You all know that I'm a bug about the delayed effects of Fed interest rate hikes. Here's a simple chart that shows why: Fed interest rate hikes don't directly affect inflation. They produce higher long-term rates which in turn slow down the economy. That's what reduces inflation. Long-term rates have indeed gone up since the ...continue reading "The Fed and the economy"
Kevin Drum 🕸
Who's responsible for the mess in the Middle East? You can go back as far as you want, of course, if you want to blame Theodor Herzl or Arthur Balfour or the United Nations or the Ottoman Empire. But if we stick to relatively recent history, the answer lies with one reckless man and a ...continue reading "The man who wrecked the Middle East"
Here's an odd thing: The Trump Organization has defaulted on its CMBS loan on its 40 Wall St building - transferred to special servicer #MacroEdgeCMBS pic.twitter.com/wKgO7gGmwl — MacroEdge (@MacroEdgeRes) November 10, 2023 Trump's 40 Wall Street property has been on watchlist for a while thanks to high costs and vacancy rates, but as near as ...continue reading "Is Donald Trump in default on 40 Wall Street?"
Louisiana's latest redistricting map is so unfair to Black voters that even the hyper-conservative Fifth Circuit Court has agreed it's illegal: The Louisiana state legislature has until the middle of January to enact a new congressional map after a federal court ruled that the state’s current map illegally disfranchises Black voters in the state.... According ...continue reading "Louisiana ordered to redraw racist congressional map"
Here is the quarterly rate of core PCE inflation over the past couple of decades: Excluding the unusual deflation during the start of the Great Recession, average core PCE inflation averaged 2.1% through 2019. In the third quarter of this year it was at 2.4%.
Over at New York, Kevin Dugan notes that BlackRock, a huge investment company, is close to getting SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF (Exchange Traded Fund). An ETF is a fund that invests in related securities—the S&P 500, for example, or maybe a collection of health care companies—but is traded like an ordinary stock. By ...continue reading "Crypto is about to go mainstream by no longer being crypto"
This is Charlie in our front yard garden. The picture looks a little different than usual because I was playing with my flash unit. It wasn't night, it was midday, and I was hoping to get a flash photo of one of our hummingbirds. The hummingbirds didn't cooperate, but I killed time by taking fill-flash ...continue reading "Friday Cat Blogging – 10 November 2023"
I have no special reason for posting this. It's a Google Maps picture of a small piece of Gaza City: Roughly speaking, this is about 1% of Gaza City, which itself is only about a tenth of the Gaza Strip. Multiply this by about a thousand and it's what "house-to-house" fighting looks like.
Hey, look what's happening in the auto industry: Honda Motor is giving many U.S. factory workers an 11% pay bump and making other improvements for these employees, a move that follows major gains secured by the United Auto Workers union in Detroit last month. The base wage increase is effective in January, according to a ...continue reading "The UAW won pay hikes for everyone in the auto industry"
Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and a former professor of journalism at Princeton University. Here's how he thinks Gaza should be governed after the war is over: The answer for the question of what happens next should be clear. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which doesn’t include Hamas, needs to forge an agreement with Hamas ...continue reading "No, Hamas should not be part of the Palestinian government"
Tesla workers in Sweden are on strike because Tesla refuses to recognize their union. That's bad for Tesla, but things can get worse: If Tesla is still balking on a deal by November 20, postal workers will stop delivering letters and packages addressed to the company. Seriously? If the Swedish postal service disapproves of you ...continue reading "No more mail for Tesla in Sweden"
Ellen Weintraub, a member of the Federal Election Commission, has something she wants to say: The FEC has six members: three Democrats and three Republicans. Enforcement actions require a majority vote. Since all three Republicans refuse on principle to investigate violations by Donald Trump, it means he's effectively immune from all federal campaign laws.
How fast are sales of EVs growing? That depends. If you look at the full history of EV sales it looks like exponential growth: But if you look at growth since 2020 it looks linear: Take your pick. Sales in September were above trend either way you look at it. NOTE: This includes only full, ...continue reading "Raw data: Electric vehicle sales in the US"
Tim Lee takes a common shot at social media today: This obviously isn't an original observation but I still think almost everyone is underestimating how much the Internet drives polarization on every controversial topic. — Timothy B. Lee (@binarybits) November 9, 2023 I know how appealing this is, but most of the research points in ...continue reading "It’s not social media that has polarized us"
A couple of days ago a fire broke out at one of our historic World War II blimp hangars. By the time it was over the entire east side had been gutted. The two top pictures show what it looked like on the day after. The bottom picture shows the hangar in better days (the ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
We are, once again, a week away from shutting down the government unless Congress passes a continuing resolution that, um, allows things to continue. Newly minted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is the key player here: Some lawmakers say the most plausible scenario is that Johnson puts a relatively clean CR on the floor, ...continue reading "We are once again a week away from a government shutdown"
The actors strike is over: SAG-AFTRA did not immediately disclose terms of the agreement, but the committee said the three-year contract was “valued at over $1 billion.” The details are expected to be released after SAG-AFTRA’s national board reviews the contract on Friday. The proposed contract — which also still must be ratified by the ...continue reading "All the Hollywood strikes are over"
The moderators of tonight's Republican debate did pretty well! Despite Vivek Ramaswamy's best efforts to remain an asshole, they kept him pretty much under control. Everyone else, too. They mostly did this by asking questions instantly after each speaker had finished, a ploy that other moderators should emulate. So who did best? Not Tim Scott, ...continue reading "Debate roundup: Trophies for all!"
Moms for Liberty, the hard-right group best known for banning books in schools and opposing CRT, backed a bunch of candidates for school boards across the country during this election cycle. But over at Mother Jones, Kiera Butler reports that most of them lost. I've taken the liberty of summarizing her results in the chart ...continue reading "Moms for Liberty had a bad night on Tuesday"
Via Atrios, I see that Citibank has been fined for discriminating against.......Armenians: Citi treated Armenian Americans as criminals who were likely to commit fraud. From at least 2015 through 2021, Citi targeted retail services credit card applicants with surnames that Citi employees associated with Armenian national origin as well as applicants in or around Glendale, ...continue reading "Citibank hates Armenians?"