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: Free Market

Big Banks Are Optimistic About U.S. Economy, for Good Reason

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 21, 2020: 

Three of the world’s largest investment banks — Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank — are optimistic about stocks in the coming months, and for good reasons: a strong housing market, the improved chances for a COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, the increasing likelihood of President Trump’s reelection, a strong GDP number in the third quarter, economic momentum left over from 2019’s amazing performance, and forecasts of the robust recovery extending into 2021.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin told his clients last week to expect the S&P 500 index, currently trading around 3,260, to close the year at 3,600 and at 3,800 by next summer: “Despite the sharp sell-off [in stocks] we remain optimistic about the path of the U.S. equity market in coming months … [the] economic data show a continuing recovery.”

Wells Fargo’s chief investment officer, Kirk Harman, told CNBC on Tuesday,

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New Jersey the Fourth State to Enact “Millionaires” tax

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 18, 2020:  

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he doesn’t hold a grudge against anyone making more than a million dollars a year in his state.

It’s just that he needs their money more than they do. It’s their duty to “sacrifice”: “We do not hold any grudge at all against those who have been successful in life. But in this unprecedented time, when so many middle-class families and others have sacrificed so much, now is the time to ensure that the wealthiest among us are also called to sacrifice.”

Murphy made the announcement on Thursday, adding that he expects the two-percent increase — from 8.75% to 10.75% on incomes of a million and up — will raise $390 million this year alone. He’s using his state’s $10 billion shortfall in revenues as an excuse.

He expects the increase to fall on about 16,500 residents, assuming that they stand still for the plucking.

Most are likely to stand still for the shearing, but

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Jobs Reports Show the US Turning into a Part Time Worker Economy

When the two-part employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was issued on Friday, the news was modestly positive: from its business “establishment” data it noted that employment increased by 162,000, a little less than expected but not far from the average of 175,000 new jobs a month that the economy has been generating for the last three months. The estimates for May and June were revised downward slightly but

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Atlanta Mayor’s Spat with Street Vendors Goes National

A conservative journalist writing in the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution on Saturday, October 26th, claimed that Atlanta’s mayor blatantly broke the law and when a court demanded he uphold the law instead, he refused. The issue went national when the spat was picked up by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, the day before Atlanta voters were to go to the polls to

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Regulators are now going after the Bitcoin

This article was first published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013:

 

Six federal agencies were invited to a Senate committee hearing on Monday to explain why each should be granted the privilege of regulating the Bitcoin. Four showed up:

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U.S. Treasury to Offer Small Business Owners “Forgivable” Bridge Loans

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 23, 2020: 

In an interview with CNBC on Monday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged small business owners — the most important driver of job creation and economic growth in the U.S. economy — to keep paying their people even while their businesses are shut down: “If you’re a small business [owner], we ask that you not lay people off.”

The Federal Reserve is working closely with his agency to create a Main Street Business Lending Program that would give those owners an unsecured “bridge loan” to allow them to continue to pay their employees during the economic shutdown — a loan that would later on be forgiven once the threat of the virus has ended and their businesses have reopened.

The initial amount intended for the program is $300 billion — an enormous amount in absolute terms, but tiny in terms of the size of the U.S. economy. It could be, and likely will be, extended and expanded as officials such as Mnuchin begin to understand the damage the shutdown has already caused to the economy.

Thousands of small businesses are already on the brink of insolvency, with bankruptcy for many of them just around the corner.

The ripple effect of just one coffee shop shutting its doors is enormous.

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Job Growth in August Exceeds Forecasters’ Expectations, Raising Trump’s Reelection Chances

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 4, 2020:  

The recovery of the U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown continues to outpace forecasters’ expectations. On Friday the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, exceeding forecasters’ predictions of 1.2 million. In its separate household survey, the department reported that nearly 4 million people returned to work.

The increase in employment pushed the unemployment rate down from 10.2 percent last month to

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New Jersey Gym Owners Defy Court Order, Break Open Doors Shuttered by State

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, August 2, 2020: 

Following their arrest and release last Monday, Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, were scolded by a spokesman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal:

After Atilis refused to comply with multiple citations and Superior Court orders, including a contempt-of-court order issued [the previous] Friday, today [Monday] law enforcement entered the premises to ensure closure and to abate public health risks.

 

As the attorney general previously said, the state wishes it had not come to this, but the gym refused to comply even with a contempt order.

