Business Cycles in the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee Framework (edition XLXIV)

Some people assert when polls of the public indicate a majority think we’re in a recession, we’re in a recession, definitionally. Some people believe that when there are two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, we’re in a recession. Well, any given person can define a banana as a spherical fruit, but it is sometimes useful to define what a recession is, as defined by the scholars who coined the term, or who have been understood to be the arbiters of the term in quasi official terms. From the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee FAQs webpage:

Q: What is the basic job of the Business Cycle Dating Committee?

A: The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee maintains a chronology of US business cycles. The chronology identifies the dates of peak and trough months in economic activity. The peak is the month in which a variety of economic indicators reach their highest level, followed by a significant decline in economic activity. Similarly, a month is designated as a trough when economic activity reaches a low point and begins to rise again for a sustained period.

Q: What is a recession? What is an expansion?

A: The NBER’s traditional definition of a recession is that it is a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months. The committee’s view is that while each of the three criteria—depth, diffusion, and duration—needs to be met individually to some degree, extreme conditions revealed by one criterion may partially offset weaker indications from another. For example, in the case of the February 2020 peak in economic activity, we concluded that the drop in activity had been so great and so widely diffused throughout the economy that the downturn should be classified as a recession even if it proved to be quite brief. The committee subsequently determined that the trough occurred two months after the peak, in April 2020. An expansion is a period when the economy is not in a recession. Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief. However, the time that it takes for the economy to return to its previous peak level of activity may be quite extended.

Here’s a stylized graph:

Source: Model Investing.

You can see how the actual business cycle dates for the US correspond to this graphic in this chronology (NBER page). Here are the NBER dates shaded gray and the unemployment rate.


Notice that NBER does not plot with GDP – not because it doesn’t look at GDP – but rather because the NBER BCDC looks at a wide number of series in addition to GDP.

Jeffrey Frankel, a member of the NBER BCDC for 25 years, explains the approach in this post. He elaborates on why we are not in a recession now in this post from last week.

This is not to say NBER BCDC is the only word on when a recession starts, and when it ends. Jim Hamilton’s indicator is a measure based on GDP, with the latest assessment here. However, because the pioneering research of Arthur Burns and Wesley Mitchell (see Measuring Business Cycles, NBER, 1946) established this nomenclature of peak/trough expansion/contraction-recession, due is given the BCDC’s declarations on when recessions begin and expansions end.

Different countries will use different criteria (see this post for what agencies or organizations define contractions/expansions in other countries). The set of variables is often different (sometimes the two consecutive quarters of GDP growth), but the framework shown in the stylized graph is typically at the heart of the approach (e.g., ECRI). For instance, Laurent Ferrara’s discussion of the new chronology of the French business cycle (in this Econbrowser post) is built around this peak/trough expansion/contraction framework.

Note that nobody I know of uses sentiment indicators as an indicator for recessions (although they might correlate with recessions). Chinn (2022) notes that this correlation is not perfect.

Some key macro indicators followed by the BCDC as of today:

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), industrial production (red), industrial production for May Bloomberg consensus as of 6/14 (red +), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), consumption in Ch.2012$ (light blue), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2020M02=0. NBER defined recession dates, peak-to-trough, shaded gray. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (6/1/2022 release), NBER, and author’s calculations.

Most of these indicators are rising in April and May. The exception is manufacturing and trade industry sales. This contrasts with the Lazear’s call in 2007/08 when some series were declining. Now, it’s true that these data are all going to be revised (that is, these are preliminary values for the most recent month’s data), so one has to be cautious about not being to certain. I remember in April 2001 when I was on CEA staff conversations to the effect we weren’t in a recession. Well, there were a lot of data revisions…(and NBER long after that declared a recession underway with peak at 2001M03).

Final note: you could be in a bad economic state, and still be in an “expansion” — much like 2009Q2 onward. The output gap (deviation of GDP from potential GDP) has been negative since 2008Q3, according to the latest CBO estimates of potential GDP (although it got within a percentage point in 2019Q3, and within half a percentage point in 2021Q4.





142 thoughts on “Business Cycles in the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee Framework (edition XLXIV)

  1. ltr

    January, 2017

    Narrative Economics
    By Robert J. Shiller


    This address considers the epidemiology of narratives relevant to economic fluctuations. The human brain has always been highly tuned towards narratives, whether factual or not, to justify ongoing actions, even such basic actions as spending and investing. Stories motivate and connect activities to deeply felt values and needs. Narratives “go viral” and spread far, even worldwide, with economic impact. The 1920-21 Depression, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the so-called “Great Recession” of 2007-9 and the contentious political-economic situation of today, are considered as the results of the popular narratives of their respective times. Though these narratives are deeply human phenomena that are difficult to study in a scientific manner, quantitative analysis may help us gain a better understanding of these epidemics in the future.

    1. ltr

      January, 2017

      Narrative Economics
      By Robert J. Shiller


      By narrative economics I mean the study of the spread and dynamics of popular narratives, the stories, particularly those of human interest and emotion, and how these change through time, to understand economic fluctuations. A recession, for example, is a time when many people have decided to spend less, to make do for now with that old furniture instead of buying new, or to postpone starting a new business, to postpone hiring new help in an existing business, or to express support for fiscally conservative government. They might make any of these decisions in reaction to the recession itself (that’s feedback), but to understand why a recession even started, we need more than a theory of feedback. We have to consider the possibility that sometimes the dominant reason why a recession is severe is related to the prevalence and vividness of certain stories, not the purely economic feedback or multipliers that economists love to model.

      The field of economics should be expanded to include serious quantitative study of changing popular narratives….

    2. ltr

      My reading and acceptance of the work of Robert Shiller, tells me that a change in social sentiment can begin and end a recession even if the changes the NBER looks to follow the sentiment change. Shiller’s work on narrative economics strikes me as critically revealing and analytically useful.

      1. Andrew Garib

        This is a very nice share.

        The problem with the story here is that many big recessions are caused by financial crises, and financial crises are indeed caused by narratives – about the financial sector. It’s a loss of faith in a leading bank, for example, and then a run, which is contagious. Hugh Rockoff is a good person to read about this (his speech at the 100th anniversary of the NBER).

        What Steve K and others are suggesting is a general malaise indicating a recession. But we (or at least, I) have high confidence that weak consumer sentiment is due to inflation (especially gas prices), not other indicators, which are very healthy (really, too healthy): employment, wages, etc.

        If sentiment cooled the economy, that would be a good thing, since it would decrease inflationary pressures. Weak consumer sentiment would be self-correcting. Clearly it isn’t! At least not yet.

        In any case, if you buy Shiller’s story, then you’d still be all for strong contractionary monetary policy to reduce inflation, which is (I think) clearly what is driving the malaise.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ AndrewG
          I want to make it clear, you shouldn’t feel like you “have to” if you don’t want to. But from a personal selfishness standpoint, I’m so glad you shared your name with the blog. I suspected “from the get-go” you were a sharpy, and now I know for certain that to be the case. Menzie attracts his fair share of both very cerebral and on the other side kind of grade schoolish remarks. (Menzie would probably tell you I’m right on the borderline between the two groups, and it pains me to say, he’s probably right) But we need a higher ratio of the cerebral kind here. I am so glad a young man such as your self shares time to contribute here, and hope that if it doesn’t not take away from your studies, you will continue on contributing here often and for as long as this blog is a “going concern” (as they say in accounting circles). So glad you are here with us, Don’t be a stranger Mr. Garib. I may refer to you as just Andrew in future as people I like I prefer to be casual with. But when you get your PhD, I will call you by that title if you prefer, same as I would Menzie if he had insisted or felt better that way. Warm regards.

