Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 19, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More Distress in Housing Market The level of housing starts fell in May by 0.9%—a not unexpected development, but certainly not a welcome one. The decline has been fairly steady this year and signals the overall housing market has continued to weaken. Several factors are at work. One of the most salient has been...
Continue reading
  210 Hits
  0 Comments
210 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 17, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Options Not Available The presumption behind a tariff imposition is that companies have options. The economic motivation behind a tariff or any kind of trade restriction is that its existence will push companies and consumers to do their purchasing elsewhere. The tariff is supposed to help a domestic producer co...
Continue reading
  140 Hits
  0 Comments
140 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 14, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy No Bang for the Buck Tariffs are a tool that many nations have used over the years, and some with great success. The primary rationale for the imposition of this tax on consumption is to offset an imbalance of some kind. Another nation is exporting its output to the U.S. because it can provide that good cheaper ...
Continue reading
  158 Hits
  0 Comments
158 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Little Change in Inflation Threat The latest Producer Price Index shows a very modest hike of 0.1%, essentially indicating there is no increase in underlying inflation to worry about for the time being. This has been one of the more baffling aspects of the economy of late as there really should have been some pa...
Continue reading
  251 Hits
  0 Comments
251 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 10, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Changes in Business Motivation For decades, the motivation for business was fairly simple. The ideal location for an operation was one where costs would be minimized. This meant locating where wage rates would be lower, taxes would be minimal and raw materials would be accessible and cheap. If there was cheap en...
Continue reading
  214 Hits
  0 Comments
214 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 7, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Anemic Job Totals As was widely expected, the job data was weaker this month as there were only 75,000 jobs. This is more anemic than had been anticipated (the estimate had been gains of around 150,000 to 180,000). The slowdown in hiring is not a big shock given the manufacturing sector has been slowing for mont...
Continue reading
  208 Hits
  0 Comments
208 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Trade and Interest Rates The Federal Reserve had been pretty adamant about its interest rate policy until the last few months. The logic was sound enough. The economy has been performing quite well and that is generally the precursor to a bout of inflation. For the last several decades, the Phillips curve has be...
Continue reading
  202 Hits
  0 Comments
202 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  215 Hits
  0 Comments
215 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  176 Hits
  0 Comments
176 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  179 Hits
  0 Comments
179 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  270 Hits
  0 Comments
270 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  209 Hits
  0 Comments
209 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  182 Hits
  0 Comments
182 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  204 Hits
  0 Comments
204 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  237 Hits
  0 Comments
237 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  202 Hits
  0 Comments
202 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  186 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
186 Hits
0 Comments

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 ...
Continue reading
  241 Hits
  0 Comments
241 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  225 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
225 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  175 Hits
  0 Comments
175 Hits
0 Comments