Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Some morning news

Here's some stuff to read and stuff:

Bespoke - jobs open, labour tight: survey (ha ha ha, see what we did there?). Good analysis, and a contrast to the argument that the jobs story is all about the oil patch. Quote:
It’s worth pointing out that last Friday’s low NFP number (126,000 versus 245,000 expected) can be partially explained by employers not being able to find workers that suit their needs, hindering jobs created. Of course, that optimistic outlook doesn’t explain the whole disappointment, but the February JOLTS data very much supports that explanation as part of the larger picture.
A different perspective, anyway.

NY Times - it's hard to lift wages if the Fed doesn't make it a priority. Janet Yellen said this:
“We can never be sure what growth rate of nominal wages is consistent with stable consumer price inflation,” she said in her speech, “and this uncertainty limits the usefulness of wage trends as an indicator of the Fed’s progress in achieving its inflation objective.”
And Jared Bernstein lays the smackdown on her candy ass thus:
Ms. Yellen worries that a wage target wouldn’t work, because all of those other wage-influencing factors will prevent wages from responding to labor market tightening. But globalization and deunionizaton, among other long-term, slow-moving factors, have been influencing wages for many decades. The relevant question for a Fed considering wage targeting is: Given all these underlying dynamics, does the tighter job market still move wage growth in the near term?
So I've just got to ask: has utterly nobody in economics bothered to consider the effect of globalization and anti-labour policies on the employment-wage dynamic? Don't your models include a third world, a labour-export function, and a model to account for political capture by the plutocracy? That's some crappy "science" you guys got there, economists!

Alex Gurevich - the specifics about Wall Street Whitey's stupidity. A great insight article, for all the wrong reasons. Gurevich is "former head of global macro trading at JPMorgan Chase", and yet:
I am throwing in the towel. I don’t know what the Fed will do and Janet Yellen doesn’t know either. What is more important, she is not afraid to say so.
How about if Whitey simply accepts that the Fed path is going to be data-dependent? I mean, how hard is that? Instead:
This is the problem with academics running the Fed: there are afraid to be wrong and act prematurely, so they collect the preponderance of evidence before acting. Traders have no such compunctions.

You see the financial system freeze? Cut right away, don’t talk, just cut! You find out your actions were excessive: tighten back. Nobody was ever able to explain to me what was wrong with the Fed being dynamic and flexible.
The difference, you cunt, is that you're playing with your fat rich clients' money, while a crass mistake by the Fed can destroy millions of lives. Also, your trading fuckup has an immediate effect, while a fuckup from the Fed isn't obvious til 6 months down the road when the effect of the rate move finally percolates through the economy. You're riding a fucking tricycle while Yellen is trying to steer a battleship: your supreme arrogance is comical.

This post gives us a fabulous insight into the average Wall Street Whitey thought process, and it turns out Wall Street Whitey is a crackhead moron.

New Economic Synthesis - German economists trying really hard to justify their position on Greece. And they're failing. Here's a key quote:
Lastly, the authors argue that while the risk of economic contagion from a Grexit is minimal, the risk of political contagion is high, with potentially disastrous consequences. This may be true, but I fail to see how this supports the notion that the path Greece & the troika took from 2010 wasn’t wrong after all; just because the political consequences of admitting this might be harmful doesn’t make this false.
My takeaways? First: yes, Germans are bull-headed assholes who will never, ever, ever admit they were wrong. Surprised?

Second: let's be clear that the term "political contagion" really means a democratic movement to spread power more evenly through the EZ instead of concentrating it in fucking Berlin, okay? That's what the Germans are scared of: that the rest of Europe might someday realize they can outvote Merkel and her puppies.

FT Alphaville - more crowing about the China stock bubble. Wanna know the difference between this bubble and NASDAQ 2000, Keohane? This bubble is happening in China. That's the difference.

Think Progress - is Christianity all about being anti-gay? A florist refuses to sell flowers for a gay wedding, but is totally okay with selling flowers to an adulterer. This "religious freedom" movement is not about staying true to Christian principles, it's about hating gays.

Telegraph - police hunt thieves who stole guinea pigs. Police say the suspects were last seen wearing undersized bowler hats and ponchos, and were carrying a Coleman camp stove and a sack of funny-looking potatoes.

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