The Arts: A Driver of Growth?

Move over, green economy, the arts economy commands your attention. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced Friday that the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will measure the contribution of the arts to GDP through the creation of an “Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account” (ACPSA). The release explains: The BEA satellite account reflects […]

Still The Scariest Data

I tend to view the data as being modestly optimistic in that it has generally surprised on the upside of late, enough to drive away fears that the slow patch this summer would evolve into a recession in the near future.  Still, the data has not been sufficiently optimistic to sway me from my general view that underlying growth […]

The Effects of Golden Parachutes

The indefatigable Lucian Bebchuk has written another empirical paper (Dealbook summary), this time with Alma Cohen and Charles Wang, on the impact of golden parachutes (agreements that pay off CEOs generously in case of acquisition by another company) on shareholder value. Looking just at the question of whether a company is acquired and for how much, they […]

Chicago Fed: September Economic Conditions Improve Slightly

Yesterday’s update of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) strengthened the case for what’s become obvious in recent weeks: economic conditions overall improved modestly in September. Last week’s review of the numbers published to date certainly looked encouraging, as tracked by The Capital Spectator Economic Trend Index (CS-ETI). Not surprisingly, the September read on the economy via CFNAI […]

Time to Reduce Equity Exposure …

All this week, I have been discussing why I thought we may be coming to an end of the cyclical bull market that began in March 2009: Listen to Ritholtz Sees “Major Cyclical Correction” from Tuesday morning, and watch this and this from Thursday. I have cut back on some major holdings, and raised our cash levels to 25% in the […]

A Few Notes on FX

The US dollar is trading heavily after yesterday’s mini-reversal, with a stronger than expected UK GDP report allowing sterling to lead the charge. The UK reported a 1% rise in Q3 GDP over Q4.  The consensus was for 0.6%-0.7% expansion after three quarters of contraction. The news, coupled with recent comments from BoE’s King, have dampened […]

1% GDP Bounce in UK Beats Expectations

Whatever the distortions and special factors, the 1% rise in GDP in the third quarter was welcome. It suggested that there has been underlying growth in the economy, not just in the third quarter but in the second as well, so that “longest double-dip recession in 50 years” should be put to bed. The best […]

Electoral Maps

Here are two maps for those trying to follow the U.S. presidential election. Real Clear Politics calculates an average of recent polls for each state, on the basis of which they create the following map. They designate a state as “toss-up” if the candidate leads in the polls by 5% or less. For example, they’re describing […]

Are the Green Shoots For Real?

Joe Weisenthal has a number of posts arguing that data are showing the green shoots of a robust recovery.  I hope he is right, but am leery of jumping the gun in believing a real recovery is underway.  There is still a shortage of safe assets and liquidity demand remains elevated. What would really convince me that a strong recovery were underway would […]

The Myth that Growing Consumption Inequality is a Myth

Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur argue that consumption inequality has not increased along with income inequality. That’s not what recent research says, but before getting to that, here’s their argument: Consumption and the Myths of Inequality, by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur, Commentary, WSJ: In multiple campaign speeches over the past week, President Obama has […]