Book Bits: 19 September 2020

The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations
Daniel Yergin
Review via USA Today
At a time when solid facts and reasoned arguments are in retreat, Daniel Yergin rides to the rescue. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy savant is armed to the teeth with enough telling statistics to sink an oil tanker in “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations.”
While most “experts” predicted a decade ago that peak oil production was imminent, to be followed by a slippery slope of declining supply, Yergin said they were wrong. As usual, he was right.
The big issue today is not supply, it’s demand. When will our voracious appetite peak for all that plentiful oil, gas and coal?

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Macro Briefing: 18 September 2020

Congress focuses on bill to avoid a government shutdown: WSJ
Judge blocks ‘politically motivated’ changes to US Postal Service: Reuters
China responds to US envoy’s visit to Taiwan with military drills: BBC
US economic confidence rebounds but still far below pre-pandemic level: Gallup
US housing starts fell in August–first monthly setback since April: NMN
Philly Fed Mfg Index: expansion continues in September but at slower pace: MW
US jobless claims fall more than expected, dropping to new pandemic low: CNBC

Macro Briefing: 17 September 2020

Hurricane Sally leaves 550,000 without power on US Gulf Coast: BBC
Federal Reserve expects to keep rates near zero for years: CNBC
CDC chief: coronavirus vaccine may not be ready until mid-2021: WSJ
Are weekly jobless claims figures reliable? NYT
Snowflake stock more than doubles — largest software IPO in history: CNBC
Homebuilder sentiment increases to record high in September: CNBC
US retail spending continued rising in August: NYT

The ETF Portfolio Strategist: 16 September 2020

Lower For Longer: If it wasn’t already clear, the Federal Reserve has no plans to raise interest rates any time soon. Noting that inflation continues to run “persistently below” its 2% target and the labor market remains well below its “maximum” mandate for full employment, the central bank announced that it “expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved.”

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Macro Briefing: 16 September 2020

Hurricane Sally remains a threat to US Gulf Coast states: CNN
Israel signs pact with two Gulf Arab states at White House: AP
US retail sales growth expected to slow in today’s August report: WSJ
Fed economic forecasts expected to edge up in today’s policy meeting: Reuters
OECD projects global GDP on track for “unprecedented” decline in 2020: CNBC
UK inflation falls to a five-year low: CNN
US import-price inflation increased more than expected in August: CNBC
NY Fed Mfg Index: growth picks up in September in bank’s region: MW
US industrial output growth continued to slow in August: Reuters

Treasury Market Yawns At Fed’s New Inflation Policy

When a central bank announces a formal policy change to lift inflation it’s reasonable to expect that the government bond market would notice. But so far there are few signs that US Treasuries are reacting to last month’s roll out of the Fed’s average inflation targeting (AIT) policy, which is designed to “moderately overshoot” the 2% target for “some time,” the bank’s chair, Jerome Powell, explained last month.

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