Increased Worker Productivity Has Destroyed Millions of Jobs, and We Should Be Grateful
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Now that Congress has passed the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” it might be a good time to compare the 2,319-page financial reform bill (245 pages longer than the healthcare bill) to the previous bills listed below (and see graph above) that are considered among the most consequential legislative acts for banking and finance.
Take the latest Pew Research Center News Quiz.
"India has finally got a symbol for the Rupee and joined a select club of countries whose currencies have an unique identity (see graphic above). The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the design, which includes both the Devnagiri 'Ra' and the Roman capital 'R' and has two parallel lines running at the top. The parallel lines symbolise the equal to sign.
European Online Recruitment Activity Reaches 16-month high, Reports Monster Employment Index
I reported yesterday that international trade reached a 19-month high in May, and today's report from the Port of Los Angeles provides additional statistical evidence of an ongoing boom in international trade activity. Shipping volume reached a 22-month high in June of 730,318 TEUs, the highest monthly shipping activity since August of 2008 (see chart above), and 32.38% above June last year. On a year-to-date basis, shipping activity at the LA Port is up by 15%. Other highlights include:
According to Arturo Estrella, professor of economics and department head at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:
DQNews---"Southern California’s housing market continued its slow crawl toward normalcy in June as sales volume rose and the median price slipped back a notch from May, but remained 13 percent higher than a year ago. Red-hot, fire-sale deals continued to give way to mere bargains in the lower- cost inland markets where first-time buyers and investors have competed fiercely. Highlights include:
Many people get upset about income inequality, and for example the fact that the top 1% earned almost 23% of total income in 2007 (see table above, IRS data here). But not too many people seem to get very upset about the fact that "farm subsidy inequality" is even greater, see the table above (data here).
From today's Financial Times (free subscription may be required):
Perhaps this is heresy to even ask this, but suppose we moved in the direction of greater European-style socialism - how bad would that really be?
The weekly American Association Staffing Index for temporary help and contract work continues to show strong gains compared to the same month in the previous year, and the index has increased in every week this year vs. 2009. For the last eleven weeks (starting April 19) the weekly gains have been above 20%, and for the last 20 weeks (starting Feb. 15) the gains have been above 10%. Compared to last year, the ASA Index was 28.5% higher during the 27th week of this year (June 28-July 4 this year).
The BEA released monthly data today on U.S. International Trade for May (link), and reported that "Total May exports of $152.3 billion and imports of $194.5 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $42.3 billion, up from $40.3 billion in April, revised. May exports were $3.5 billion more than April exports of $148.7 billion. May imports were $5.5 billion more than April imports of $189.0 billion."
"Zimbabwe's coalition government officially declared the U.S. dollar legal tender last year to eradicate world record inflation of billions of percent in the local Zimbabwe dollar as the economy collapsed. $1 bills are essential currency in Zimbabwe and putting them through the washing machine is the only way to ensure they remain hygenic.
UK Telegraph -- "Organizers of next month's Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace had hoped to stage the first 100 meters head-to-head of the season between Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell but the triple Olympic champion is set to shun the meeting because it would expose him to a huge tax bill. Unless the tax rules are relaxed, athletics administrators fear British fans will be denied the chance to see the sport's biggest star in action again until he returns to the capital in two years' time to defend his Olympic titles.
LA Times (June 14, 2010) -- "Box- office futures have passed a final regulatory hurdle, clearing the way for the first bets to be placed in the near future, and overcoming objections by Hollywood that sought to block it. In a 3-2 vote, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday afternoon approved a contract created by the company Media Derivatives that would allow traders to bet on the gross receipts that a movie pulls in during its opening weekend.
A great example from today's The Gartman Letter about how government agricultural subsidies generate significant and costly economic distortions and inefficiencies:
I have had some repeated requests from some loyal CD readers to get an update on the Baltic Dry Index (you can always go here on your own any time you need your "BDI fix"), which has been in decline for the last month after reaching a YTD high in late May (see chart above). Dennis Gartman addressed this recent decline in the BDI in his newsletter on July 8, where he quoted Julian Jessop, Chief Economist of Capital Economics:
BBC -- "More than a billion mobile phone connections have been added to the global tally in just 18 months, and there are now more than five billion connections worldwide - which is three times as many phones as personal computers.