I realize my blog posts are getting rather... dark... lately. I wish I could talk myself into a contrarian worldview on the economy, because I love bargain-hunting during financial pukes. I just don't see the path there right now. And I am not sure how many investors are willing to get into the business of … Continue reading Electric utilities will be an even bigger mess than usual out west this summer
Here is a chart from geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan providing a useful overview of the global market for oil and its physical and political vulnerabilities. It's somewhat dated, but still good. Analysts at JP Morgan say they expect the average price of gas nationally to hit $6 by the end of summer. This week it … Continue reading Understanding the market for oil
Here's a lesson in why people like Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich are cranks on inflation and the profitability of corporations. So Walmart's stock is tanking today. Last I checked, it was down 9%. If these greedy corporations have been so proficient at gouging their customers, why aren't investors scrambling to own shares? What an … Continue reading Walmart’s earnings – a lesson on the difference between profits and profit margins
I have seen a lot of people online puzzling about retail sales. Despite inflation being at a 40-year high, consumer spending does seem to be holding up. How can that be? Also, with so many economists and business leaders suggesting that we are headed into a recession, why aren't people cutting back on spending? One … Continue reading It’s all going on credit cards
Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.Warren Buffett Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.also Warren Buffett If you listen to Biden, his Treasury Secretary, the Labor Secretary, and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the economy is strong and there's nothing to worry … Continue reading How long will chaos in the financial markets last?
As with the mind-blowingly reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan, I am struggling to understand what the Biden administration's endgame with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is. The SPR is the United States Department of Energy's emergency stockpile of oil, which is stored in underground tanks in Louisiana and Texas. The SPR dates back to 1975, when … Continue reading Biden announces plan to decimate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Longtime readers know that I have something of a niche fascination with how the evangelical Christian community uniquely attracts charlatan media personalities. In a recent post, I discussed how Jerry Falwell Jr.'s spectacular fall from grace (which took the reputation of Liberty University down with it) fits a well-established pattern of folks constructing and maintaining … Continue reading How Trump exploits evangelical influencers that monetize God
Although it is trendy in the mainstream media to do so, I am not going to waste any time here debating whether inflation exists, is durable, or if it is a good or bad thing. I can tell you as a former government economist and someone who has managed a multi-billion-dollar bond portfolio (which is … Continue reading The effect of inflation on processed foods
FAAMG = Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google The performance of the largest tech companies since the 2008 Financial Crisis: Data courtesy of Goldman Sachs.
A few days ago, two top officials at the Federal Reserve suddenly decided to retire. I'm sure most Americans do not care about the comings-and-goings of Fed officials, but this was a truly unprecedented situation. The Fed officials retired after they were caught front-running important announcements regarding monetary policy. That is to say, they profited … Continue reading The stunning corruption at the Federal Reserve gets even worse