What Will Policy Uncertainty Be Tomorrow?

Below is reported Economic Policy Uncertainty through 5/31/2018, reflecting newspaper accounts through 5/30.

Figure 1: US Economic Policy Uncertainty index (blue) and centered 7-day moving average (bold red). Source: policyuncertainty.com accessed 31 May 2018, and author’s calculations.

As of 2PM EST, Dow down 1%, VIX up 6.69%.

18 thoughts on “What Will Policy Uncertainty Be Tomorrow?

  1. 2slugbaits

    Annual S&P 500 gains that are barely greater than what we got under Obama; higher interest rates; weak GDP growth (revised down to 2.3%); structural deficits up the wahzoo; rising gas prices; and a looming trade war that will leave everyone worse off. I’ve figured out why Trump wears that stupid MAGA hat. It isn’t because of his bald head or combover, it’s to cover up that big “L” on his forehead.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Up to this point, I have always felt that 95% of this trade tariffs talk by Trump was kabuki theatre for his illiterate fans south of the Mason Dixon line. You know all those white females who were mesmerized by the campaign slogan “I’m With Me” with a blue arrow pointed directly at Hillary’s Id.

    But as the trade impact numbers get larger, and it starts to consume the public dialogue more and more this becomes harder for Trump, on a personal level, to “walk back”.

    Most politicians find it very easy to walk things back (“backpedal”, take your preferred lexicon) when they know policy decisions are not “going over” well. Not Trump, Trump digs in harder, as he can never admit he is wrong on anything.

    Thank God all those white women South of the Mason Dixie voted for Hillary, it makes it so easy to blame it on misogynist men now, as we all knew any man who wouldn’t vote for Hillary was a misogynist the whole time. Otherwise there might be a very hollow argument on that point. Some people might have thought it had something to do with Hillary thinking she’d get typhoid fever if she had to touch a Michigan voter or because Hillary was afraid she’d get the cooties if she took a campaign bus to Wisconsin. Or maybe they would have thought it was related to her lecturing black voters on their own life experiences instead of listening to them. Or maybe even a few found it offensive when she faked a southern accent depending on where the campaign visit was, intermittently, like some bad B-actor going in and out of their accent every two minutes inside the same film. Which, clearly, none of those issues had anything to do with it, as the “I’m With Me” campaign autopsy done by coroner Hillary definitively showed it was misogynist men. I still feel so relieved white women had nothing to do with it. Because now we can “progress” women’s issues and get our own “accomplishment” by labeling white men who found Hillary unpalatable misogynists, and it feels so good doing that.

    …..But what will emotionally upset white women do when many other white women don’t want to vote for Elizabeth Warren??? Hmmmmm….. seems no priorly drawn roadmap or previously used gameplan available there. But wait!!!! Maybe………. NAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!

    1. Moses Herzog

      I take it back. I take it all back. All that sarcasm about misogynist men being to blame for Hillary’s loss. I mean even her detractors have to admit she was one HELL of a political barnstormer. If it wasn’t for that darned James Damore and his telepathic signals hypnotizing Hillary’s brain. That was a master stroke of the ruling Patriarchy. Sending those demon-misogynist psychic messages by Google satellite, commanding Hillary to treat journalists as if they had all contracted Ebola.

      Hillary: [Done in Hillary robot voice] “Yes, Master Damore!!! Yes, Master Damore!! I follow your will, you sexist piggish brute. I will avoid journalists. I will treat journalists as if they have the Ebola. Your piggish brute wish is my command. It is not my will. It is not my choice. As you have me under your special piggish brute pow-uuh. Your lumbering cloddish male brain has me unduh its special pow-uuh. I must treat journalists asking legit questions like they have Ebola.”

      And that was it ladies and……. piggish brute ogres who always leave the toilet lid up. That, said during the summer of 2016 in a moment of solitude for Hillary, was her swan song. Thanks to that dunderhead Damore and his special programming of Hillary’s brain through the Google psychic telepathy satellite of the Patriarchy, the mind of the savior of suburban white females was rendered incapacitated. I’m just a tad melancholy I had to inform you like this.

  3. CoRev

    2slugs, 1) Annual S&P 500 gains that are barely greater than what we got under Obama Obama average 12.43 Trump 1st year 19.42
    2) higher interest rates; yup! 2016 Fed rate 0.75% 2017 year end rate 1.5% with an economy able to sustain consistent multiple increases
    3) weak GDP growth, yup! Obama average 3.335% Trump 1st year 4.49%
    4) structural deficits up the wahzoo, yup! Dunno whose wahzoo, but some what up
    5) rising gas prices, yup! Even though US is poised to become a large hydro-carbon exporter. BTW, you do know that oil prices are a world-wide commodity?
    6) a looming trade war that will leave everyone worse off, maybe a trade war and worse off. Been looming for months now, and surprisingly not yet happened.

