Which Leading Indicators Have Done Better at Signaling Past Recessions?

David Kelley of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago –

Indexes that combine several macroeconomic measures have historically done better than other indicators at signaling recessions up to one year in advance.

The results of this article show that at horizons roughly one year ahead and longer, the long-term Treasury yield spread has historically been the most accurate available “predictor” of recessions. That said, leading indexes have been better than individual leading indicators or financial data at signaling recessions in the near term. The indexes constructed here have also performed well as recession predictors in the near term because they are also effectively leading indexes that combine the information in the inputs to provide a more accurate measurement of coming economic activity.

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Posted in Federal Reserve

ProPublica: We Found a “Staggering” 281 Lobbyists Who’ve Worked in the Trump Administration

David Mora of Columbia Journalism School in ProPublica –

That’s one lobbyist for every 14 political appointees, and four times more than Obama had appointed six years into office.

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Posted in Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Lobbyists

Are Some Democratic Voters Reluctant To Support A Gay Candidate?

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux of FiveThirtyEight –

There’s nothing like a national election to illuminate the complex and slippery nature of bias at work in the country today. Just ask Pete Buttigieg.

Always something of an underdog in the Democratic primary, Buttigieg has started to poll well in Iowa and New Hampshire relative to his national numbers and has proved to be a formidable fundraiser. But as his profile has risen, murmurs about how his sexual orientation might affect his bid have gotten louder and louder.

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Posted in 2020 election, Democrats, Gender

Bitcoin No Longer Seen as the Driving Force in Crypto Market

Brandon Kochkodin of Bloomberg –

Bitcoin has plunged more than 30% since hitting a year-to-date high. That fact is clear, but explaining why the world’s largest digital currency has lost momentum in the second half of the year is anything but.

Some, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. have pointed to Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s new futures contracts and an unwinding of long positions as likely culprits for the nosedive. Others have pointed to a buildup of technical bearish signals as setting off its summer swoon.

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Posted in Bitcoin, Crypto

Russian Warning Signals

David Murrin of Global Forecaster –

Russia: The need for Rapprochement with the West highlighted the critical and vulnerable economic phase Russia is now entering and the importance with which any sign of aggression should be considered as a warning sign of hostile intent born out of desperation.

We have a major signal. In an unprecedented signal of hostile intention, the Russian navy surged 10 submarines into the North Atlantic.

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Posted in David Murrin, Russia, Thought-Provoking Analysis, United States, war