Retail Sales, Inflation Adjusted

Beating consensus for July.

Figure 1: Retail sales and food services sales, deflated by CPI-all, mn 1982-82$ (blue), retail sales, deflated by PPI consumer finished goods, mn 1982$ (tan). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: Census, BLS, NBER, and author’s calculations.

159 thoughts on “Retail Sales, Inflation Adjusted

  1. pgl

    Kevin Drum has a wonderful habit of presenting data in inflation adjusted terms and has been all over inflation adjusted retail sales. I suspect he will really appreciate this post.

  2. pgl

    Before the RECESSION CHEERLEADERS go ape, can we point out that inflation adjusted retail sales took an enormous jump last year and have only slightly moderated since that spike.

    1. rjs

      i have inflation adjusted retail sales at +0.6% in July, hardly recessionary, although i have a low confidence in that figure, even as i tried to mimic the BEA’s methods….the underlying CPI data shows CPI services up 0.3%, but CPI goods prices down 0.5%, pulled down by lower gasoline prices…that’s where i see a problem in the data; sales at gas stations were down 1.8% in July, but there was concurrently a 7.7% decrease in the price of gasoline during the month, which would suggest that real sales of gasoline were roughly 6.4% higher for the month; that’s the flip side of what happened in June, when nominal sales at gas stations were up 3.6%, but there was an 11.0% increase in the price of gasoline, which would suggest that real sales of gasoline were down 6.7%….i doubt that real sales fell that much one month then jumped back up the next, but that’s what the data shows and that’s what will be incorporated into 2nd and 3rd quarter GDP for those respective months…

      1. Ivan

        It would seem to me that the problem there is an inflation adjustment based on all prices whereas you probably had to do inflation adjustment for gas station sales based on the specific price inflation of just gas.

        1. rjs

          you’re right, and i note that caveat when i’m writing about it. ie, “meanwhile, while sales at gas stations were down 1.8%, there was concurrently a 7.7% decrease in the price of gasoline during the month, which would suggest that real sales of gasoline were roughly 6.4% higher for the month, with a caveat that gasoline stations do sell more than gasoline, products which should not be adjusted with gasoline prices, so the increase in real sales at gas stations was likely less than our figure…

          however, when i’m trying to explain the issue succinctly in a comment here, i can’t include every caveat and rounding issue i might take into account while i’m working on it and expect that what i’d post here would be comprehensible…

  3. pgl,LoCiero%2C%20who%20is%20representing%20the%20Times%20and%20others.

    Attorneys for many of the nation’s largest media companies, including NBC News, will try to persuade a federal magistrate judge on Thursday afternoon to make public the affidavit supporting the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate last week. The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the broadcast TV networks, CNN and others want U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart to release the affidavit over the objection of the U.S. Justice Department, which says its investigation of Trump’s handling of “highly classified material” would be compromised.
    The media companies argue the affidavit’s release would help the public determine if the Justice Department had legitimate reasons for the search or if it was part of a Biden administration vendetta against Trump, as the former president and his backers contend. Trump, in a Truth Social post last week, called for the release of the unredacted affidavit in the interest of transparency.

    We all know why Trump wants to see an unredacted affidavit – he wants his domestic terrorists to go after people who might testify against him. But isn’t it odd that no lawyer for Trump is stupid enough to appear before this judge during this hearing? Trump is full of BS and his own lawyers know it.

  4. ltr

    August 18, 2022

    China’s FDI inflow up 17.3 pct in first seven months

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 17.3 percent year on year to 798.33 billion yuan ($117.57 billion) in the first seven months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

    In U.S. dollar terms, the inflow went up 21.5 percent year on year to $123.92 billion.

    The service industry saw FDI inflows jump by 10 percent year on year to 598.92 billion yuan, while that of high-tech industries surged by 32.1 percent from a year earlier, data from the ministry showed.

    Specifically, FDI in high-tech manufacturing rose 33 percent from the same period a year ago, while that in the high-tech service sector surged 31.8 percent year on year, the data showed.

    During this period, investment from the Republic of Korea, the U.S., Japan and Germany climbed by 44.5 percent, 36.3 percent, 26.9 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively.

    In the January-July period, FDI flowing into the country’s western region reached a rapid year-on-year increase of 41.2 percent, followed by 30 percent in the central region, and 15.2 percent in the eastern region….

    1. pgl

      “investment from the Republic of Korea, the U.S., Japan and Germany”

      So are you now in favor of US, German, Japanese, and Korean multinationals earning profits from goods made in China? This is exactly what FDI is all about.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I’m not really arguing with you, just making a point, how do you think China steals a lot of America’s and other nations’ IP?? Do you think maybe some of that is done on their home soil and with “joint ventures” where they rob dumb Laowai ideas, manufacturing processes, and then tell the Laowai corps to “go fly a kite” at the exact moment they become a threat to take significant market share inside China?? Of course they love “FDI” or what they call “Look…. another dumb foreigner just showed up”

        1. pgl

          Fair point. China also has this nasty habit of using transfer pricing to makes sure these multinationals do not get to pay arm’s length royalties when the local affiliate makes tons of profits on the multinational’s IP.

