Sunday , March 24 2019
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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

The widened Panama Canal is disrupting internal US transportation patterns

3 days ago

By New Deal democrat
The widened Panama Canal is disrupting internal US transportation patterns
The newly-widened Panama Canal opened to traffic in late 2016. Since then, there have been several ongoing disruptions in how goods are transported from suppliers in Asia to their ultimate markets in the US, including affects on seaports, trucking, and rail.
This post is up at Seeking Alpha.  As usual, clicking over and reading should be educational for you, and helps reward me for my work.

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The Real Reason Stock Buybacks Are a Problem

9 days ago

By Steve Roth (reposted from Evonomics)
The Real Reason Stock Buybacks Are a Problem
 Buybacks are a massive tax dodge for shareholders
Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer’s New York Times op-ed, “Limit Corporate Stock Buybacks,” has thrown internet gasoline on the buyback debate. The left is waving the flag, and the right is trying to tear it down.
The core Sanders/Schumer argument: buybacks extract money from firms, money that could be used to pay workers more, and fund productive investment (including worker training and upskilling).
The counterargument: how are buybacks any different from dividend distributions that way? Both transfer cash from firms to households. We don’t hear people complaining about dividend distributions stealing money from workers

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More evidence for a Q4 “Recession Watch”

9 days ago

By New Deal democrat
More evidence for a Q4 “Recession Watch”
About a month ago, based on those Q4 2018 reports that had not been delayed by the government shutdown, plus workarounds for those that were missing, I went of “Recession Watch” for Q4 of this year.

Now all of the missing pieces have been reported, and they add to the evidence justifying the call.

This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

My base case remains slowdown vs. recession. But I see a slowdown becoming more entrenched as the year goes on, and government policy missteps (good thing we have a competent Administration, so we won’t see any of those! /s) could easily tip us into contraction. If we do go that route, it probably won’t be led by the producer side of the economy, but rather by

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Climate change is the detonation of the Population Bomb

19 days ago

(Dan here…lifted from Bondadd blog)
by New Deal democrat
Climate change is the detonation of the Population Bomb

You know the drill … it’s Sunday so I speak my mind on things non-economic…..
Way back in the days of the dinosaurs when I was a young teen, I concluded that there were really only two extinction level threats to humanity:
1. Nuclear war
2. Overpopulation (a/k/a “The Population Bomb”)

As to the first, fortunately we have gone over 70 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I find it difficult to conclude that unless something changes, over a long enough time horizon, like 500 years, a nuclear war won’t happen. Just consider the likes of Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un with their fingers on the button, and wonder how long till someone like them

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Weekly Indicators for February 25 – March 1 at Seeking Alpha

19 days ago

By New Deal democrat
Weekly Indicators for February 25 – March 1 at Seeking Alpha
My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.
Last year the most significant developments were in the long leading indicators. Now that is translating into the short leading indicators.
As always, clicking and reading not only should be educational for you, but rewards me a little bit for my efforts.

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Mars Descending? U.S. Security Alliances and the International Status of the Dollar

26 days ago

By Joseph Joyce
Mars Descending? U.S. Security Alliances and the International Status of the Dollar

A decade after the global financial crisis, the dollar continues to maintain its status as the chief international currency. Possible alternatives such as the euro or renminbi lack the broad financial markets that the U.S. possesses, and in the case of China the financial openness that allows foreign investors to enter and exit at will. Any change in the dollar’s predominance, therefore, will likely occur in response to geopolitical factors.
Linda S. Goldberg and Robert Lerman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York provide an update on the dollar’s various roles. The dollar remains the dominant reserve currency, with a 63% share of global foreign exchange

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The Eighth Way to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

27 days ago

By Steve Roth
The Eighth Way to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
Asymptosis

 February 22nd, 2019

The teams at Rethinking Economics and Doughnut Economics have launched a contest for entries, asking “What’s the 8th Way to Think Like a 21st Century Economist?” It builds on Kate Raworth’s seven ways, here.
Here’s my entry:
8. Widespread prosperity both causes and is greater prosperity: From false tradeoffs to collective well-being.
“Okun’s Tradeoff” — the idea that inequality is necessary for economic prosperity and growth — is baked into 20th-century economic thinking. It probably carries some significant truth in a generally egalitarian economy. But in the 21st century, with wealth and income concentrations beyond even what we saw in the 1920s, with

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Weekly Indicators for February 18 – 22 at Seeking Alpha

27 days ago

by New Deal democrat
Weekly Indicators for February 18 – 22 at Seeking Alpha

My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.
The short leading indicators have sunk to a level that is consistent with an oncoming recession in the next 3 – 8 months.  But the recent government shutdown may still be skewing some of the data.
As always, not only is clicking and reading hopefully informative for you, but it also helps reward me a little bit for the effort I put in to this work.

