Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 20, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Even the Doves Are Satisfied— It has been no shock that various hawks on the Fed's Open Market Committee have been calling for an end to the lowering of rates—Esther George and Eric Rosengren have dissented against the cuts three times in the last several months. There had bee...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 18, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Industrial Activity Recovers— The industrial production numbers include three sectors that do not always move in lockstep. The biggest part of the measurement concerns manufacturing. Of late, this sector has been slowing down. The other two categories include mining (which i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 16, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Too Much Collateral—Too Little Cash— The repo market is largely unfamiliar with the general public, but it is certainly important to the banking system. This is the system banks use to do short-term loans. The banks borrow money overnight to handle the day's obligations and ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 13, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomySlower Start than ExpectedThere were some pretty high hopes for the retail season, but they seem to have been somewhat misplaced as the numbers are weaker than expected. The season started off pretty well with a good back-to-school period and a decent Halloween, but the big da...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 11, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyTax Policy Arguments ContinueDespite almost a year of negotiating, there is no end in sight as regards the development of tax breaks. The sense now is that a deal will have to wait until after the first of the year, as there has been no progress on the issue in the Senate. Sev...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 9, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—A Giant Has Passed— The news started off with a depressing note. Paul Volcker has passed away at the tender age of 92. It is hard to argue that there has been a more influential Fed chairman in modern times and very few economists with the reach he had. As recently as a year...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 6, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—No Shocks Expected in Today's Jobs Data— By the time you read this, the jobs numbers will have been released and you will know whether the economists have any idea about what is going on in the economy. The expectation is there will have been some solid job gains and the ove...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 4, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Few Takers for Expanded Offshore Drilling— A year or so ago, there was a statement from the White House that suggested the U.S. was going to go full tilt towards more offshore drilling. There was limited enthusiasm from the energy sector as there has been a decline in demand...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 3, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Services Domination Shrinks— The U.S. has long run a deficit when it comes to goods. The fact is U.S. consumers want low prices and lots of variety and have long availed themselves of the global output. At the same time, the U.S. has run a surplus with almost every nation wh...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 27, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Are Investors in Fantasy Land?— Once again, the markets are setting records. This baffles those who still insist there is a connection between the status of the economy and the markets. There has been a steady drumbeat of down economic data—reduced industrial output, weaker ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 25, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Markets Hoping for the Best— Investors appear to be a happy and confident lot these days as they continue to believe everything is going to turn out just fine. There have been ample signals as to the potential for a serious slowdown and maybe even a full-fledged recession, b...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 22, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, PH.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—American Mobility Declines— Once upon a time, the U.S. was characterized as one of the most mobile societies in the world. It was a driver of the economy in a variety of ways. It meant people were willing to relocate for jobs and that there was a vibrancy in the economy whic...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 20, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Another Round of Stopgap Funding— The government shutdown will be averted once again, but there is still no real budget in place. The decision was made to pass another short-term extension and keep the government functioning through December 20. The Senate will take up the H...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 18, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Where Is the Wage Inflation?— One of the laments from the economic community has been the apparent demise of the Philips Curve. This tool has been around since the 1950s. It stated logically enough that when the rate of unemployment fell, there would be wage inflation as the...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 11, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Going Underwater on Vehicles— The homeowner was once the greatest risk as far as going underwater on a loan. It was not uncommon for people to buy a house at a price that was not maintained. By the time they decided to sell that home, it was worth less than when they bought ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 6, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Business Loan Decline— The Fed has announced that business loan demand was down last quarter. The expectation is that the pace will slow even more in the fourth. This is not much of a shock given all the other data that has been accumulating. The business community is scalin...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 4, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—More Manufacturing Data on Tap This Week— The last few weeks have repeatedly shown weakness in the global manufacturing sector. That has been weighing on the U.S. economy as well. The latest set of Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) numbers have been weaker than they were last...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 1, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D.—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Consumers Are Still Spending— The latest data from the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index (PCE) shows that consumers are still busy and still propping up the U.S. economy. It has been repeated ad nauseum, but it remains as true as ever—consumption is the key to the success of the globa...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 30, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Test for Gig Economy— The future of the "gig economy" may be determined by the battle being waged in California over how to classify those who are engaged in activities such as ride sharing, delivery services and the like. The companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and many ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 28, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Interest Rate Cuts— The Fed is starting to consider what it does next. The consensus view is that another quarter point reduction is likely. The two reductions that have taken place in recent months have been described by the Fed as "insurance" as there was no real pressing ...
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