An Inflation Check for July, 2014

There's a busy economic indicator week on deck - GDP (with revisions) and unemployment being the headliners.  With that said, we want to hit inflation again before those two controversial series make their debuts. More Hints of Inflation We mentioned in a couple articles now that we can sense a thawing labor market, and a return to inflation in … [Read more...]

More Signs of the Thawing Labor Market

About a week ago, we posted our thoughts on the labor market - namely, that it is finally in some type of a recovery stage.  We wanted to follow up because we wanted to expand on our comments about the quit rate, and talk a bit about why we think it's important: it boils down to correcting one of the silliest quotes that abounds on the … [Read more...]

The Thawing Employment Market

As proprietors of a site which has continually highlighted that much of the recent unemployment rate reduction came from a reduction in the number of people working - and that weakness was reflected through the unemployment population ratio.  A number of recent data points, however, suggest that the thaw is finally on - let's look at the signs that … [Read more...]

June, 2014 Inflation Expectations: The Hint of Inflation Returns

We'll admit to being a bit bored with the markets lately - sure, we feel things are a bit heated, but we don't see any major bubbles brewing in the American equity markets like some commentators.  Add that to the fact that trading volumes are low in the summer anyway, the world is fascinated with America's sixth favorite sport (okay, we kid; the … [Read more...]

Market – and Calculated – Inflation Expectations for May, 2014

It's been a long time since we've turned our eyes to expectations of inflation, but we're here today to do that very thing.  Finally.  Or something like that. Using The Treasury Yield Curve The simplest way to gauge inflation expectations is a classic - merely take the long term rates for long dated treasuries and subtract the real yields offered … [Read more...]

Personal Income Growth By State

The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently (okay, fine, more than a month ago) released the very interesting state personal income overview for 2013.  In it, they break down that oh-so-important indicator, personal income growth, into a percentage change from 2012 in each state (and Washington, DC). Grab it (warning: pdf). Uneven Growth The … [Read more...]

A Visualization of IRS Collections Since 1960

On this page is a visualization of the sources for tax revenue collected by the IRS between fiscal years 1960-2013 in the United States. All data in the visualization comes from the IRS's 2013 Data Book. Apologies to our cell phone readers - you should view this on a tablet, laptop, or desktop (or something with a big screen).  If you're in a … [Read more...]

Can Russia Cause a Run on US Debt?

Recently, we (re-)found this linked article which referenced a canned 2008 plan in which the Russian Government had semi-seriously considered triggering a run on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Treasury debt, and had made initial overtures to the Chinese.  That, of course, never came to fruition (although both companies were hugged even closer by the … [Read more...]

A Guaranteed Basic Income Cost Calculator: Solving Poverty in America

This page contains a calculator which can be used to design a guaranteed basic income in the United States, using hard Census data and spending data from the Congressional Budget Office.  In its basic form, the tool only requires two inputs to calculate the costs of various forms of a guaranteed basic income (or "negative income tax"): A … [Read more...]

No, Business Insider, The Mega Millions Drawing Isn’t A Positive Expected Value. Here’s What You Need to Know.

In case you've been on the weird part of the internet today, you probably already know that the Mega Millions drawing's jackpot tonight is for a prize of $636,000,000 and a cash option of $341,000,000. I'll admit shedding a single tear on behalf of math when reading Business Insider's piece today on the Mega Millions having a positive expected … [Read more...]