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Housing may bottom this spring

29 days ago

By New Deal democrat
Housing may bottom this spring
Despite yesterday’s poor existing home sales report, which was the worst in over three years, the bottom in housing may be near.
This post is up at Seeking Alpha. As always, reading the post should be helpful to you, and renumerates me just a bit for my efforts.

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The 2017 GOP tax scam may hurt the economy this spring

February 17, 2019

by New Deal democrat
The 2017 GOP tax scam may hurt the economy this spring
It turns out that part of the GOP tax scam of 2017 might hurt the economy this year. That’s because the total decline in the amount of tax refunds going to tax filers this looks like it is going to be enough to affect consumer spending significantly this spring.

This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

Special bonus: a few RW commenters there really don’t seem to like it!

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What does a “Recession Watch” mean?

February 15, 2019

By New Deal democrat
What does a “Recession Watch” mean?

On Wednesday I went on “Recession Watch” beginning Q4 of this year.

Yesterday I explained what that means in detail over at Seeking Alpha.

So, what happens after this?

If the weakness persists and spreads to the short leading indicators, the “watch” turns into a.warning.
If the weakness abates without spreading into the short leading indicators, the “watch” is lifted.

As always, I will be relentlessly data-driven.

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The Empty Quarter, Greenwich and the Mason Dixon Line

February 12, 2019

By Robert Waldmann  (lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)
The Empty Quarter, Greenwich and the Mason Dixon Line
I recall being surprised to learn that I was born, bred and then living South of the Mason Dixon line. I considered the border between North and South to be the Patomac river (honestly felt I was entering enemy territory when I entered Northern Virginia — this was very long ago). My dad explained it was the border between Pennsylvania (North) and Maryland (South). My 91 year old mother recently confessed that she had some doubts about moving South of the Mason Dixon line to live with my Dad. The border is now roughly where 270 shrinks into a normal sized highway. The line is arbitrary.I thought of it when I saw the very common figure showing

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Q4 Senior Loan Officer Survey says …

February 7, 2019

By New Deal democrat
Q4 Senior Loan Officer Survey says …
The Senior Loan Officer Survey is one of my list of long leading indicators. The Q4 report came out yesterday.
The news wasn’t good. This post is up at Seeking Alpha.
Meanwhile, since the dates for publication of neither housing permits nor Q4 GDP were announced last week, I am going to go ahead and put up a preliminary forecast for the second half of this year sometime this week.

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Reagan’s Tax Cuts and the Volcker Recession

January 30, 2019

(Dan here…lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)
Reagan’s Tax Cuts and the Volcker Recession
 Max Boot is a candidate member of the Rubin Gerson can’t be a conservative anymore, because I always agree with them club of Washington Post columnists. But he is a bit confused about US macroeconmic history and macroeconomics. He wrote”The deficit spending of the Reagan years was at least justified because it boosted the economy out of a deep recession “

As a matter of timing, this can’t be right. The Kemp Roth tax cut was enacted in 1981. Real GDP peaked in 1981q3 — the tax cut corresponds to the beginning of the recession not the end.

The part that Boot misses (because it has been unimportant for the past 10 years) is monetary policy. It is possible to

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Global Firms, National Policies

January 28, 2019

By Joseph Joyce
Global Firms, National Policies
Studies of international transactions often assume that national economies function as separate “islands” or “planets.” Each has its own markets and currency, and international trade and finance occurs when the residents of one economy exchange goods and services or financial assets with those of another. The balance of payments keeps track of the transactions. But in reality firms treat the differences across nations as opportunities to increase their profits, and their decisions on basing the location of their activities–or how they report the basing of the activities–reflect this.
Multinational companies are not new entities; they can be traced back to the European trading companies that colonized the

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