Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Economics

Navarro or Kudlow for Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor? Navarro in a Walk.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 14, 2018: 

Reuters reported that Trump is down to the final two candidates to fill the void left by Gary Cohn’s departure: Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow. Kudlow has an elegant public persona honed through years of practice while Navarro is known to be abrasive and harsh both in public and in private.

But Peter Navarro has the president’s ear, at least for the moment. Navarro persuaded the president that “free trade” agreements like NAFTA and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) are Trojan Horses: all dressed up to look like “free trade” (who could be against that?), but hiding inside the machinery for regional and then international government. And he won the battle of tariffs, resulting in the departure of globalist Gary Cohn (CFR member and former Goldman Sachs CEO).

Navarro knows what Kudlow should know about China. Navarro wrote a book about the threat while Kudlow has yet to mention it on his CNBC show “The Kudlow Report.” The threat has been successfully hidden by the mainstream media for years until Navarro wrote

Keep reading…

Trump Considering Kudlow, Navarro to Replace Cohn as Chief Economic Advisor

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 13, 2018:

Kudlow & Cramer

Kudlow & Cramer

The vacuum left by Gary Cohn’s departure last Tuesday will be filled shortly, either by Peter Navarro or by Larry Kudlow. Reuters reported that these are the president’s “top two candidates” to replace Cohn as chief economic advisor.

Navarro, as The New American reported, led the White House team that persuaded the president to keep America first by imposing tariffs to protect what’s left of the country’s vital industrial base. Kudlow, the Democrat-turned-Republican with a history of cocaine abuse (a $100,000-a-month habit until he successfully exited rehab in the 1990s) and supporting left-wing causes and candidates in his younger days, was grieved to learn of Cohn’s departure. As The New American reported,

Keep reading…

313,000 New Jobs in February, Far Exceeding Expectations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 9, 2018: 

Friday’s numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were predicted a day earlier by ADP/Moody’s Analytics, which said that private payrolls in February jumped by 235,000. But few expected the BLS to report what one surprised forecaster called “unbelievably strong” new jobs numbers. Further, the Labor Department said that its jobs reports for December and January understated the reality, adjusting those two months’ reports upward by another 54,000 jobs.

The economy continues to gain strength.

Keep reading…

Latest Poll: An Election Today Could Retire Five Senate Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 9, 2018: 

English: Official portrait of Senator Joe Manc...

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of many in trouble in November.

Results of a poll of likely voters released on Thursday spell trouble — serious trouble — for at least five of the 10 Senate Democrats running for reelection in November in states carried by Trump in 2016. The poll, conducted by Axios/Survey Monkey from February 12 through March 5, shows Democrat senators in Montana, West Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota in deep trouble. The other five, in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, aren’t out of the woods by any means.

If it’s true that voters will vote their pocketbooks in November, a steadily improving economy would spell trouble for more than just these endangered five senators. The Wall Street Journal just reported that voters’ total net worth — including all assets such as stocks, 401(k) plans, and real estate, minus outstanding credit card-debt and mortgage balances — rose in the last quarter of 2017 by more than $2 trillion to a record $98 trillion. That’s nearly seven times their disposable annual income, giving them not only a nice cushion in the event of an unhappy accident but increasing confidence in their financial futures.

And those financial futures are especially important to young voters, as reported just before the 2016 presidential election by USA Today.

Keep reading…

Economy’s Performance Continues to Beat Forecasts

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 2, 2018: 

Three more measures of how the U.S. economy is performing once again beat economists’ forecasts: consumer confidence, jobless claims, and manufacturing. Tuesday’s release by the University of Michigan of its monthly “Survey of Consumers” showed all three of its indexes notching highs not seen in years. Its Index of Consumer Sentiment (“How are you feeling about your finances today?”) hit 99.7 compared to January’s robust 96.3. That is the second-highest level since 2004, reflecting, according to the survey’s chief economist Richard Curtin, consumers’ “favorable assessments of jobs, wages, and higher after-tax pay … overall, the data signal an expected gain of 2.9% in real personal consumption expenditures during 2018.”

