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

Tag Archives: Economy

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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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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The Lessons of Socialism Being Taught in Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 26, 2017:  

The Coat of arms of Venezuela

The Coat of arms of Venezuela

Thanks to Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the lessons being taught by the on-going destruction of Venezuela have been codified. It’s called “10 Biggest Lies of Socialism” and seven of them apply directly to the once-prosperous oil-rich South American country. First the lie is stated and then the reality:

  1. Under socialism there will be income equality, as everyone will contribute what they can and receive what they need. But, says AFP, the system instead guarantees that everyone (except the elites in charge) will be equally poor.
  2. Under socialism private companies will be forced by the government to charge what it determines to be “reasonable” prices through price fixing. Rationing follows when goods previously available disappear from the market. All that these mandates do, says AFP, is guarantee bread lines and shortages as producers cannot produce under such strictures without going bankrupt.
  3. Under socialism, the economy, having eliminated the overhead cost of “profits” needed under a free market capitalist system, is touted as being able to make the economy grow. In Venezuela, however, the oil-rich nation is unable to feed itself, thanks to bureaucratic miscues and massive corruption among government officials doing the rationing of goods and services.
  4. Socialism is sold as guaranteeing a class-free society that turns out, according to AFP, to be a society where “everyone is equal in their misery.”
  5. Socialism guarantees free college educations and free healthcare for everyone but without asking, and answering, the key question: at whose expense? The myth that everyone can live at the expense of everyone else has been exposed in Venezuela.
  6. Socialism claims that everyone is entitled to material goods (see 5 above) but fails as instead it favors those at the top at the expense of everyone else, leaving the population destitute.
  7. Socialism promises that workers will be “liberated” from their capitalist slave masters, but discover that they are now slaves of the state, subject to the orders of the state and having their earnings taken from them and distributed to the state for distribution to others.

The sad forced transition of Venezuela into a backward, third-world country whose starving citizens are forced to barter has been tracked extensively. Starting in April,

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U.S. Economy Adds Another 204,000 Jobs in April

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 2, 2018: 

The booming U.S. economy added another 204,000 jobs in April, down slightly from the (revised) 228,000 jobs it created in March, but still more than forecasters predicted. Those forecasters have consistently underestimated the health of the economy and their record remains unbroken. Economists polled by Econoday expected 190,000 new jobs in April.

This is the sixth straight month of job growth over 200,000 which continues to confound observers. “The labor market continues to maintain a steady pace of strong job growth with little sign of a slowdown,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

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Job Market Remains Strong; Unemployment Rate at 50-year Low

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 26, 2018:  

Unemployment claims for the week ending April 21 fell to new lows, according to the Department of Labor. On Thursday it reported that new claims fell to 209,000, far below forecasters’ expectations of 230,000. It also was the 24th week of jobless claims fewer than 250,000 and the 164th straight week of claims below 300,000.

Even more remarkable is that the last time jobless claims were this low was during the first term of President Richard Nixon, nearly 50 years ago, when the country’s labor force was just 153 million, compared to today’s work force of 162 million. Translation:

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Conference Board Predicts Robust Economy for Rest of Year

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 20, 2018:

The report from the independent Conference Board released on Thursday confirmed what most already know: The U.S. economy is on a tear, and there appears to be nothing on the horizon to slow it down, at least for the next six to nine months. Said its Director Ataman Ozyildirim:

The U.S. LEI [Leading Economic Index] increased in March, and while the monthly gain [was] slower than in previous months, its six-month growth rate increased further and points to solid growth in the U.S. economy for the rest of the year.

 

The strengths among the components of the leading index have been very [robust] over the last six months.

The LEI, which bottomed out during the Great Recession in the middle of 2009, has rocketed from 73 to

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Empire State Survey: Manufacturing Optimism “Tumbles”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 18, 2018: 

It wasn’t the headline from the Empire State Manufacturing Survey released on Monday that rattled investors, although it was bad enough: “The general business conditions [the current conditions] index, at 15.8, remained firmly in positive territory [anything above zero is a positive], although its seven-point decline from its March level pointed to a somewhat slower pace of growth.” (Emphasis added.) In March that current conditions index was at 22.5, having come off a previous high in October of almost 30.

It was what followed that rattled more than a few investors seeking cracks in the façade of the Goldilocks economy:

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Runaway Inflation in the United States? Impossible.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 18, 2018: 

Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here has recently been pounced upon by liberal pundits as a novel that remains relevant today with the election of President Donald Trump. Said left-liberal Salon magazine in its review of the 1935 novel, this is “the novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”

What this author intends is to draw a parallel between the inflation and destruction of the German currency in the early 1920s that led to the rise of Hitler and the slow, steady inflation of the American currency that could lead to the same end: a totalitarian police state here.

