U.S. Consumer Outlook, Pension Protests in France, and Australia’s Wildfire
A strong economy will help U.S. consumers meet their financial resolutions in the new year, while residents of France and Australia have bigger worries.
The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Personal Income in November
Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) in November rose 0.63% and is up 4.3% year-over-year. However, when adjusted for inflation using the BEA's PCE Price Index, Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) MoM was up 0.47%. The real number is up 2.8% year-over-year.
Median Household Incomes by Age Bracket: 1967-2018
We have updated our commentary on household income distribution to include the Census Bureau's release of the 2018 annual data. Our focus was on arithmetic mean (average) household incomes by quintile (and the top 5%) over the 50+ year history of this data series. The analysis offered some fascinating insights into U.S. household incomes. But the classification misses the implications of age for income. Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time.
Was Renaissance’s Success Luck or Skill – And Was It Behind Trump’s Victory?
The hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies, founded by James Simons, has been an object of amazement, admiration, and envy for years, because of the incredibly high investment returns of its flagship Medallion fund. In a new book, author Gregory Zuckerman explains how Renaissance did it. He also shows how a key Renaissance employee used his riches to get Donald Trump elected president.
We don’t have much time to get our house in order, either in the US or globally. Everything I’ve said today applies, to various degrees, throughout the developed world. Thinking that 2% inflation or zero interest rates coupled with massive deficits will somehow help is beyond wishful thinking.
Because you’re an expert on all things financial, you may believe you know what’s best for others – in their financial lives and otherwise. But it’s unlikely you do. The culprit is your inability to communicate effectively, as these “bloopers” illustrate.
Economic Brief - A Field Guide to Recessions (updated)
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.
Social Security Is Dying Because Baby Boomers Aren’t
Unfortunately, my good news is also bad news for younger Americans, who won’t get nearly as much as my age cohort is collecting. Worse, they could actually see negative real returns despite having paid proportionally more into the system. In investment terms, they are getting screwed.