Black Hole Monetary Economics

Economic nerds are converging on Jackson Hole for their (our?) annual meeting and the big story of the event will be a controversial opinion by Larry Summers, which he laid out on Twitter yesterday. He is presenting a paper in which he argues [gasp] that monetary policy isn’t as effective as the economics profession has […]

Trump orders U.S. firms out of China after Beijing sets new tariffs

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he has ordered American companies to exit China after Beijing unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods, throwing a new twist into the bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the AMVETS (American […]

Oil dragged into U.S.-China trade war, prices slump

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China on Friday threatened to impose tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports for the first time, sending prices down nearly 4% to two-week lows as the escalating bilateral trade war fed worries over a slowdown in global oil demand. Pumpjacks are seen during sunset at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang […]

For some, currency wars may not be fun or easy to win

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) – It’s a maxim for private investors: Don’t fight the Fed. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks near a board showing the Brazilian Real-U.S. dollar and several other foreign currencies exchange rates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares The lesson may apply to […]

U.S. Chamber of Commerce rejects Trump call on business with China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce rebuffed President Donald Trump’s call Friday that U.S. businesses begin immediately looking for alternatives for operations in China after China said it was imposing new retaliatory tariffs. “While we share the president’s frustration, we believe that continued, constructive engagement is the right way forward,” said Myron Brilliant, […]

Powell stops short of committing to rate cuts, and Trump fumes

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve will “act as appropriate” to keep the U.S. economy healthy, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday, remarks that did not say how fast it might cut interest rates, drawing fire from President Donald Trump. U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Governor of the Bank of England […]

For world's central banks, a call to hang together

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) – Over the decades since World War Two the growth rates, inflation rates, interest rates and business cycles of the world’s major economies grew closer together. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis In hindsight and in that context, […]

Ex-Overstock CEO Byrne Reveals FBI's Peter Strzok Manipulated Him For 'Political Espionage'

Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne claimed in a bombshell interview with Fox Business that he received “fishy” orders from former FBI official Peter Strzok.  Byrne, who admitted to helping the “men in black” on two previous occasions – a murder case and Wall Street investigations – said that the Obama DOJ was conducting “political espionage” on both Hillary Clinton and […]

Policy rule could help shield Fed from Trump pressure: economist

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve ought to adopt a monetary policy rule to guide its interest-rate-setting decisions in part as a bulwark against a near daily barrage of presidential criticism, a widely respected economist told Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other central bankers on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building on […]

China strikes back at U.S. with new tariffs on $75 billion in goods

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday it will impose retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in the dispute between the world’s top two economies. The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an […]

Trump presses U.S. companies to close China operations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday he was ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close their operations in China and make more of their products in the United States instead, a rhetorical strike at Beijing as trade tensions mounted. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of a […]

Life-Changing Drugs Almost Nobody Can Afford

Episode 11: ‘The Six Million Dollar Claim’ Producer/Director Suzanne Hillinger Patients suffering from rare diseases who had little hope for a treatment now have access to life-changing medicines, thanks to pharmaceutical companies’ investment in so-called orphan drugs, which treat diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. But the increasing number of people who would benefit […]

Business Proposal Tips for Winning New Clients

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash Chances are, you spent a great deal of time preparing your business proposal. However, the thought of presenting it makes you feel desperate, because you know you really need to win this client over. But prospective clients can easily sense desperation, and that is the quickest way to lose them. This article […]

Powell Highlights Fed’s Limits. Trump Labels Him an ‘Enemy’

Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, kept future interest rate cuts squarely on the table on Friday but suggested that the central bank was limited in its ability to counteract President Trump’s trade policies, which are stoking uncertainty and posing risks to the economic outlook. Mr. Powell’s remarks drew a swift and angry reaction […]

Top U.S. publishers sue Amazon's Audible for copyright infringement

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, January 19, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol (Reuters) – Inc’s (AMZN.O) Audible was sued by some of the top U.S. publishers for copyright infringement on Friday, aiming to block a planned rollout of a feature called ‘Audible Captions’ that shows […]

David Einhorn: “Elon Musk Should Resign” Over Solar Panel Scandal

Tesla short seller David Einhorn has remained mostly mum over the last several quarters, despite Tesla stock plunging since the beginning of 2019. But given the “explosive” (pun very much intended) new details of Tesla’s most recent solar panel shitshow controversy, Einhorn has finally broken his silence in a big way. On Twitter Friday Einhorn called for […]

Can Roger Federer Break a Sweat?

