Category: Economy

What To Do About Record High Trade Deficits?

The U.S. Commerce Department reported this month that the trade deficit for 2018 reached a record $891.3 billion and grew by almost 13% over 2017. As investors, what should we be taking away from this metric? The first question might be how did we get to this point? President Trump assured us one year ago…
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Will Trump’s Trade War Benefit The U.S.? (Part 2)

Part 1 addressed tariffs in general and why they are for the most part shortsighted. In this post I’ll briefly address Trump’s misconceptions about trade. The first fallacy is his apparent belief that bilateral trade with every country must be even. That is, if we run a trade deficit with a country like China, then…
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Will Trump’s Trade War Benefit The U.S.? (Part 1)

It’s difficult to explain a complex topic in a single post so I will attempt this in two parts. First, I’ll address tariffs in general and why they are for the most part shortsighted. In a following post I’ll address Trump’s misconceptions about trade. Let’s first try to understand why a country would impose restrictions…
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Will USMCA Make America Great Again?

President Trump recently announced “the greatest deal in the history of the U.S.,” the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). He is promoting it as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that had been in place since 1994 and that Trump had called “a really bad deal.” Putting aside Trump’s recurring penchant for extreme…
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The Middle-Class Has Stopped Shrinking But…

The Pew Research Center just released an interesting report on the state of the American middle-class. In 2016 (the latest data available) about 52% of American adults lived in middle-class households. This represents a turnaround in this important demographic group. Previously its size had been steadily declining since 1971 when it was over 60%. If…
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How Will Inflation Affect You?

You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measure of inflation. Considering that this metric is the fundamental driver of government programs ranging from the setting of short-term interest rates to Social Security’s cost of living increases, its importance in our lives cannot be overstated.…
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