    Trump the “L” has the economy humming, has seen prisoner returns from Venezuela and N. Korea, is negotiating new trade agreements with most US major trading partners which should leave everyone better off, expanded energy production, passed Tax reform making everyone better off, deregulation saving most time and money, appointed many, many conservative judges, wiped out Isis in the Levant, improved conditions in Afghanistan, re-repatriating billions if not trillions in foreign held assets, initiating negotiation with N. Korea for de-nuclearization, ended the Korean War, produced record employment for minorities, etc.

    1. 2slugbaits


      1. Redo your math. From 20 Jan 2009 until 20 Jan 2017 the S&P rose ~13.85% per year. From 20 Jan 2017 until 30 May 2018 the S&P rose ~14.3% per year. You really need to quit cherry picking your dates.

      2. The 10yr has been hovering close to 3% over the last month. Again, more cherry picking of dates.

      3. Redo your math on the GDP growth rates. You’re way off. The 2017 growth rate was 2.3% using BEA’s annual calculation. The latest growth rate (1Q2018) came in a 2.2%. Check the BEA website.

      4. Yes, structural deficits up the wahzoo. Do you know what a structural deficit is? Or does Menzie have to write another one of those “I never thought I’d have to…” posts explaining a simple macroeconomic concept?

      5. Yes, oil prices are global. So when you exit a nuclear agreement with a large oil exporter, you should expect higher global oil prices.

      6. As far as I know the tariffs won’t go into effect until midnight EDT. I don’t know how you can say nothing has happened. Did you not notice the global stock market reactions? Did you not look at Menzie’s timeline above? And there is no “maybe” about it. The tariffs will make us worse off.

      The rest of your post is unhinged from reality. It sounds like a Sean Insanity rant. Do you seriously think NK is going to agree to give up its nukes? Our dimwitted president is being played, but he’s too stupid to see that. As to wiping out ISIS, I didn’t see Commander Bone Spurs out on the battlefield. All Trump did was to eventually agree (against his initial position) with his military commanders that they should continue the Obama policy because ISIS was already on the ropes by late 2016. Trump hasn’t renegotiated any new trade deals. He keeps saying he’s going to do that, but so far I haven’t seen any new deal, unless you want to count the special trademark deals for Ivanka. The tax “reform” makes the rich better off, but everyone else will be worse off. Go read the CBO analysis. Only myopic voters believe that the tax “reform” bill leaves them better off over the medium and long run.

      1. CoRev

        2slugs, instead of unwarranted accusations of cherry picking, write clearly what you want to compare. Your claim: “Annual S&P 500 gains that are barely greater than what we got under Obama” You then proceeded to compare using partial years. I get so tired correcting your deceptions. The remainder of your response just adds more deception.

        Your response to my list of Trump achievements continues wit even more deceptions based upon [personal opinion. Don’t you guys have anything but claims of racism, ridicule and sarcasm?

        Trump really has you folks stymied and desperate.

        1. 2slugbaits

          CoRev Learn some math. “Annual return” does not mean Jan to Dec. It means a 12 month rate. I get tired of correcting your elementary math errors and inability to understand basic ways of doing economic analysis. Follow Menzie’s advice and get a macro textbook. Then pick up a copy of an elementary econometrics text.

          1. CoRev

            Sigh! Your forgot just one word, necessarily: ” “Annual return” does not (necessarily) mean Jan to Dec.” when in normal use it means just that. If you want to better get your points across write more clearly what you want to compare so that the huge majority of readers without the same specialized education understands.

      1. baffling

        i assume the lack of response indicates corev was either lying or ignorant of the truth.

          1. baffling

            corev, you were challenged that your data was fraudulent, and you simply say you didn’t keep the link? how convenient. when caught lying or ignorant, your memory conveniently fails you. just like trump. probably embarrassed by the source of the numbers.

  4. Ed Hanson

    End of 232 extensions? The whole world is suffering from Italy but Menzie seems not to know this, at least in caption.


      1. Ed Hanson


        That is really funny, a whole day, and Italy is not part of the world. Will we see a caption from yesterdays chart, 49 year low in unemployment, or substantial beginnings of real job earnings growth. No, everything must be negative and everything must be biased against President Trump. But actually, that’s okay, you are transparent as can be as anyone should be able to see. Funny, though it is your chorus here that seems not to be able see the bias.


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