  2. pgl

    Princeton Steve will likely object to being called “some people”. OK – let’s grant his wish and specify his proper title. The World’s Worst Consultant Ever!

  3. pgl

    “Some people believe that when there are two consecutive quarters of GDP, we’re in a recession.”

    Your 2nd sentence omitted a term or two here.

  4. Steven Kopits

    Are you then suggesting that the NBER would say there is no recession if Q2 GDP is negative?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Steven Kopits: No, I’m saying NBER should look to see how other indicators evolve before judging, keeping in mind that GDP data gets revised twice (there are three releases, advance, 2nd, 3rd), then annual revision, then there are revisions every five years or so of the entire series. You do know there are not two consecutive q/q declines in GDP in 2001, don’t you?

      1. Steven Kopits

        I didn’t know that about 2001. It was always a bit suspect as recessions go, but no, I didn’t know that.

          1. pgl

            Wait – Stevie and Bruce Hall predicted a recession in 2018? I guess the BEA was hiding this recession.

          2. Steven Kopits

            You mean this comment, Menzie?

            “You need initial unemployment claims to begin to rise. They are still falling. A recession usually follows a rise in claims by 8-18 months.”

            IUCs started to rise on the week of March 19th. So that might be a start point, but for the negative print on Q1.

            Again, you have to be careful about applying recession standards to a suppression. I strongly suspect Q2 is going to be a negative GDP number, but I think part of the disagreement will revolve around the speed of deterioration. Just look at the Atlanta Fed numbers, reducing forecast Q2 GDP from 2.4% to 0.9% over just a four week span.

            For example:

            Retail sales posted unexpected 0.3% decline in May as inflation hammers consumers
            The expectation was +0.1%, so a fairly big miss.

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Steven Kopits: No, it’s strange that you didn’t remember an entire post on how GDP was not the primary indicator for defining a recession, focusing in on the 2001 recession, despite the fact that you commented on that post. Does this mean you don’t read what you comment on?

          4. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Steven Kopits: You wrote about “recession”. There are definitions for recession. There are definitions for “suppression”, but there is no common standard for it. Your reliance on the term “suppression” is then merely a means of allowing yourself to define anything anything you want.

          5. Steven Kopits

            So analogies for downturns:

            – Recession: Jimmy has the flu and is not coming out of his room
            – Depression: Jimmy has cancer and is not coming out of his room.
            – Suppression: Jimmy is grounded and is not coming out of his room

            In each case, Jimmy is not coming out of his room, but the cause is different. If Jimmy is grounded, you probably don’t want to give him stimulants because he is going to pop back with a head of steam when Mom and Dad relent.

            But at least we’re using a new term and with it, possibly a new concept. I think it is entirely clear that the Fed and Treasury wildly misdiagnosed the pandemic suppression and as a result have unleashed a massive, by US standards, wave of inflation. And I said so almost 18 months ago! Did you say that? Did you say, “Hey, this is not a ordinary recession and we have to be careful about overcooking all this.” I don’t think you did.

            So maybe it’s time for you and the 47 or 48 macroeconomists who said there would be no recession in 2022 to start thinking about whether all recessions are the same and whether we need some new terminology to categorize the current situation.

            Jimmy was grounded and we gave him stimulants, so he hit the streets hyperactive. But when those stimulants wear off, Jimmy’s going to crash for a while. Moreover, it’s not 1979. The Baby Boomers — including both you and me — were coming into adulthood at that time. It was a young country hitting its stride, with the demand pressures implied. Today, we are an older country and I think our equilibrium interest rate is substantially lower. That incremental demand growth is missing.

            Therefore, my sense is that I would be more cautious with interest rate increases at this point and probably eat more inflation if I had to. The Fed clearly misdiagnosed the suppression going in, and I think they are misdiagnosing on the way out.

            Consider: the Atlanta Fed has reduced its Q2 GDP forecast from +2.5% to 0.0% in one month. One month! They’ve cut growth from 0.9% to 0.0% in one week! A lot of the data looks to me like the economy is falling off a cliff, which would not be a surprise in a suppression context.

            Further, we have three factors in play at once:

            1. A sharp fiscal contraction, which to date you have not touched.
            2. High inflation and asset price bubbles, which look more like traditional, too-easy monetary policy
            3. High oil prices, both due to the war and recovery from the pandemic after a period of underinvestment in oil (and possibly the maturing of the Permian basin, which is decisive in setting global oil prices).

            So these three factors deserve individual attention, beyond just a pure suppression model.

            In any event, at least we broadening the vocabulary. SUPPRESSION, SUPPRESSION, SUPPRESSION

            Let that be the word of the month, economists.

          6. Barkley Rosser


            Sorry, but pretending to be Moses Herzog and capitalizing and emboldening words is not going to convince anybody of anything. Indeed, it is the sign that you are desperate and know people are not buying what you are selling, so you resort to shouting.

            A major problem you have with this failing effort to get people to start using your pet “suppression” word is that you really have not clearly defined it. We get that you think the pandemic is an example. But what is it about the pandemic-induced recession that makes it a “suppression”? It sort of looks like it involves supply side disruptions, in the case of the pandemic people being sent home in quarantines and lockdowns, with this also having happened apparently during the Spanish flu over a century ago. But does the term only apply to supply side disruptions that arise from disease? Were the recessions that pretty much everybody agrees were triggered by high oil prices, your usual fave variable, in 1974 and 1979-80 “suppressions” also? If not, why not? And then we have other kinds of supply side reductions of output, such as what happened in Germany and Japan at the end of WW II when large portions of their capital stocks were destroyed by wartime bombing. Obviously that is a lot different from people being sent home to avoid disease without any physical capital stock destruction, much less production slowing because producers find oil prices to be too high. Which of these count and why or why not?

            So, for me the bottom line is that most macroeconomists recognize the possibility of recessions being generated from the supply side, with these much more likely to be associated with outbreaks of inflation or inflationary pressure as well. But clearly for policy makers they need to identify exactly what the supply side factors are and how they are operating as how to respond very much depends on just what and how those supply side factors are operating. Calling one or some or even all of these “suppressions” does not seem to me to add much that is useful. Sorry, but nice try.

          7. Steven Kopits

            Barkley –

            Right now, it’s pretty clear the Fed screwed up big time. It’s also clear that the Fed screwed up because it thought 2008 guidelines applied to 2020. So clearly, 2020 was different from 2008 and therefore merits a different term. We can use suppression if you like, but repression is another candidate (although that has a specific financial flavor), or you can call it DewDroplets for all I care. The issue is that 2008 rules did not apply (and I think we’ll soon find out 1979 rules don’t apply either).

            The need for new models is a topic in the news. The WSJ, for example, devotes an entire article to the issue.

