Monthly Archives: November 2017

How Much Credit Does Trump Deserve For Economic Growth?

US economic growth was revised up to a 3.3% pace in yesterday second GDP estimate for the third quarter – the strongest quarterly rise in three years. Fourth-quarter estimates look upbeat too, holding out the possibility that output will rise by 3%-plus for three quarters in a row. If the Q4 prediction is correct, the US will post its best cumulative three-month advance since the 2014:Q3-2015:Q1 run.
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Macro Briefing: 30 November 2017

GOP tax bill moves closer to final vote in Senate: Reuters
Trump nominates Marvin Goodfriend to Fed’s board of governors: NY Times
OPEC expected to extend oil production cuts: Reuters
Fed Chair Yellen tells Congress recovery is “increasingly broad based”: Reuters
Q3 GDP growth revised up to 3.3%–highest in 3 years: Bloomberg
Pending homes sales revives 3.5% after post-hurricane bounce-back: CNBC
2-year Treasury yield ticks up to new post-recession high — 1.78%:

Should Investors Worry About North Korea’s Missile Tests?

North Korea on Wednesday announced that it had launched another missile to test its nuclear-strike capability, which reportedly can now reach the United States. Should we be concerned? Yes, of course. For obvious reasons, every citizen of Planet Earth should be alarmed when a war-mongering government threatens to use nuclear weapons. But as investors, Kim Jong Un’s provocations should be treated as noise.
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Macro Briefing: 29 November 2017

North Korea tests missile that could hit the US: CNN
GOP tax bill clears another hurdle in Senate Budget Committee: RTT
Risk of US gov’t shutdown rising as Trump and Dems bicker: The Hill
Powell tells Congress that case is strengthening for rate hike: Bloomberg
Nat’l Retail Federation: Holiday shopping off to a strong start: MNI
Consumer Confidence Index for US rises to 17-year high: Bloomberg
US home price index rises 6.2% y-o-y in Sep, beating expectations: CNBC
Strong gain for FHFA house price gauge in Q3: Builder
Richmond Fed mfg index rises to 24-year high in Nov: Richmond Fed

Macro Briefing: 28 November 2017

Radio signals hint at upcoming N. Korean nuclear test: Reuters
Two GOP senators could prevent tax bill from a vote: Reuters
Incoming Fed chief expects “rates to rise somewhat further” Bloomberg
Manufacturing growth rate slows in Texas but still “solid”: Dallas Fed
S&P maintains “stable” rating on India’s debt: RTT
Japan’s government: economy remains “in a moderate recovery”: MNI
Bitcoin at $40,000? Hedge fund manager thinks it’s possible: CNBC
Crash risk for Bitcoin is 80%: MarketWatch
How to short Bitcoin: Bloomberg
New home sales surge in October, rising to 10-year high: Reuters

Macro Briefing: 27 November 2017

Indonesia authorities call for 100,000 to evacuate after volcano erupts: Guardian
A possible gov’t shutdown and other challenges confront Congress in Dec: Politico
Holiday shopping season starts strong, driven by strong rise in online sales: RTT
ECB warns that “fake data” threatens economic and financial stability: Reuters
South Africa’s credit rating cut to junk status by S&P: RTT
US growth eases in Nov via PMI data but still running at “solid” pace: IHS Markit
Bitcoin approaching $10,000: Bloomberg
Drilling triggers a surge in earthquakes in Texas and other states: SciAm

Book Bits | 25 November 2017

Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite
By Jake Bernstein
Summary via publisher (Henry Holt)
A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. In Secrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca—a trove now known as the Panama Papers—as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the superwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.
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