  5. pgl

    Allen Weisselberg, the former longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, pleaded guilty Thursday to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion, acknowledging that he was part of a scheme to receive more than $1.7 million in off-the-books perks and compensation from former President Donald Trump’s namesake firm…. Weisselberg’s deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of five months in New York’s Rikers Island jail, followed by five years’ probation. He must also pay $1.9 million in back taxes and fines,and testify under oath as a witness in the company’s trial.

    5 months is a very nice break for Weisselberg but he has to rat out Trump and his kids to keep this short sentence. Rats leaving the ship.

      1. CoRev

        Embarrassed? As someone who voted for Biden, and unable to list any of his successful policies, AndrewG, how can you ask such a question? Sigh.

        1. pgl

          Well AG Garland is getting closer to putting the former Traitor in Chief in jail. Hey CoRev – Trump cannot find a qualified lawyer so may be he will have to hire you to defend his criminal rear end!

        2. Barkley Rosser


          Several of us have listed some successful policies of Biden. Why do you keep assaulting different people with this idiotic demand?

          So, just to waste everybody’s time again, here are a few.

          1) Unlike several of is predecessors, passed a substantial bipartisan infrastructure bill that has GOP politicians claiming credit for it to their constituents, even when they voted against. Predecessor Trump kept having “infrastructure week” but never could even get an actual proposal to Congress, much less get one passed.

          2) Getting it passed the Medicare system can negotiate lower drug prices with Big Pharma. This is something that is anti-inflationary, will save government money, and will help fight one of the worst cost problems in our economy, healthcare, where Americans pay far more than anybody in any other country for what is pretty pathetic health care. This should have been passed decades ago, and it is shocking that zero GOPs supported it.

          3) Released publicly intel on Russian plans to invade Uktaine, which helped them resist invasion when it happened, and then was able to organize international support for Ukraine that has enabled them to defend themselves successfully when many thought that was hopeless. Of course, Trump was pushing to pull the US out of NATo and declared Putin a “genius” at the time he invaded Ukraine.

          There is quite a bit more. What did Trump do? Oh, a tax cur for the rich that did not stimulate growth and a lot of tariffs that raised the cost of living.

          You need to stop challenging people to provide successful policies by Biden. Plenty have already been provided. You are as usual just making yourself yet again look like a total moron.

          1. CoRev

            Barkley, you have FINALLY listed policies, but there is obvious doubt about their success. The Infrastructure Bill is too similar to Obama’s unsuccessful American Reinvestment and Recovery Act: And the IRA doesn’t affect inflation and in my own estimation will significantly raise the costs and further destabilize electricity and raise taxes.

            Passing BAD AND COSTLY LAWS seems to be democratic party thing. I have a list of bad Biden policies if you want.

            Keep trying. You might get lucky yet.

        3. AndrewG

          Let’s for a minute allow that I’m embarrassed by Biden’s performance. I was indeed embarrassed by the Afghanistan withdrawal, and many of his off-the-cuff remarks. I’m embarrassed by his Iraq War support. “I’m so embarrassed!”

          Now your turn CoRev. Aren’t you embarrassed by the guy you voted for twice–maybe three times counting the 2016 primary?

          Trump University, Trump Vitamins, Trump Steaks – all vaporware at best, fraud at worst?
          Making buildings using mob concrete?
          The birther conspiracy theory?
          Being accused of rape by his own ex-wife?
          Grab ’em by …? (caught on tape) — Aren’t you embarrassed?
          The Muslim ban?
          Pretending to be a devout Christian?
          Running campaign ads featuring scary “international bankers”, all Jewish?
          Calling for his rival to be jailed during the campaign, then once taking office, not even trying to investigate her?
          Massive tax avoidance? Now being investigated for tax fraud? Exaggerating his wealth over and over again?
          Children in cages? Hiring known white supremacists as aides? Immigration going down from everywhere except Europe? The wall, and its not even close to being built? Saying the govt of Mexico would pay for it, which it laughed at?
          Being laughed at at the UN? Aren’t you embarrassed?
          “The Jews Will Not Replace Us” being chanted by people wearing his campaign’s hats? “Good people on both sides”?
          Putin boosting? Saying the US won’t live up to NATO commitments? Removing US troops from Europe and Asia? Calling Europe a “foe”?
          Trade wars? Pushing Ivanka’s failed clothing line in China while in office?
          Kanye West as a political ally? The $500B Black Enterprise Fund vaporware? Isn’t that so embarrassing?
          Hermann Cain for the Fed Board, and openly pressuring the Fed?
          Firing Comey for political reasons, then threatening him to keep quiet … on Twitter?
          Blackmailing Zelenskyy (caught on tape), then publicly calling on China and Russia to dig up dirt on his political rival?
          Saying we’re “turning the corner” on Covid, over and over again? Ignoring the previous administration’s pandemic plan? “Ingest Lysol”? Scott Atlas? Implying that the pandemic was a political ploy?
          Pressuring election officials to cough up fake votes (caught on tape, now under investigation)? Ironically making up false election fraud claims? Egging on the crowd that attacked Congress during the election certification? “We love you, you’re beautiful” to the rioters?
          Two impeachments (a first), both with Republicans joining?
          Losing an election as an incumbent in a quickly recovering economy?
          Taking sensitive documents home after being kicked out of office by voters? Being investigated by the FBI – with a warrant signed by a Trump appointee?
          Being called history’s biggest threat to the Constitution by Dick Cheney?

