November 2015

On the Revision of 3rd Quarter GDP from a 1.5% Growth Rate to a 2.1% Rate

As was widely expected,  the Second Estimate of our 3rd Quarter GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that our real output of goods and services grew at a 2.1% rate in the 2nd quarter, revised from the 1.5% growth rate reported in the advance estimate last month, as fixed investment and inventories were revised higher while exports were revised lower.

What is Behind Murray vs. Trump?

Prominent conservative scholar Charles Murray has caused quite a bit of consternation on social media with his seemingly highly personal Facebook and Twitter crusade against Donald Trump. I suspect many people are not taking Murray’s opposition to Trump well because they don’t view Murray, who got in PC hot water for his book The Bell Curve, as your typical PC signaling think tank denizen and therefore, expect different from him.

How’s That Paul Ryan Vote Working Out for You “Conservatives?”

Prior to and immediately following the vote for Paul Ryan (R-Chamber of Commerce) to be the new Speaker of the House, I went on an internet/social media rant fest decrying the shortsightedness of conservative House members, particularly members of the Freedom Caucus, who were willing to settle for Ryan, presumably for the sake of getting the Speaker selection over with.

October Retail Sales A Lackluster 0.1% Increase

The October 2015 Retail Sales report shows retail sales increased 0.1% for the month as auto sales slid by -0.5%.  Without autos & parts sales, retail sales increased 0.2%.  Gasoline sales declined by -0.9%.  Gasoline sales have plunged by 20.1% from a year ago.  Declining gasoline sales are not responsible for such weak consumer demand, for without gas stations considered, retail sales only rose by 0.1%.

Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate

Well actually, twice, if you count the moderator. With all the griping that the Republicans and their thinks tanks have been doing about Social Security, one would have expected to hear someone say something on the subject ... anything at all. Maybe it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, rather than to speak and remove all doubt.

Delinquencies and Foreclosures Up Again; Time in Foreclosure at 1056 Days

The Mortgage Monitor for September (pdf) from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS, formerly LPS) reported that there were 737,254 home mortgages, or 1.46% of all mortgages outstanding, remaining in the foreclosure process at the end of September, which was down from 747,930, or 1.48% of all active loans that were in foreclosure at the end of August, and down from 1.89% of all mortgages that were in foreclosure in September of last year.

That Parochial, Old-Fashioned Donald Trump

Recently social medial and the conservative sphere of the internet erupted with outrage when Rick Wilson, an Establishment Republican campaign consultant, suggested that the Establishment needed to “put a bullet in Donald Trump.” While Mr. Wilson’s choice of words was obviously inappropriate, I think all the outrage on the right unfortunately caused an important point to be missed.