Here is what libertarian author, economist, and professor Murray Rothbard wrote about the runaway German inflation:

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The Economy is Booming. Why Should Anyone be Surprised?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 13, 2018:

For a small fee, anyone can download the Harvard Business School’s case study on Apple, Inc. In a nutshell, Apple began in April, 1976 with three employees, no customers, and no revenues. Today it has 123,000 employees, millions of customers, and revenues approaching a quarter of a trillion dollars.

This confounds Keynesians who believe, steadfastly and in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that it is consumers who drive the economy. On just about every business news show on evening television, one can hear something like “consumers, which are responsible for 70 percent of the economy,…” etc., etc. How do they explain the growth of Apple?

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New Weekly Unemployment Claims Remain Below 300,000, Longest Streak Since 1967

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 12, 2018:

Unemployment claims fell last week to just 233,000, far below the historical average, cementing into place the longest streak below 300,000 jobless claims since 1967. A proxy for layoffs, those claims reflect not only an increasing reluctance on the part of employers to let their workers go, but an increasing need for them to bring more workers on in the face of an economic tsunami that’s just now starting to roll into the American economy.

This is just one of many indicators reflecting a growing economy, including an unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since 2000 (and expected to move much lower in the coming months) and employers adding to their payrolls for 90 straight months — the longest economic expansion in history.

Keynesian economists consider that consumers drive the economy, using their pay raises to drive spending on consumer goods and services. Common sense economics — aka Austrian School economics — claims that is putting the cart before the horse: It is capital investment that drives the economy, providing goods and services that consumers discover that they need and want and are willing to pay for.

The classic example is Apple’s iPhone, which

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How Do You Spell Apocalyptic? Don’t Ask the Congressional Budget Office

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 11, 2018: 

All one needs to do is view the first page of the CBO’s 166-page report on its 10-year outlook for the U.S. economy and government spending that was released on Monday to see why: it features a graph that shows better than words just where we’re headed. Two lines diverge: one, showing government revenues; the other, government outlays. The gap, instead of narrowing, widens dramatically into the future. Unfortunately, the graph cuts off in 2028, leaving one wondering: what happens next?

The CBO report reflected the new law, happily called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that was passed in December. Its previous projection, made by the CBO last June, showed a deficit of $563 billion for 2018, rising to $689 billion next year. Now, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act behind them, the CBO now projects this year’s deficit to be $804 billion and next year’s to be just a touch below a trillion dollars, at $981 billion.

The CBO, considered by many to be less partisan than projections coming from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), covered itself with this disclaimer:

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CBO Update: Trillion-dollar Deficits to Arrive Two Years Sooner

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 10, 2018: 

According to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), released on Monday, the U.S. economy is going great guns. But that growth, no matter how robust, will never catch up with government spending. Hence, despite that growth, annual deficits of a trillion dollars will arrive two years sooner than originally projected.

That previous projection, made by the CBO last June, showed a deficit of $563 billion for 2018, rising to $689 billion next year. Now, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act behind them, the CBO projects this year’s deficit to be $804 billion and next year’s to be just a touch below a trillion dollars, at $981 billion.

The CBO is considered by many to be less partisan than most government entities and as likely to create more accurate projections than those coming from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It covered itself with this disclaimer:

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Jobs Report for March Beats Forecasters, Again

Private-sector employment jumped by 241,000 jobs in March, beating February’s numbers and forecasters once again. This is the fifth straight month that the U.S. economy has added 200,000 jobs or more, and is far ahead of the paltry jobs growth recorded last September — just 80,000 new jobs that month. Forecasters were expecting just 200,000 new jobs as they anticipated that demand by employers would exceed available supply.

According to ADP/Moody’s Analytics,

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New Unemployment Claims Drop Further, Beating Estimates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 30, 2018: 

English: A map of the 12 districts of the Unit...

A map of the 12 districts of the United States Federal Reserve system.

New claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week to the lowest level in 45 years, according to the Department of Labor: “Seasonally adjusted initial claims [for unemployment insurance benefits were] 215,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s level [which was revised downward].”

Once again the economy is beating forecasters, who expected new claims to come in at 230,000. Either way, the performance of the economy continues to astound Democrats increasingly worried about the midterms and delight Republicans who voted for tax cuts and tax reform.

