Monthly Archives: December 2022

Best Of Book Bits 2022: Part II

Here’s the second installment to Best of Books 2022. Last week we reviewed highlights from this column over the past year. With just hours to go before 2022 goes dark, here’s the second batch of books that captured our attention over the preceding 12 months. Cheers!


The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest
Edward Chancellor
Review via The Economist
The critics who label as artificial the low interest rates that have prevailed in the world economy in recent decades must therefore answer the question: low relative to what?
“The Price of Time” is the answer of Edward Chancellor, a historian and financier who has written a book by that name. Humans prefer jam today to jam tomorrow. Interest rates are the reward for deferring gratification, for renting out money that could have been spent today. When rates fall too low, grave consequences follow: financial instability, higher inequality and pain for savers. As he makes his case, Mr Chancellor’s panoptic survey of the history of interest, and what classical economists said about it, will not fail to dazzle. The argument, however, is seriously flawed.

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Macro Briefing: 30 December 2022

* Biden signs $1.7 trillion spending bill and avoids government shutdown
* Xi and Putin speak via video to highlight Russia-China partnership
* Risk is low that a dangerous new Covid-19 variant is spreading in China
* Estimating China’s covid outbreak is a scientific guessing game
* Vietnam’s economy defies world trend and grows sharply in 2022
* Over half of 50 US states showing signs of slowing economic activity
* Small-business owners say hiring and retaining workers is getting easier
* US mortgage rates rebound after falling for six straight weeks
* US jobless claims (unadjusted) continue to rise vs. year-ago level:

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Macro Briefing: 29 December 2022

* Russia launches yet another massive missile barrage across Ukraine
* US requires negative Covid test for travelers from China
* Forecasts of a global recession may be premature
* Consumers have been key to economic growth this year. Can it last?
* European natural gas prices fall to pre-Ukraine war levels
* Investors expect that the US dollar’s strength has peaked
* ExxonMobil sues EU to block new energy windfall tax on oil companies
* US pending home sales in November fall to second-lowest level on record:

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Macro Briefing: 28 December 2022

* Supreme Court rules that US can not halt the expulsion of migrants
* US holiday sales up 7.6% despite inflation, credit card data show
* Attacks on US energy infrastructure in 2022 highest since 2012
* Russia bans sale of its oil to countries imposing price cap
* Hardline positions by Ukraine and Russia suggest peace talks are far off
* Economist expects decade of slow growth for global economy
* Dallas Fed Mfg Index rebounds in December
* Growth rate for US home prices continues to decelerate in October:

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2022 Review: Major Asset Classes

Dismissing asset allocation as ineffective has become popular in some circles in recent years, but the charge is demonstrably false. The evidence to the contrary is especially conspicuous in 2022, which is on track to dispense an unusually wide range of returns for the calendar year’s that nearly run out of road. The implication: opportunity has been unusually high within the realm of asset allocation.

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Macro Briefing: 27 December 2022

* China takes step toward reopening by ending quarantine for foreign travelers
* Russian foreign minister announces ultimatum for Ukraine
* Ukraine’s foreign minister aims for February peace summit
* Will a faster slide in inflation prevent a recession?
* Inflation changes “safe” withdrawal rate for investment portfolios
* Semiconductor supplies swell as consumer demand for electronics wanes
* Hedge funds had a good year in 2022
* Cash holdings at pension funds drop to 15-year low
* US 10-year Treasury yield enters trading week at highest level in a month:

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