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Dan Crawford

Dan Crawford

aka Rdan owns, designs, moderates, and manages Angry Bear since 2007. Dan is the fourth ‘owner’.

Articles by Dan Crawford

My extended take on housing permits and starts at Seeking Alpha 

2 days ago

My extended take on housing permits and starts at Seeking Alpha

– by New Deal democrat
My long-form take on housing sales, updated with yesterday morning’s housing permits and starts report, is up at Seeking Alpha.
Like my Weekly Indicators posts, I make a penny or two when you decide to read.  So decide to read!
Also worth mentioning: my overall view of housing differs somewhat from that of Bill McBride a/k/a Calculated Risk.  Like Bill, I don’t think housing has already peaked.  But unlike Bill, I see inventory as the tail, rather than the (a?) head. “Months’ inventory” typically turns up precisely because sales turn down, so doesn’t give me any new information. Also, Bill is really focused on the demographic tailwind, and on “pent-up demand.”  I’m not

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Accountable Capitalism Act

2 days ago

It’s called the Accountable Capitalism Act.   Here’s the bill text.
Yves Smith has a take on this…lots of talk in the news econ sections:
Elizabeth Warren introduced her Accountable Capitalism Act in the Senate yesterday and set forth the logic of her bill in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The Massachusetts senator described how as recently as the early 1980s, even conservative groups acknowledged publicly that corporations were responsible to employees and communities as well as to shareholders. And as we’ve written, and is implicit in the Warren article, there is no such thing as a legal obligation to “maximize shareholder value”. It’s simply an ideology that has become widely accepted, even as some of its most prominent advocates, such as Harvard’s

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Weekly Indicators for August 6 – 10 at Seeking Alpha

6 days ago

Weekly Indicators for August 6 – 10 at Seeking Alpha

– by New Deal democrat
My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.
Two long leading indicators are within 1% of turning negative. And two short leading indicators are also weakening considerably.
A friendly reminder that not only is the post informative, but I get compensated the more people read it, so by all means please read it!

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Empires, Past and Present

10 days ago

By Joseph Joyce
Empires, Past and Present

Economists rarely write about “empires,” unless they are referring to historical examples such as the Roman empire. But Thomas Hauner of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis,  Branko Milanovic of the Graduate Center of City University of New York and Suresh Naidu of Columbia University have presented a study of empires using criteria drawn from an economics classic, John Hobson’s Imperialism (1902). The same criteria can be used to examine whether any empires exist today.
Hobson was not a Marxist, but his work greatly influenced later Marxist writers who wrote about imperialism, including Vladimir Lenin, Rudolf Hilferding and Rosa Luxemburg. Hobson believed that there was chronic underconsumption in advanced

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Four Definitions of Money. All Correct

12 days ago

By Steve Roth  (originally published at Evonomics)
Four Definitions of Money. All Correct
Money makes the world go round. That may well be true, but money certainly makes the economics world go round. It’s the discipline’s special purview, the numeric linchpin that gives economics its dominant role and voice in our affairs. It’s what makes economics seem so “objective” compared to other social sciences.
Given that, it’s remarkable that economists don’t have an agreed-upon definition of the word. Sure, there’s the three- or sometimes four-part “money serves as…” non-definition that you learn in Econ 101. But in practice, what you see is a hodge-podge of unstated and shifting meanings in economic discussions.
The problem is, there are multiple, perfectly

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Weekly Indicators

14 days ago

(Dan here….another one from NDd)
My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. The old vaudeville sketch comes to mind: “Niagara Falls.  Slowly I turn. Step by step ….”
Not only are these weekly posts intellectually edifying, but since clicking over and reading it puts a penny in my pocket, it is the epitome of polite etiquette.

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Charity begins in actually giving

15 days ago

Via Truthout:
In every community, there are nonprofit charities that serve real needs: local food pantries, programs addressing the opioid crisis, the Red Cross chapters that come to our aid after a storm. Charities provide vital services to the people and places they serve.
These organizations lean heavily on volunteers, fundraisers, and donors. And most ordinary donors give without consideration of a tax break — people give their time, treasure, and talent without keeping score.
For many ultra-wealthy donors, however, charity can be motivated not just by generosity, but also by tax avoidance.
A case in point is the surge of donor-advised funds, or DAFs, created in recent years by wealthy donors. We studied these accounts in“Warehousing Wealth,” a new

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Midyear update: long leading forecast through H1 2019 at Seeking Alpha

17 days ago

(Dan here…I thought I should pass this along for NDd)
by New Deal democrat
Midyear update: long leading forecast through H1 2019 at Seeking Alpha

My midyear update of the 8 long leading indicators, taking the forecast all the way through the middle of next year, is up at Seeking Alpha.Not only is it informative, but I get a few pennies if you click and read it. So click and read it!
Btw, I don’t have a lot to add to whatever you’ve read elsewhere on the data releases so far this week. So tomorrow I’ll do a potpourri with pithy comments on each, OK?