          Anything ringing a bell here?

          Did none of this really bother you? I kind of doubt it.

          Why not create a Sticky Note, copy and paste this list into it, and just contemplate it for a bit? You can get back to us later. No rush.

          1. CoRev

            AndrewG, a list of attempts to embarrass or even arrest him with all being abject failures by a inept party that hates him and his followers.
            Did none of these failed and inept attempts really bother you? I kind of doubt it, as you are just another of the haters.

            Menzie, the Muslim ban? explains the bans this way.”That travel ban, which caused chaos and protests at airports, was challenged in the courts and eventually amended to target five Muslim-majority countries – Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya and Somalia – as well put restrictions on nationals from Venezuela (not Muslim) and North Korea (not Muslim).
            The Trump administration maintains that the six additional countries – Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania – failed to meet US security and information-sharing standards, which necessitated the new restrictions. The problems officials cited ranged from subpar passport technology to a failure to sufficiently exchange information on “terrorism” suspects and criminals….
            Non-immigrant visas will not be affected.”

            Biden in his campaign vowed to change all of Trumps immigration policies, and has done so for most of them.

            How’s that worked out for the country?

          2. AndrewG

            Here, CoRev I’ll give you one: The Steel dossier was embarrassing, but not particularly embarrassing for me personally since I didn’t believe it. Why? Kompromat is about catching the embarrassing things powerful people do in private and threatening to make them public; Trump, as you well know (and what pain it must cause), does all of his embarrassing things in public, for all to see–often on Twitter (until he was banned) (wow, isn’t it embarrassing?). Moreover, other Trump-world connections to Russia were not in dispute, and still aren’t. (Remember when Michael Flynn was fired, then later pardoned, by Trump? So embarrassing!) Investigations move to indictment or not based on the strength of the evidence, not how embarrassing it is – that’s how it works, at least to grown-ups. On the other hand, impeachment and removal didn’t happen (after an unprecedented two attempts) because of Republican politics, not the facts. Embarrassing for you, maybe. And oh yeah — there are still several pending Trump investigations. Haven’t you read the news recently? Something about some documents? For one of the applicable laws, Trump himself toughened the sentencing, but that’s neither here nor there and not at all embarrassing, right? He probably had no idea what he was signing.

            Oh, and speaking of no indictment, how could we forget about the Clinton investigation! Trump *publicly* politicized it (remember “lock her up”?), and then nothing happened. No charges. Isn’t it embarrassing — particularly when the investigation is the only reason Trump became president, squeaking past in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote by millions (embarrassing, no??)? And hey, how come the investigation didn’t start back up after Trump came to office? What happened to “lock her up”?? Embarrassing if you ask me, or for you if you had even the tiniest shred of self-awareness. You could cover your ass with a conspiracy theory, I guess, but that would be pretty embarrassing, too.

            It’s also very convenient that you mention the Trump Muslim-country policy (which was much curtailed by the courts – isn’t that embarrassing?) but not the fact that it was vastly scaled down from the ambitious campaign promise that inspired it, wherein Trump *announced to the world that he would ban all Muslims from the country*, a transparently un-Constitutional and bigoted act. Aren’t you embarrassed? Party of Lincoln! Have any leading politicians floated such ridiculous, embarrassing policies in the last century? Trump hype man Mike Tyson had to ask if it applied to him, and never got a clear response. (Face tattoo exemption?) Isn’t that embarrassing???

            By the way, undoing immigration restrictions helps with inflation. Really! Grab a pen and paper and draw yourself a supply and demand graph (price is the *vertical* axis, OK CoRev?), then shift the supply schedule (the one that goes up and to the right – stay with me now) rightward (that’s your other left). And then you can go and find some other reason to complain about immigrants. Zero effect on crime, BTW, which, in contrast, kept going up and up and up during Trump’s tenure while immigration went down. Kind of embarrassing — at least for xenophobes.

            That’s just a few out of the 30-ish I listed that you are willing to acknowledge in at least a minimum sense. Good job, CoRev! Now, are you grown-up enough to admit you’re embarrassed — or not — about any of the rest?

