Joseph Y. Calhoun

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Maximum Optimism?

The economic reports of the last two weeks were generally of a more positive tone. The majority of reports were better than expected although it must be noted that many of those reports were of the sentiment variety, reflecting optimism about the future that may or may not prove warranted. Markets have certainly responded to…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets

The incoming economic data hasn’t changed its tone all that much in the last several years. The US economy is growing but more slowly than it once did and we hope it does again. It is frustrating for economic bulls and bears, never fully satisfying either. Probably more important is the frustration of the average…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review:

The economic reports released since the last update were slightly more upbeat than the previous period. The economic surprises have largely been on the positive side but there were some major disappointments as well. The economy has been doing this for several years now, one part of the economy waxing while another wanes and the…

More Noise Than Signal

A number of people have forwarded this Bloomberg article – Wall Street Banks Warn Downturn Is Coming –  to me over the last couple of days. That fact alone is probably a good argument to ignore it but I can’t help but read articles like this if for no other reason than to know what…

Questions

Why are profit margins persistently high? With decent earnings this quarter, corporate profits as a % of GDP will approach (maybe exceed) 10% again. That is abnormally high compared to the period 1960 to 2000.  Margins actually started to rise in the mid-80s but really accelerated after 2000 and outside of the 2008 crisis have remained…

As Good As It Gets?

By Jeffrey Snider & Joseph Calhoun Late 2014/early 2015 will perhaps be the closest to a real recovery from the Great “Recession” we shall see in this cycle.  Q1 2015 marked the peak year over year growth rate of GDP in this recovery at 3.76%. That rate compares quite unfavorably with even the feeble post…

Questions

Why do the teachers unions oppose school choice? School choice and vouchers should be a positive change for teachers. They would have more choices of where to work and how to teach. They’d have more opportunities to experiment with different teaching methods. They could explore different compensation methods, potentially making more than they do now. Are…