Midnight In The Desert — economy

How much impact can a president have on the economy?

Posted by K R on

How much impact can a president have on the economy?

No wonder presidential candidates’ economic policies get so much attention during the campaign. Quite a bit of evidence shows that the state of the economy -- especially what’s happening with inflation, growth and employment -- has a large impact on voters. When the economy is doing well near the election, it boosts the vote for the incumbent party. Conversely, when the economy is doing poorly during the run-up to the election, voters shun the incumbent party. But that doesn’t really answer the more important question: How much influence does the president actually have over the economy? The stock answer is...

Read more →

China desperately needs low-income migrant workers to buy homes and save the economy

Posted by K R on

China desperately needs low-income migrant workers to buy homes and save the economy

In the past few years, China has relied on its astonishingly high number of rural migrant workers to pour into factories and construction sites and fuel its economy. Now, migrant workers are again seen as a solution for sustaining the country’s economic growth—this time by buying houses in China’s cities. China has taken a series of measures in recent years to encourage white-collar workers to buy into its housing glut. But now the upper segment of the market is becoming saturated, and the government has no alternative but to turn to its low-income residents if it wants to avoid an...

Read more →

Donald Trump is rising because the US middle class has crashed

Posted by K R on

Donald Trump is rising because the US middle class has crashed

There’s no secret behind America’s groundswell of support for Donald Trump, the political outsider whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination threatens rip the party of Lincoln asunder. Trump supporters—who pushed him to victory in key Republican nominating contests in Mississippi and Michigan on Tuesday—are disproportionately older whites without college diplomas. Today, these folks are usually referred to as “working-class.” But at the heart of Trump’s appeal is the uncomfortable fact that they used to be something else. These people used to be America’s middle class. Last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published an interesting bit of...

Read more →

Happy New Year, everything is terrible

Posted by K R on

Happy New Year, everything is terrible

Last year was not a good one for stocks. All told, the S&P 500 ended 2015 with a 0.7% loss. And a few hours into 2016, things don’t look so hot either. The trading year tumbled out of the gates Monday (Jan. 4), with the S&P down a bit more than 2%. The Nasdaq is even worse. China set the tone early, with its notoriously volatile stock markets stumbling. The Shanghai Composite index fell 7% on the day, triggering a newly installed circuit breaker. There were plenty of reasons to pick from. For one, a key gauge of Chinese manufacturing...

Read more →