The forecasters in this instance nearly got it right. The consensus reported by the Wall Street Journal expected 99.5. But that’s about as close as any of them got.

The U of M’s Index of Current Economic Conditions (“How does the economy look to you from your personal perspective?”) also beat expectations,

Keep reading…

CNN: Democrats are Headed for Real Trouble in November

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 28, 2018: 

When far-left CNN, proclaimed here and elsewhere as the Communist News Network, suggests that the Democrats might be in trouble come November, one can rest assured that they are truly in deep kimchi (a Korean side dish made with fermented vegetables). Political writer for CNN Eric Bradner sounded the alarm two weeks ago:

Caught flat-footed by the suddenly increasing popularity of the GOP tax plan, leading Democrats are urging the party’s candidates to … focus their campaigns [instead] on the economy.

That’s because Trump’s tax reform law “is now seen favorably by about half of voters … as Democrats fear that their chances of claiming House and Senate majorities in November’s midterm elections are slipping.”

Slipping? How about disappearing? How would any Democrat running for reelection in November respond positively to taxpayers’ questions about why he or she didn’t vote to allow them to keep more of their income? Left-wing Priorities USA just issued a memo warning that the debate over tax reform “has been relatively one-sided recently and voters have not heard nearly as much from Democrats.”

Bradner added:

Keep reading…

Trump’s Budget a Mixture of Hope, Optimistic Assumptions, and Statistics

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 14, 2018: 

Mark Twain attributed his quote about statistics to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the [freedom] of arranging them myself … there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Mark Mulvaney, Trump’s OMB director, must feel the same way. There’s enough statistical smoke and mirrors in the president’s “An American Budget” to, in the words of Tevye [the dairyman in Fiddler on the Roof] “cross a Rabbi’s eyes.”

First, Mulvaney admits that this MAGA budget won’t balance, ever. The government is too big and growing too fast for the economy that funds it ever to catch up. So he and the president decided to ignore a balanced budget and go for the next best thing: show the economy growing faster than the government is growing and someday, eventually, the deficits will start to shrink when compared to the economy itself.

The numbers “prove” the conclusion: for fiscal year 2018 (which ends this coming September 30), government revenues of $3.3 trillion compared to government spending of $4.2 trillion will leave a gap – a deficit – of $873 billion, equivalent to 4.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. In the following years that annual deficit is projected to grow to $987 trillion in 2020, equivalent to 4.5 percent of the country’s GDP. Only by 2022 does that percentage begin to decline based on the assumption that government spending is only $4.9 trillion while tax receipts would hopefully be $4.1 trillion.

That is the crux of the new math in Trump’s budget:

Keep reading…

Inflation Concerns Unfounded, Wall Street Moves Higher

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 14, 2018:  


Money-supply (this is an old chart, but you get the idea)

Once Wall Street traders read beyond the headlines released early Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they reversed the early selloff and bid the market higher.

Those traders were on high alert following the January report that wages had jumped nearly three percent last year. This triggered concerns that inflation was imminent, and that the Fed would institute interest rate increases which would slow the economy.

The headline from the BLS seemed to confirm those concerns:

Keep reading…

Trump’s Budget Won’t be Balanced, Just Restrained

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 13, 2018:

In his message to Congress describing “An American Budget,” the president started off accurately enough: “The current fiscal path is unsustainable, and future generations deserve better.” Translation: If this budget isn’t approved, wage earners will not only have to hide their wallets but their grandchildren as well.

He added: “Over the next decade, a steady rate of 3-percent economic growth will infuse trillions of additional dollars into our economy, fueling the dreams of the American people and sustaining a new era of American Greatness.” And, hopefully, enough vastly increased tax receipts to pay for it.