            We don’t necessarily need new models of economics, but we do need new models of recessions and understand that there are different types of recessions. A suppression does not have the same dynamics as a recession, and forgive me, a depression is not just a bad recession.

          8. Moses Herzog

            I read Ip’s column. I thought there were some misleading statements there and too “lecturing”. Let’s see what Ip was prescribing himself months ago. Let’s see the the average inflation forecast from private forecasters was. Democrats take the bait on this stuff every time and get talked right into the quicksand a few months before election time. I say stay with higher employment and do better messaging. This drama-queen stuff from Larry Summers is great to sell books. I don’t see how working at killing off demand helps with supply chain problems and a war.

            Ip’s column is boilerplate schlock I could have written in my sleep. “Here, write us a ‘The Fed Got inflation Wrong’ column.” “Great…. give me 3 times the dosage of melatonin the average adult male takes and wake me up 10 minutes before deadline I’ll have it ready for you”

        1. pgl

          Wait – you walk around and pretend you are the expert at everything but you did not realize we had a recession in 2001? BTW – it was not one of your stupid oil shock recessions.

          1. CoRev

            Menzie said: “You do know there are not two consecutive q/q declines in GDP in 2001, don’t you?”
            Stephen said: “I didn’t know that about 2001. It was always a bit suspect as recessions go, but no, I didn’t know that.”
            The NYC Jerk (aka Bierka) then said this: “Wait – you walk around and pretend you are the expert at everything but you did not realize we had a recession in 2001?

            The NYC Jerk can not read, can not comprehend what is written, and worse can not follow a thread.

          2. pgl

            June 15, 2022 at 8:59 am

            He is barking again chasing its own tail. Could someone give CoRev his meds?

          3. pgl

            “you have to be careful about applying recession standards to a suppression.”

            Can you stop it with the meaningless terms of yours? As well as with just making up facts that turn out to be lies.

      2. Steven Kopits

        I think 2011 has a decent call on being a recession. It’s the only time in US history when oil consumption fell — and fell substantially — without a called recession, and the next three years were not very good, hence, Summers Nov. 2013 secular stagnation speech. And of course Europe went down like a ton of bricks. They will this time, too.

        1998 is also another interesting case, somewhat similar to 2001, albeit most of the action was in Asia.

        1. pgl

          “It’s the only time in US history when oil consumption fell”

          I doubt this is true. But do provide us with your “source”.

        2. pgl

          WTF? We did not see any decline in real GDP either in 1998 or 2011. Where in hell do you get such incredibly DUMB notions? PLEASE STOP. We already get that you are the dumbest troll ever.

        3. pgl

          US oil consumption since 1965. Princeton Steve asserted:

          It’s the only time in US history when oil consumption fell — and fell substantially — without a called recession

          Of course this statement is false. And we did not have a recession in either 1998 or 2011. Do not believe anything Steve asserts as he clearly has no clue what he is babbling about.

          1. Steven Kopits

            “It’s the only time in US history when oil consumption fell — and fell substantially — without a called recession. Of course this statement is false. ”

            What’s the other time?

    2. pgl

      Every time I begin to think you could not go lower with your asinine comments, you exceed expectations. That question was beyond stupid – even for you.

        1. pgl

          Take out the drop in inventories and redo that arithmetic. By the way – the 2nd estimate is not the final word.

        2. pgl

          Gross domestic income actually went up during 2022QI. Of course you are too clueless to know the difference between GDP and GDI!

    3. Barkley Rosser


      Even as retail sales slowing Q2 not likely to be negative. Why not? The flip side of why Q1 was negative. It was driven by surprising growth of imports and decline of inventories. But imports have stalled this quarter with the Chinese lockdown, and inventories are surging big time to the point of becoming a problem.

  5. pgl

    ‘any given person can define a banana as a spherical fruit’

    Well avocados are neither bananas or a spherical fruit, but Princeton Steve weaved a whole new macroeconomic model based on overripe avocados at his local grocery store. Yes – Stevie thinks the entire world revolves around his own consumption habits. I just hope he can afford a bagel!

  6. Barkley Rosser

    At the risk of having Moses reposting ten different times distorted and emboldened versions of this, I shall pass on the latest GOSSIP from the streets of Moscow. I emphasize this is not from any inside source, just street gossip, although I realize Moses might mess up Moscow with Melitopol, given how geographically challenged he is.

    Anyway, this latest street gossip is that indeed Putin has a health problem and that it is pancreatic in nature. Supposedly he wants to go to Germany to have it treated and will turn over the government to Defense Minister Shoigu when he does so. No, I am not forecasting this or making any judgment on how reliable any of it is, which is certainly questionable. But there it is, the latest streett gossip from Moscow, Russia, you can only get here and not on the regular news or even most of the internet.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Barkley His High Juniorness
      Was it your “superior knowledge about geography” about Belarus’ southern border that told you that Russian soldiers positioned there, for what you called “exercises”, that gave you the clairvoyance to flat state there would be no Russian invasion of Ukraine (roughly 1 week before the war started)?? Or your “inside sources” watching Russian state TV that gave you that crystal ball?? Asking for your students who must want to know how you foresee these things at this point.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Oh, Moses, there is no geography issue here, unless you are confused again. I and Zelenskyy and lots of Russians for a few days believed Putin when he said just before the exercises ended that the troops were going to go home when the exercises ended. The minute that Belarusan President Lukashenka came out with his absurd claim that the Russian troops needed to stay in Belarus after the exercises ended because Ukraine might invade, the game was up and it was clear that Putin had been lying, and that the troops would not be going home, at least not right away, whatever they would be doing. And as it was, what they would be doing was indeed to invade Ukraine across its northern border, which also happens to be Belarus’s southern border as the CIA forecasted.

        What I thought for many months, including even during those couple of days when I thought Putin might actually send the troops back to Russia from Belarus, was that Putin would do “something,” with that something most likely to be what he is basically trying to do now, expand the territory controlled by his puppet separatist republics to include the entirety of their respective oblasts, Luhansk and Donetsk, which together constitute the so-called Donbas. I did not say it at the time, but one of the reasons it did not seem so completely unbelievable that Putin would withdraw those troops from Belarus after the exercises was that I thought it was most likely he would go after the Donbas, and troops in Belarus were completely useless for that. So, if he was going to make his main push in Donbas, it made sense he would bring those troops home from Belarus so that they could be moved over to the east to help out with the push into Donbas.

        In effect that is what he did eventually, although Putin in fact kept the troops in Belarus so that they could do what the CIA forecast they would, invade north central Ukraine in an effort to take Kyiv and topple the Ukrainian government, in the end he had to do what I thought he was going to do upfront, move those troops over to the Donbas after they got their behinds handed to them in that initial invasion. Again, for the umpteenth time, a major reason I did not think Putin was going to be so stupid as to attempt a full-scale invasion of Ukraine was because that was the view of the Ukrainians themselves.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          BTW, I am fully aware, especially since you have reposted about n squared times, that there would be “no invasion” in a couple of posts at that time. But while I did not make it clear then, what I was referring to was an invasion at that time by the Russian troops in Belarus of Ukraine, a forecast that was of course wrong. I did think there was likely to be some sort of invasion, but indeed thought it was more likely to be out of the separatist republics into the areas of Donbas now being fought over. It would take time for those Russian troops in Belarus to transfer from there to that area, so they would not be invading anybody right away.

