China “Indefinitely” Suspends Economic Dialogue With Australia As Relations Continue To Deteriorate

China on Thursday announced the “indefinite” suspension of all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue amid strained relations between the two countries, its state economic planner said on Thursday. The news caused the Aussie Dollar to fall sharply, dropping as low as 0.7701 vs the US dollar vs. Wednesday’s $0.7747. “Recently, some Australian Commonwealth […]

How to beat Paul Graham and put him in his place

Paul writes me: I remember you wrote an article about the intersection of cryptocurrency and philanthropy, so if you haven’t heard about it yet you’d probably be interested in the new “Save Thousands of Lives” NFT being sold by a nonprofit we funded. They run programs in India to teach new moms to take care of […]

Aldous Huxley Foresaw Our Despots – Fauci, Gates, & The Vaccine Crusaders

Authored by Patricia McCarthy via AmericanThinker.com, In 1949, sometime after the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World (1931), who was then living in California, wrote to Orwell.  Huxley had briefly taught French to Orwell as a student in high school at Eton. Huxley generally praises Orwell’s novel, which to many seemed […]

Record High Lumber Prices Send “Portable Sawmill” Searches To The Moon

Humans readily respond to changing market conditions in various ways when it comes to soaring commodity prices. For instance, as random length lumber futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hit a record $1,640 on Wednesday, there has been a multi-month explosion of internet searches for people who want to learn how to make lumber.  Genius […]

The Curious Case Of The Asian-American Victim

Authored by Richard Bernstein, RealClearInvestigations, The mass shooting in Atlanta on March 16, which took the lives of six Asian women among the eight victims, appears to be a one-off event – the violent act of a deeply troubled 21-year-old man who, according to what he told the police, was trying to wipe away sexual […]

Kansas City Follows West Coast Progressives In Building Village For Homeless 

Progress politicians have been pitching free public housing for years as a cure for housing, wealth, and all sorts of other inequalities. Several West Coast cities have implemented housing first initiatives, with taxpayers shelling out more than one billion dollars in the last half-decade. Years later, the attempt to break the homeless in perpetuity hasn’t worked […]

Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists Opens The Wuhan Virus Pandora's Box

Authored by Nicholas Wade via the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (emphasis ours), The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives the world over for more than a year. Its death toll will soon reach three million people. Yet the origin of pandemic remains uncertain: The political agendas of governments and scientists have generated thick clouds of […]

Northwest Real Estate in April: Sales up 50% YoY, Inventory down 45% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 08:15:00 PM Note: Inventory is down sharply in the Northwest almost everywhere except Seattle. And inventory is low in Seattle too, but was even lower a year ago. Remember – sales slumped in April 2020, so the year-over-year sales comparisons are crazy. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Brokers detect […]

DIY Reparations

Enlarge this image Qieer Wang/NPR Today’s show is adapted from the episode “Eat the Rich” from the NPR podcast Invisibilia. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Vermont college student Moirha Smith decided she was done waiting for reparations for all the harm that had been done to Black people from slavery up […]

May 5th COVID-19 Vaccinations, New Cases, Hospitalizations

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 04:54:00 PM President Biden has set two vaccinations goals to achieve by July 4th: 1) 70% of the population over 18 has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 2) 160 million Americans fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, on Vaccinations 1) 56.7% of the population over 18 has […]

Wednesday assorted links

1. Additional problems with central bank digital currencies. 2. Nicholas Wade on where Covid-19 really came from.  And commentary from Elad.  Original link is updated here. 3. Police vaccination rates are low. 4. “Travel agencies in Thailand are selling coronavirus “vaccine tours” to the United States, as some wealthy Thais grow impatient awaiting mass inoculations […]

Private Nonfarm Payroll Employment in April

ADP private nonfarm change at 742K below consensus of 800K (Bloomberg). Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment from BLS October release (black), Bloomberg consensus for April as of 5/5 (teal square), ADP November release (red), all on log scale. Source: BLS, ADP via FRED, Bloomberg, and author’s calculations.