ImageRoger Federer at the Uniqlo flagship in New York City. Derek Blasberg, right, was on hand to moderate an audience Q. and A. CreditCraig Barritt/Getty Images for Uniqlo Can being relatable be considered a superpower? It was steamy dog day afternoon at the Uniqlo flagship on Fifth Avenue. At the center of the mezzanine sales floor […]

The Yuan Is Crashing

According to CNBC, Trump is currently meeting with his trade aides… TRUMP MEETING WITH HIS TRADE AIDES NOW, CNBC REPORTS … to decide what additional measures and tariffs to declare against China, and if there is one currency that Trump’s economic team is currently keeping an eye on it is China’s yuan. What said team […]

Powell's speech support U.S. rate-cut bets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. interest rates futures rose on Friday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank will do what it can to preserve the longest U.S. economic expansion on record, supporting bets on a further decline in key borrowing costs. FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the numbers after the closing […]

Rising trade tensions revive bets on deep U.S. rate cut

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. interest rates futures rallied on Friday as rising trade tensions between China and the United States revived bets the Federal Reserve may lower key borrowing costs by a bold half-point next month. Earlier Friday, Beijing said it will impose a retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods […]

Friday links: clear-eyed vegan climatologists

Did you know you can stay up-to-date with all of our posts via our daily e-mail newsletter? Sign up today! Quote of the Day “I have zero problem with a clear-eyed vegan climatologist buying a financial product to express something about themselves. I have zero problem with the person on the other end of that […]

China Vows Tariff Retaliation. Trump Fires Back. Stocks Tumble.

Stocks fell on Friday, after a new round of tariff threats between Beijing and President Trump pushed the market toward another weekly loss. Before the start of trading on Wall Street, China said it would answer the next round of American tariffs on Chinese goods by increasing tariffs on American imports. Around 11 a.m., Mr. […]

Apple Rolling Out “New” iPhone That's “Nearly Identical” To Existing Model

With sales of iPhones having permanently plateaued and now declining year after year, and the state of Apple’s once consistent blowout iPhone numbers under growing threat (explaining the company’s pivot to a “service” company), Apple is now looking to produce new “Pro” versions of its iPhones, along with upgrades to its iPads and laptops, according […]

Snapchat’s Disappearing Act Leaves Venice Beach Searching for Its Future

LOS ANGELES — For a lot of Venice die-hards, the thing that irked them most about Snapchat was the security guards. When the company behind the disappearing-messages app took over multiple properties on the beach as it expanded, starting in 2012, it also posted guards who would shoo away anyone who wasn’t an employee and […]

Russ Conway, 70, Dies; His Reporting Led to a Hockey Boss’s Downfall

Russ Conway, whose exposés in a Massachusetts newspaper uncovered corruption by the leader of the National Hockey League’s players’ union, and led to his convictions for fraud, died on Tuesday at his home in Haverhill, Mass. He was 70. His lawyer, Peter Caruso, confirmed the death. He said Mr. Conway had received a diagnosis of […]


Are there systematic trends around the world in levels of creativity, aggressiveness, life satisfaction, individualism, trust, and suicidality? This article suggests a new field, latitudinal psychology, that delineates differences in such culturally shared features along northern and southern rather than eastern and western locations. In addition to geographical, ecological, and other explanations, we offer three […]

Libra Members Consider Quitting Project Due To Gov't Pressure: Report

Authored by Marie Huillet via, At least three of Facebook’s early backers for its planned Libra stablecoin launch are considering withdrawing their support in light of the fierce regulatory pushback. image courtesy of CoinTelegraph A report from the Financial Times on Aug. 23 alleges that two founding partners of Facebook’s Libra Association have held discussions about what […]

