The Economy: How Are Things Looking Now?

Analysts seem divided on where the economic recovery from the COVID shock stands. Some see recent news to be pointing to a still-vigorous expansion—a “V”-shaped recovery. But others read the news, including new COVID outbreaks, to be suggesting that the expansion is stalling out or even receding—that is, a “W” is unfolding. Putting the various … Continue reading The Economy: How Are Things Looking Now?

The Economy: Sorting Through the Pluses and Minuses

Initial claims for unemployment insurance jump and universities shut down campuses and return to all on-line classes—news pointing to a setback for the economy. In contrast, existing home sales surge and the stock market moves into record territory—news pointing to an ongoing rebound from one of the sharpest declines in history. What does it all … Continue reading The Economy: Sorting Through the Pluses and Minuses

A Trillion Here, a Trillion There: How Will the Federal Debt Problem Get Resolved?

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.” Attributed to Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois) One wonders how Senator Dirksen might react to the current federal budget outlook, given the nearly $3 trillion of red ink that has been spilled so far in the 2020 fiscal year and the wrangling … Continue reading A Trillion Here, a Trillion There: How Will the Federal Debt Problem Get Resolved?

Any Signs of Inflation Yet?

Since mid-March, the M1 measure of the money stock has grown $900 billion—an increase of more than 20 percent over just two-and-a-half months. If it kept this pace, M1 would double in a year. Accompanying this, the Federal Reserve has injected massive amounts of liquidity into our economy by purchasing more than $2-1/2 trillion of … Continue reading Any Signs of Inflation Yet?

Are We Drowning in Fed Liquidity?

The Federal Reserve—the Fed—is the only institution in our economy that is authorized to create money, essentially out of thin air. This can take the form of cash, those greenbacks in your wallet, or electronic credits to bank accounts. Since early March, the Fed has ramped up liquidity roughly $2-1/2 trillion—yes, trillion. This has been … Continue reading Are We Drowning in Fed Liquidity?

Who Pays the Bill?

You may be wondering how all the losses being incurred during the COVID-19 crisis are going to covered. Many households and businesses are experiencing staggering shortfalls of income from their outlays. These shortfalls are being dealt with in various ways: Drawing down assets;Borrowing from banks and others;Receiving assistance from the Treasury and others; and/orFalling behind … Continue reading Who Pays the Bill?