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The Only Thing Growing Is Debt

by John Rubino on July 16, 2015 · 8 comments

The past few days have seen another batch of blah economic reports in the US: Weak U.S. retail sales hint at slower economic growth (Reuters) – Retail sales last month were broadly weak, with receipts at auto dealerships falling 1.1 percent after rising 1.8 percent in May. Clothing stores sales dropped 1.5 percent, the largest […]

 

Even The Good Numbers Are Bad

by John Rubino on June 2, 2015 · 8 comments

US factory orders tanked again this morning, and were generally reported that way at first. To take just a few of the low-lights: Factory orders have declined in eight of the last nine months. Orders for transportation equipment fell 2.4 percent while orders for computers and consumer goods-related equipment also fell by varying amounts. Last […]

 

Why We Feel So Poor, In Two Charts

by John Rubino on March 27, 2015 · 32 comments

Among the many things that mystify economists these days, the biggest might be the lingering perception, despite six years of ostensible recovery, that the average person is getting poorer rather than richer. Lots of culprits come in for blame, including the growing gap between the 1% and everyone else, negative interest rates (which starve savers […]

 

We’re Very Disappointed In You!

by John Rubino on March 17, 2015 · 11 comments

Another day, another “unexpectedly” bad economic report. Lately it seems like a lot of what US government statisticians say comes as an unpleasant surprise for economists. The latter think a recovery is building momentum, while the former are painting a picture of incipient recession. The result of this systemic cognitive dissonance is that “disappointing” has […]

 

Aftershocks, Part 1: That Austrian Bank

by John Rubino on March 8, 2015 · 10 comments

Sometimes little things are the start of much bigger things. Probably the most famous historical example of this is the June 1914 assassination of an Austrian archduke who, it’s safe to say, 99% of the world had neither heard of nor cared about. But the aftershocks of the deed produced the biggest war in human […]

 

Scenes From a (Suddenly) Nude Beach

by John Rubino on December 31, 2014 · 13 comments

Warren Buffett’s classic observation that “You only see who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out” is being tossed around more frequently these days, as the world gets yet another deflation scare. Zero Hedge just published a great piece on this topic, which should be read in its entirety. In the meantime here’s a summary […]

 

Twelve short months ago, the immediate future looked like a lock. Overvalued equities had to fall, ridiculously-low interest rates had to rise, and beaten-down precious metals had to resume their bull market. The evidence was overwhelming. Debt in the developed world had risen to $157 trillion, or 376% of GDP, by far the highest level […]

 

World in a Box

by John Rubino on December 7, 2014 · 19 comments

Of all the problems with fiat currency, the most basic is that it empowers the dark side of human nature. We’re potentially good but infinitely corruptible, and giving an unlimited monetary printing press to a government or group of banks is guaranteed to produce a dystopia of ever-greater debt and more centralized control, until the […]

 

Are Cars About to Crash?

by John Rubino on September 26, 2014 · 13 comments

New car sales have been one of the bright spots of the US recovery. And they’re still at it: September U.S. auto sales to rise 10 percent: JD Power, LMC(Reuters) – Strong demand drove U.S. new car and truck sales 10 percent higher in September, adding momentum to the industry’s best August in more than […]

 

They’re Lying To Us, Part 5: Fake Credit Scores

by John Rubino on August 10, 2014 · 7 comments

Like any other weak-willed entity, an over-indebted country eventually finds that formerly-easy things get harder to do. Today, for instance, banks are having trouble attracting customers with the kinds of credit scores that meet previously-set criteria for mortgages and car loans. As a result they’re writing fewer loans and the economy is seeing less debt-fueled […]

 

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