Spanish Unemployment: Mondays in the Sun

The title of course refers to the Javier Bardem movie, which along with the following year’s The Sea Inside, made him one of my favorite actors, much earlier than the Coen Brothers introduced him to the U.S. audience. The movie is about unemployed men in the Spanish port city of Vigo in 2001. The IMF […]

Remembering the Real Milton Friedman

Today is Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday and much is being said about him. One question that continues to come up in this conversation is what would Milton Friedman do today? I have addressed that question many times, but for the sake of those who may have missed those posts here is an edited recap: First, […]

Yet Another Discouraging GDP Release

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday that U.S. real GDP grew at an anemic 1.5% annual rate during the second quarter. When the same bad thing keeps happening to you again and again, “disappointed” no longer seems the appropriate word to use. Lower spending by state and local government and lower net exports each […]

What’s Driving China’s Real Estate Rally? Part 3

In the preceding posts, I examined the first two out of five basic theories that might explain the latest bump in China’s property sales numbers, and whether they portend a genuine turn-around in the nation’s real estate market: Lower Prices are Bringing Buyers Back Looser Restrictions are Unleashing Pent-Up Demand Optimistic Buyers are Misreading the […]

Quick Euro Update

Mostly quiet on the Euro front today, but there are some bits and pieces worth chewing over.  To recap, ECB President Mario Draghi raised expectations that a big plan was in the works to save the Euro.  In short, Draghi’s commitment to do everything necessary to save the Euro was interpretted to mean that the […]

The One-Sided Deficit Debate

Michael Hiltzik (hat tip Mark Thoma) wrote a column lamenting the domination of the government deficit debate by the wealthy. He clearly has a point. The fact that Simpson-Bowles—which uses its mandate of deficit reduction to call for . . . lower tax rates?—has become widely perceived as a centrist starting-point for discussion is clear […]

What Do Americans Want? More Jobs, Less Corruption

How Important a priority is _____ ? Source: Gallup Back on March 6, 2009, I made two broad calls: One was a market call, the other was a political/sociological prediction. The market call (“The mother of all bear market rallies is coming”) was as good as the political call (“get long torches and pitchforks”) was […]

‘Whatever it Takes’ – How Far is the ECB Really Prepared to go to Save the Euro?

Re-reading Mr Draghi’s market-moving remarks last Thursday, one gains a sense that the European Central Bank chief recognizes that the ECB has a banking run on their hand. Most market participants have understandably focused on Mr Draghi’s pledge that the ECB was “ready to do whatever it takes” to preserve the single currency. “Believe me, […]

Germans Getting Even More Opposed to Being in the Eurozone

Over the weekend, the newspaper Bild released the results of a new poll on German sentiment on the Euro. It found that 51% thought Germany would do better by leaving the Eurozone with 29% saying Germany would fare worse. In addition, 71% of the respondents said Greece should be expelled from the Eurozone if it […]

Mario Draghi Shows the Power of Expectations

Last Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the following: Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough. The response was euphoric – stock markets railed, risk premiums on the Eurozone periphery fell, and the Euro strengthened – and demonstrated that […]

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