          Do remember that we had major discussions over the preceding weeks about the high probability of a Russian invasion of some sort, although where and how much up in the air. This was the time of the Winter Olympics, and I know that I posted how the meeting between Xi and Putin at the beginning of the Olympics meant that Putin would not invade during the Olympics so as not to embarrass Xi. Lots of us, very much including me, were looking at the end of the Olympics as a point in time when it was highly likely Putin would make a move, and the Olympics ended on Feb. 20, only four days before Putin did initiate his invasion.

          This odd declaration by Putin about having the troops go home after the end of the exercises came in the middle of the Olympics. Again I note lots of people in Russia, including by all reports the soldiers themselves in Belarus, as well as the Ukrainian leadership, believed Putin. But as I have now pointed out, it was not unreasonable to think they would be sent home so that they could be moved over to the more likely war that would take place in the Donbas. But then prospects changed again after Lukashenka came out with his ridiculous statement, which was at a time when the Olympics were still happening.

        2. Barkley Rosser

          Another btw, since this matter is being chewed over thoroughly, another reason why I thought Putin would go for the Donbas rather than the full-scale invasion he actually did, was that I thought Putin wanted to avoid having economic sanctions imposed on Russia. He had long been loudly unhappy about the fairly minor sanctions that were imposed after he took Crimea and the separatist republics. But with those 2014 aggressions he had done them by claiming that Russian troops were not involved, although they were. Those “green men” in Crimea were not wearing Russian uniforms and wee supposedly locals, with the people seizing the municipal buildings in Luhansk and Donetsk claiming to be locals, although again they were not.

          So, I figured he would probably do an expanded version of 2014: send in a bunch of Russian troops to the separatist republics and then dress them up as being troops of those republics and them have them attack across the existing line of confrontation. But in fact, very little of the invasion that has happened did not go across that line, much of which has held with little movement. Troops entered Ukraine at many other points, with the ones coming in from Crimea the ones that were most successful at conquering territory. And they did not bother covering up who they were, with Putin accepting the sanctions that got imposed.

        3. Moses Herzog

          You said “no invasion of UKRAINE“/ Ukraine comprises more than just the Donbas. And this doddering old man with the comedic cartoon character chin hairs tells us he knows geography. I’ll let readers directly read my past comments and be the judge.

          BTW, I don’t need 3 comments the length of “War and Peace” or a Gogol novel to rationalize what I have said on Ukraine. That’s obviously Barkley Junior’s specialty. Because my thoughts on what I foresaw in Ukraine are on the record, and my thoughts on what would happen in Kharkiv are on the record. Both happenings I expressed before the war even started, because I repeated what defense experts were saying on the vulnerability of Kharkiv due to its location near the troops positioned in south Belarus. And the fact is that Barkley, the man who thinks himself the “geography expert”, couldn’t/can’t figure out that all those troops in Belarus made Kharkiv the weak spot in a large invasion. U.S. Defense/military experts foresaw Kharkiv’s weakness, added together with “whispers heard around the Russian campfire”. I quoted those U.S. military experts. Barkley quoted…… who??…… his in-laws sitting at home watching state TV?? Those are Russian “insiders”. Funny one. I guess if Barkley thinks Donbas is nearer to the broad south border of Belarus than Kharkiv is he might also think in-laws watching state-run TV are a great source for pre-war data.

          1. Moses Herzog

            Readers here who want to know what has happened in Kharkiv, aside from violent video I could and have linked to here in other threads, are welcome to read these links, some of which include maps. If you can bear it after the self-contradicting word-storm from Barkley above in an attempt to keep his “Russian expert” masquerade going—in the first link you’ll notice there’s a large light purple color surrounding north Kharkiv. That indicates Ukrainian forces fighting against invading Russian soldiers. A fact Barkley Rosser apparently still enjoys debating:



            I don’t know how an Army withdraws from or retreats from, a city they “never invaded” or where there was “no invasion”. Maybe Barkley Rosser can explain this magician’s trick to the readers with another agonizing sh*t storm of self-contradiction. I wish the poor bast*rd good luck.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Oh gag, Moses. Here you are lying yet again. When will you stop doing this? It is becoming beyond disgusting.

            For the umpteenth time you have reminded people yet again of the one error I made in all this, that moment when I said there would be no invasion, in contrast to the very many times I said there was a possibility of such, including a full scale one.

            On the matter of Kharkiv I said nothing inaccurate. Your renewed effort to somehow suggest I did just proves yet again that either you are a complete idiot or just a jerk. I am inclined to think it is a combination of both.

          3. Moses Herzog

            Let’s go to the videotape/permalinks again, shall we folks??

            February 23 Barkley Rosser said: “According to a long story in today’s WaPo, people there [ Kharkiv ] are pretty calm, although according to you they should be running around freaking out. It may be that they are all a bunch of fools. But in fact I suspect another element of this is that because the city is dominated by ethnic Russians, they figure that life will go back to normal if they get conquered. But all accounts they do not support Putin or an invasion. But if it happens, they will move on.”

            I posted this video of Kharkiv only 5 days after Barkley Rosser said the above about Kharkiv:

            For extra measure, so Dumbo in Harrisonburg gets the point (Barkley is always slow to the take when being shown to be an A$$-hat) Here’s more footage of “ethnic Russians” in Kharkiv from April:

            Well, Dr. Rosser is right again, life has “gone back to normal” in Kharkiv, and “they will move on”. Dr. Rosser sure knows Russia well, aye folks?? He told us he’s “an expert on Russia” and one could hardly doubt it after his foresight in Kharkiv. Dr. Rosser knew Kharkiv residents would all be having belly-laughs after the invasion and I’ll be damned if Barkley didn’t work magic with his crystal ball again.

          4. Moses Herzog

            At one point in this debate, our “Russian expert”/”Geography major” told us that Ukraine was going to invade Belarus. Strangely, Braindead in Harrisonburg hasn’t discussed that major theory of his for awhile. Maybe his “Russian insiders” giving Barkley the dirt from Russian state TV had their living room TV confiscated for fear Barkley was going to let out the “secret spy data” about “Russian soldiers defending Belarus from invasion by Zelensky”. Zelensky~~the man Barkley literally referred to as “the poor thing” six days before his country was invaded.

            Barkley’s thoughts six days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the southern border of Belarus:
            “Needless to say, Lukashenka may be facing a possible invasion from Ukraine, with Zelensky having written a manifesto some months ago about how Belarus should be united with Ukraine under the rule of the latter. So he may well need those Russian troops for self-defense, the poor thing.”

            I don’t even know why America has a CIA with “Russian insider” spy intelligence like Barkley gives us. The Harrisonburg Spymaster, ‘cuz, Barkley’s like, uh genius, and stuff……. got his “finger on the pulse” with that Ukraine invasion of Belarus. Rosser nailed it again.

          5. Moses Herzog

            February 23 Barkley Rosser said: “According to a long story in today’s WaPo, people there [ Kharkiv ] are pretty calm, although according to you they should be running around freaking out. It may be that they are all a bunch of fools. But in fact I suspect another element of this is that because the city is dominated by ethnic Russians, they figure that life will go back to normal if they get conquered. But all accounts they do not support Putin or an invasion. But if it happens, they will move on.”