            Any time now CoRev.

          3. CoRev

            AndrewG, I was laughing out loud at your gullible follow-up. Some of your source material was from CNN reports. How has the viewers responded to their reporting? Much of your BS was from far left sources with little to no credibility.

            So how gullible are you? Aren’t you embarrassed to be grouped with the useful idiot class? Or are you just another low information voter?

          4. AndrewG

            So instead of addressing these obvious, undisputed, publicly available facts, ones you yourself lived through and witnessed, ones Trump doesn’t even deny … you are just calling them left-wing fake news.

            But I’m the gullible one, right?

          5. CoRev

            AndrewG, facts??? No, but they are claims mostly made by Trump hating, unreliable news services. Folks just like you. Useful idiots and low information voters.

            Aren’t you embarrassed to be so associated?

          6. AndrewG

            left-wing fake news = stuff that hurts CoRev’s feelings

            That makes for a hell of a lot of fake news.

            Trump was just joking about Lysol! With a perfectly straight face! A totally normal thing to do during a pandemic press conference!

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Please do not overdo it. Prices did fall this past month, although not by much. However, KD at the end of his piece speculates that we may see a larger further fall.

      The housing market is clearly slowing in response to the higher interest rates. But most of that slowing is indeed taking the form of noticeably reduced sales volume, which is a pattern we have seen in the past for the residential market, the commercial real estate one not exhibiting that pattern as much.

      1. pgl

        Look at Kevin’s graph which is inflation adjusted. Price fell for a while but then went up (in inflation adjusted terms).

      2. AS

        Looking at new single family home sales, FRED series HSN1F released on Ju6y 26, I noticed that sales declined from 642k SAAR as of May 2022 to 590k SAAR as of June 2022. A forecast model I used forecasted 600k SAAR with a SE of 10k. The same model forecasts 576k SAAR for July 2022. The July update will be available on August 23. The Bloomberg consensus forecasts 584k SAAR for July 2022.

        From your studies, does it seem that recession may cause home sale volume declines, but home sale volume declines may not cause recession? I could not get a probit model to be significant using HSN1F as a regressor in a probit model.

        1. Macroduck


          Take a look at residenial investment as a share of GDP:

          The potential for housing to cause a recession is probably partly reflected in that series. Prior to the housing-induced recession in the mid-2000s, residential investment had reached 6.7% of GDP – the highest share on record. The peak-to-trough change in that episode was 4.3 ppt, biggest ever. The double-dip of the early 1980s involved a decline of 2.7 ppt, the second largest. In the 1950s (long ago in structural terms, I realize), a decline in housing’s share of over 2 ppt did not trigger a recession. A 2 ppt decline now would result in housing falling to the smallest share of GDP in any period but the low of the housing crash.

          How likely is that? Well, the housing vacancy rate, at 5.6%, is the lowest since the early 1980s:

          That should help maintain demand. On the the hand (Harry Truman’s ghost haunts me daily), unfinished units under construction are historically high, total and single family:

          That could put a serious damper on new construction, which is overwhelmingly the largest part of housing’s contribution to GDP.

          I have two guesses to make. One is that there is often agood bit of friction in housing due to contracts and finance, more now due to supply constraints, so that matching the demand represented by low vacancies and the supply represented by a high number of unfinished units won’t go smoothly. The other is that modeling the current situation, with its various oddities, won’t be easy – in part because matching won’t go smoothly.

          In non-modeled, noodling over data terms, taking 2% out of GDP over a period of several quarters is not bought, in itself, to cause a recession. The math doesn’t work out. Trend growth of, say 1.7% (let the quibbling begin) minus let’s say a quarter of that 2% housing contraction in each of four quarters – so 0.5% – leaves 1.2% growth. The second round effects would need to be larger by far than the first round effects for housing to be the prime cause of recession. The 5.6 ppt drop during the housing crisis, on the other hand, was large enough.

          1. pgl

            Nice discussion. All I will had is two tidbits:

            Residential investment/GDP now is where it was at the end of 2000.

            Rents in a lot of cities are reaching really high levels.

          2. AS

            Thanks for your comments.
            I could not find data indicating that a decline in new home sales, FRED series, HSN1F was associated with causing recession.

          3. AndrewG

            All of America’s one-handed economists are named Stephen Moore. Sorry.

            Roger Farmer makes a big deal about the analysis you are making here, and probably for good reason. Housing may in fact be king of investment. But what made the Great Recession so deep was probably not housing directly, but the panic about housing. A 1% exposure to subprime mortgages should not and probably could not collapse a whole money-market mutual fund if it weren’t for the panic. And with the panic comes soaring rates, and (if you buy it as a mechanism for long-run malaise) probably adds to the negative investment sentiment in the aftermath of the crisis.