Smith told the Washington Examiner that he and Trumbetti have been singled out by the governor:

We’re being targeted. It’s very clear that he’s on a mission to destroy our business because we dared to defy him.

 

There are plenty of other businesses that are open and operating just like we are [who are] defying the shutdown. But Governor Murphy has a personal vendetta against us, and it couldn’t be more clear than it is today….

 

We’re the only business in the state to be punished in a way that we have, including locking our doors and changing our locks on us, arresting us and boarding up our doors. So it’s very clear that he is on a mission to get us.

This triggered a response from the governor, who Tweeted on Friday: “We are not past COVID 19. I am not announcing any specific action today [against the owners], but consider this as being put on-notice: we will not tolerate these devil-may-care, nonchalant attitudes any more.”

After kicking in the plywood sheets that the sheriff’s office had installed, Smith took to Instagram not only to publish a video of the event but to respond to Murphy’s tweet:

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U.S. Exports Jump 14 Percent in June, Adding to GDP & Reflecting Economic Recovery

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 29, 2020: 

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday that exports of goods from the United States jumped from $90 billion in May to more than $102 billion in June, an eye-popping 14-percent gain. This had the effect of reducing the trade deficit by six percent and adding that amount to the country’s measure of economic output.

The rebound was led by an astonishing 144-percent surge in shipments abroad of both motor vehicles and motor parts. Other capital goods sent to foreign consumers soared 11 percent, while consumer goods exported increased by more than 12 percent.

And this report from the Commerce Department doesn’t include travel or tourism, which is likely to show similar gains when they are reported next week.

Two weeks ago, President Trump celebrated his administration’s success in reducing regulations much more than he had promised during his campaign, rolling back nearly eight regulations for every new regulation enacted. For the first time in years, instead of adding to the federal register (the Obama administration added more than 16,000 pages), his administration removed nearly 25,000 pages of regulations.

The New American recounted on July 17 how the economy has rebounded from the COVID-inspired shutdown, at least partially, due to the improved regulation environment:

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Economy Rebounding; Stocks Setting Records

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 27, 2020: 

Bookings for durable goods orders — those designed to last at least three years — jumped another 7.3 percent in June, following May’s 15.1-percent surge. Economists were expecting a 6.9-percent increase.

Behind the jump were orders for motor vehicles and parts, which leapt 85.7 percent in June following May’s 28.8-percent gain.

The two-month rally suggested that

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Trump Touts Deregulation; Economy’s Rebound Shows it

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 17, 2020: 

Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday afternoon, President Trump celebrated his administration’s success in rolling back regulations that were stifling the economy under the previous administration:

Before I came into office, American workers were smothered by a merciless avalanche of wasteful and expensive and intrusive federal regulations.

He has promised that, if elected, his administration would roll back two regulations for each new one proposed. But his administration has greatly exceeded that promise, he said, by rolling back nearly eight regulations for every new one enacted. Said the president: “What an incredible achievement!”

Sounding like a politician on stump the president ticked off a few of the regulations that his administration has either softened or removed altogether: the rollback of vehicle emissions standards which reduce the cost of a new car by an estimated $2,200; cutting the time for environmental assessments from four and a half years to just one year; and the deregulation of prescription drugs.

He also allowed incandescent lightbulbs to be sold again: “I brought them back. They have two nice qualities: they’re cheaper and they’re better. They look better. They make you look so much better. That’s important to all of us.”

Overall, said the president, his administration’s success in rolling back regulations is adding an estimated $3,100 a year to each household’s income. He added: “The previous administration added over 16,000 pages of heavy-handed regulations to the federal register. That’s why nothing got done. Under my administration we have removed nearly 25,000 pages of job-destroying regulations, more than any other president by far in the history of our country.”

That may explain why the economic bounce back from the COVID-inspired lockdown continues to exceed expectations and has put to rest any conversation about the shape of the recovery. It’s clearly a “V.” According to various sources:

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Homebuilders’ Housing Market Index Surge Shows Recovery More Than Just Homes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 16, 2020: 

The astonishing rebound in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) implies much more than just a rebound in residential housing. It also reflects a positive impact on the overall economy and likely the election as well.

In April the HMI stood at 30 (50 is neutral; below is contracting, above is expanding), the lowest level seen since June 2012, eight years ago. In May it jumped to 37, in June it hit 58, and in July it leapt another 14 points to 72. That’s the level it hit in March before the pandemic shutdown.

Simply put, that means that housing has come all the way back to where it was in March, just four months ago.

