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Thoughts From The Divide - Archive

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Shades of Dove and Volatility - January 15, 2019

Whether you are bullish or bearish, the right side of the trade in Fed speak has been dovish. Current and previous Fed officials have been worried that the Fed is looming on policy error and could tip the economy into a recession. Also, Chris Cole of Artemis Capital thinks more volatility will show up in the markets.

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Economic & Policy Incongruities - December 11, 2018

Recently we’ve highlighted some US economic data has displayed some incongruities between ISM and Markit Manufacturing. Now, NFIB’s Small Business Optimism data, former Fed officials, and news sources have mixed signals.

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Rates, Rates, and More Rates - November 27, 2018

Going into the FOMC meeting in December, a number of important "rates" are making headlines. Vice Chariman Clarida discusses u* and r*. Research from the San Francisco Fed disagrees with Neel Kashkari's belief that the Labor Force Participation Rate implies Labor Slack. And, Mortgage Rates are the scapegoat for recent problems in the Housing Market.

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Where is Labor's Share - November 20, 2018

With much recent talk of workers being left behind, this weeks TFTD's focuses on a paper on the Labor Share from the NBER. While median labor share has increased, there are some negative trends, including increased value added at firms with low labor share, and asymmetrical responses to productivity shocks.

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Dovish Daly? - November 13, 2018

In a recent speech, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly gave hope to those worried that the Fed was on a set path of hiking. First she assured the crowd that the Fed was data dependent, ignoring its horrendous record of forecasting problems and the massive transmission lag. Second she highlighted benign inflation numbers. Though inflation is still contained, recent job data indicates that wage inflation is on its way.

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Fed Themes and The Consumer - October 30, 2018

Recent Federal Reserve surveys show the economy is still expanding, albeit at a slower rate, with tariffs, labor, the supply chain, and housing  discussed as problems. Consumer Confidence was, however, undaunted. President Trump tweeted about the record numbers, which were partly due to strong employment growth and strong Expectation Index.

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Housing Daunted - October 23, 2018

Following the optimism of the previous week's builder data, a recent flood of data indicates potential rain in the housing market, including permits, starts, and applications. Paramount among the problems was affordability, which is becoming problematic due to higher mortgage rates and price inflation. Wage inflation could help with affordability, but has not accelerated past rising costs.

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Independent Fed and Housing Optimism - October 16, 2018

As President Trump and Fed members exchange words following the recent market wobbles, we discuss 2005 research from the St. Louis Fed analyzing the Great Inflation, analyzing the human and political elements that complicated and informed the decision making. Housing continues to be in focus as builders continue to be optimistic, despite continued tightness in the labor market.

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NFIB Warning and Improving Conditions - October 9, 2018

Contrary to the Fed's rosy outlook on inflation, the lasest NFIB Small Business Optimism data indicates that the economy is running too hot and growing at an unsupportable rate. The same dynamics leading to overheating are helping workers, and certain demographics, including those with less than a high school diploma, are seeing strong earnings growth along with reduced unemployment and an increased participation rate.

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Fed Inflation Reassurance - October 3, 2018

Following the release of Core PCE inline with the Fed's target of 2%, and the appearance that risks are roughly balance, the Fed believes that inflation is under control. We examine some recent research from the Richmond and Cleveland Feds to that effect, and cover a recent Powell speech on the inflation outlook.

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Housing Constriction - September 18, 2018

Despite continuing confidence among home builders, housing affordability is becoming a challenge. The growing economy is helpind demand, but also tightening the labor market, leading to significant worker shortages, especially among skilled trades. There are also signs that affordability will not improve anytime soon, with continued low unemployment, tariffs, and widespread damage from hurricanes.

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SBOI Records and Tax Cuts - September 11, 2018

SBOI numbers came in at records as high expectations translated into "stuff that makes GDP grow". The effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are beginning to materialize. The Council of Economic Advisers says compensation is stronger than the traditional, "misleading" metrics and the Fed reports on repatriated funds.

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