          4. AndrewG

            Oh and I should add (in order to actually contribute to this discussion!) that reduced-form empirics are probably not going to pick up the effect of a panic, unless we look at things like, idunno, news articles. How else to explain spiking interest rates when the Fed is pushing policy down to zero? Financial firms knew their housing (and subprime) exposure – which were bad but manageable – or could figure it out quickly enough, but a panic is a serious force multiplier that can get out of hand very quickly.

          5. baffling

            Andrew, what made the financial crisis so bad was the derivatives market that overwhelmed market capital. the panic was not about the public, but the financial institutions who suddenly realized their risk was much higher than they realized. even the smart ones got duped. it was an example of hubris. many financial guys believed they were the smartest guy in the room. turns out, in that instance, there were very few smart guys in finance. once it was realized all of those financial bets were hedged by insurance that the company (such as aig) was unable to cover…the sh!t hit the fan. housing collapsed because of the financial markets. it did not cause the financial markets to collapse.

          6. AndrewG


            “housing collapsed because of the financial markets.”

            While I agree with you broadly, this statement is a mischaracterization. There was a speculative bubble, and major financials weren’t the only ones pumping it up.

            Modern derivatives markets still exist in the US and in many other places, including Canada and Japan and more recently Europe. It’s not the instrument, it’s who’s using it. Ask Bengt Homlstrom. And unlike guns, we get tremendous value from derivatives markets. Absolutely true the bankers thought they were smart but weren’t – but since then it’s understood that anyone who wants to play in these markets has to actually understand them – or they’ll get burned. That’s why there has been no boom-and-bust since, including during the massive Covid shock.

        2. Barkley Rosser


          The most famous case of home sales decline leading to recession, which also involved clearly declining prices, was the Great Recession. Often the relation is kind of simultaneous, especially when the fundamental cause is rising interest rates, with real estate the most interest-sensitive of all sectors. Of course, real estate sales as such do not directly enter into GDP. It is construction that does, but declining sales volumes (and prices) tend to lead to declines in construction.

          The matter of the tendency of sales volume to decline before and initially more than prices for residential real estate is tied to people not accepting that the value of their home is declining. They get emotionally attached to their home, and especially if they have put a lot of money into improving it will be very resistant to selling at prices lower than they think they deserve. Something that tends to reinforce this is property tax assessments, which tend to lag actual market prices, so that people will think their home is worth more than what current market prices are when the latter start to decline. Often what people who have to move will do in these situations is rent out their home for a period of time rather than sell it.

          With commercial real estate there is less of the emotional factor involved, so sellers are more willing to sell even as prices decline.

          1. AndrewG

            “The most famous case of home sales decline leading to recession, which also involved clearly declining prices, was the Great Recession.”

            I just don’t buy that that’s what happened. Even losses in the wider real estate market (not just subprime) were too small and too slow to cause the kind of recession we had – counting things like the wealth effect. Would have caused a recession almost certainly (and probably contributed greatly to the drawn-out recovery), but it’s the panic that made the Great Recession what it was. Policy rates going down, interest rates going up instead.

          2. Barkley Rosser


            The deriviatives collapse that was key to big financial collapse in Septembe 2008 that really sent the Great Recession going big time were based on securities coming out of the US real estate sector, and it was the decline of that sector starting in 2006 that led to that collapse. There is little doubt that it was the end of and decline of the great housing bubble of noughties that triggered the Great Recession. Tooze provides a good account in his book, Crashed.

          3. AndrewG


            That’s not my understanding of the timeline. Housing prices peaked in 2006. The bubble started to deflate two years before the financial crisis. Headlines were full of fear about housing.

            Here’s Bill McBride’s graph of housing prices:


          4. AndrewG

            I’m sorry, BR, I misread your comment, and because of my mistake perhaps we’re talking past each other.

            However, I stand by my suggestion that while the housing bust alone was likely to cause a recession, it was simply not large enough to cause the financial crisis we had – pound for pound. Financial crises are due to asymmetric information, and greatly exaggerate – or cause all on their own – economic downturns. It’s misleading to characterize the Great Recession as simply driven by a housing cycle where there was a bubble, since the bubble could have burst with much lower impact on the economy. The numbers bear this out. (Plus, if modern finance *accelerated* the bursting of the bubble — which is plausible — that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. The worst thing you could have is a bubble that keeps on expanding. Makes the fall all that harder.)

            That’s the whole reason why there was an explosion of interest in the macro world about models with finance bits built in. The emphasis wasn’t on building up the bubble (and modern finance played a big part there), it was on how the market would react to the revelation of bad debt. And the reaction was way out of proportion to the actual size of the bad debt holdings. Tirole, Holmstrom and Hart go on to win Nobel Prizes within only a few years, and applied macro is changed forever.

      3. Ivan

        It will take some time before sellers reluctantly accept that they cannot get the price that comparable houses sold for a few month ago got. So first there is a reduction in sales as sellers keep their outdated expectations and buyers are unable to afford the loans. Then some buyers reluctantly settle for a smaller house and some sellers reluctantly accept a lower price. My guess is that by Thanksgiving house buyers will begin to have something to be thankful for, especially if they can buy cash or with a large downpayment.