            RadioFreeEurope report, less than 4 months later:
            The report [ from Amnesty International ] says Russian forces bombarded civilian and residential areas of Kharkiv relentlessly for two months from the first day of Moscow’s unprovoked invasion on February 24, causing “wholesale destruction.”

            “The continued use of such inaccurate explosive weapons in populated civilian areas, in the knowledge that they are repeatedly causing large numbers of civilian casualties, may even amount to directing attacks against the civilian population.

            “People have been killed in their homes and in the streets, in playgrounds and in cemeteries, while queueing for humanitarian aid, or shopping for food and medicine,” Rovera said.

            “The Russian forces responsible for these horrific attacks must be held accountable.”

            The report quoted the Kharkiv region’s military administration as saying that 606 civilians had been killed and 1,248 wounded since the conflict began. Most of the strikes investigated by Amnesty inflicted multiple casualties over widespread areas.

            Well, Barkley Rosser told us that “life will go back to normal” and if invasion happens “they will move on”. The “Russian expert” and Geography Einstein nailed it again people.

          6. Barkley Rosser


            Actually you bringing up Kharkiv makes you the “dumb” person here. I never said a single inaccurate thing about Kharkiv. You are the one who said that I was “dumb” not to believe what the CIA was saying, that there would be a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But they also said that once this invasion happened, Kyiv and Kharkiv would fall in three days. So, not being “dumb” you apparently believed that, and we differed on this in the matter of debating whether the US embassy should be moved from Kyiv, which you supported doing because CIA said Kyiv would fall in three days.

            My speculations about possible contingent futures for Kharkiv invoved IF it would fall, which I made clear might not happen and that the people in Kharkiv opposed a Russian invasion. OTOH, you accepted that CIA was right, which meant Kharkiv would fall in three days.

            So, every time you show us links to Russians bombing Kharkiv, people should be reminded how “dumb” you are for having believed the failed CIA forecasts that Kharkiv would fall in three days. Congratulations on your dunce cap.

          7. Moses Herzog

            @ Barkley [edited MDC] Rosser
            I NEVER gave a time frame on the war. You, the blog hosts, or anyone else on this blog are welcome to quote (with the attached link) any time frame I gave on Putin’s war. Again, there is no such comment, so they will be looking a long time. Barkley, did your mentors teach you to make up statements your opponents made whenever you were looking very foolish to the crowd?? Were those the values you were taught??

            In fact you have me wondering if I searched back if I may have implied the opposite. Because it always struck me that even though Ukrainians were insufficiently weaponized, that as a people they would be bearcats to take on in a war (similar to Afghanis or the Turks). They never struck me as a group that would just be shoved off. I thought Zelensky’s pre-war rhetoric was ill-advised, but he may have thought that people were panicking enough as it was. Panic helps nearly no one.

            Be that as it may, I know myself well enough to know you’ll find no blog comment from me related to time frame on the completion of a war in Ukraine. Trying to forecast that would almost be as dumb and imbecile as a PhD saying “there will be no Russian invasion of Ukraine”. Now THAT would be seem by some as colossally dumb.

            The CIA and/or U.S. Defense Dept. HAS to make time/resource scenarios for war planning. Shocking to a man of your limited intelligence, I know.

          8. Barkley Rosser

            But, Moses, you declared that I was “dumb” to doubt the CIA forecasts of war. If that was dumb then it is dumb to doubt their forecasts on the outcome of the war. How is one to figure out when it is dumb to disagree with the CIA and when it is not? You certainly did not provide a guide.

            Of course you are again repeating total misrepresentations of things I wrote. The whole bit about Lukashenka was obvious sarcasm. Of course he was totally lying that Belarus needed to be protected from an invasion from Ukraine. Will you stop lying and misrepresenting things here? You do it over and over and over. Really nauseating.

            Bottom line is you have exactly one error I made on all this, which you have repeated msny times. All the other stuff you have tried to drag in here, including everything related to Kharkiv as well as this Lukashenka stuff, just makes you look like a liar or an idiot or both.

    2. Moses Herzog

      BTW, I posted this back in May, which strikes me as the best evidence I have heard on Putin’s health. The general gist is some kind of cancer with the main suspect being thyroid cancer. He’s got too many oncologists congregating near him. I put this up in mid-May,

      Barkley then played down what I said about Putin most likely having some form of cancer (in at least two separate comments) and then turns around 4 weeks later to ride coattails on Proekt’s journalism. Barkley, these things get answered through hard work and digging, not by what street urchins selling weeds at some storefront curb told your in-laws.

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Your source was woethless. I clearly labeled what I reported on as gossip, which happens to disagree with what your source said, but might be closer to the truth. What I reported that I take more seriously, but which you also ridiculed, as you seem to feel some need to do regarding almost anything I say here, is that it may be the case that Putin is not even being told the truth by his own physicians because they are afraid of him. Given that, I think we really do not know what is going on with him, and all these reports are suspect.

        The difference is that you believed your source, while I am more skeptical of these reports.

  7. pgl

    “Note that nobody I know of uses sentiment indicators as an indicator for recessions”

    As you note – both Jeff Frankel and James Hamilton still see a strong economy. But what do they know – a couple of plumbers and some “Michigan index” that Princeton Steve does not even know how to properly label (as in the Michigan consumer sentiment index which BTW has two separate components – something else Stevie apparently does not know) think otherwise which is good enough for the World’s Worst Consultant.

  8. pgl

    A Pride Parade took over 5th Avenue in Prospect Park this weekend. The locals sort of just left them do their own thing as 5th Avenue is often shut down on Saturdays for all sorts of things. Some rural area in Idaho also had a Pride celebration which probably did not get in anyone’s way as hey – it is Idaho. But some group of domestic terrorists called the Patriot Front decided they wanted to do all sorts of harm to these innocent people have a good time:

    First of all – credit to law enforcement in their arrest of these racist domestic terrorists. Secondly, this kind of sheer hate should neve be labeled as anything to do with patriotism.

    1. AndrewG

      Wow, that is sick.

      The “patriot” schtick has absolutely nothing to do with freedom, does it?

    1. pgl

      A mood? You are one pathetic POS. We have asked you before to go away as your comments are beyond stupid and disgusting.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      No, we don’t, although that has been effectively what Steven Kopits has been trying to argue by saying that the Michigan consumer sentiment index tells us whether we are in a recession or not I would note that the macro word that also describes a mood, or really a more serious mental condition is depression.

      There is an old joke that runs: If he is laid off, it is a normal economy; if you are laid off then it is a recession; but if aim laid off, then it is a depression.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I am not sure I am saying that the Michigan or Gallup indices tell us whether we are in recession. These are micro level surveys of the views of individuals, not some sort of aggregate analysis. Having said that, certain readings on both Gallup and Michigan have historically correlated well with recessions. The people answering these surveys are reflecting their own situation, and that will be heavily influenced by inflation, gasoline prices and unemployment. A stretch of high oil prices and high inflation has regularly been followed by a hard recession.