But it means much more than

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Jobs Report Shows Nearly Five Million Jobs Added in June

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 2, 2020:

The U.S. economy, recovering from the government-mandated lockdowns to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, rebounded sharply in June, exceeding forecasters’ expectations and confirming yesterday’s report from ADP.

According to the Labor Department, the economy generated nearly five million jobs in June, as those mandates lifted and restaurants and bars reopened. The unemployment rate dropped to 11 percent, down two percent from May and nearly half what it was in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by three million jobs.

The government reported that

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Dow and Employment Jump in May and June, Confirming Economy’s Rebound

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 1, 2020: 

Wall Street celebrated its best quarter since 1987, with the Dow gaining 17 percent from April through June, the S&P 500 Index rising 20 percent and the small-cap NASDAQ leaping 30 percent.

The news came on top of the latest report from the country’s largest payroll processor ADP, which reported that private-sector employment increased by more than 2.3 million from May to June. This came on top of employment gains in April of three million.

Job gains were across the board, with a million new jobs being reported by small companies employing fewer than 50 people, more than 550,000 by midsized companies, and nearly 900,000 reported by companies with 500 or more employees.

The goods-producing sector gained 457,000 jobs, with most of them in construction and manufacturing, while the service-sector employment jumped by nearly two million. The bulk of those, as expected, were in the “leisure and hospitality” sector as restaurants opened and customers flocked to take advantage.

To top it off,

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Chesapeake Energy Declares Bankruptcy; Should Emerge Leaner and Stronger

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 29, 2020: 

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, once the country’s second-largest natural-gas producer, declared bankruptcy on Sunday in Houston. Most on Wall Street weren’t surprised, as the company had warned repeatedly that it likely wouldn’t survive in its present form thanks to excessive debt and the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Wall Street used words such as “succumbs” and “failures” and the like to describe the company’s descent into bankruptcy.

The New American has chronicled the company’s history of enormous success — in 2011 Forbes named the company’s co-founder Aubrey McClendon to its “20-20 Club,” which is comprised of CEOs who had delivered to investors returns in excess of 20 percent a year for 20 years — as well as McClendon’s enormous tolerance for risk as he was building the company.

When McClendon died in a car crash in 2018, Doug Lawler took over as chief executive. Lawler faced an enormous task: reduce the company’s towering debt while pivoting from production of natural gas to the much more lucrative business of producing crude oil.

He almost made it.

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Consumer Spending Rebounds a Record Eight Percent in May

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 26, 2020:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Friday that consumer spending jumped to a new record in May: 8.1 percent over April, more than double the all-time high ever recorded since the bureau started keeping track of such things in 1959.

Consumers, locked away owing to government mandates in response to the COVID virus, headed for auto showrooms and big box stores to celebrate their new freedom in May.

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Banks Cutting Credit to Shale-oil Drillers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2020: 

In the private capitalist system, capital-intensive industries such as oil and gas production need all the capital they can get in order to survive. Banks that are doing their usual spring cleaning — called reserve review and assessment followed by “redeterminations” — are discovering that many of their loans to shale-oil drilling enterprises don’t have enough reserves backing them up in case they default.

Moody’s and JP Morgan Chase are forecasting that

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The Bear Market in Stocks Is Over, Says Wall Street Guru

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 9, 2020: 

Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, reviewed last week’s market action on Wall Street and concluded that the bear market in stocks is over: “Not too long ago we were in the midst of a terrible meltdown in the stock market. But it turned out to be a 33-day bear market lasting from February 19 to March 23. Ever since then, we’ve had a melt-up.”

Yardeni has been here before.

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NFIB: Small Business Optimism Jumped in May

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 9, 2020: 

The report from the National Federation of Independent Business, representing the views of its 325,000 members, confirmed Friday’s jobs report: The economy is on the rebound:

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U.S. Economy Peaked in February; Republican Consumers to Drive the Recovery

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 8, 2020: 

Those in charge of determining when the U.S. economy peaked at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said it happened in February.

Using a very loose definition of when a recession starts — it involves “a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months,” they say — the seers at NBER declared affirmatively that February marked “the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 … and lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of U.S. business cycles, dating back to 1854.”

The data junkies refused to comment on how long the recession might last, or how strong it might be when it recovers. Signs are emerging that May marked the bottom, with a jobs report that astonished and embarrassed nearly every forecaster in its robust surprise.

Predictions as to how long the recovery will last and when the economy will get back to full steam are a dime a dozen,

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann