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To Russia with Sanctions

Russia Sanctions Russian Economic Sanctions

I have had somewhat of a morbid fascination trying to ascertain the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy and everyday life. Information hasn’t been that easy to come by. The most public evidence that Russia has been holding up comes from still robust revenues from energy exports and the surprising strength of the ruble.

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Laboring over Labor

Labor Manufacturing

We finally had a CPI report that the market responded favorably to. The prior six releases led to market losses. Last week’s report led to a nice gain.

Markets celebrated July inflation figures S&P 500 response to US CPI figures in 2022

As an aside, this chart shows how incredibly fast margin debt went up and now down during the bear market that just took place.

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Liquidate Labor

Jobs Labor 3.5% Unemployment

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted,

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China Syndrome

China Syndrome

The evidence seems to be increasingly persuasive that economic growth is slowing materially. This is from the Economic Cycle Research Institute, which has a good track record of identifying turns in the business cycle. Its Weekly Leading Index is clearly showing a negative growth rate.

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The Novak and Nick Economy

Nick Kyrgios Novak Djokovic Recession

I greatly enjoyed watching the Wimbledon finals between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios. Novak has won numerous Wimbledon championships, while Nick has never been in the final of a major despite having enormous talent. Djokovic is incredibly disciplined, committed, consistent, and has amazing mental fortitude and problem-solving skills.

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Regime Change

Fed regime change

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade understandably elicited a huge wave of outcry (pro and con). One of the most controversial aspects of the decision was the seeming disregard for Court precedent and how it was perceived by legal experts to have been tossed aside.

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(And) So it Goes

Gary Grateful Dead June 2022 Palo Alto

Preface: This turned out far longer than I was expecting but so it goes.

One of the more profound lyrics of the Grateful Dead is “Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” That has played out throughout much of my life with epiphanies and insights from unexpected sources that have altered my path,

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Housing Economic Dependency: A Tale of Two Countries

I have always been fascinated by economic cycles. What I have learned over the years is that financial excesses that reverse into fear and revulsion are often catalysts for economic downturns. Real estate, commercial and/or residential, are often culprits because they are assets that can be leveraged which can magnify returns as well as often being influenced by tax advantages which can stimulate demand beyond its longer-term trend.

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Off Target

manufacturers the Fed inflation off target Jay Powell

Last week was brutal for retailers as major earnings announcements showed how they have been hit very hard by huge cost increases. Wal-Mart started the week off shocking the market with its very weak earnings outlook and then there was Target.

Target shares sink 25% after company says high costs, inventory woes hit profits

Its stock price got absolutely crushed in the wake of its results being released.

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Rage Against the Machine

The Federal Reserve Rage at the Machine

enantiodromia

I love the word enantiodromia. Maybe it’s because of how esoteric it is or how intelligent it makes me seem (even though I can barely pronounce it). I think the real reason I like it is that it captures a very powerful tendency in people and in cycles for people and nature to shift to their opposites.

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