He left his Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mick Mulvaney to fill in the gaps and pick up the pieces. The budget, apparently, won’t ever be balanced, so we’re changing the goal: grow the economy faster than the budget so that the deficit gap starts to shrink. Said Mulvaney, “As a nation, we face difficult times — challenged by a crumbling infrastructure, growing deficits, rogue nations, and irresponsible Washington spending….  Just like every American family, the budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can, and reduce what we borrow.”

Here are the numbers:

Keep reading…

Public-Private Partnerships the Key to Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 13, 2018:

On the surface, the White House’s plan to rebuild America’s failing infrastructure looks like magic: The job is going to cost $1.5 trillion, but the federal government will only have to “invest” $20 billion each year for the next 10 years to get the job done. The rest will come from states and local municipalities in response to various “incentives” through the grant process. Additionally, the White House’s proposed plan will cut the permitting process down from the usual 10 to 13 years to just 24 months — 21 months to consider the project and three months to approve it. It also relies heavily on the concept of “public-private partnerships” to fund the program.

The president promoted the idea that “it is time to give Americans the working, modern infrastructure they deserve.” Of course, the government has nothing to give which it has not already previously extracted from its citizens. But no matter. Trump added:

Keep reading…

Crude Oil Prices Fall Below $60, Traders Expect $55 or Lower

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 12, 2018: 

With the price of crude oil for March delivery falling below $60 a barrel last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), half of OPEC’s worst nightmare is taking place: Higher oil prices sought by the cartel are bringing on American production at a faster rate than ever before. The other half of the nightmare would be a slowdown in global demand for the stuff.

A sell-off was triggered by an announcement last week from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) that U.S. crude oil production exceeded 10 million barrels per day (bpd) last month — the first time since 1970 — and would continue to set records into 2018. In addition, U.S. oil rig count jumped by 26, the largest jump in a year.

Helping along was the

Keep reading…

With Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator Gone, the Country’s Oil Production Could Soar

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 12, 2018: 

By every measure, Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro isn’t long for this world. His socialist regime is losing altitude and airspeed at a most satisfyingly horrific rate. His people are starving, as are many in his army. Citizens are fleeing into Colombia to buy food missing from shelves at home, and many are staying there. He’s in default on his estimated $150 billion national debt, and his lenders – China, Russia, and Cuba – appear to be increasingly reluctant to throw good money after bad. American refineries, which have been supporting Maduro through their purchases of his country’s sticky crude, have happily cut them by two-thirds, finding more reliable sources in Canada and Mexico, and as a result helping to starve Maduro into oblivion.

Finally, his precious oil company, PdVSA, which is essentially Maduro’s only oxygen hose, is failing as well. Its production is down to a little over a million barrels a day. In 2014 it produced more than three.

So it’s reasonable to assume, as economist Herb Stein expressed it, that “if something cannot continue, it will end.” And the end of Maduro won’t be lamented.

In a burst of perhaps unjustified optimism,

Keep reading…

Despite Stock Sell-off, Few See Recession

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 9, 2018: 

Barbara Friedberg must be feeling pretty good right about now. Last October she made “10 Bold Stock Market Predictions for 2018,” and already she is scoring five out of 10:

Value stocks will triumph;

Cash will be king;

Inflation will inch up;

Market volatility will return; and

Bonds will offer higher yields.

The jury is still out on her prediction that “the Bull Market [in stocks] will end in 2018.”

Friedberg is no lightweight. She is a former portfolio manager and has taught finance and investments at several universities. She authored a popular book in 2014, How to Get Rich Without Winning the Lottery.

Despite the mantra that stocks’ performance is often a harbinger for future economic performance, few at present agree with her about the bull market in stocks being over.

The sell-off (which appears to be continuing as this is being written) in stocks is impressive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA, or The Dow) has lost 3,227 points since its high on January 26, or 12 percent, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has dropped by 290 points, or 10 percent, since then as well. This is into “correction” territory and should be drawing negative outlooks on the future of the U.S. economy from every quarter.

