Archive for April 15th, 2009

China’s GDP Growth Muted-If You Believe The Numbers

The news out of China is that GDP growth fell to 6.1% in March, the weakest growth rate on record. Of course, the records only go back to 1992. Here is how the NYT reports the spin from China: China’s economy slowed in the first quarter to its weakest pace on record, but an improvement [...]

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Should We Bail Out California?

California is now in the market for a government guarantee. The state needs to sell $13 billion of short-term notes and no bank will touch them.  Before the credit crisis banks would routinely provide credit support for states and municipalities that needed to raise short-term credit. As you know, banks have rediscovered the concept of [...]

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The Obligatory April 15th Tax Post

Rather than forcing my opinions about taxes on you, I thought I’d pass along some solid information from Keith Hennessey’s blog. He has some very easy to read graphs that demonstrate the trend in taxes since the end of World War ll.  Here are the very simple conclusions he draws from the charts: Federal taxes [...]

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Do The Chinese Prefer Copper Over Dollars?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard speculates that China is buying metals in surprising volume in order to reduce its dollar dependency. According to Evans-Pritchard the country is buying much more copper and other metals than normal commercial purposes would require. Here is his reasoning: One thing is clear: Beijing suspects that the US Federal Reserve is engineering a [...]

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Free Trade Update

The Buy American movement is alive and well. In Granite City, Illinois a shipment of Indian made steel pipe has galvanized the city. It seems there is a pipeline being built to carry oil from tar sands to Oklahoma from Canada. That pipeline runs through Granite City and some of the pipe that’s been shipped [...]

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SEC Discusses Reform Of Rating Agencies

The SEC held a roundtable discussion with the rating agencies at which various fixes and new regulations were discussed. The press reports indicate that most of it was the sort of self-serving blather that usually takes place at these events but one item indicated that they may be on to something. The MarketWatch report of [...]

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A Slew Of Economic Reports

There is a lot of economic news out this morning, so I’ll try and jam it all into this post. MarketWatch reports that consumer prices fell 0.1% in March. The core rate rose 0.2%. The WSJ roundup of economists’ reactions to the numbers generally indicated not a lot of concern about either inflation or deflation. [...]

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