        If an index reading is at a record low, the odds of that being a true positive indicator would seem pretty high. If Menzie or Jim cared to do the statistical analysis, they would find, I think, that the odds of it signaling a recession in statistical terms is very high.

        As for bubbles and crashes. I would hypothesize that this has to do with the fight-or-flight instinct, greed or fear, if you’ll have it. If your mindset is ‘fight’, then you’ll buy into any opening and be willing to play the greater fool game. If it’s ‘flight’, then even you’ll pass on reasonable opportunities because you have no confidence in its sustainability. So that’s the emotional component as I see it, but that mindset is influenced by actual conditions, arguably with a lag.

        1. pgl

          “I am not sure I am saying that the Michigan or Gallup indices tell us whether we are in recession.”

          Oh golly gee – way to back pedal. OK we are in agreement – you definitely are not sure what you are saying. Especially with this latest gibberish.

  9. pgl

    More evidence that Rudy Giuliani is perpetually drunk!

    Rudolph Giuliani has sued Smartmatic to recoup legal fees as he defends against its $2.7 billion lawsuit accusing him, Fox News Network and others of falsely claiming that the company helped rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election so Joe Biden would defeat Donald Trump. In a counterclaim filed late Monday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Giuliani said the voting machine company’s defamation lawsuit, which he characterized as baseless, interfered with his constitutional right to speak freely on issues of public concern. “Smartmatic’s litigation tactics, including its facially implausible damages claims, are a naked attempt to attack a well-known public figure” and amount to censorship, said Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and lawyer for Trump.

    My God – Rudy has totally lost his marbles!

  10. DCBob

    Also useful to distinguish between a recovery, when GDP has begun to rise from its trough, and an expansion, when GDP rises above its pre-recession peak. All concepts in real terms, I believe.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      You may think this is a useful distinction, but it is not one others make. Look at the discussion and figure Menzie presents. “Expansion” is simply the economy growing, including from a trough, not just after it surpasses some level. This is your own fantasy.

    2. Menzie Chinn Post author

      DCBob: I’ve seen those terms used, e.g., here. I’d be curious where that terminology originated, as I don’t think they were in the original Burns/Mitchell typology.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        I guess I must retract my strong denial that DCBob’s usage ever occurs. Apparently some people do this. I did some googling on this, but it seems that it is not a widely used distinction. Most commentators do not make any distinction between “expansion” versus “recovery” other than the latter clearly does follow a downturn. But for the vast majority of commentors, when an economy is experiencing a “recovery” from a downturn it is also experiencing an “expansion.”

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Barkley Junior
          You mean there are economists out there that use terminology different than YOU do?!?!?!?!? Have you phoned the emergency hotline at the American Economic Association to see if you can get these people detained before further damage is done to society’s fabric??

          1. Barkley Rosser


            NO, not going to bother the AEA, although I am coeditor of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, so I am actually a bit of an authority on these things. My quick observation is that the people stating that a recovery is not an expansion are not economists but journalists. The vast majority of economists are not going to indulge in such stupidities.

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ Barkley Rosser
            So, how many years did you say you were a member of NBER?? When I asked earlier I gave up checking the thread because you seemed slow to answer.

  11. Gregory Bott

    GDP is revised and changed. Some quarters are worse than others(see Q3 2000 for a mess over the years). Exports fell 3.2% in the first quarter due to omicron and indeed led to a distorted and lie “contraction”. Business investment/consumption was 1.8%. Kopits, use that instead of the total parts because these distortions with exports and government spending can mislead things. Exports is going to rocket in the 2nd quarter, none of the predictions firms are getting that. You will have a surge in GDP which people complain is “fraud”. No, fraud is the commodity traders jacking up prices despite Russia exporting more oil to Southeast Asia and OPEC lifting their cap in May(thought not announced until June). Now they are heavily overweight in these commodities and May inflation was indeed “fraud”.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ AS
          Often times I am the last one in the room to get the joke, but I’m going to guess here that Menzie meant it in a “farcical” or “absurdist comedy” ense, because he is (rightly) so tired of having to say these same things so many times. He kinda probably feels like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” when doing these type of posts.

          Don’t feel bad, it’s a subtle type of humor, “inferred”. I only probably got the joke because “cynical” is the default setting in my brain.

  12. joseph

    CoRev: “What I have said is that the US price rises are largely because of Biden’s war on fossil fuels.”

    I wonder what the public would have to say if the news pundits pointed out that the oil companies were exporting a million barrels a week of refined gasoline because if they kept it all in the U.S. it would lower prices at the pump and their profits.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      This is the sign that the US is in the condition that GOP politicians demand that it be in and do not think it is: energy independence.

      1. CoRev

        Joseph some monthly detail:
        2020 25,955 23,869 24,228
        2022 24,999 22,369 26,785
        Diff. -996 -1,527 +2,557

        Do you remember the significance of comparing the 2020 to today?

        1. pgl

          No source. No labeling your disjointed presentation of numbers. No one knows what you are saying here – especially you.

          1. CoRev

            Barking Bierka – the NYC Jerk, wants a reference the monthly gas exportation numbers, while ignoring the Joseph’s un-referenced comment.

            As I’ve said you can not read, can not comprehend and can not follow a thread.

      2. AS

        Barkley, or would you prefer Professor Rosser,
        A question & comment, not meant to be contentious but of interest.
        1. Could it be that the administration wants refined gasoline to be exported to allies to keep them in the “alliance” related to Russia?
        2. Seems this refined gasoline item would be a good story for CNN or NY Times.

        1. baffling

          you will see natural gas prices fall because of the texas lng plant explosion limits exports. and now that natural gas inflation is disappearing. so the inflation was not caused by some war on fossil fuels, as some idiots want to argue. it was caused because of a war in ukraine, and we diverted domestic supplies to europe to help in the cause. high energy prices are not truly inflation, but are the united states contribution to the cause in europe. it will be difficult to avoid energy inflation while we battle putin. if you want cheap fossil fuel energy, then you will need to let putin retake eastern europe. another reason the world should be focusing even more on renewables.

        2. Barkley Rosser


          “Barkley” is fine. I appreciate your care about many issues here.

          I am not sure about the details of which things are being imported and which exported, but I can say that what is going on is not specifically directed by the administration for some diplomatic or military end. This is all pretty much just market forces operating.

    2. pgl

      Yep. The oil companies have declared war on the American consumer led by Generals CoRev and Bruce Hall. But of course they have to lie – just like Putin.

      1. Anonymous

        if it were a market the us consumer would be fine!

        energy consumers are harmed by the long game to deny new refining capacity in the usa.

        going to the crown prince for more crude oil would insist biden find refineries to finish the product.

        [new refineries are coming on line in china, india and the persian gulf….]

    3. CoRev

      joseph asks: “I wonder what the public would have to say if the news pundits pointed out that the oil companies were exporting a million barrels a week of refined gasoline because if they kept it all in the U.S. it would lower prices at the pump and their profits.”

      Probably not much as we import 1,176,000 barrels per day as of the 6/8/2022 report.

      You guys keep telling us that energy is an international market.

      1. pgl

        Do you get that there is a difference between oil and refined gasoline? It does not seem so even though high refinery margins is a large part of what is driving high gasoline prices. I would say stick to soybean economics but it seems you are incompetent at that too.