  6. ltr

    August 18, 2022

    Chinese mainland records 682 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 682 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 614 attributed to local transmissions and 68 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Thursday.

    A total of 2,888 asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Wednesday, and 17,175 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The cumulative number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland is 237,580, 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

  7. pgl

    Senator Wyden has been asking how biopharma multinationals such as Amgen can get away with 12% effective tax rates:

    Well most of its profits seem to be source in Puerto Rico which has a very low tax rate. Wyden says their transfer pricing may be abusive. The fact that the IRS is challenging this transfer pricing in court is publicly known. Amgen has hired two big shot law firms and the IRS has brought in their A team. The trial should be a fun battle of the “experts”.

    Wyden is also investigating the transfer pricing practices of other biopharma multinationals. Maybe those new IRS agents should be working on these issues as they really do not need military assaults weapons as Chuck Grassley is suggesting.

    1. pgl,disclosure%20was%20almost%20immediately%20pulled%20from%20public%20view.

      The IRS is going after Bristol Myers on their clever little scheme to evade taxes. That this fight became public has to be rather embarrassing – not just for the tax cheating multinational but also PwC and their law firm. We need more whistleblowers as this kind of tax evasion is quite prevalent.

  8. pgl

    May Mailman must be Trump’s bimbo attorney given her rather dumb claims in this Faux New interview:

    First of all her claim that Trump declassified these documents simply because he took them is beyond stupid. She also suggested that the lawful search of Maro Lago violated Trump’s 4th Amendment rights. Really – then why doesn’t Trump sue DOJ on this ground? Oh yea – a real court would laugh in his face.

    1. Moses Herzog

      “Should he have written it down, yeah, but he didn’t have to.”

      And donald trump said “Let there be light”; and there was light. And donald trump saw the light, that it was good; and donald trump divided the light from the darkness. donald trump called the light Day, and the darkness donald called Night.

      The power of the MAGA word is strong.

      1. pgl

        “This is his”? This bimbo attorney really said our national security secrets belong to a person and not the office? That the Faux News dude kept nodding in approval is an indication of the level of stupidity it takes to work for this rag network.

        1. Anonymous

          there is no term “national security secrets”

          sensitive information is comprised of “elements of information”.

          the classification of a paragraph with elements of data that could cause harm, and the potential damage are reviewed by knowledgeable officials/officers the risks of losing the data determine the level of classification

          once determined the paragraph get a (*) and a classifying authority is listed.

          all this would have been set forth in the affidavit…..

          since it was a fishing mission we now have the experts in the press making up how data is determined sensitive and risky and how it would be safeguarded.

          if the search warrant listed the owner of the classification one could suggest it was about classified data

          the absence in the affidavit of named or office of classification authority mean to me this was not an effort by an authority to inventory sensitive data.

          I did one of those investigations in my military career.

          too many experts on state secrets you might think Stalin was involved

          1. Macroduck

            There is a term “national security secrets”. It may not be in whatever document you have in mind, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t “a term”. Besides, we don’t know what silly, narrow definition you’re insisting on because you haven’t told us what, if anything, you are quoting.

            A “term” isn’t defined only as whatever you want it to mean. In linguistics, it’s “a word or phrase used to describe a thing or to express a concept”, which certainly seems to work here. There are also uses of the term “term” in logic, medicine (obstetrics), architecture, law, mathematics and education. If you meant that “national security secrets” isn’t a term in architecture, I’d agree, but that would be a stupid objection.

            And what’swith “since it was a fishing mission we now have the experts in the press making up how data is determined sensitive and risky and how it would be safeguarded”?

            Huh? “Since it was…we now have…” implies causation, but that’s silly. First, you don’t know what’s in the affidavit, so you are simply repeating a faux news screaming point with “fishing expedition”. Second, any high-profile is likely to lead to speculation – don’t you read the news?

            C’mon, this was sub-part even for you, and we don’t expect much. You need to sharpen up you bloviating.

          2. CoRev

            MD is sooo funny. In response to a comment re: those without experience or knowledge about classifying documents,proves he is also without such experience or knowledge by trying to re-define the process. “Blah, blah blah – A “term” isn’t defined only as whatever you want it to mean. In linguistics, it’s “a word or phrase used to describe a thing or to express a concept”, which certainly seems to work here. There are also uses of the term “term” in logic, medicine (obstetrics), architecture, law, mathematics and education. If you meant that “national security secrets” isn’t a term in architecture, I’d agree, but that would be a stupid objection. ”

            Yes, I agree: but your ignorant re-definition would be a stupid objection. Just like your comment re: a fishing expedition: “First, you don’t know what’s in the affidavit, so you are simply repeating a faux news screaming point with “fishing expedition”. Nor do you know.

