Growing at a snail’s pace: a first look at 2016’s GDP numbers

The first estimates of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for 2016 arrived this morning.  The headline number: real GDP grew about 0.5% from January through March.  That’s pretty slow, especially compared to the 2015 annual rate of 2.4 percent. The picture above shows real GDP relative to its potential.  Potential GDP measures the amount of final goods and services the US economy could produce … [Read more...]

Inflation! Debasement! March edition

Last month I discussed the inflation! debasement! phenomenon: the certainty that, no matter what the data tells us, accelerating inflation and a depreciating currency are just around the corner.  Let’s take a look at the latest information, for March 2016: Inflation: holding steady. Prices overall rose 0.9 percent since March 2015.  If we exclude food and energy prices, the Consumer Price … [Read more...]

Living wills and financial leverage

Source: Flikr Creative Commons The headline in today’s New York Times, “‘Living Wills’ of 5 Banks Fail to Pass Muster,” might have struck some as another consequence of the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people. Do companies need living wills like individuals do? Not quite. The living wills of which the article speaks are bankruptcy plans mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street … [Read more...]