OPEC's February Oil Market Report showed that the global oil glut is growing again

Since the media largely missed what the data from OPEC's February Oil Market Report (covering January OPEC & global oil data) actually showed, and since Saudi jawboning about oil supply and demand in advance of the Aramco IPO has been keyed to keeping oil prices higher, we'll take a quick look at that report, which is available as a free download.

Construction contribution to Q1 GDP under-reported by 47 basis points, despite 1.7% drop in March

Construction spending fell 1.7% in March, after construction spending for both January and February were revised much higher.  The Census Bureau's report on construction spending for March (pdf) estimated that the month's seasonally adjusted construction spending would work out to $1,284.7 billion annually if extrapolated over an entire year, which was 1.7 percent (±0.8%) below the revised annualized February estimate of $1,306.4 billion

One cold snap uses 11.5% of US natural gas supplies; 8 more weeks like that and our gas storage will be totally empty

The cold week that we saw at the beginning of this month set quite a stunning record for US natural gas supplies, and put an exclamation point on our concerns about the natural gas that we're exporting.  In the first week of the new year, the demand for natural gas was so great that we had to use nearly eleven and a half percent of all the natural gas that was in storage in the US, in addition to everything that was produced by US wells during the week, to meet the needs of heating, industry, power generation, and exports. 

December Trade Deficit Up 5.3% on Higher Imports of Cellphones, Drugs and Cars

The Commerce Department report on our international trade in goods and services for December indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by $2.7 billion to $53.1 billion in December from a revised November deficit of $50.4 billion.

OPEC oil output at a 6 month low; global oil output at a 12 month high

We’re going to start by reviewing OPEC's December Oil Market Report (covering November OPEC & global oil data), which was released on Wednesday of last week, and which is now available as a free download.  The first table from this report that we'll look at is from page 64 of that OPEC pdf, and it shows oil production in thousands of barrels per day for each of the current OPEC members over the recent years, quarters and months, as the column headings indicate. 

Trump's RAISE Act Immigration Bill

As I reported here the other day, the White House has endorsed an immigration reform bill by Sens. Cotton and Perdue, known as the RAISE Act. The bill seems to be already drawing both support and fierce opposition. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta was so upset about the Trump administration’s endorsement of the bill that he picked a fight with Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller during the latter’s press conference.

America Will Fail Without Reinacting Glass-Steagall

For 66 years the Glass-Steagall act reduced the risks in the banking system. Eight years after the act was repealed, the banking system blew up threatening the international economy. US taxpayers were forced to come up with $750 billion dollars, a sum much larger than the Pentagon’s budget, in order to bail out the banks. This huge sum was insufficient to do the job. The Federal Reserve had to step in and expand its balance sheet by $4 trillion in order to protect the solvency of banks declared “too big to fail.”

The Great US Natural Gas Exports Myth

I've previously pointed out that our natural gas supplies are a lot tighter than they appear to be, and there's no way that additional supplies can be developed at the prices that are being promised for these exports.  What I'm going to do today is show you the natural gas data that I'm looking at, so you can see how I've come to that conclusion.

November Personal Spending Up 0.6%, Two Months PCE Adds 171 Basis Points to Q4 GDP

The November report on Personal Income and Outlays from the Bureau of Economic Analysis includes the month's data for our personal consumption expenditures (PCE), which accounts for more than 69% of the month's GDP, and with it the PCE price index, the inflation gauge the Fed targets, and which is used to adjust that personal spending data for inflation to give us the relative change in the output of goods and services that our spending indicated.

Consumer Prices Rose 0.4% in November on Higher Energy Costs

The consumer price index increased by 0.4% in November, as higher prices for energy were only slightly offset by lower prices for groceries and clothing.  The Consumer Price Index Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the seasonally adjusted price index rose 0.4% in November after it had risen 0.1% in October, 0.5% in September, 0.4% in August, 0.1% in July, and after it was unchanged in June and had fallen 0.1% in May.

Moving Corporations To Shared Productivity

by Ralph Gomory and Richard Sylla TDR

This article was originally published by The Huffington Post

Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with these institutions.

Who Knew Jack Lew?

Jacob_J._Lew_signatureWhen Obama nominated current White House chief of staff and former Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary all the main stream press could talk about was his loopy signature.

What they are not amplifying is Jack Lew's Wall Street connections and ties to think tanks which often promote corporate centric policies that harm the U.S. middle class.

There were 3.3 Unemployed for every Job Available in November 2012

The BLS November JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows there are 3.3 official unemployed per job opening. Opportunities, actual hires were flat lined, showing a stagnant, dead pool job market. While openings increased by 0.3%, actual hires had no change, 0.07%. There were 3.7 million job openings for November, still way below pre-recession levels of 4.7 million.

Don't Go There AIG!

moneyhatThe most incredible headline flashed across the screen, AIG is thinking of suing the Federal Government for bailing them out. This is the company at the heart of financial contagion. AIG had created derivative dominoes where if one financial institution failed, that one institutional failure would trigger credit default swaps derivatives which in turn would collapse the entire global system.

Foreclosed Upon Americans Get Chump Change While Banks Erode Regulations

bankstersgThe Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are cutting an $8.5 billion deal against ten of the largest banks for their systematic foreclosure and loan modifications abuse which resulted in millions losing their homes. From the settlement press release.

Payrolls Tread Water Once Again in December 2012

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 155,000 for December 2012. October was revised down by 1,000 to 137,000 job and November was revised up, from 146,000 to 161,000 in employment gained. Many in the press are implying this is a good report when the monthly gain represents the very weak job growth America have been experiencing for the last two years.


Congress Ushers in 2013 with a Resolution to Push the Economy to the Brink

capital buildingPast the final hour the House finally passed a bill to avert the fiscal cliff. The Senate had passed the legislation in the wee hours of New Years Day and after much brew ha-ha the House allowed an up and down vote on the Senate bill. We have listened to months and months of squabbling, bringing the economy to the brink over a very simple final result that could have been passed months ago.

Wages in America and the Attack on Labor

The attack on labor is in full throttle. We hear reports of outrageous pay for government workers with economic fictional spin. Pundits weave tall tales blaming the workers themselves as the reason for America's economic malaise. Actual wage statistics are never mentioned. Nor is the never ending income inequality in the United States and the policies which cause it.

Producer Prices Rose 0.4% in October on Higher Gas Station Margins and Wholesale Drug Prices

The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.4% in October, as prices for finished wholesale goods increased 0.3%, while margins of final services providers increased by 0.5%.  This followed a September report that indicated the overall PPI had increased by 0.4%, as prices for finished wholesale goods increased 0.7%, while margins of final services providers increased by 0.4%