Spurious Data

  • Is Cyprus Europe’s Lehman?

    During the summer of 2008 when Lehman began to have trouble, it was offered a lifeline; a loan from Warren Buffet that Lehman CEO Dick Fuld thought was too punitive. When Lehman’s troubles became life threatening a weekend meeting with a brokered merger proved unsuccessful.  The US was able to merge Bear Stearns with JPMorgan; [...]

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  • The Fiscal Bunny Slope – Whether a Patch or a Grand Bargain, there ain’t gonna be no cliff.

    The Fiscal Bunny Slope – Whether a Patch or a Grand Bargain, there ain’t gonna be no cliff. Just call me Dr. Pangloss; in fact, a few weeks ago someone did just that when I said among other things we would see a Fiscal Bunny Slope, not a Fiscal Cliff.  To be sure, there will [...]

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  • Three things that could change the US outlook for the better. A dispatch from the NABE Annual Meeting

    I had the great pleasure to co-chair the 2012 National Association of Business Economics Annual Meeting committee this year. The meeting was 3 days of presentations from top economists from industry, finance, government and academia. Luminaries included Shelia Bair, Bob Shilller, Glenn Hubbard, Roger Ferguson, Jagdish Bhagwati, Torsten Slok, Manuel Balmaseda, George Soros, Perry Mehrling [...]

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  • US Credit and Economic Views: It’s the Housing Market Stupid

    In the wake of the last real estate crisis in the United States, the Savings and Loan Crisis, house prices also declined (along with commercial real estate) and the economy was a major topic of the 1992 Presidential campaign between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.  Clinton’s campaign director, James Carville coined the phrase “It’s [...]

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  • And Now for a Bit on China…

    The situation in Europe is of such a magnitude that it has dominated our focus in recent months. However global investors must not lose sight of China. China’s stimulus in 2009 contributed to a global rebound that was hailed as significant for the global economy. If Europe’s growth slows as we expect, will China be [...]

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  • A Bank Rescue Plan for Europe: The Ultimate Price Tag?

    We have been saying for some time that Europe needs to come up with a pan-European plan to rescue its banks if it truly wants to put its sovereign debt problems to rest.  This is necessary for the simple reason that any haircut which achieves the goal of not overburdening Greece would require write-downs that [...]

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  • Perception vs Reality – Is There Really an Inflation Worry?

    This week’s release of CPI and PPI confirmed our worst fears that inflation would persist despite a weak economy. A full 45% of people surveyed by Kathleen Hays’ show, The Hays Advantage, said that stagflation was the most likely economic outcome. Another 40% said inflation was most likely and only 10% thought disinflation would prevail. [...]

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  • They tried to make me go to rehab and I said “No, no, no”

    We found it curious that in the days since S&P downgraded the US, the S&P has recovered all but 50 points of its drop and the US 10-year yield has gone from slightly over 2.50% to below 2.10%.  We feared that the bond market had it right, signaling not just a flight to safety but [...]

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  • Setting the stage for QE III?

    Despite dissension and many legitimate questions about the efficacy of continued non-standard monetary policy tools the Fed is, in our view, very likely to seek additional tools to stimulate growth.  They are not, however, likely to engage in additional Large Scale Asset Purchases (LSAP) or quantitative easing as the market calls it unless we see [...]

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  • S&P Downgrade, Another Move in a High Stakes Game of Chicken

    My inaugural post was meant to be so different.  I was planning to pay homage to Andreas Schleicher who has done extensive analysis on education using data from the international PISA scores.  According to a recent Atlantic Monthly article, the last slide in his presentation reads: “Without data, you are just another person with an opinion…” I have [...]

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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at