Results 451–471 of 471 found.
President Obama won a second term as president by three percent of the popular vote, while sweeping the battleground states and winning the Electoral College. Meanwhile, Democrats gained two seats in the Senate and the GOP held onto a comfortable majority in the House.
Election Matters, But Stocks are Cheap
Tomorrow's election may be the most important one for economic policy of our generation. Years from now, we may look back at the choice Americans make as an inflection point leading toward either more economic freedom or less, with major effects on long-term economic growth and living standards.
Velocity, Uncertainty & the Economy
Recently we lifted our recession odds to 25% from 10%. For some, this was worrisome. In recent weeks we've been asked, "If you guys get a little bearish on the economy, after being bullish for so long, shouldn't I get really nervous?" Our answer to this question is "no."
More Plow Horse
If we see any theme in the third quarter, it was that the consumer had growing purchasing power while businesses temporarily pulled back from investing in plant and equipment. Usually, that kind of retreat in business investment would have us more concerned. Almost every time machinery orders are down 10% from the year before, like they are now, we are near recession. But we think many companies are temporarily waiting until after the election to decide what to do.
The Romney Tax Plan
The US federal budget is a mess. Spending has soared, which has hurt economic growth and undermined tax revenues. The result is four consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits. Politicians are always tempted to hike taxes to fix deficits, but the US has reached the point where this is not possible.
Recession Risk Rising
Economic forecasting was relatively easy from the end of World War II until the middle of the prior decade. Most of the time, you could just focus on monetary policy. But then came the last recession, which had nothing to do with the Fed being too tight. Instead, falling home prices and mark-to-market rules rendered some major banks under- capitalized. A pure financial panic ensued, the likes of which we had not seen for 100 years. But what if this was not a one-time event?
Housing Recovery Still Young
The turnaround in the housing market is perhaps the brightest spot in an otherwise tepid economic recovery. Home sales, home building, and even home prices are all headed up. In the past twelve months, sales of existing homes are up 9% while sales of new homes are up 25%. Housing starts are up 29%. The two most prominent home price measures, Case-Shiller and FHFA, are both up at about a 7% annual rate in the past six months.
QE3, For Now
As we all know by now, the Federal Reserve launched QE3 on Thursday, announcing an open-ended program of buying an extra $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities until it sees a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market. It also adjusted its guidance for when it thinks it will start moving up short-term interest rates to mid-2015 from a previous late-2014.
Fed Sets Sail on QE3
They did it. The Federal Reserve today announced a third round of quantitative easing, making an open-ended commitment to buy additional mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. The Fed said it also will "closely monitor" the economy and financial markets and continue these purchases and possibly expand them until they see substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market.
Better Policy, Better Recovery
Politicians always shift the blame. So, hearing them say that "no one" could have cleaned up the so-called mess and fixed the economy in just a few years is not surprising. What else do you say when after three years of recovery the unemployment rate is still at 8.1% -- down only 1.9 points since the peak almost three years ago and real economic growth has averaged a tepid 2.2% for three years of economic recovery?
Still No Recession in Sight
Real GDP in the US has grown 2.3% in the past year, a mediocre rate of growth, little different than its 2.2% average since mid-2009, when the recovery officially began. It's what we call the Plow Horse economy and we expect it to continue plodding along, at least through this fall.
Still No QE3
The Federal Reserve is clearly ready to do something. In recently released minutes from the 7/31-8/1 meeting and a letter from Chairman Bernanke to Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Fed argued that its actions had helped the economy already and that the Fed was ready to do more.
Lengthen the Debt
The U.S. national debt has exploded, doubling over the past seven years. Everyone agrees that this is unsustainable. Meanwhile, interest rates have touched historic lows: the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note dropped as low as 1.4% back in July; the yield on the 30-year Bond as low as 2.5%. Under these circumstances, one would think the US Treasury Department would be turning lemons into lemonade.
The Romney-Ryan Achilles Heel
When Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate he guaranteed that the 2012 presidential race will be about two opposing economic philosophies. It will be clear to voters which side the candidates are on and, as a result, this election could determine the direction of the American economy for decades to come.
Why the Long Face?
Back in early 2009, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business teamed up to create the Financial Trust Index. The latest readings from July 2012 show that just 21% of Americans trust the financial system and only 15% trust the stock market. For many, this negativity is understandable.
Heads, I Win, Tails, You Lose
Up, down, sideways...it's all bad, all the time. Take oil, for example. Between September 2011 and March 2012, oil prices rose about 20%. This generated all kinds of "sky-is-falling" stories about consumers having less money to spend. But, recently, as oil prices headed south in May and June, do you think the negativity went away? Not! The Pouting Pundits of Pessimism said falling oil was a bad sign, signaling weak global demand. It's all bad, all the time. The glass is always half empty.
Wesbury vs. Krugman
Today, on Bloomberg with Tom Keene, Brian Wesbury was asked about Paul Krugman. Wesbury said Krugman was wrong - government spending does not boost growth, if it did there would be no poverty in the world. This was reported on BusinessInsider...BusinessInsider then reported that Krugman fired back...quoting his New York Times blog. In it, he claims it all "depends on the situation."
Slow in Q2, But No Recession
We estimate real GDP grew at only a 0.9% annual rate in Q2. The Plow Horse Economy hit a tough spot, but it hasn't hit the wall. In Q1-2011, real GDP grew at just 0.4% at an annual rate, but then accelerated again. In other words, this is not the end of the world. It's not a recession.
Stocks Are Really Cheap
America's equity markets have rallied sharply since last October, with the S&P 500 up 22%. Nonetheless, the stock market has been stuck in a range for 18 months, with the Dow Jones Industrial's Average trading between 10,650 and 13,280, well below the October 2007 high of 14,165. Financial markets have priced in all kinds of bad things a fiscal cliff, slower earnings growth, a potential recession, and big government. But, we think these markets are overly pessimistic.
Is Obama a Big Spender?
Last week, Rex Nutting, a reporter for MarketWatch, became famous when the White House used his analysis of government spending. He wrote that there has been no huge increase in spending under the current president. We like Rex Nutting. He seems like a fair-minded analyst. But we emphatically disagree. This is not personal, heck, its not even political. Data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows President Obama has been a huge spender.
Results 451–471 of 471 found.