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Rigging the student loan system…a reminder

20 days ago

Rigging the student loan system

 Americans today hold $1.5 trillion in student debt, and recent research reveals that the effects of this outsized and growing debt are much more devastating than previously thought, particularly for communities of color. From bankruptcy protections and lower interest rates and fees to safeguards from fraudulent educational programs and even fullstudent debt cancellation, economic justice and higher education advocates continue to ask Congress and the Department of Education to help borrowers who are trapped by studentloan debt. These advocates have fought tooth and nail for even the “small” victories they’ve had. Borrower advocates, for example, have been struggling for the last four years to get the Department of

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Another look at GDP

22 days ago

(Dan here….Lifted from comments here)
Spencer says:
You can download the most recent GDP in excell form directly from the BEA.
In the 2nd quarter exports accounted for 1.12 percentage points of the 4.1% surge in real GDP. That is almost 30% of growth.
Apparently the big jump in exports was due to large purchases of soy beans in May, before new tariffs were imposed. This was obviously a one time unusual event that will quickly reverse and dampen real GDP for the rest of the year.
The y/y growth in real GDP is now 2.8% VS 2.6% in the first quarter. Interestingly, from 2012 to 2016 under Obama there were 6 quarters when the y/y growth in real GDP exceeded 3%.
rjs says:
Soybean sales would be in exhibit 7 of the trade report:

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Wage growth….

26 days ago

Economic Policy Institute answers two laymen questions on wage stagnation:
Why is wage growth so slow? It’s not because low-wage jobs are being added disproportionately:
One explanation worth looking into is whether today’s low wage growth is due to a composition effect—i.e. low-wage jobs being added faster than middle- and/or high-wage jobs and, as a result, pulling down wage growth…But since 2013, as the recovery has strengthened, the opposite has been true—low-wage jobs are actually declining on net while middle and high wage jobs are being added…

 In a previous blog post, we also showed that it is not lack of worker skills that is keeping wage growth low. What is most likely happening is that worker leverage and bargaining power have been so decimated

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Can Globalization Be Reversed?

July 18, 2018

By Joseph Joyce
Can Globalization Be Reversed?
The wide-scale imposition of tariffs by the Trump administration is part of a larger effort to undo the expansion of markets around the globe and ensure that the goods consumed in the U.S. will be produced here. Will it be successful? And what would a world that represented a retreat from the globalization of the 1990s and early 2000s look like?
Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times believes that the open world economy “can withstand the assault.” He points out that the emerging market economies that have benefitted from the increase in international trade have an interest in maintaining the current regime. Moreover, it will be difficult to replace global supply chains with production facilities in each economy

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Indictment

July 15, 2018

Lawfare blog published a solid read of the latest indictment announced by Rod Rosenstein.
The indictment Friday morning of 12 Russian military intelligence officials in connection with the 2016 election hacks and the resulting distribution of purloined emails was not a total surprise. Observers of the Mueller investigation have been expecting it for a long time, particularly since the Feb. 16 indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies over the social media campaign conducted by the so-called Internet Research Agency.
Here are links to the indictment and the Justice Department’s accompanying press release.

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Children immigrants are becoming bigger business

July 15, 2018

MSN reports
Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually — a tenfold increase over the past decade, an Associated Press analysis finds.
Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody.
Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New

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Bombing for Votes: Public opinion shifts during the Iraq war and implications for future conflicts

July 9, 2018

By Jeff Soplop
Bombing for Votes: Public opinion shifts during the Iraq war and implications for future conflicts
Despite the recent summit in Singapore, which mostly made for good television and little substance, North Korea appears to be quickly ignoring any promises–whether implicit, explicit, or imagined–made to President Trump to dismantle its nuclear program. In Iran, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the six-party nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions has created a possibility that Iran will resume pursuing a nuclear weapon of its own. The common thread between Iran and North Korea, of course, is the continued march of nuclear proliferation and, with it, an elevated chance of the US initiating armed conflict as a means to slow or stop such

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The scam of the tax cut story continues…

July 6, 2018

Pgl responded to the post below…
“Corporations… make profits appear in low-tax countries; but there’s very little real production or employment behind those profits…. Tax-haven countries… show… ridiculously high levels of profits relative to wages… because the profits aren’t being earned where they’re being reported…. Ireland….”
Krugman is referring to transfer pricing manipulation. One would have hoped tax reform would make enforcing the arm’s length standard more vigorous by beefing up the IRS team and making the tax code less complex. The 2017 tax act made the system a lot more complicated which has led the tax lawyer profession very happy as they know get to bill a lot more hours further gaming an overly complicated tax code. And of course the

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