The 3.1% Drop in January Wholesale Sales, Stagnant Business Inventories, and Widespread Lower Prices

The most widely watched release the past week was on retail sales for February from the Census Bureau; but there were also two Census reports on January inventories which will contribute to that major component of first quarter GDP: January wholesale trade and January business inventories.

It's the game dummy !!!!!

The Economy! Jobs! Peace! The elephant in the room is embarrassed he is so big and nobody sees him. NFL, MLB, NBA and NASCAR. They are the answer. Make it about the game and not winning. You make it about the game and everybody wins. You make it about winning and the game is over. What does major entertainment have that eludes the best economic and political minds. They realize you have too keep it interesting to keep it alive. You do that by making it a level playing field. No one participant is allowed to use unbridled power to sweep the table. The game is the economy.

Choosing between jobs or income.

If jobs did not sustain life they would have no value worth considering. They do and I will. As financiers find cheaper, faster and easier ways to make money jobs related investments become increasingly less desirable. Making money has increasingly chosen non entrepreneurial investments. Investing in derivatives and similar types of hedging has become a very streamlined non labor source of income. Labor problems, workers compensation, long duration for return on investment and similar complications are making product and service sources of money unattractive.

Rig Count Keeps Falling, Oil Production and Crude Inventories Keep Rising

US oil and gas drilling operations continued to shut down at an unprecedented rate last week, as Baker Hughes reported the rig count on February 13th was at 1358, down by a record 98 rigs from February 6th, with oil rigs down 84 to 1056, gas rigs down 14 to 300, and rigs classified as miscellaneous unchanged at 2.  This follows last week's report when total US drilling rigs in use fell by 87,

Retail Sales Fall 0.8% on Drop in Gasoline Prices

Retail sales started the new year down, but the drop in sales was due to lower gasoline prices.  Specifically, the Advance Retail Sales Report for January (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that our total seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales were at $439.8 billion in January, which was a decrease of 0.8% (±0.5%) from the December sales of $443.3 billion, but 3.3 percent (±0.9%) above sales in January of last year.  December's sales were revised up by less than 0.1%, from $442.9 billion,

Real GDP Grows at A 2.6% Rate in 4th Quarter as Deflator Turns Negative

Friday’s report on our 4th quarter GDP was particularly interesting in that the inflation adjustments for large components of our national output turned negative, which meant that when the inflation adjustment was applied, what appeared to be lower or just modest increases in spending actually represented larger increases in goods and services procured, and hence indicated a larger contribution to our output than the nominal dollar amounts would lead one to believe.    The

The Fair Trade Fantasy

While America's nation-destroying trade deficit amounts to a black eye for the modern neoclassical school of economics, it has raised calls by non-economists to "level the playing field" in the form of fair trade. As one astute commenter pointed out, the term Fair Trade is generally used in the context of ensuring equitable treatment of workers, along with necessary legal reform in developing countries. I on the other hand am using the term as one might find it proposed in currency reform legislation (i.e. Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act).