But they can’t be found. Aside from perma-bears Michael Snyder and David Stockman, few of the usual suspects can be found who agree with Friedberg. When the Wall Street Journal polled its economists, they remained adamant about the health of the economy: GDP will continue to grow and unemployment will continue to drop:

Keep reading…

Treasury Advisory Committee Says U.S. Must Borrow Trillions, Sending Stocks Down

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 5, 2018:

When an obscure advisory committee announced last Wednesday that the U.S. Treasury would have to borrow billions to fund Trump’s tax reform program, the stock market pitched headlong into a selloff, dropping Thursday, Friday, and early into Monday. Before the selloff, the Dow was approaching 26,300, but by the close on Friday it had lost 760 points. The rout continued into Monday, with the Dow down more than 1,200 points from Wednesday’s high. [Note the rout continued into Tuesday but found some footing by the end of the day.]

Much handwringing by commentators blamed the selloff on various technical factors:

Keep reading…

January Jobs Report: Is America Running Out of Workers?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 5, 2018: 

The headline numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report released on Friday once again caught forecasters by surprise: Predicting job growth of 177,000 for January, they got instead 200,000 — the 88th month in a row of positive job growth, with many recent months where the economy outperformed forecasters.

The other number also caught them by surprise:

Keep reading…

Is America’s Welfare State Stifling the Economy?

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 5, 2018:

There were two numbers buried in Friday’s jobs report from the BLS that portend difficulty for the economy: The number unemployed remains at 6.7 million, and the labor participation rate remains stuck at 62.7 percent. In September 2015 that latter number was 62.4. In 2000 it was 67.3 percent.

How is that possible? With the unfettering of the economy through deregulation and now the recapture and reinvestment of tax dollars that were previously being directed to Washington, just about every economic indicator is green. Why aren’t these millions reentering the workforce?

There’s good news and bad news. Some of those people are leaving the workforce and retiring. Their savings, pension, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans are reflecting the performance of the stock market and consequently are allowing them to recalibrate their retirement plans: they’re retiring sooner than later.

Some of the younger cohort – age 25-54 – are going back to school to learn the skills they need for the new economy.

But others are content just to stay right where they are:

Keep reading…

Fracking Revolution Pushes U.S. Daily Crude Oil Production Over 10 Million Barrels

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 2, 2018:  

English: Logo of the U.S. Energy Information A...

November’s production of crude oil in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), not only exceeded October’s by four percent, but rose to a level not seen in nearly 50 years: 10 million barrels a day. The agency went even further: At this rate daily U.S. crude oil production will exceed that of both Russia and Saudi Arabia by the end of next year.

If not sooner. The EIA’s forecast is that crude oil production will grow by 10 percent this year, but that could turn out to be much too low. As Todd Staples, head of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, noted:

American crude oil [production] is a game-changer in international trade, global politics and domestic energy security. Crude oil imports are down 20 percent from 2006 and, today, we are competing with the Middle East in the export market.


These outcomes were unthinkable a decade ago.

Indeed. As recently as 2011 the United States was only producing about

Keep reading…

Americans Expect Booming Economy to Continue, Says Conference Board

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 

The Conference Board’s January survey of consumer confidence came in at 125.4, beating December’s number and outperforming predictions of economic forecasters. Additionally, December’s number had to be revised upward as the original index of 122.1 understated consumer confidence that month as well.

As a measure of the strength of the economy, the Conference Board, which has been conducting similar surveys since it was founded in 1916, established its “baseline” for its consumer confidence index at 100 in 1985. Put another way,

Keep reading…

“What Hath God Wrought?” Tax Reform and Deregulation Unleashing an Economic Tsunami

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 

When Samuel Morse asked for suggestions on what his first message over his telegraph should be on May 24, 1844, Annie Ellworth suggested a verse from Numbers 23:23: “There is no magic charm, no witchcraft, that can be used against the nation of Israel. Now people will say about Israel: Look what God has done!” [Good News Bible translation.]

The same might be said about the effect that the magic elixir of deregulation and cuts in tax rates is having not only in the United States, but globally as well. Economists at the International Monetary Fund just announced that, thanks to the combination of those two potent medicines, it has revised its global economic growth estimates for each of the next two years to 3.9 percent.

