Saturday, August 5, 2017

US Economy Hitting On All Cylinders -- The Political Page, T+197 -- August 5, 2017

From Yahoo!Finance:

Note: in the graphic above, this is not the numbers the president began with; this is the change in employment numbers from the day he took office to six months later. It's hard to believe that President Obama let things get so out of hand. The beer summit was probably not the best way to start.

Top story in The Wall Street Journal this morning:
Jobs Growth Contributes to Uncommonly Strong U.S. Economic Picture. Employers add 209,000 jobs as jobless rate drops to 4.3%, a 16-year low.
It's too bad the story is behind a paywall; perhaps googling will get you to it. The lede:
The U.S. economy is hitting a sweet spot seldom seen in past expansions, posting in July a record 82nd straight month of job creation and an unemployment rate at a 16-year low, despite slow growth in output.
Economic growth has been stuck stubbornly near a 2% annual rate, the weakest expansion in output since World War II.
But by a range of measures the economy is pushing into new territory, including record stock-price highs, improving consumer confidence and rising corporate profits. Even wages, though rising slowly, are advancing at a healthy pace when adjusted for exceptionally low inflation.The latest evidence was a Labor Department report Friday that showed U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs to payrolls in July and the unemployment rate fell to 4.3%.
With the July increase in hiring, the record stretch of monthly hiring is equivalent to six years and 10 months, almost three years longer than the second-best streak, from 1986 to 1990. Expansions tend to get tripped up by boiling excesses, like a housing bubble in the 2000s, a tech bubble in the 1990s and inflation in the early 1980s. But this economy appears to have some more room to run as it enters its ninth year. 
And then this.
That points to an economy set to outperform the long but sluggish expansion’s 2.1% average annual growth rate through June.
“This is not a 2% economy,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. “If you look at the domestic economy, it’s much stronger.”
  • one has to ask, why is it happening now? Why didn't this happen in 2000? Or 2008? Or 2012? Or 2016? My thoughts at this post
  • due to peculiar circumstances, I was home almost all day yesterday; I watched a lot of business news yesterday (almost all CNBC; very little FBN). Despite listening to several hours, I suppose of business news, not once did I hear that the unemployment rate is at a 16-year-low -- I knew it ticked down to 4.3% -- but I did not know it was at a 16-year low
  • 16-year low: two lost decades -- the Bush administration was bad enough (hardly all his fault -- Hurricane Katrina and 9/11) -- but the following eight years was abominable, starting off with a beer summit and ending with BLM
  • love him, hate him: perhaps the best single "commentator" on the stock market is Jim Cramer; almost never gets political; great insight; his comments a week ago when tech stumbled were incredibly prescient
  • the previous administration will get some undeserved credit for the economy based on the fact that the Trump rally began when Obama was still president; Obama will get the benefit of the incredible jump in any number of economic factors that began to occur immediately after November 8, 2016, including "consumer confidence"
  • particularly noteworthy, and not stressed enough: none of this can be attributed to any new legislation -- Congress did not "repeal and replace" ObamaCare; Congress did not legislate even one tax cut. Incredible. I'm happy that whatever is going on is not due to these changes; let the US economy run "as is"
  • ObamaCare: every insurance company is walking away. And every insurance company who left early is hitting new highs (except for ones like Molina). I think Senate was correct on this one; not the time to vote for a "skinny repeal" 
  • regarding the ads on television for tax cuts; completely misleading. I'm beginning to think this is not the right time for any change in taxes. Not easily explained. Dems and those GOP folks worried about deficit will probably make it difficult to pass any significant tax cut 
  • it's going to be hard for politicians to explain to non-investors why tax cuts are needed when the economy seems to be expanding (2.6% GDP), unemployment at a 16-year-low; and, stock market hitting new highs, day after day
  • what could mess this up? a) a black swan; and/or, b) Congress, by not raising the debt limit in a timely matter, causes the US to technically be in default; some say the US will pay Chinese US bondholders before he pays US servicemen, veterans, social security, or at least that's my takeaway; I doubt it; in fact, if push comes to shove, tie US interest payments to China with action on North Korea
  • best political insight all day: the mainstream Dems and the GOP are not all that far apart; it's the alt-left and socialists teaming up with the mainstream media to pull the mainstream Dems farther left


  1. --- President-elect Trump's focus: 'jobs, jobs, jobs' ---

    DONALD TRUMP: "My administration will be focused on three very important words: jobs, jobs, jobs."

    1. Sorry for the delayed posting; somehow this got shunted to my "spam" folder.