“There is never a good time to raise the minimum wage,” explained Joseph Sabia, an associate professor of economics at San Diego State University. The Capitol Hill briefing was co-sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute, which is tied to the fast-food industry.
Last quarter was tough on large US corporations – those in the S&P 500 index. Unperturbed, the index soared all year. But its 343 companies that have reported so far have exposed the ugly underbelly of the worldwide economy: revenue “growth.”
Dear Readers, friends, traders, gladiators, hard-working guys dreaming of retirement…. My personal relationship with Japan goes back to 1996, so here’s something different, something that isn’t cynical and harsh and dark, but appreciative and I hope enjoyable.
The ECB’s money-printing and bond-buying promise, lovingly dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, became the bailing wire and duct tape that has kept the Eurozone together to this day. Turns out, it’s illegal under the EU treaties and unconstitutional in Germany.
It’s “a technology everyone is going to have,” said a Bay Area real estate broker as he explained why realtors use drones to shoot aerial videos of high-end properties. And it’s illegal. But no one is going to be able to stop it, he implied.
The Fed uses the easing unemployment rate as proof that its heroic policies are successful and that Bernanke could ride off into the sunset with a nimbus above his head. Other official measures are less gung-ho. And the most important one has become the Fed’s nightmare.
It’s not like Europe is out of the woods, after years of recession, lurching from bank bailout to country bailout, and sweeping remaining fetid matters under the rug. But its banks are now sinking deeper into an even greater morass: the emerging-markets fiasco.
The last stock-market bears have gone into hibernation, browbeaten and humiliated and ridiculed by years of brilliant rallies. Clinging to their analyses and the now silly notion that stocks should trade based on economic realities, they lost clients and money and their jobs.
Kudos to the Bank of Japan. Its heroic campaign to water down the yen has borne fruit. The people may not have noticed it because it’s not indicated on their bank and brokerage statements, but 20% of their magnificent wealth has gone up in smoke in 2013.
Monday is Janet Yellen’s first day on the job as Chair of the Federal Reserve, and so, all wishful thinking aside, it’s crucial that we obtain, one way or the other, a clear picture of what her glorious tenure will look like.