There is no doubt that the United States is the world’s most important economic driver; with the GDP value of the United States representing almost 25 percent of the world economy.
When the financial crisis began in 2008, the U.S. national debt stood at $9.2 trillion. Based on the White House’s own figures, the national debt will reach $20 trillion by the end of this decade—about 140% of our current Gross Domestic Product.
The U.S. government has implemented more fiscal stimulus and monetary intervention than ever before, yet real GDP has slowed from 2.4% in 2010 to 2% in 2011, and remained flat in 2012.
The stock market charts are showing some hesitation once again following the recent technical breaks to new record-highs for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. On the charts, the blue chip DOW is back below 17,000. Its continued failure to hold after breaking above 17,000 for the fifth time is a red flag that suggests more weakness and vulnerability could be in the works for the stock market on the horizon. Small-cap stocks are also subject to some selling again with the Russell 2000 declining to below both its 50-day and 200-day mov ... Read More
June 26 was a big day in U.S. soccer. Not just because we faced the Germans in a World Cup match that determined (in a roundabout way) whether or not we made it to the knockout round, but because Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, gave every single employed American permission to take the day off work! Read More
Judging by all the headlines alone, you’d conclude that the U.S. housing market is in full recovery mode (it isn’t) and that the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction (it’s not). In response to existing-home sales data, USA Today’s headline read “Existing home sales up 4.9%; best gain since ’11;” CNBC’s headline declares “US existing home sales, inventory surge in May;” and The Wall Street Journal opines “Existing Home Sales Rise Strongly in May.” Is the hype justified? Not if you dig below the headlines. First, the (so-called) good news. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-hom ... Read More
It’s amazing how analysts try to spin numbers that are horrible. For instance, retail sales edged up 0.3% in May, which is not something to get excited about; however, analysts have been spinning this news, saying that the poor May reading is simply a result of the upward revision in the April reading to 0.5%. Now, I’m not sure what your thinking is, but my view is that both numbers stink and they foreshadow an economy in which consumer spending is scarce. My excitement lies 10,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in China, where the country’s government, under President Xi Jinping, ... Read More
In April, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%—its lowest level since 2008. While Wall Street and Capitol Hill might be giving each other high-fives, there is still plenty left to lament. At 12.3%, the U.S. underemployment rate is still eye-wateringly high. (Source: “Alternative measures of labor underutilization,” Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, May 2, 2014.) Sure, it’s down from 13.9% in April 2013, but it’s still at an unacceptable level. And it’s not exactly an encouraging statistic for those entering, already in, or recently graduated from a post-secondary school—or those still struggling to pay off t ... Read More