Macro Briefing: 11 September 2018

China to ask WTO for sanctions on US in trade dispute: Reuters
Former PBOC gov: US tariffs bringing Russia and China closer: CNBC
US Southeast coast braces for Hurricane Florence: CNN
Trump adviser threatens Syria if chemical weapons used: Time
World hunger rises as climate change curbs access to food: Bloomberg
N. Korea’s Kim asks Trump for a second summit: BBC
Many Americans still struggling a decade after financial crisis: LA Times
Are junk bonds a “new safe haven” for investors? MarketWatch
US consumer credit rose at 5.1% annual rate in July: MarketWatch

Macro Briefing: 10 September 2018

Russian and Syrian jets resumed air strikes in Idlib: Reuters
Hurricane threatens Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states on US East Coast: WaPo
China’s warily monitoring a modest pickup in inflation: NY Times
Trade war is lifting global holdings of China’s currency: SCMP
Sweden: far-right, anti-immigrant party becomes 3rd-largest party: Fox
Fed’s Rosengren sees two more rate hikes in 2018: Bloomberg
US wage growth is accelerating: USA Today
Changes in credit supply are a crucial driver of economic cycles: Barron’s
There’s still a bullish case for the economy and the stock market: Scott Grannis

Book Bits | 8 September 2018

Blaming China: It Might Feel Good but It Won’t Fix America’s Economy
By Benjamin Shobert
Excerpt via International Policy Digest
Given how Donald Trump has spoken about China, it would seem Americans wish China had stayed poor, isolated and powerless. To elites in DC during the run up to the last election, this was all noise; but to politically disenfranchised and economically dislocated Americans, blaming China for our economic problems was embraced as truth. As the American economy has struggled to create wins for more than the wealthiest, politicians have become increasingly willing to point towards China as the cause. Now trade is perceived to be a zero-sum game, where China’s win is America’s loss. This leads to an important question: is America’s frustration with China nothing more than a distraction from profound insecurities we have about our economy, global status and domestic politics?
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Hiring At US Companies Rebounded In August

Private payrolls in the US increased by a seasonally adjusted 204,000 in August, marking a sharply stronger gain over the previous month’s revised 153,000 advance, the Labor Department reports. Meantime, the year-over-over trend held steady at a 1.9% pace for the sixth month in a row. Today’s numbers reaffirm that the labor market continues to expand at a healthy rate, a sign that the nine-year-old economic expansion is in no immediate danger and so further monetary policy tightening has a green light to continue.
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Macro Briefing: 7 September 2018

US payrolls expected to rebound in today’s Labor Dept report: MarketWatch
Global output slipped to five-month low in August: IHS Markit
ISM Non-Mfg Index for US reflects stronger growth in August: CNBC
US services sector growth eased to four-month low in August: IHS Markit
Jobless claims fell last week, near a 49-year low: Reuters
Job cuts in August rose to third highest this year: Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Productivity in US up at an unrevised 2.9% annualized rate in Q2: Reuters
US private employment growth eased to 10-month low in August: ADP

Considering The Implications Of Fidelity’s Zero-Fee Index Funds

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that “investors poured almost $1 billion into Fidelity Investments’ two zero-fee index funds in their first month of operation.” As new fund launches go, this one looks like a win-win for all sides — for Fidelity as well as investors. It’s too early to say for sure how this plays out in the financial industry, but the early signs suggest we haven’t seen the last of the freemium model in asset management. For some perspective, take a look at a story I wrote for, which was published a few days ago here.

Macro Briefing: 6 September 2018

Anonymous NY Times op-ed roils White House: Politico
Trump attacks NY Times for “gutless” op-ed: The Hill
Supreme Court nominee won’t recuse himself from Trump cases: Wash. Times
China vows retaliation if US imposes new trade tariffs: Reuters
N. Korea’s Kim affirms “unwavering trust in Trump: CNN
Emerging markets flirting with a bear market: Bloomberg
White House: US wages rising via alternative methodology: NY Times
US trade deficit jumped to a five-month high in July: Reuters
Tech stocks due for hefty weight cut in S&P 500 in upcoming sector revamp: LPL