Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Reworked NAFTA Goes to the Legislators Given all the fulminations and hoopla that has surrounded the trade pacts like NAFTA, it would be forgiven if people really thought these are things President Trump can bring into the world or take away with the stroke of a pen. Once a deal is made, the next step is to turn...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 28, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Slump in Car Sales Has Arrived There have been predictions for many years now that suggest the end of the vehicle purchase boom. Those headwinds would range from consumers with no credit standing, lack of desire for new cars, changing patterns of transportation and so on. These are still issues that are in play,...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Some Odd Signs of a Strong Economy There has been a very low level of unemployment for some. That starts to have an impact on certain sectors of the economy after a while. The fact is many jobs are not all that popular and will not draw applicants until there are far too many people for the supply of good jobs. ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 24, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Lining Up Behind the Chair For the most part, the Fed is a body that rules by consensus. The members of the Open Market Committee are the permanent members of the Board of Governors plus four of the regional heads of the Fed that rotate on and off the FOMC on an annual basis. The Chair represents the views of th...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—US Economy Near Universal Call for Higher Rates So much for the reaction to Trump's displeasure with the Federal Reserve. In the last few weeks he has become vocal about his opposition to the Fed's stated intent to hike rates. He would not be the first president to object to the Fed playing its traditional role of party poop...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 21, 2018

S hort Items of Interest—U.S. Economy How Will Fed Wind Down Portfolio? We know just a few things about the Fed's intent. We know they have decided to start exiting their $4.5 trillion position of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) and Treasury bills. We know they want to get rid of most of the MBSs and remain in the T-bill market. How this is to ac...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Are We Saving More? According to the latest revised data, we are indeed saving more—a lot more. It was held that the average U.S. person had a savings rate of about 3.2%, but the revised numbers have this rate at about 7.2%, nearly twice. The revision comes after looking again at expenditures and checking some a...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Housing Bounceback but Not Much of One The June housing numbers were very weak. That set off a number of alarm bells from those who have been watching the impact of the housing sector on the U.S. economy. Most of the analysts were convinced that July would be a lot better. The consensus view was that there would...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy One Out of Three Ain't Bad There are three elements involved in U.S. industrial production numbers—somewhat related, but not precisely. The most important part is manufacturing. The second most important is the mining category as this includes the development of oil and gas reserves. The third leg of this tool i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Small Strong Retail Start to July After cresting slightly above 4% in the second quarter, there has been endless speculation among economists over whether this rate of growth will be repeated in Q3. Roughly half think that Q2 was the peak and roughly half hold that this is just the start of things to come. The k...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will Populism End the Bull Market? The U.S. stock market is about to set an important record—it will be the longest bull market in U.S. history. It has certainly had its ups and downs, but has been exceedingly resilient as it has shaken off many of the issues that seemed poised to end the run. The investment com...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Enjoy It While It Lasts The second quarter numbers did not really astonish people as there had been more than enough signaling that something good was in the offing. It would have been a very bad thing had there not been a reaction given the stimulus that was coming from the tax cuts. At the start of the year, t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 10, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Small Jump in Consumer Inflation Yesterday, we talked about the stability of the Producer Price Index (PPI) and commented that it involves a lot of variables. The Consumer Price Index was also subdued with a gain of just 0.2%. This was slightly more than the action in the PPI, but far from cause for real alarm. ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy No Change in Producer Prices This Month The level of producer prices stayed the same as it was last month; a bit of a surprise given all the turmoil that has surrounded tariffs and trade wars. It was thought that steel and aluminum would further jump start these prices, but apparently, the hikes were registered ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 8, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Warfare Accelerates The U.S. will have imposed tariffs on some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods by the end of the month. Meanwhile, more of these taxes have been promised by an administration that still insists they are "winning" this war. China has been responding in kind and has imposed tariffs on a like amo...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 7, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Right to Work Litmus Test in Missouri In 2017, the legislature in Missouri made the state a "right to work" state. Now the issue is on the ballot. It has become a national test for unions, while there has been an incredible amount of money spent to overturn the decision. The basic issue is whether somebody shoul...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 6, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Good but Not Great News on Jobs Nothing was wrong with the latest job numbers. There was a gain of 156,000 and the unemployment rate has fallen back down to 3.9% after having risen back to 4% the previous month. The criticism is that these numbers are a little lower than they were the month before. Over the past...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 3, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless Rate Alters Slightly but No Surprises There was not a lot of shock value to the jobless total this time around. The rate of unemployment fell a little from 4% to 3.8%. There were not quite as many new employees as had been the norm. The expectation had been that another 200,000 would be added, but this m...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Economic Game of Chicken There have been many phases of the trade war between the U.S. and China. In the beginning, it was thought to be posturing by both sides in anticipation of some kind of mutually acceptable deal. Then, it started to get serious with the U.S. imposition of tariffs and the Chinese countering...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 31, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Another Bold Initiative? There is a pattern to President Trump's approach to foreign policy that is certainly unique, although not as much as one would assume if one looks at history. He has shunned traditional diplomacy and has opted for the personal with his efforts to deal with implacable enemies such as Nort...
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