Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 3, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy High Inflation Is Bad—So Is Low Inflation There is no doubt high inflation is a major economic problem. One of the core missions of the central bank is keeping a lid on these price hikes. In many ways, the high prices are more dangerous to an economy than is recession. Inflation that is too low is an issue as we...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 31, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More Tariff Threats The imposition of tariffs has become the go-to strategy for the Trump administration—regardless of the issue. Distress over the trade deficit with China results in a set of stiff tariffs, irritation with European policy begets tariff threats and now the ongoing concern over immigration has Tr...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumer Confidence Rebounds Earlier in the year, consumers looked worried about what was coming up and this was affecting their mood. Both the Conference Board and the University of Michigan surveys indicated a slump as consumers worried about trade wars, potential inflation threats and an end to job growth. Th...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More Positioning? If there was any doubt that the trade war with China is really all about politics and posturing, the latest offers from the White House should dispel it. A few days ago, the Trump position on Huawei—the mammoth telecom company in China—was that it constituted a grave and imminent threat to nati...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 22, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Debt Ceiling Blues Again Given that neither political party seems to have any interest at all in reducing the size of the debt and/or deficit, it should come as no shock to realize that the U.S. is once again running into the issue of the debt ceiling. The government will be unable to pay its bills by mid-summer...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 20, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Struggling Millennials By almost every measure, the Millennial generation is in the worst shape of any demographic cohort as they start to enter early middle age. They have less wealth, less property, fewer children, less longevity and seniority in their jobs and have less set aside for retirement. They have bee...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 15, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy How Much Damage Really? At the risk of sounding like an economist—it all depends. Tariffs are meant to change behavior (one of the basic missions of a tax). In this case, the aim is twofold. One desired outcome is a change in the way China does business; but there is more. There is also a desire to change the ha...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 13, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Really Time to Understand What a Tariff Really Is We all know what a tax is. It is the only certain thing other than death, or so we are told. We also know that the powers that be go out of their way to figure out new ways to describe that eventuality—it is a "fee" or "revenue enhancement" or a "tariff." It is i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 8, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumers in the Cross Hairs There is no guarantee Trump will follow through with his tariff threats, but the actions can't be ruled out either. If the 25% tariff is imposed on this $40 billion worth of goods from China, the most immediately affected will be the U.S. consumer. The tariffs imposed in the past hav...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 6, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Trump Throws Wrench into China Trade Talks For the last few weeks, it has appeared there was real progress being made in terms of U.S.-China trade talks. Even those who have been negotiating for the U.S. have been sounding optimistic. It seemed there were still some tough last-minute details to be worked out, bu...
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Global Strategic Intelligence Brief for May 3, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Better than Expected The latest jobs report was certainly healthy—a little better than even the optimists had thought likely. The estimate had been that 196,000 jobs would be created, but the final tally was 263,000. The rate of unemployment also fell to yet another half century low of 3.6%. The details will be ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumers Upbeat Again Those fickle consumers are at it again. As the year started, there was a sense that consumers were starting to lose their enthusiasm and the various consumer confidence polls reinforced that assumption. All of the major ones were down, although not in the doldrums as compared to where they...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—US Economy Personal Income and Spending Data Today —In the wake of the better than expected GDP data issued last week, there will be considerable attention focused on a couple of data points that will be released today. One of these is personal income and the other is consumer spending. Thus far the rise in personal income h...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Unexpected and Welcomed News As discussed later in this issue, there had been a sense that economic growth was falling off at the end of last year and at the start of this one. The part that was not as clear was what has been happening lately. By most accounts, the beginning of the second quarter was strong...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Not All Housing Data is Bleak Earlier in the week, the data on existing home sales was not all that encouraging and it was asserted that all those housing headwinds were taking their toll. Now comes the data on new home sales and it tells a far different story, with a gain of 4.5% as compared to the expected dec...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 22, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Reactions to Tariffs There is no more consistent and powerful law in economics than the law of unintended consequences. The fact is nobody really knows how people will react to a given change although there is generally some historical precedent that can be used as a reference. One example of this, as it pertain...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 19, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy No Fed Retreat Likely Trump is not the first president to get irritated with the policies of the Federal Reserve although he has certainly taken his criticism further than any of his predecessors. The fact is politicians will always favor growth and will always be reluctant to endorse anything that slows growth ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 17, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Are Malls Dead? Of all the economic shifts taking place over the last few years, none seem to have such far-reaching implications as the death of the shopping mall. These shopping centers have been at the heart of economic development for years—essentially replacing the traditional main street. Now, they seem to...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 15, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Production Expected to Be Lower The Federal Reserve releases industrial production numbers this week. Most expect them to be a little lower than they have been. Last month marked the second consecutive month of decline. This would mark month No. 3. The decline has been very broad based on slowdowns in...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Independence From the start, there was an opportunity for Trump to pack the Federal Reserve since there were six vacancies in a seven-person Board of Governors when he started his term. Outside of some back and forth over the fate of Janet Yellen, the choices made were all quite safe and traditional. Jerome ...
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