            C’mon, this was sub-part (sic) even for you.

          3. Anonymous


            you and pgl remind me of a verse in job. where the Lord say “who are you to darken the debate with ignorance”

            6 years of sin against the 8th commandment.

          4. Macroduck

            CoRev has pulled out one of his usual trick, claiming to have knowledge he doesn’t really have. In his case, he claims that I don’t know about government procedures for document classification. The truth is, I know about as much as any other person who has had a top secret clearance.

            Again and again, I feel the need to make reference to Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bull$h!t”, in which he described and analyzes those who dsregard the truth to such an extent that they don’t even consider whether they are lying. When CoRev, Johnny H and Anonymous pretend to know hat others are thinking, what motives others have, what their views are, they are engaging in the particular kind of dishonesty Frankfurt calls “bull$h!t”. And they do it all the time.

            By the way, for fans of cheap debating tricks, please note that my argument against Anonymous made no claim to specialized knowledge of classification practices. My argument was based on Anonymous talking nonsense. CoRev pretends I need specialized knowledge to point out the silliness of Anonymous’ argument, but I don’t. More bull$h!t from CoRev.

          5. CoRev

            MD, the BS artist, still can not address the actual issue. Who out ranks the CiC? Can the CiC declassify? Did Trump, as CiC, declassify the documents he took?

            Just a reminder, Obama before he ran as President would not probably have acquired even a low level security clearance. As CiC there was no way to not give him the highest clearance.


          6. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: Why wouldn’t Obama have gotten a low level clearance, before being President? I am curious what your reasoning is. I suspect he would have. In addition, I suspect I have more experience with clearance, and know more about how people get clearance, than you do.

          7. CoRev

            Menzie, contacts and locations where lived are two major issues in background investigations. Can you name any of his contacts that had anti-US actions?

            I seriously doubt you have more experience with clearances than I. When did you start the mine’s bigger than yours game? BTW, my 1st clearance was when you were in diapers and still not walking. 😉

          8. AndrewG


            Are you honestly suggesting that a sitting US Senator wouldn’t have even minimal security clearance?

            You may credibly doubt Chinn’s relevant expertise, but you’ve given us plenty reason to doubt yours.

          9. CoRev

            AndrewG, being a sitting Senator gives a status solely due his position, not his history, just as happened as President. If not in those positions it is highly doubtful he would have ever been entrusted with a high level clearance.

            Most of us having gone though the process knew this even back then.

    2. Moses Herzog

      It’s nice she is kind of a strikingly attractive woman. I’d hate to think someone so damned dumb didn’t have other traits working for her.

  9. ltr

    … how do you think —– steals a lot of America’s and other nations’ IP??
    … how do you think —– steals a lot of America’s and other nations’ IP??
    … how do you think —– steals a lot of America’s and other nations’ IP??

    [ Repeated falseness, ceaseless racism. ]

    1. ltr

      August 13, 2022

      China outranks US in key science publishing

      For the first time, China has overtaken the United States as the world’s leader in both the quantity and quality of scientific papers published from 2018 to 2020, according to an annual report * published by an institution affiliated with Japan’s science and technology ministry.

      Experts said the result was expected given China’s massive talent pool, growing research budget, and sustained social and political support for research undertakings. However, China-US sci-tech competition will likely intensify after the US approved the Chips and Science Act to boost its scientific competitiveness against China, they added.

      The report was published by Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy on Tuesday. The statistics were based on yearly averages between 2018 and 2020, and were compiled by analytics company Clarivate.

      Chinese research accounted for 27.2 percent, or 4,744 papers, of the world’s top 1 percent of highly cited papers from 2018 to 2020. The US accounted for 24.9 percent, or 4,330 papers, followed by the United Kingdom with 5.5 percent and 963 papers. It was the first time that China surpassed the US in this prestigious category, the report noted.

      These highly cited papers are studies that outperformed 99 percent of peers based on the number of citations received. The number of citations is a commonly used measurement of a study’s quality and influence.

      “China is one of the top countries in the world in terms of both the quantity and quality of scientific papers,” Shinichi Kuroki, a researcher with the Japan Science and Technology Agency, told Nikkei Asia. “In order to become the true global leader, it will need to continue producing internationally recognized research,” he added.

      As for quality papers that outperformed 90 percent of their competitors, China contributed 46,352 of such studies, accounting for 26.6 percent of the world’s total. The US followed with 36,680 papers at 21.1 percent. It was the second consecutive year that China topped this category.


      1. Barkley Rosser


        The citations measure is a serious one. But what continues to confound is the lack of Nobel Prizes being awarded to anybody in China. It is possible there is some sort of racism involved with this, although there have been quite a few given to Japanese scientists. In econ there have been no East Asian Nobel recipients, although I have expressed even here the view that there should have been a few given to Japanese economists, with the case of Masahisa Fujita being one, the person who published one of the results that Krugman was cited for when he got his prize all by himself before Krugman did so, a matter we have previously discussed. Another Japanese economist who probably should have gotten it was the late Hirofumi Uzaway, but he is no longer alive. He was probably the most respected economist in Japan in the later years of his life.

