The Ups and Downs

The week following the Brexit vote the markets initially bottomed out. Then only a few days later they rebounded in astounding fashion. Since those initial two weeks, markets have been steady. Every piece of news has been lackluster. Some good, some bad but mostly just average. The markets have responded with very little movement in either direction and trading has been low. This came to a halt yesterday when the US markets dropped anywhere from 2 to 2 ½ percent. But the question is why? Continue reading “The Ups and Downs”

A Taxing Issue

I saw a news article a few weeks ago where Tim Cook told the Washington Post that he would not bring the money Apple has left oversees back to the US until the US charges a fair tax rate. In recent years many companies have been blasted for tax evasion such as Facebook, GE and Apple. This has caused the ire of many people and it’s a news story that we see often. The problem is we shouldn’t be mad at these companies for finding and taking advantage of these tax loop holes. Instead we should place the blame on our government. They are the ones who created and encouraged this problem in the first place. Continue reading “A Taxing Issue”

An Unhealthy System

Simply put, the healthcare system in America is broken. It has been degrading for decades and we’ve done little to help the matter. Things like Obamacare and the slew of regulations that have been passed have done little to stop the train wreck that has become our healthcare system. The problem boils down to cost. Simply put, prices have been skyrocketing out of control and it is my belief that we can’t stop it from continuing. The only way costs could be controlled is by socializing the entire healthcare system. Something that would have dire consequences. Continue reading “An Unhealthy System”

US Productivity Falls

I saw an article on Yahoo Finance yesterday that mentioned productivity gains in the US have been declining over the past decade. Since 2006 annual productivity gains have averaged only 1.2% compared to 2.3% for the past 60 years. The article mentioned several reasons and it noted that technology should have increased productivity and not decrease it as we’ve seen. Never the less I think the biggest issue wasn’t mentioned. Continue reading “US Productivity Falls”

Just What We Need…More Stimulus

Here we go again. The insanity is continuing with the same old worn out tactic. In a stroke of brilliance the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has decided to lower interest rates in the UK to a dismal 0.25% and as if that wasn’t enough they’ve also decided to flood their economy with 170 billion pounds. We don’t even know what Brexit means yet and already the powers that be are panicking. Not only are they panicking they are using methods that have been proven not to work. Artificial economic stimulus gives you very little bang for your buck. In the end your economy might inch forward but for that inch you will pay for it with several feet of debt. Why is everyone around the world so terrified of free markets? Continue reading “Just What We Need…More Stimulus”

The Two Sided Story of Auto Sales

Early reports show that auto sales will fall below expectations in July. Ford CEO Mark Fields noted that the industry is starting to face headwinds. He noted that he expects sales to continue to decline through 2017. The slowdown in sales isn’t surprising considering the US GDP hasn’t increased as much as hoped. The economy only inched forward by 1.2% during the second quarter. There isn’t only bad news though. Continue reading “The Two Sided Story of Auto Sales”

Brick and Mortar Stores Continue to Suffer

More good news to go along with June jobs report, June retail sales went up 0.6% in June. Although May sales were revised down to only a 0.2% increase. In essence May was a terrible month and June was an awesome month. Combine the two and we get two average months. The reports could always be worse than average. But this article isn’t just about sales increasing again or another rant about wanting these numbers to be separated by what was spent by credit versus cash. Instead I want to look at the continued decline of brick and mortar sales. Continue reading “Brick and Mortar Stores Continue to Suffer”

Good News on the Job Front

After the terrible May jobs report many were speculating that it was a one time bump in the road. Now that the June job numbers are out that looks to be the case. 287,000 jobs were added in June verses the 38,000 that were added in May. The May numbers have actually been revised down to 11,000. That is not a bump in the road but rather a massive crater. Continue reading “Good News on the Job Front”

Is a Recession Coming Soon?

Short answers is maybe, long answer is it depends on who you ask. Deutsche Bank recently came out and said that the probability of a recession in the next 12 months has risen to 60%. On the other hand the New York federal reserve has come out and stated a recession is 8.1% likely in the next 12 months. The biggest issue right now is all of the contradictory opinions about the economy is causing havoc with peoples emotions. The volatility in the markets right now is a direct result of the uncertainty this news creates. There are many gloomy clouds on the horizon but no one can defiantly tells us what it all means. Continue reading “Is a Recession Coming Soon?”