Andrew Zatlin's picture

Vice spending is one of the most seldom used, but surprisingly accurate leading gauges of consumer strength and the economy. Everyone knows that when consumers have more money in hand, they spend it on fun and luxury goods.

Charles Hugh Smith's picture

An entire new feedback loop of accreditation is needed, and fortunately that feedback is within our control: it's a process I call accredit yourself. Economist Michael Spence developed the job market signaling model of...

Sheraz Mian's picture

Jobless claims clung to a higher rung of its 275K-300K range by posting initial claims of 294K for the week. This is an increase of 12K from the previous week, which was further revised up 1K. The 4-week moving average,

Robert Rapier's picture

I have been pretty adamant — some may say stubbornly so — about my expectations for crude prices this year. I have argued against the notion that oil prices were going to fall to $20 or $30/bbl for several reasons.

Michael Shedlock's picture

Heaven forbid consumers actually like something too much. If they do, they buy it or use it more than they buy or use competing products. And when that happens, well it must be "unfair" competition.

Matthew Kerkhoff's picture

I think few people would argue with the observation that bull market tops are often accompanied by excessive enthusiasm, euphoria, and a late rush by retail investors to own stocks. The final phase of bull markets has...

Doug Short's picture

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends is out today. The April update for March came in at 95.2, a 2.8 drop from the previous month and the lowest reading in nine months. The index is now at...

Sheraz Mian's picture

A soft Retail Sales reading and a positive start to bank sector earnings provides the backdrop for today's session. On the data front, this morning' Retail Sales reading came short of estimates, but the modest...

George Friedman PhD's picture

"Empire" is a dirty word. Considering the behavior of many empires, that is not unreasonable. But empire is also simply a description of a condition, many times unplanned and rarely intended. It is a condition that arises...

Michael Pettis's picture

As I see it, the creation of the AIIB is not nearly as important as everyone seems to think, and if Beijing’s decision to create the AIIB, and Washington’s decision to oppose it, was part of the struggle for future geo-political...