Showing posts from February 23, 2018

Today's Trumpery


The risk of the US slipping into a recession is 'material and rising'

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["We do not forecast a recession as our base case, but we believe the risk is material and rising," UBS economists wrote in a research note. See also: $34 billion hedge fund Elliott Management says a 'dénouement' is approaching — and it's a disaster waiting to happen. *RON*]

Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, Business Insider, 20 February 2018

Wall Street volatility has spiked amid renewed uncertainty over the pace of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate hikes.

"We do not forecast a recession as our base case, but we believe the risk is material and rising," UBS economists wrote in a research note.
The market's fear centers on the risk that the Fed will tighten monetary policy too quickly in response to tax cuts delivered at a time of low overall unemployment.

There's a key reason financial markets have suddenly become unsettled: the fear that tax cuts could generate the kind of inflation that would force the Fed…

Fewer women want to be scientists in wealthy, equal countries

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[An odd and interesting finding. The possible explanations don't seem particularly strong. Hopefully, more research will be done. It's also interesting that various Islamic nations have both high (e.g., Turkey) and low (e.g., Qatar) rates of women STEM graduates. *RON*]

Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, 22 February 2018

Getting more women into science and math jobs is a challenge across the world. Worldwide, 74 percent of STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — employees are male. The imbalance is biggest in fields such as computer science and physics and smallest in life sciences and medicine.

But as countries become wealthier and more focused on gender equality, something interesting happens: The number of women earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and math drops, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Missouri looked at data on 475,000 people across 67 countries, examining how well subjec…

NRA chief singles out Warren, other Democrats as ‘saboteurs,’ ‘socialists’

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[It's everyone's fault except the NRA. See also: Now they’re playing the race card to avoid talking about gun control. How low will the NRA go? *RON*]

Christina Prignano, Boston Globe, 22 February 2018

The head of the NRA denounced Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats on Thursday as “European-style socialists” and “saboteurs,” in his first public speech since the shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week that killed 17 people.

Speaking at a conservative conference in Washington, D.C., NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre raged over the Democratic Party while defending his organization in the wake of yet another massacre.

He called the Democrats “a party that is now infested with saboteurs, who don’t believe in capitalism, don’t believe in the constitution, don’t believe in our freedom, and don’t believe in America as we know it.”

He specifically singled out Warren and other high-profile Democrats in his attacks, saying that the career of Bernie San…

First National Bank of Omaha drops NRA credit card

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["The NRA... will continue to oppose gun control measures that only serve to punish law-abiding citizens." See also: Businesses Are Fleeing the NRA in Wake of Parkland School Shooting. *RON*]

CBS / AP, CBS News, 22 February 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. - The nation's largest privately-owned bank says it will stop producing credit cards for the National Rifle Association in response to customer feedback.

The Nebraska-based First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract to issue the group's NRA Visa Card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement.

"Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," Langin said.

Langin declined to say when the contract would expire and would not elaborate on what sort of feedback the company had received. The company released the same statement dozens of times on Twitter in response to other users who called on the company to sever its ties with the NRA. Some use…

Millions of jobs are still missing. Don’t blame immigrants or food stamps.

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["Popular scapegoats, such as immigration, food stamps, and Obamacare, did not even move the needle." Many interesting statistics here. Notice, for instance, that the number of jobs lost because of increased minimum wages is only 7% of the number lost due to rising mass incarceration in the US. And yet, of course, The Trump administration takes its first big step toward stricter work requirements for food stamps. *RON*]

Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 22 February 2018

Where did all the jobs go? Well, we're finally starting to find some satisfactory answers to the granddaddy of all economic questions.

The share of Americans with jobs dropped 4.5 percentage points from 1999 to 2016 — amounting to about 11.4 million fewer workers in 2016.

At least half of that decline probably was due to an aging population. Explaining the remainder has been the inspiration for much of the economic research published after the Great Recession.