by Rick Davis, Consumer Metrics Institute
In their second estimate of the US GDP for the first quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was contracting at a -0.75% annualized rate, down a full percent from the +0.25% estimated last month, and down sharply (-2.97%) from the +2.22% growth rate recorded for the prior quarter.
May 29th, 2015
by Roger Backhouse and Mauro Boianovsky
Appeared Originally on VoxEU,org 19 May 2015
The notion of secular stagnation – a state of negligible or zero economic growth – is back in the headlines. Questions naturally arise about its intellectual antecedents. This article discusses how the concept rose and fell with the economic fortunes of advanced industrialised nations. Political trends and trends in economic theory played a part in its trajectory, with the notion closely connected to the idea that the level of government debt should be allowed to rise.
The Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen again into the hands of the Islamic State, a group born of al Qaeda in Iraq. That this terrorist organization, whose brutality needs no description, has retaken a city once fought for by American soldiers troubles me. I served two deployments in Ramadi, fighting al Qaeda. Comrades died in that fight. I was shot in Ramadi. My initial reaction, like that of many veterans, is to ask what the hell it was all for, when nothing seems to change. The whole endeavor was a costly bloodletting and it seems the price we paid yielded no actual benefit. Yet, Memorial Day is as much a day for reflection as it is for remembrance and commemoration. And in reflecting, I have had to sit back and define exactly what we are memorializing on this day.
May 28th, 2015
by John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline
The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts. (In addition to my own notes as a source for this letter, my associate Pat Watson sent me his notes, as well as links to a summary by attendees Chris Bailey and my good friend Steve Blumenthal. I borrow freely.)