Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Thu, 04/11/2013 - 14:13
The president’s budget proposal is not likely to pass Congress “as is”, but it does present his point of view and probably a rough idea of what we can expect. That expectation is wholly consistent with what we have been telling our clients and listeners – plan on higher taxes in the years to come.
Among the specifics included are:
Achieving a $1.8 trillion deficit reduction by raising $600 billion in new revenue by:
•Reducing a high income earner’s current 39.6% benefit on itemized deductions to 28%
Does US Government Spending Have a Multiplier Effect?
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 15:31
Margaret Thatcher passed away Monday at age 87. Looking back, the UK economy had been limping along for years when she became Prime Minister in 1979. High inflation was problematic, and she attacked it with high interest rates, deregulation, increased focus on services, and a free market emphasis. The Labour movement before her tried unsuccessfully to use stimulus spending to jump start the economy. Ultimately, it was her leadership and methods produced steady economic growth that benefited the nation.
The same debate is going on in Europe and the US to
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Thu, 04/04/2013 - 09:27
The UK just suffered its coldest March in 50 years. I was there with my family, and yes, it was cold! It was mentioned in one of my meetings there that the UK has about 48 hours of stored gas and there are warnings that electric generating capacity is falling. My research has shown that this is indeed true, and it is only because of an emergency delivery from Qatar, that they have 48 hours of gas. Higher energy costs are expected.
Despite these problems, there is a reluctance to engage in high-pressure extraction of natural gas (fracking). The reluctanc
“The Corruption of Capitalism”: Our Take on David Stockman’s Op-Ed
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Tue, 04/02/2013 - 13:39
On March 30, the New York Times published an opinion piece by David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, and the article has set off a firestorm of discussion about America’s economic future. Mr. Stockman presents a case that culminates in the economic collapse of the U.S. He rightfully puts forth different reasons attributable to both political parties, but there is a common theme.
Submitted by Brian Beaulieu on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 13:28
The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the fourth-quarter-2012 GDP number to reflect 0.4% growth versus the original estimate of -0.1%. This is good news, not only because a positive number is better than a negative one, but because this is the second time the number has been revised up.
For forecasters that have been around a long time, upward revisions are generally considered to be a good sign in that it means there is more underlying strength inherent to the economy than is presumed to be true by the “powers that be”.&
Submitted by Brian Beaulieu on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 16:03
Retail sales last month were sluggish, especially when compared to a year ago (down 0.1% year-over-year). It would be tempting to think that the seemingly weak performance was tied to the tax hike that working Americans experienced beginning in January. While this can’t be totally discounted, it doesn’t appear to the the case.
As was reported in the Wall Street Journal, the personal finance website Bankrate.com survey showed that 48% of consumers didn’t notice a change in their 2013 paychecks. It is either nice to be blissfully unaware, or perhaps so
Thinking About Higher Interest Rates and Lower Taxes
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 09:29
Investors both near and far appear to be hedging with the belief that US interest rates will soon be moving higher. This outlook is based on the belief that the Federal Reserve Board will edge off the quantitative easing throttle based on the strength of the US economy. The market is beginning to signal what we have been telling people for some time now – borrow now while the borrowing is good. Some expect a sharp increase in market rates once the Federal Reserve Board stops keeping rates artificially low. We do not expect a dramatic rise in interest rates, but why w
Positive News from Europe - Germans Balance the Budget
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Tue, 03/19/2013 - 11:45
The Germans are leading the way in Europe, and coincidentally showing the US that balanced budgets are possible. They have dubbed their plan as “growth friendly deficit reduction”, but the reality is they will have a balanced budget in 2014. Austerity and controlled spending are working wonders for the world’s fourth largest economy.
They will borrow $8.3 billion, but through contributions to the EU’s bailout fund (the European Stability Mechanism), it becomes a structurally balanced budget. They won’t borrow any money in 2015. It would seem that Ms.
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Thu, 03/14/2013 - 09:28
American culture over at least the last few years seems to have developed an anti-big business and anti-executive attitude. It seems that many people feel that businesses and executives make too much money. America is not alone in that perception (and it is just perception unless you want to concentrate on outliers).
Submitted by Alan Beaulieu on Wed, 03/13/2013 - 11:51
You may have noticed that China shares tumbled last Friday because of an announcement regarding new policies to cool down China’s housing market. The new rules affecting home sales include a 20 percent tax on gains from the sale, higher down payments, higher mortgage rates, and some talk about price targets in various cities.
There are fears that these new measures will burst the real estate bubble. However, rising housing prices have proven themselves resilient to nine government interventions during the past decade. Ghost cities, empty malls, and empty buil