Our woke Fed [UPDATED]

Featured image Americans are worried about rising inflation, and a recent survey found that 60 percent of likely voters believe the Biden administration isn’t paying enough attention to the matter. To add insult to injury, a leading Democrat economist believes that even the Federal Reserve Board isn’t paying enough attention to inflation. Larry Summers, who served as Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton, has warned that the Fed and other central banks »

Why is Biden so unpopular?

Featured image Harry Enten, formerly of FiveThirtyEight and now of CNN, takes up the question. He writes: While the causes of Biden’s decline are numerous (e.g. declining trust of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan), perhaps the biggest one is that Americans believe there are big economic problems and that Biden isn’t focused nearly enough on them. I think that’s right. Enten notes, as we »

This just in: Inflation rising

Featured image The AP reports that inflation has risen 5.4 percent from a year ago — unexpectedly. (Where have we heard that before?) Here are the first four paragraphs of the AP story: Another surge in consumer prices in September sent inflation to 5.4% from a year ago, matching the highest such rate since 2008 as tangled global supply lines continue to create havoc. Consumer prices rose 0.4% in September from August »

Inflation, Biden style

Featured image Biden NEC guru Brian Deese explained from the lectern in the White House press room last week that “[i]f you take out” beef, pork and poultry from the calculations of recent retail grocery prices, the “price increases are more in line with a historical norms” (video below). I thought the methodology invited mockery. If you throw out dietary staples, it’s not so bad! However, Deese cited a report that he »

Weimar? It’s Us

Featured image Modern Monetary Theory has officially arrived. That theory, embraced by ignoramuses like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but by no economists, to my knowledge, holds that a government can just print money and distribute it to taxpayers Democratic Party constituencies, with no ill effects. And it will be real money, representing wealth, that will raise everyone’s standard of living. It is hard to imagine anyone being dumb enough to fall for such nonsense »

Storm Clouds For Biden

Featured image It is early yet, but as of today it looks like the top issues in next year’s Congressional elections will be the cost of living, crime and critical race theory. If that turns out to be true, Democrats are in serious trouble. For the first time in quite a few years, prices for staple items are rising rapidly, and with the federal government borrowing and spending at a record pace »

The decline of the West

Featured image David Goldman (also known as “Spengler”) summarizes with approval the analysis of Chinese professor Jin Canrong. The professor’s thesis is this: [T]he United States has issued a massive amount of excess currency due to the epidemic, and the amount of currency issuance far exceeds the normal needs of economic development, so there is a situation in which more currency is issued but production cannot be restored. Inflation in the United »

Animatronic short circuit (2) [with comment by Paul]

Featured image President Biden appeared last night in a half-empty auditorium for a live CNN town hall in Ohio. CNN concealed the empty seats. Steven Nelson includes the photo below via Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Epstein’s tweet in his New York Post story “Biden speaks to half-empty room at CNN town hall.” What the Biden CNN town hall looks like from the back of the auditorium: — Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July »

Animatronic short circuit

Featured image The animatronic presidency featured Remarks by President Biden on the Economy (the link is to the White House transcript). The remarks appear to be intended to allay concerns about inflation. If you have a modicum of common sense or even if you have only been listening to his Secretary of the Treasury, you would have reasonable concerns about inflation. Speaking at the White House and staring vacantly into his prompter, »

The return of the misery index

Featured image The misery index is a back-of-the-envelope measure of how America is faring economically. It is derived by adding the employment rate and the inflation rate. The misery index was an oft-cited figure during the 1970s and 1980s. As Issues & Insights reminds us, it spiked during the stagflation presidency of Jimmy Carter, all the way to 21.9 percent. The economy thus accomplished what many economists had thought was impossible in »

You save 16 cents, what do you get?

Featured image The New York Post documents some of the hilarity occasioned by the lame White House tweet celebrating the saving of 16 cents for the food cost of a 2021 July 4 barbecue over last year. The Post story notes the pitifully stupid puns with which the White House advertised the Farm Bureau’s annual update on July 4 food costs (below). With an unprecedented humanitarian crisis at our border, soaring gas »

An hour with Paul Singer

Featured image Paul Singer is the incredibly successful founder, president, co-chief executive officer, and co-chief investment officer of Elliott Investment Management. Grant Williams invited him to share his thoughts on the current state of economic affairs on his January 22 End Game podcast. The podcast is posted here. I have embedded it below. According to the description provided: “Among the topics covered in this extremely rare and endlessly fascinating conversation are Paul’s »

Herman Cain for the Fed?

Featured image President Trump drew plenty of criticism when he nominated Stephen Moore to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors. Moore’s problem? He agrees with Trump about monetary policy. But why nominate someone to the Fed someone who doesn’t agree with the president about the issues the Fed deals with? To do so would be irresponsible, it seems to me. Now, however, Trump reportedly will nominate Herman Cain »

Modern Monetary Theory: An Age-Old Fraud

Featured image If you haven’t heard about “Modern Monetary Theory,” you will. Simply put, it holds that governments don’t need to worry about budget deficits. On the contrary, they can finance anything they want to do, simply by printing money. If you think that sounds stupid, you are right. Yet the theory is becoming popular on the American left. It has been espoused by, among others, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who explains that we »

A Simple Solution, Favored the World Over

Featured image The big news in the upcoming Italian election is the rise of former comedian Beppe Grillo, whose party may finish as high as second in the voting. There is a lot about Grillo at The Corner. He sounds like a pretty typical bad-government populist; normally you would think it would be a disaster if he took power, but this is Italy, so things may or may not get worse. What »

Argentina: A Glimpse Into Our Future?

Featured image Scott noted earlier today that the currency war is underway, with countries around the world debasing their money to disguise the fact that they can’t control their spending. While the phenomenon is becoming worldwide, some countries are ahead of others. Like Argentina. ZeroHedge comments on Argentina’s utterly pathetic decision to freeze supermarket prices: Up until now, Argentina’s descent into a hyperinflationary basket case, with a crashing currency and loss of »