To paraphrase the motto of the former iconic Chicago department store, Marshall Field’s, give the customers what they want. To give the “customers” a preview of what they are going to get, let me state that thin-air credit growth has slowed to a rate that is low both from a long-run and short-run perspective.
Now that the first quarter of 2018 has just ended, what could be more fitting than to look back at the relative valuation of the S&P 500 stock index as of last year’s fourth quarter? After all, isn’t that what we economists do best, look back?
With the recent U.S. congressional passing and presidential signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the federal budget deficit is projected to increase in the next few years.
There has been chatter about whether the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will result in a temporary stimulus, or sugar high, to U.S. economic activity because of the increase in corporate after-tax profits and the increase in household disposable income that will flow from the tax-rate cuts.
I have an alternative explanation for Walmart’s recent beneficence – a growing shortage of qualified employees.
On January 11, Walmart announced that it was raising its starting wage rate to $11 an hour, giving a one-time bonus up to $1,000 to employees, expanding its parental/maternal leave policy and providing employees adopting a child up to $5,000 per child in fees associated with the adoption.
December 23rd is almost upon us. You know what that means. It’s time for me to work up my annual airing of grievances for Festivus 2017. Although I have myriad political-economic grievances for 2017, I am going to concentrate on only one in this annual Festivus epistle – the Taylor Rule.
In each of the first three quarters of 2017, there have been double-digit year-over-year percentage increases in the quarterly average level of the S&P 500 stock-price index – 19.3% in Q1, 15.5% in Q2 and 14.2% in Q3.