This is a staggering 70 percent improvement over the average global GDP growth experienced during the unlamented Obama years.

And it’s just getting started. Walmart, Boeing, Apple, Comcast, and more than 200 other companies have announced what they’re doing with their tax savings, impacting directly the paychecks of an estimated three million workers. Now comes ExxonMobil with its announcement: $35 billion of new money is going to be pumped into its operations in the United States. The company’s CEO, Darren Woods, gave credit where credit is due:

Keep reading…

ExxonMobil Announces $35 Billion in New Investments in U.S. Thanks to Tax Reform

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 30, 2018: 

The chief executive of ExxonMobil, the largest of the seven publicly traded “supermajor” oil companies known as “Big Oil,” Darren Woods, posted a blog on Monday announcing that his company would be redirecting $35 billion that would otherwise be headed for Washington, D.C., into much more potentially profitable projects. He gave credit to the new tax reform law just signed into law by President Trump:

These investments are underpinned by the unique strengths of our company and enhanced by the historic tax reform recently signed into law….


These positive developments will mean more jobs and economic expansion across the United States in a myriad of industries.

This $35 billion is on top of the $23 billion to $27 billion the company said last year that it would be investing globally over each of the next three years. And there’s more to come, said Wood: “We’re actively evaluating the impact of the lower tax rate on the economics of several other projects currently in the planning stages.”

Translation: Monday’s announcement is just the beginning for ExxonMobil. The company has 20 billion barrels of proven reserves of crude oil “equivalent” (oil and natural gas) and a refinery capacity of nearly five million barrels a day. Its 20 refineries are spread across 14 countries, and it operates 100 major exploration projects around the world. It recently purchased $6 billion worth of oil leases from the Bass family on top of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and is expected to expand further its operations in North Dakota above the Bakken Formation.

Wood praised tax reform for providing his company the opportunity to redirect its resources to more profitable opportunities:

These are quality investments for our shareholders that are made even better by tax reform. These are all possible because of the resource base developed by our industry along with sound tax and regulatory policies that create a pro-growth business climate here in the U.S.

Wood estimated that the new investments, once completed, will add an estimated 12,000 new workers to his company which already employs 73,500 people. The implications for the economy are obvious, and enormous: Exxon rarely misses an opportunity to move capital into profitable projects, adding to its already enormous $330 billion asset base. It will still pay taxes on those additional profits, just at a much lower level. Those nearly 90,000 people on the payroll will also be paying taxes, also at lower levels than before.

But what is often missed is that ExxonMobil is just one, although one of the largest, of the companies announcing such investments directly as a result of tax reform and its lower tax rates. Walmart, Apple, Boeing, Comcast, and hundreds of others have announced similar plans to reward their employees through bonuses and/or salary increases or through additional expanded employment opportunities. What also is often missed is the “ripple-effect” of monies being redirected from Washington to places where it is much more profitably employed. Every company does business with dozens if not hundreds of other companies that consider those investments as increased business revenue. That new flow encourages further investment at a micro level. It’s the unseen hand of Adam Smith that improves the standard of living for everyone, even as each individual and company seeks its own best opportunities.

All of this is highly annoying to far-left liberal Democrats, who seem to have a death wish, especially during this mid-term election year. California’s House Democrat Nancy Pelosi seems most skilled at self-immolation by calling those salary increases and bonuses “crumbs,” while former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) dismissed them as “chump change.” To this writer’s knowledge, not a single employee offered either a bonus or a salary increase has turned it down. And $35 billion from ExxonMobil alone is hardly “chump change.”

Not only are these new funds being redirected away from Washington, known for its extravagant wastefulness in spending other peoples’ money, it is very likely to be employed in highly profitable projects that have now become viable thanks to tax reform.

Why, even the International Money Fund (IMF) has been forced to admit that these new investments are of such a magnitude that the ripple effect worldwide will be to drive global GDP to close to four percent in 2018 and years following.

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.