US Agriculture and the Global Economy

Some recent research from the agency Mr. Trump found too meddlesome, and Mr. Mulvaney tried to dispatch (i.e., the USDA’s Economic Research Service): Economic Crises and U.S. Agricultural Exports WILLIAM M. LIEFERT ,  LORRAINE MITCHELL ,  AND  RALPH SEELEY ERR-282, April 26, 2021 Reforming Market Access in Agricultural Trade: Tariff Removal and the Trade Facilitation Agreement JAYSON BECKMAN ERR-280, April […]

Denver Real Estate in April: Sales Up 29% YoY, Active Inventory Down 62%

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 02:29:00 PM Note: I’m tracking data for many local markets around the U.S. I think it is especially important to watch inventory this year. From the DMAR: Monthly Indicators, April 2021Total Residential Units Sold in April 2021 were 5,088, up 28.5% from 3,961 in April 2020.Active Residential Listings in April […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 5/5/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Bird Song of the Day The Strange Weaver has exactly one sample. It’s very pretty! * * * #COVID19 At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of […]

Fragile: Handle With Care

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com, What a circus. I imagine there’s a big sign in every Fed building in America: Don’t drop, fragile, handle with care. Janet Yellen, while no longer in a Fed building, committed the cardinal sin of pointing out the obvious yesterday: Rates may have to be raised in response to […]

LiveLeak Bites The Digital Dust 

Popular British video sharing website “LiveLeak,” known for footage of war, politics, and many other world events usually censored on other video websites, like YouTube, was dissolved on Wednesday. LiveLeak was founded in 2006 and was launched into the spotlight in 2007 after the unauthorized filming and execution of Saddam Hussein were posted on the site.  […]

The Fed Finally Gets Some Tough Questions… And Fails To Answer Them

Authored by Robert Aro via The Mises Institute, Last Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell showed how simple questions do not always get simple answers. When speaking to the media after the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, some difficult questions were asked. So much so, Powell had to repeat one question to himself, […]

Iran Airs Disturbing Propaganda Clip Of IRGC Blowing Up Capitol Building

Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is stoking tensions once again as the Iranian foreign ministry is engaged in continued ‘indirect’ nuclear talks with the US in Vienna, early this week releasing a short video clip that features an imagined missile attack on the Capitol building in Washington D.C. The footage aired on Iranian […]

U.S. Births decreased in 2020, “Lowest number of births since 1979”

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 12:10:00 PM Note: This is even lower than housing economist Tom Lawler’s projection, see: Lawler: The Dismal Demographics of 2020. Demographics are still positive for housing, but nothing like the projections from a decade ago. The Census projections were dropping all decade: 2014 Census projections for April 2020: 334.5 million […]

Noah Didn't Yield To FOMO, Neither Should You

Authored by Michael Lebowitz via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” reads the first sentence of the bible. Later in the book of Genesis, God created cycles. “Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of these dreams have the same meaning. God is telling you what will happen soon. The seven […]

My Conversation with Daniel Carpenter, on regulation and also the FDA

Here is the audio, video, and transcript, I found it a very substantive and also illuminating episode.  Carpenter is very, very smart and also very well-informed historically.  Here is part of the summary: Daniel Carpenter is one of the world’s leading experts on regulation and the foremost expert on the US Food and Drug Administration. […]

Federal Judge Overturns CDC's Eviction Moratorium

A month ago, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board stated yet another true but unpopular fact: “Continuing government bans on eviction and foreclosure are doing more harm than good.” The CDC invoked the 1944 Public Health Service Act, which allows the agency to take measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between states. People […]

Ethereum Revisited

Authored by Omid Malekan, Like most things, the undulations of the crypto markets are cyclical and meme-based. But thanks to the blockchain’s elimination of many of the frictions of the traditional financial system, the cycles happen faster. Take the simple fact that crypto markets trade 24/7, while most traditional markets do not. In any normal […]