        1. Anonymous

          was the shift to net exporter political or business?

          bad hurricane in the gulf and see what happens….

          petrol supply chains are stressed, inventory is relief.

          the shift of the usa from net importer (mix crude and product) to exporter coincident with ukraine crises puts emphasis on the role of inventory build when the hurrican season arrives…

          hint no build being seen!

  13. pgl

    We’ve seen just two relatively brief hearings of the House Jan. 6 committee. Yet already members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle are accusing one another of lying under oath, taking bribes from Democrats, shilling for Marxists and being past their primes. They’re also rekindling old scandals involving their onetime allies and have been shown questioning each other’s mental faculties (including Trump’s). And in one case, we’ve found out a White House lawyer angrily told a Trump campaign lawyer that he should “get a great effing criminal defense lawyer; you’re going to need it.”

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer set of guys!

    1. pgl

      Oh my – this will get CoRev all barking and chasing his own tail.

      ‘But unlike previous extreme weather events in Texas which led to deadly blackouts, the grid is holding up remarkably well this week. Several experts told CNN that it’s owed in large part to strong performances from wind and solar, which generated 27 gigawatts of electricity during Sunday’s peak demand — close to 40% of the total needed.’

      For the entire calendar wind/solar generated 38% of total usage as compared to natural gas at 42%. Oh my – I can hear the barking already!

    2. baffling

      prior to the recent lng plant explosion, natural gas prices had nearly tripled from the start of last june. imagine how much more expensive that electricity would have been if it had been provided by new natural gas plants. economically, fossil fuels simply make less sense by the day. renewables are cheaper, and they did not fail like natural gas in february of 2021.

    3. CoRev

      Ivan claims: “The Texas power grid is bailed out of a heatwave by wind and solar.” Assuming that the day after the article’s claimed peak day, 6/12 and predicted again for 6/14, the 6/13 generation numbers for ERCOT were:,c_limit,f_webp,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

      What the graph shows is that for some hours of some days renewables can assist the base-load supply to fulfill demand and prevent brown/black outs.

      Now ain’t that precious.

      1. pgl

        I presume you had a point with this graph but it seems you had no idea what that alleged point was. Hey CoRev – maybe you should go to art school as Brooklyn hippy types make money producing such “art”.

      2. Ivan

        You say “assist the base-load supply to fulfill demand and prevent brown/black outs” – I say “bailout”. Tomatoe – tomatoo.

        1. CoRev

          Ivan, I say assist the base-load fulfill demand a and you say “bailout”. Tomatoe – tomatoo. It only works when your “bailout” actually permanently replaces the base-load required to backup your “bailout” source. Worse, it doesn’t work at all unless the base-load required to backup is too low to provide demand.

          Australia is showing the US how that works. To data it is not true in TX. The common point in both locations is the suppression of traditional fossil fueled generation sources both in new development and continued maintenance.

          But, this is the world your policies demand, less supply at higher prices. The voters know, and will speak soon.

          1. baffling

            and yet when the natural gas system froze in texas, corev does not have a problem. he has a funny way of viewing reliability issues.

          2. CoRev

            Baffled – coward, you keep lying without showing where your claim was actually presented.

            BTW, where are those examples of where adding renewables to an electricity grid did not raise the overall grid costs? Remember you called that false weeks ago, when I asked for examples.

            I’m still waiting for those examples.

          3. baffling

            I find it hard to have a serious conversation with somebody who believes in ghosts and ufo’s.

          4. CoRev

            Baffled – coward, you’ve had a hard time having a serious conversation with those who have challenged you to provide evidence. That’s been going on now for months.

            BTW, where are those examples of where adding renewables to an electricity grid did not raise the overall grid costs? Remember you called that false weeks ago, when I asked for examples.

            I’m still waiting for those examples.

  14. Steven Kopits

    Reprise of a comment I made last June:

    I’d add that I would not be surprised to see a downward readjustment of 15-20% when the tide turns at the Fed. But the Fed is of course trapped in its own strategy, as a meaningful rise in interest rates would crash the economy in all likelihood. So the Fed is going to struggle to take away the punch bowl. I’d add that I suspect there is a significant bias towards the Democrats there, so there will be an incentive to keep the arrows pointing up until the elections sixteen months from now.

    Personally, I think these hopes will be dashed as the Fed has to pull in its horns, perhaps in Q4 21 or Q1 22. I think the inflation numbers are going to be substantially bad and will force the Fed’s hands.

    I wrote in a note a couple of months ago that ‘whatever the Fed does, it will be from the crucifix’, and I don’t see any reason to change that view at this point.

    1. Steven Kopits

      And then Menzie asked about interest rates:

      This comment would have meaningful content if you defined “meaningful rise” in interest rates, and whether you mean real or nominal interest rates.

      To which I replied:

      Finger to the wind, high 4’s to mid-5’s on the 30 year mortgage.

      I received quite a bit a blowback on that call, and yet we blew right through the top of it, didn’t why? 30 year is at 6.28% with no cap in sight at present.

      1. pgl

        “30 year is at 6.28% with no cap in sight at present.” WTF? Anyone who follows these interest rates knows: (a) the 30-year government bond rate i s now around 3.5%; and (2) this mortgage rate tends to be 1% above this government bond rate.

        Now if you are suggesting a 2.8% credit spread is normal or on the low side, then you are indeed the most clueless troll God ever invented.

        1. Steven Kopits

          Read first, then comment: Finger to the wind, high 4’s to mid-5’s on the 30 year mortgage.

          1. Steven Kopits

            You quote 30 year mortgages in real terms? Interesting. I can’t say that I’ve seen that done, at least by any public body. When I say 4s to 5s on the 30 year mortgage, I am guessing 99.9% of the people assume I am speaking of published rates. And of course they would be correct.

    2. pgl

      “I suspect there is a significant bias towards the Democrats there”

      The FED has had a tradition for over 40 years of avoiding political favor. Jerome Powell should sue your pathetic rear end for this unfounded insult. Of course he likely knows you are not worth the time because EVERYONE gets you are just a clueless worthless troll.

  15. Steven Kopits

    And my comment from Feb. 18, 2021, now sixteen months ago.

    Along the way, expect the Fed’s error of construction to be exposed. By mistaking an outage for a recession, the Fed will have committed to a monetary policy too easy for the problem. As the pandemic fades and the US demand pops like a champagne cork, interest rates will suddenly prove to have been set too low. What will the Fed do? Whatever they do, they will do it from the crucifix.

    Barkley: The term I have adopted for an outage, as you know, is ‘suppression’. By mistaking a suppression for a recession, the Fed set monetary policy to loose, and here we are.

    I think we are seeing, in a suppression, that the usual recession variables move much faster than normal. It’s easy to over-react, on the one hand, and wait too long for data, on the other. For this reason, I would probably soft pedal the interest rate hikes and eat the inflation for now. Nothing you can do about it for November, oblivion for the Democrats, as I predicted earlier this year.

    1. pgl

      OK repeating your stupid word salad changes nothing. You have no clue what you are babbling about. We have asked you to stop. Pay attention.