The last time new claims were this low was in 1973, when the labor force was much smaller. In 1973, the U.S. labor force was 100 million; today it is more than 160 million. Translation: Unemployment claims are the lowest in U.S. history when compared to the workforce.

It gets better.

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Is the Bull Market in Stocks Over?

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

Followers of the Dow Theory are having their faith in Wall Street’s oldest and most accurate market-timing model tested. Last week’s selloff triggered one of the last two indicators necessary for its followers to declare that the nine-year old bull market has ended.

Charles Dow never used his theory to trade stocks, but his followers have, with great success. It has outperformed the traditional “buy and hold” strategy by an astonishing 4.4 percentage points annually. Mark Hulbert, who watches the market watchers and publishes his results in his Hulbert Financial Digest, wrote that the key support levels to watch are 23,860 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and 10,136 on the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT).

Near the close on Friday, the Dow broke through support, but

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Tariff Reality Ignites Stocks, Affirms Dow Theory Bull Market Signal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 27, 2018:

The rebound in stocks on Wall Street on Monday and early Tuesday that followed last week’s sell-off was triggered by the reality that Trump’s tough talk on tariffs was little more than an opening bid to get China’s attention. It did, as was noted by Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: “We’re having very productive conversations with them. I’m cautiously hopeful [that we can] reach an agreement.”

It helped that over the weekend investors began to understand that Trump’s threat, even if fully applied, would have very little impact on the overall economy. Part of the initial confusion was the media’s constant repetition that Trump intended “to impose at least $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports” as the Washington Post expressed it. Whether deliberate or not, the Washington Post should have said that Trump intended “to impose tariffs on at least $60 billion worth of imports, particularly imports of steel and aluminum.”

That’s a vastly different, more accurate and less concerning statement.

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Fed Sees Inflation Coming, Raises Rates to Head it Off

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 22, 2018: 

Following the unanimous and much-anticipated decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by another quarter of a percent on Wednesday, the new chairman, Jerome Powell, said, “The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months. Several factors are supporting this outlook: fiscal policy [i.e., Trump’s tax cuts to individuals and corporations] has become more stimulative, ongoing job gains are boosting incomes and confidence, foreign growth is on a firm trajectory, and overall financial conditions remain accommodative.”

This raises the question:

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Is the Federal Reserve Working Against Trump’s Reelection in 2020?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 23, 2018: 

English: Short-Run Phillips Curve before and a...

Short-Run Phillips Curve before and after Expansionary Policy

In politics, according to FDR, there are no coincidences. He famously said that “in politics if something happens you can be sure it was planned that way.” The announcement by Trump that he has filed for reelection in 2020 and the pronouncement by the Federal Reserve following it may just be one of those “planned” coincidences.

The pronouncement from Jerome Powell, the new head of the Fed, was, on the surface, comforting:

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Saudi Arabia Once More Delays Plans to Sell Part of Its Oil Company

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 20, 2018: 

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

The chairman of Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s privately held oil producer, told avid listeners in Davos, Switzerland, in January that “we hope that 2018 will be the right time [to list shares of the company for sale], but ultimately we have to make sure the market is ready.”

There is increasing evidence that the market might never be ready.

When Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his plans in January 2016 for moving his country’s economy away from its dependence on oil (called Vision 2030), he guessed he could raise $100 billion from the sale of part of Aramco to help with the transition. He also felt that the sale of just five percent of the company would do the job nicely. In addition he thought that those shares might be offered as soon as 2017.

The year 2017 came and went, and Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said last week that the new deadline for the listing — in late 2018 — was now “artificial,” adding that the next target date is April 2019.

There are so many challenges facing the elites in Saudi Arabia that the deal might never take place.

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Nearly 3,000 Venezuelans Leaving Their Country Every Day

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 19, 2018: 

English: Logo of the Norwegian Refugee Council

The increasing flood of Venezuelan refugees is putting so much pressure on neighboring countries that the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is calling for help. More than four million people have left Marxist Nicolas Maduro’s socialist “paradise” in just the last four years, and the numbers are increasing. They are finding temporary refuge in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, and Spain; however, those countries are being pushed to their limits.

The NRC stated that the “international community … must step up efforts immediately to provide much-needed protection and humanitarian assistance … a comprehensive and rapid response to food, education, documentation and health needs [is] vital throughout the region … [we are] requesting an immediate $2.5 million … particularly on the border areas between Colombia and Venezuela.”

But, as the NRC itself admits,

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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