Jeffrey P. Snider

The Disappeared Economy

At the end of April 2015, the Commerce Department reported that unadjusted durable goods shipments (ex transportation) had totaled $177.6 billion in the month of March 2015. That represented just a half of one percent year-over-year gain, but at a crucial moment in economic history the plus sign was quite welcome for the attempt at…

Simple (economic) Math

The essence of capitalism is not strictly capital. In the modern sense, the word capital has taken on other meanings, often where money is given as a substitute for it. When speaking about things like “hot money”, for instance, you wouldn’t normally correct someone referencing it in terms of “capital flows.” Someone that “commits capital”…

Almost Certain

It doesn’t appear as if the OPEC decision went as the oil ministers might have hoped. Agreeing to a nine-month extension, more than the usual six months, it was still less than the whispered year that had been rumored and seemingly supported as late as yesterday. Still, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was encouraged. We…

Act Accordingly, Again

For once, it does seem like the FOMC was asking of its members the right question. They spent years incredulous over the lack of effect due to whatever of the multiple QE’s without changing expectations. No matter how little evidence for their initial let alone ongoing success, they would always, always keep up the “recovery…

Suddenly Impatient Sentiment

Two more manufacturing surveys suggest sharp deceleration in momentum, or, more specifically, the momentum of sentiment (if there is such a thing). The Federal Reserve’s 5th District Survey of Manufacturing (Richmond branch) dropped to barely positive, calculated to be just 1.0 in May following 20.0 in April and 22.0 in March. It follows an all-too-familiar…

Fighting Over The Exact Wrong Things

Progressive New York Magazine columnist Jonathon Chait writing for the leftist New Republic in 2010 prophesied that if the Republicans took Congress that year and Obama won a second term two years after, “the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.” He was confident enough to make such a prediction because that…