    2. pgl

      Wow – you do excel in stupid meaningless word salad. STOP POLUTTING THIS BLOG WITH YOUR INCESSANT GARBAGE.

    1. Anonymous

      energy info agency report for week of 10 Jun usa went from net exporter to net importer of petroleum product which may support increase in commercial crude stocks.

  16. ltr

    June 15, 2022

    Chinese mainland records 77 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 54 linked to local transmissions and 23 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Wednesday.

    A total of 158 asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Tuesday, and 1,980 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The cumulative number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland is 225,054, with the death toll from COVID-19 standing at 5,226.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

  17. pgl

    Poor little Steve Bannon. He arrives at the Federal Courthouse with the hopes of giving a fiery MAGA speech. But notice the fellow with the sigh “Failed Coup”. And of course those questions to him that Bannon had to ignore as the questions were spot on.

  18. ltr

    June 12, 2022

    Starbucks to open 6,000 stores in China by the end of FY22
    By Wang Siwen

    Shanghai has more coffee shops than any other city in the world, according to a research published by media platform Yicai. As the city returns to normalcy after the latest COVID-19 outbreak, having coffee is back on people’s daily agenda in the city.

    At the end of May, Shanghai unveiled a 50-step plan to help domestic and foreign companies. A key part of the action plan is to stabilize foreign investment and trade as well as accelerate the recovery of consumption and investment. Specialists will be assigned to provide service for key foreign-funded enterprises to resume work and production.

    “Our team was able to open up to 600 stores within 72 hours of the reopening. And today we’re already operating 860 stores in the city,” Leo Tsoi, CEO of Starbucks China, said.

    “I would say this is only chapter one for us”, said Tsoi, adding “We are highly confident in China.”

    “Over all these years, despite challenges and difficulties, we continue to invest and we continue to grow, there’s quite a number of investments that we are trying to do,” he said.

    Tsoi mentioned Starbucks will keep investing in the Chinese market. First, Starbucks will open 6,000 stores in China by the end of the fiscal year 2022. Second, it will continue the construction of its China Coffee Innovation Park in Kunshan, east China’s Jiangsu Province, as part of its efforts to enhance its supply chain efficiency and build a greener coffee industry in the country.

    During Shanghai’s recent COVID-19 outbreak, catering was among the many industries affected. But now, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Costa Coffee and other chains have reopened their shops in the city….

    1. pgl

      “Shanghai has more coffee shops than any other city in the world”

      Given its population is 3 times that of New York City, this is no surprise. Now if they are drinking the weak tea made by Starbucks, I will stick to my Brooklyn coffee shops where they make real coffee.

      1. CoRev

        Menzie, never lived in a haunted house, eh? I don’t mean poltergeist type haunting, but actual past resident haunting. 😉

    1. pgl

      Your little summary grossly misrepresents what this link is about. Try READING this:

      GDPNow is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed. Rather, it is best viewed as a running estimate of real GDP growth based on available economic data for the current measured quarter. There are no subjective adjustments made to GDPNow—the estimate is based solely on the mathematical results of the model.

      Yea on 6/16 housing starts data suggested no growth in Q2 for THIS sector. Of course there was some incompetent consultant named Princeton Steve that has been telling us for over a year that the housing market was going to crash badly. I guess he was “on the record” with a really wrong forecast.

      But come on Stevie – stop LYING about what your own links have said.

      1. Steven Kopits

        Atlanta is at 0,0% for Q2; NY is at -0.6 Q4/Q4. If you have a different forecast, publish it.

  19. ltr

    June 14, 2022

    Natural gas prices fall on news that a Texas terminal will be blocked for months.
    Prices in the United States plunged 17 percent after officials said damage at the Freeport LNG terminal would take months to repair.
    By Clifford Krauss

    Natural gas prices in the United States plummeted 17 percent on Tuesday after an announcement that fire damage at a Texas gas export terminal would take several more months to repair, blocking large export volumes.

    Because Europe has grown increasingly dependent on American liquefied natural gas to replace Russian production, the news sent European natural gas prices higher. Europe’s prices are set regionally, not globally like oil.

    When an explosion damaged part of the Freeport LNG terminal on June 8, officials said it would probably take three weeks to return the plant to normal functions. Gas prices, which had more than doubled since last year, dropped modestly.

    But on Tuesday, the company announced that hopes for a partial restart in 90 days were not feasible….

    [ Then, is sufficient supply of liquid natural gas for Europe no longer feasible for months to come? ]

  20. macroduck

    The Fed went for 75 basis points. The Statement offered no indication of a pause in rate hikes. Just a strong intension to reduce inflation. Stocks rebounded a bit from recent losses, as did Treasuries. The Summary of Economic Projections show expectations of a rate cut in 2024, which seems to have helped.

    The SEP also shows a rise in the jobless rate in 2023 and in 2024, which looks suspiciously recessionary. GDP growth forecasts this year and next were reduced considerably from March, but only to right around the long-term sustainable growth pace of 1.8%. It’s possible to hide a brief recession in 1.7% growth at year-end, but it ain’t easy. The low end of the forecast range for real GDP is also positive across the forecast horizon, though the low forecast for next year is 0.8% growth. Somebody on the Committee has a forecast which could include a brief, shallow recession next year.

    Longer-term estimates for inflation, growth and he jobless rate were steady relative to March, but the longer-term fed funds rate estimate edged up to 2.5% from 2.4%. The way the math works out, it could easily tip back to 2.4%, so it’s too early to conclude that Committee members now see the neutral rate as higher.

    A big discussion of the neutral rate would be a sideshow rig now, bt the Fed is going to have to do it at some point. Fed officials can say they have a noion of where neutral is (real 0.5%), but we have been through a decade-and-a-half period in which the only effort to return to neutral led to financial trouble and the Fed backing rates down. What with inflation again seen as a risk, picking a non-zero target rate for normal times (wouldn’t that be nice?) will be high on the list of things the Committee will want to do.

    I’m curious to see whether policy will be as sensitive to financial stress during the coming hunt for neutral as it was in 2019.

    1. Ivan

      They do not seem to predict higher single digit inflation to last long at all. The 64K question is whether that is because they understand the temporary nature of current inflation or that they are certain that they will crush it with rate hikes and asset sales. Powell’s advice to young buyers to stay out of the housing markets seems to indicate that they understand that we will soon have actual reductions in the price of houses. Nice of him to warn them not to catch a falling knife.

      1. pgl

        My daughter is finally getting married to the love of her life. They were thinking about buying a house a while back but decided to wait until they are officially hitched. I just emailed her that this was a good choice.

        1. Ivan

          Yes it will be painful to pay elevated rents for the next few years – but even more painful to be locked in place in a house with a mortgage that is 50K or more underwater.

        2. Moses Herzog

          @ pgl
          Make sure she gets her mortgage at a NCUA member credit union if she can. (military, education, etc) Sometimes you don’t even need to be military or have a job in education, a family relative working in those fields can get you in. They pay higher rates on savings deposits, checking, and ask lower rates on loans, mortgages. Don’t have her being one of those morons getting the dealership financing on a car. Good way to get her started out right:

          Remember, the NCUA membership is very important, that gets you the federal insurance and filters out the “fly by night” outfits. Don’t be afraid to be the insistent father on that one.

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