Book Bits | 20 July 2019

The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats
By Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake
Review via Mother Jones
In 2004, as he sat before the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks, Richard Clarke famously declared, “Your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you,” before asking for understanding and forgiveness. Clarke, a former senior government counterterrorism official, told the world that before the terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush’s team had ignored his efforts to get the administration to address the threat posed by Al Qaeda. (White House officials vehemently denied this charge.)
These days, Clarke is focused on another threat that the US government has been slow to confront: the vulnerability of the country’s computer networks.
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Macro Briefing: 19 July 2019

Fed officials reaffirm expectations for a rate cut: Bloomberg
US says it destroyed Iranian drone that threatened Navy ship: Reuters
Iran denies it lost a drone due to US fire: USA Today
Trump to pick son of late Supreme Court Justice Scalia to lead Labor Dept: The Hill
S. Korea embraces boycott of Japanese products as trade row deteriorates: WSJ
US jobless claims rose last week but remain near multi-decade low: CNBC
US Leading Economic Index in June points to ‘moderation’ in growth in 2H: CB
Philly Fed’s ADS Index continues to indicate low US recession risk:

US Business Cycle Risk Report | 18 July 2019

How slow can it go before slipping into recession? Economic growth in the US has decelerated in recent months and there are new signs in today’s update that the macro trend is at risk of continuing to lose speed (gradually) in the months ahead. Thus the critical question: Where does the tipping point lie? Unclear, although the potential for trouble is creeping higher.

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Macro Briefing: 18 July 2019

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency: AP
US-China trade talks stuck in neutral: WSJ
US preparing to send troops to Saudi Arabia as Iran tensions rise: CNN
House kills impeachment vote on Trump: The Hill
GDPNow estimate of US Q2 growth remains at sluggish +1.6%: Atlanta Fed
Netflix reports first slide in US users in almost 10 years: WSJ
UK retail spending rebounded in June, surprising analysts: Reuters
Fed’s Beige Book survey reflects positive economic outlook: Bloomberg
1-year trend for US housing starts rebounded in June but permits stay negative:

Fed Chair Powell Vows To Support The US Expansion

It was far from the equivalent of Mario Draghi’s muscular “whatever it takes” comment in 2012, when the European Central Bank president famously outlined his resolve to save the euro. Yesterday’s comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell were considerably more nuanced, in part because the US economy is in far better shape than the euro area, either in 2012 or today. Yet Powell’s remarks still serve as a reminder that US growth has slowed and so the Federal Reserve is focused on extending the expansion, which is set to become the longest on record at the end of this month.

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Macro Briefing: 17 July 2019

Will Washington sanction Turkey over Russian arms deal? CNBC
Big tech faced tough questions in Congress on Tuesday: AP
China and Vietnam remain in standoff over South China Sea dispute: Reuters
Japan-South Korea trade battle escalates: CNBC
Amazon faces European probe over 3rd party selling: WSJ
Import prices for the US fell in June by the most in 6 months: MW
Confidence among US home builders remained strong in July: HousingWire
Industrial output for US contracted in Q2: MW
US retail sales increased at moderate 3.4% annual pace in June:

Is Manufacturing’s Potency Fading For US Business Cycle Analysis?

There are no silver bullets in the search for early warnings of economic recession, but manufacturing activity has long been on the short list of key variables to watch. No surprise, given the mostly reliable tendency of output to stumble in this corner in the early stages of contraction, if not directly ahead of a downturn’s start. But that record looks challenged since the last recession, raising the question: Has manufacturing’s value as a business cycle indicator faded?

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Macro Briefing: 16 July 2019

Trump stokes outrage as he ramps up incendiary attacks on Dems: Politico
N. Korea: nuclear talks at risk over planned US-S. Korea war games: Reuters
Will the US-China trade conflict pinch Q2 corporate earnings? MW
Japan-S. Korea trade dispute represents new risk for global economy: CNBC
German economic sentiment remains deeply negative in July: ZEW
Can a non-economist succeed as chief of the European Central Bank? NY Times
Facebook’s crypto currency plan faces broad resistance: WSJ
NY Fed Manufacturing Index rebounds in July following steep decline in June: MW