Influential CalPERS Beneficiaries Charge Sacramento Bee With Biased Coverage

Those of you who have taken interest in the seemingly never-ending saga of CalPERS’ diseased governance and incompetence, and now the determined efforts of its executives and the majority of the board to thwart efforts to clean the institution up may have noticed how the Sacramento Bee, the newspaper CalPERS cares most about, has reliably […]

Powell Hints At More Rate Cuts, Says “Economy In Favorable Place” But Warns Of “Significant Risks”

The much anticipated Jerome Powell Jackson Hole speech on “Challenges for Monetary Policy” is finally out, and the first thing that stands out is Powell’s assurance that the economy is in a “favorable place,” but immediately refers to “significant risks” in the very first paragraph of a text that, according to Bloomberg “ultimately appears to signal a rate cut […]

Podcast links: branded podcast boom

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at a podcast-centric search engine. Chart of the Day The podcasting boom illustrated. ( The biz Finance Venture Non-finance

As Hong Kong Firms Fall in Line Over Protests, Some Workers Push Back

HONG KONG — As big companies in Hong Kong squirm under pressure to denounce the continuing antigovernment protests in the territory or risk angering China, some of their employees are speaking out, raising the prospect of escalating labor tensions in the Asian financial capital. On Friday, more than 1,000 people joined a march for accountants […]

How Uber Got Lost

This article is adapted from the book “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” by Mike Isaac, a reporter for The New York Times. The book will be published by W.W. Norton & Co. on Sept. 3. “From the beginning,” the blog post began, “we’ve always been committed to connecting you with the safest rides on […]

12 Instagram Accounts That Reveal Life as a Times Journalist

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. To get into the minds and notebooks of Times journalists, look no further than Instagram. The app allows many reporters, editors and photographers based in New York and around the world to show how their […]

Overstock Saga Ends With a Whimper . . .

I never went looking for a fight with Overstock. Its not what I cover, and its weird collection of oddball employees, sycophants and various, assorted asshats holds no lure for me. In the mid aughts, I was writing about real estate and derivatives and (de)regulation and silly investor errors. Eventually, I began documenting the fallout […]

Billionaire industrialist David Koch dies aged 79

Prominent funder of climate sceptic and anti-regulation lobby groups died from advanced prostate cancer David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who alongside brother Charles waged a sustained war on government regulation and climate action, has died aged 79. The American’s death was confirmed today in a statement from Charles, the CEO and chairman of Koch Industries, […]

Shell closes in on takeover deal for Australian energy supplier ERM Power

Oil giant makes first foray into Australia’s competitive power market as it continues drive into consumer energy supply, renewables, and clean technologies Shell is closing in on its first foray into Australia’s competitive electricity sector with a (AUS) $617m takeover bid for ERM Power Ltd, as the oil and gas giant continues its drive into […]

U.S. rates futures gain on China's tariff, Fed's Bullard

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. interest rates futures rose on Friday, erasing their earlier losses after China announced retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion of U.S. imports, rekindling bets the trade war between the world’s biggest […]

As bond e-trading takes off, debt sales business may be ripe for automation

LONDON (Reuters) – With banks’ bond trading desks increasingly going electronic, another of the last bastions of old-school banking – the business of helping companies and countries raise capital – may be about to succumb to the tide of technology. FILE PHOTO: People walk through the Canary Wharf financial district of London, Britain, December 7, […]

Stressful Events

At times in our lives, we may be faced with sudden events, occurrences, or outcomes that we never expected to happen. Such events may cause us to react, even overreact out of emotion rather than taking time to think things through. Granted, this is easier said than done. The death of a loved one can […]

IKEA, Unilever, and BNP Paribas join business drive against inequality

Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) coalition will launch at the G7 summit this weekend, warning inequalities around the world are economically-damaging More than 30 global companies boasting combined revenues in excess of $1tr have thrown their weight behind a drive to tackle inequality, support inclusive economic growth, and promote workplace diversity as part of a […]