entirely within the control of the FED. You should note that outside of very short terms rates, the influence of the rates charged by the FED are reduced.
    Oct 22, 2015. 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kevin Drum Asks A Question About The Attainability Of A 4%/Year Inflation Target [View article]
    None of the above

    What you would need is simply as follows:

    1) Amend the 1913 act to allow the FRB system to allow for the purchase of any debt or equity security in whatever quantity, at whatever duration they desire, and to be able to hold those securities for however long they want to hold them

    2) A statement from the FRB that they will start buying every security they can until such time as inflation expectations hit the desired 4% mark, which should take about 5 minutes, maybe less
    Oct 13, 2015. 06:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Something For Nothing' Society [View article]
    We decry the declining quality of online articles and long for something better written and researched, not seeing that this is the inevitable consequence of avoiding paying for good writing (I confess, I avoid paywalls too)

    Pot - meet kettle
    Oct 2, 2015. 02:50 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Fiscal And Monetary Policy Too Tight? [View article]

    I think you are missing the point. What Mr. Roche is saying is that the US Gov't should use its balance to recapitalize private balance sheets so that the private sector will take on more risk taking activities. He is pretty much saying that there is very little monetary policy can do right now - one item mentioned would be to go to an actual negative O/N funds rate. There has been discussion of things like outright NGDP targeting, but as Mr. Roche has indicated in past articles barring significant changes to the 1913 reserve act that it most likely would not be possible.

    NGDP targeting could be possible but not with the current restrictions on the ability of the FED to purchase assets outside of government issued or backed securities. Change the 1913 act and you could make a credible argument that the FED could set expectations and drive an NGDP target.
    Sep 23, 2015. 08:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Fiscal And Monetary Policy Too Tight? [View article]
    Here is the problem with #3

    What infrastructure projects? If you think the chinese model of the state forcing the building ghost cities, ghost airports, ghost high speed trains is the way to go i disagree. Look at the what is happening in california with the high speed full employment for professionals train that probably will never be built but will result in "infrastructure" spending in the order of 30-40 billion that will be wasted on auditors, lawyers, consultants and professional environmentalists

    We have all the infrastructure we need currently. We could spend more for maintenance, but maintenance spending has no multiplier effect. Making a bridge more steady will not increase economic output.

    High speed trains are a complete waste. We have cheap air travel. High speed trains will have zero multiplier effect, in fact i believe they will have a negative mutliplier.
    Sep 23, 2015. 11:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged - Some Brief Thoughts [View article]
    There was also 12% inflation in 1981. You cannot compare 1981 to today.
    Sep 18, 2015. 07:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Problem With 'Existing Store Sales' [View article]

    the problem is that the growth rate of sales in the top 100 had previously been a fairly good predictor of total retail sales growth. Look at the following article

    Page 14

    Top 100 year over year track pretty well to total yoy retail sales growth. Yes data is only through 2012, but still. Its not like there was no online or new retail stores in 2012 or 2011.
    Sep 16, 2015. 06:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Come Back 'loanable Funds' - All Is Forgiven [View article]
    I disagree in part. Central banks will not lend unlimited reserves and will not lend reserves against insufficient capital, except in exigent circumstances (ie as lendor of last resort to maintain the functioning payment system)
    Sep 15, 2015. 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's Retail Boom [View article]
    Once again Scott - the problem is what if the headline number is made up

    I suggest you give the following blog a read

    Mr. Balding essentially goes and looks at the data provided and finds that it is highly unlikely to add up to 10.8% growth given that the top 100 retailers saw sales growth less than 2% for 2014. In the report on the 100 largest retailers, no category of retail sale was higher than 8.7% - and that was jewelry - not a category that is going to make or break retail sales on a national level no?
    Sep 15, 2015. 01:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment