Why has the Recession Been Delayed?

   The economic cycle bottomed in 2009 and should have had a recession in about seven or eight years (about now) but there are no signs of warning of an imminent recession. Why has the cycle lasted so long? One reason is that the dysfunctionality of Japan and the EU's economies allows the U.S. to prosper by default. Another reason is that the U.S. is more entrepreneurial and welcoming to skilled immigrants. Also there was enormous stimulus from Quantitative Easing, although that ended over two years ago. Monetary stimulus has a two year lag so perhaps so about now the benefit of QE will end. There is stimulus from the stock market going up so much. One key reason for

2017-06-01T12:02:52-07:00 June 1st, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Why has the Recession Been Delayed?

Low Growth Kept Afloat By Deflation

                   Regarding the recent GDP data issued 4-28-17, the Q1 oil drilling investment capital expenditures (some 0.4% of the economy) was up 450% annualized, which is why investment in non-residential assets went up 22% annualized in Q1. This would have been zero, except for the sudden burst of economic activity in drilling for oil. The other 99.6% share of economy that was not in oil drilling investment had no growth. The GDP for the quarter was only 0.7% annualized instead of the usual 2% range. Real GDP would have been flat if not for the recovery in the drilling sector. Recently more evidence has emerged of a lower breakeven cost level (possibly at the high 20’s a barrel instead of

2017-05-02T16:49:22-07:00 May 2nd, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Low Growth Kept Afloat By Deflation

Will Tax Cuts Create Growth?

              Tax cuts can stimulate the economy. However, many articles written about tax cuts don’t clarify some serious misunderstandings. The typical article criticizing tax cuts cites the 91% tax rate started in the New Deal that was from 1933 to 1963 and compares it to today’s lower rates. But these articles fail to mention that before the 1986 tax law changes investors could cavalierly buy a legal tax shelter using leverage at the end of the year and get tremendous savings. Someone could pay $100,000 to buy a limited partnership unit that provided an immediate $300,000 write off thus eliminating their tax bill. The best way to judge the economic impact of tax cuts is to step back and gain

2017-05-01T12:08:12-07:00 May 1st, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Will Tax Cuts Create Growth?

Anti-Import Laws May Result In Recession

The Trump administration and Congress are trying to restrict imports and reward exports through the proposed Border Tax Adjustment law with the goal of increasing domestic employment. One possible outcome is that domestic manufacturers will increase spending on domestic robotic manufacturing for expensive high value added products. This would increase the GDP but not increase employment. The people qualified to do sophisticated work are already employed and thus an employer would have a difficult time increasing the number of qualified employees on short notice. The very unskilled people who are the ones with the highest rate of unemployment would not be able to participate in this type of employment. Presumably some progress will be made in creating jobs for low

2017-01-23T15:59:15-08:00 January 23rd, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Anti-Import Laws May Result In Recession

Will Tariffs Be Free For Americans?

The proposed border tax adjustment will act like an import tariff tax and has an interesting anomaly that it may act to increase the value of the dollar (reducing the cost of the imported goods) thus negating the cost to consumers of the tax. This unverified anomaly reminds me of the “print and pay” anomaly where G7 countries can issue huge amounts of sovereign debt denominated in their own currency and simply print up more to make the minimum payment and thus never be at risk of defaulting. An additional twist on G7 debt or high quality G20 sovereign debt is that the worse the economy gets the greater the degree of “crowding in” (instead of “crowding out”) occurs where

2017-01-19T11:17:41-08:00 January 19th, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Will Tariffs Be Free For Americans?

Dramatic Increase in Tariffs Will Contribute To Causing Recession

Trump wants to have a 35% tariff on imports. This would reduce global trade, result in trade wars and thus reduce our exports. It would raise prices since domestic manufacturers would be able to get away with charging more. If half of all consumer expenses are tangibles and they experience either a 35% tariff multiplied by a 50% allocation to the wholesale cost of imported goods or a matching price increase by domestic vendors, then that could result in perhaps a one-time 17% increase to the CPI index for tangibles on top of the usual 1.5% CPI. I’m assuming no increase in inflation for services. Thus the total CPI would be about half of 17% or 8%.  Many things could

2017-01-17T12:59:12-08:00 January 17th, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Dramatic Increase in Tariffs Will Contribute To Causing Recession

Election: How Will It Affect Your Portfolio?

It is 10:30 pm Pacific time on election night November 8. For over four hours since 6:30 pm I have watched the stunning Republican landslide. This was truly the most shocking outcome in U.S. history since 1860. Many watershed elections such as 1932 were accurately predicted by polls, this one was incredibly unpredicted by polls. Trump’s policies are fiscal stimulation through massive deficits and restrictions of imported goods and deportation of illegal aliens, many of whom work at minimum wage jobs. This is inflationary. It could also create recession by reducing global trade and starting a trade war. It is possible to have both inflation and depression.  In that case there might not be any good investments since stocks are

2017-01-10T23:32:51-08:00 November 8th, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Election: How Will It Affect Your Portfolio?

Was the Great Lehman 2008 Crash Really That Important?

When Lehman crashed in 9-14-2008 and the economy went into the worst recession in 78 years it seemed very dramatic. After several years it seemed somewhat trivial because it only made GDP drop 4.5%. Except for Lehman all the giant financial companies were rescued and life went on somewhat like normal. The main groups of people who were hurt were people in the financial, real estate and home construction industries. Does this mean that the recession and crash should be trivialized? Does it mean that it was caused by an unjust irrational panic? An interesting phenomenon was that the professional class of workers in engineering, medicine, IT, education, accounting continued to thrive with minimal disruption to their ability to earn

2017-01-10T23:32:52-08:00 October 12th, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Was the Great Lehman 2008 Crash Really That Important?

Politics Effect On The Economy

Last night was the second presidential debate. With the election of Clinton now at an 88% probability and the rising probability of the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress what will happen to the economy? Today the U.S. bond market was closed for a holiday but the CBOE futures market for bonds was open. Interest rates went down one basis point. The dollar went up in value against major currencies by 0.5% to 0.7% on Monday, which is a lot for one day. The dollar index is already high at 96.9 and will probably go 20% higher, assuming no recession. If the U.S. is viewed as having a stable government that is a responsible government then its currency may be

2017-01-10T23:32:52-08:00 October 10th, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Politics Effect On The Economy

Shrinking GDP Validates Low Interest Rates

GDP data released today shows the economy grew at a 1.2% annualized rate in the second quarter. The previous quarter’s rate was 0.8% annualized, so the six month average is 1.0% annualized. The stall speed for falling into a recession is 2% GDP growth. Another concern is that unemployment is at 4.9% and yet the economy is growing at only 1%. If the unemployment is so low then GDP should be growing at about at least 3%. The reason why unemployment is low when GDP is also low is because the lack of productivity growth means that employers have to hire lots of low skilled, low paid people who laboriously manually do things that should have been automated.  The reason

2016-07-29T16:19:15-07:00 July 29th, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Shrinking GDP Validates Low Interest Rates