New York Times Subscriptions Slow 'Sharply' In First Post-Trump Quarter

The New York Times just announced that in the first quarter since former President Donald Trump left office, digital subscriptions have slowed ‘sharply’ despite revenue rising 6.6%, according to the Wall Street Journal. In its slowest growth since the second quarter of 2019, the leftist outlet signed up 167,000 new subscribers for its core news […]

ISM® Services Index decreased to 62.7% in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 10:04:00 AM (Posted with permission). The March ISM® Services index was at 62.7%, down from 63.7% last month. The employment index increased to 58.8%, from 57.7%. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction. From the Institute for Supply Management: April 2021 Services ISM® Report On Business® Economic activity in […]

ADP: Private Employment increased 742,000 in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/05/2021 08:22:00 AM From ADP: Private sector employment increased by 742,000 jobs from March to April according to the April ADP® National Employment ReportTM. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. […]

The Premonition: Michael Lewis Podcast & 60 Minutes

We managed to set free this weekend’s MiB with Michael Lewis a few days early. A quick funny story about our conversation: I know him fairly well, having interviewed him 4 or 5 times for an hour or so each time; We also spent a few hours tossing some back at the bar at the […]

Goldman Sachs Wants Its Bankers Back at the Office

Goldman Sachs is the latest to call an end to remote work. Goldman Sachs wants its workers back in the office, including its Manhattan headquarters, next month.Brendan McDermid/ReutersManhattan calling #styln-signup .styln-signup-wrapper { max-width: calc(100% – 40px); width: 600px; margin: 20px auto; padding-bottom: 20px; border-bottom: 1px solid #e2e2e2; } Goldman Sachs has joined JPMorgan Chase in […]

Gary Vaynerchuk is launching art NFTs linked to ethereum cryptocurrency

In this article ETH.CM= After weeks of teasing his drawings on Twitter, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk announced Wednesday he’s launching his first NFT collection, “VeeFriends,” a series of 10,255 character tokens available for purchase via the cryptocurrency ethereum. Nonfungible tokens are a type of digital asset created to track ownership of a virtual item using blockchain technology. […]

Genetics of Psychic Ability

My jaw just about hit the floor when I read this paper. It is commonly believed that psychic ability, like many mental and physical traits, runs in families. This suggests the presence of a genetic component. If such a component were found, it would constitute a biological marker of psychic ability and inform environmental or […]

Links 5/5/2021

100 year-old enormous fresh water fish caught in Detroit River Boing Boing (resilc) !!!!! Scientists Are Relocating Nuisance Beavers to Help Salmon Smithsonian Magazine Drones show California’s great white sharks are closer — and more common — than you think Los Angeles Times This Unappealing Beer Offers a Taste of Climate Change TreeHugger Bugging out: […]

Jared Holst: Getting Kinky for the Sake of Data

Yves here. As someone who 1. hates being spied on (hence my fondness for tech antiques) and 2. has no patience, when I hear Lambert say, for instance, that he had to spend an hour on his new Apple machine (emergency acquisition due to sudden death of one of his workhorse devices) turning off snooping […]

Are women making progress in academic economics?

Here is a new paper by Donna K. Ginther and Shulamit Kahn: This study uses data from Academic Analytics to examine gender differences in promotion to associate professor in economics. We found that women in economics were 15% less likely to be promoted to associate professor after controlling for cumulative publications, citations, grants and grant […]

How would actual alien spacecraft influence asset prices?

Primarily as an exercise, I thought about that question for a while, and here is part of my answer in a Bloomberg column: If you know you are being watched, what exactly do you wish to buy more of? I would bet on defense stocks to rise, whether or not there is much we can […]

Escobar: The Brave New Cancel Culture World

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times, If we need a date when the West started to go seriously wrong, let’s start with Rome in the early 5th century… In 2020, we saw the enshrinement of techno-feudalism – one of the overarching themes of my latest book, Raging Twenties. In lightning speed, the techno-feudalism virus […]

From Mind Control To Viruses: How The Government Keeps Experimenting On Its Citizens

Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “They were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.” – Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children The U.S. government, in its pursuit of so-called monsters, […]