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The End Of The Recovery, In One Chart

by John Rubino on November 20, 2015 · 13 comments

One of the questions on analysts’ minds lately is whether stock prices can keep moving up when corporate sales and profits are falling. But the same can be asked about the overall economy. Why would companies hire more people if they’re selling less stuff? The answer is that they probably won’t. As the chart below […]


The 1% Is Rolling Over

by John Rubino on November 17, 2015 · 12 comments

Today’s financial world is a tough place for the average person but paradise for rich guys. As easy money raises asset prices, the owners of those assets make effortless profits. Then they buy expensive toys and trophy properties. Hence the recent boom in fine art, high-end real estate, yachts and private jets. But like all […]


Retail Earnings Disaster Points To Gathering Storm

by John Rubino on November 13, 2015 · 10 comments

The big retail chains are generally seen as pretty good barometers of the health of “the consumer.” And since — in today’s late-cycle debt-binge pseudo-capitalism — the consumer drives the economy, the numbers coming out of the aforementioned retail chains should be cause for worry. First Macy’s got our attention: Macy’s Sounds a Holiday Alarm, […]


A Tale Of Two Economies

by John Rubino on October 23, 2015 · 3 comments

Companies that make, move or peddle real stuff — think Alcoa, Walmart, Caterpillar — are having a hard time of it lately, mostly because their products and/or their customers have become commoditized. Aluminum is aluminum wherever it comes from, cheap Chinese clothes and toys can be had in any discount store, and earth moving equipment […]


Wal-Mart just announced flat year-over-year sales, causing its shares to fall by 9% and wiping $20 billion from its market cap. Which would be unremarkable if the disappointment was an aberration. But it’s not. Earnings season is off to a brutal start, with big names announcing big misses all over the place. Meanwhile, the rare […]


Another Monday, Another Batch Of Brutal Numbers

by John Rubino on August 17, 2015 · 14 comments

The global recovery meme got another series of jolts this morning, as pretty much everything suprised on the downside. In no particular order: Japan economy shrinks in second quarter in setback for ‘Abenomics’ China’s economic slowdown and its impact on its Asian neighbors has also heightened the chance that any rebound in growth in July-September […]


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 […]


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