        1. ltr

          When the Chinese spherical radio telescope, FAST, was constructed and opened, New York Times science writers were worried that China would not have a team of scientists capable of using the telescope and could China afford to import Western astronomers to work at FAST. Of course, this was absurd, but such is the disdain for Chinese scientific capability. Curiously, the American radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico had been literally allowed to collapse into a ravine as the supports rusted away.

          Similarly the development of the Chinese international space station has been treated with disdain in the Times and even by the director of NASA.

          The astonishing Chinese accomplishments in poverty reduction and ending, involving millions and millions of struggling Chinese, was not enough for a Nobel mention.

          There is a Western need to belittle Chinese scientific and social scientific capability and accomplishment:

          April 5, 2016

          I do not understand China. But it now looks more likely than not to me that Xi Jinping’s rule will lose China a decade, if not half a century… *


          — Brad DeLong

          1. baffling

            china’s suppression of minorities, especially the uighers and other minorities in the west, surely contributes to the PR problem china faces worldwide. slave labor and concentration camps should not still be active in china, and yet they are. but then again, ltr has a very strange sense of when bullying is appropriate or not. but I certainly wish ltr would quit attacking the western world, unprovoked. it is a bully mentality by ltr. and should not be permitted.

    2. Moses Herzog

      You don’t have any idea how much of myself I left lost, somewhere, (Dalian?? Chaoyang?? I’m really trying hard to forget) giving my emotions, time, resources, and thoughts to your country do you?? You have absolutely no idea. But I’m glad Professor Chinn includes you here, for unintentional comedy relief.

  10. ltr

    Interestingly and importantly, Congress passed the Wolf Amendment in April 2011 and NASA was forbidden to work on space exploration with China. The result is that China now has an international space station, China has an advanced global positioning system, a Moon orbiter, a Moon rover, has retrieved Moon minerals, has a Mars orbiter and rover, is readying a Sun orbiter, is readying a telescope companion to the Chinese space station, has reusable advanced fuel rockets, has the most advanced radio telescope, and more and more to come…

    A few weeks ago, a team of 6 Chinese students each finished with perfect scores at the Math Olympics in Norway.

    1. Moses Herzog

      The “stereotype” about Chinese, is that nearly all of them, blanket statement, are great and excel at math. I have many differing and scattering thoughts about that. My “Ex” was a math student, studying at a “Normal University” to be a teacher and I had some non-math majors who were my students in CHina who were above average in math. and some who were not. My feeling about this stereotype is that indeed most Chinese are above average at math, but that this inherent greater ability at math, greater than most Americans, is “exaggerated” because America attracts the cream of the crop, because of our Democracy, the same as Taiwan operates at a higher level than mainland CHina, because it attracts and is better at building talent/

      1. Moses Herzog

        Maybe the above statement is hard to understand, I mean/meant~~~~because the Chinese who migrate to America tend (not always of course) to be the better ones or the “more driven” Chinese, so Americans personal interactions with them would indicate, by the better ones, that migrate to America, that Chinese were even better at math, than the typical mainland CHinese. Which “perpetuates” this perception, that the “average” Chinese is better at math, than the “average Chinese person, even though Chinese ARE better at math on average than the average American person

  11. pgl

    Now we get that JohnH thinks Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was so noble it must succeed but the facts will likely rile this Putin poodle:

    In less than six months, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of choice has had catastrophic consequences — for Russia itself. It has resulted in at least 60,000 Russian casualties, more than the total number of fatalities suffered during the 10-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It has led to a long-term Russian loss of political influence and energy leverage in the West. It has helped resuscitate the NATO alliance, which just a few years ago seemed to be on its last legs. And it has inflicted severe, long-term damage on the Russian economy, effectively erasing all of the gains made since the Soviet Union’s collapse. And what has Russia gotten for this? Only a few more slivers of land in Ukraine — land that the Kremlin may not be able to hold for very long.

    1. Anonymous

      commercials for himars

      ukr is not going to beat anyone engaging from >40 klicks away

      the smoke filled pix are noise

      see Kabul last year

    2. JohnH

      More of the standard “reduce Russia to rubble” propaganda…

      pgl probably believed that Saddam had WMDs, and that we were winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. And that all these pointless an futile wars were waged for freedom, democracy, human rights, women’s rights or whatever snake oil the military/intelligence complex thought the inattentive American public would buy.

      Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism says “this is the worst informational environment” she’s faced, “orders of magnitude worse than the war in Iraq.” I agree that much of what you read in the corporate media is pure BS …and it’s the same corporate media that mislead us in the early years of previous wars, not that pgl has the mental capability to learn anything from history.

      1. pgl

        “pgl probably believed that Saddam had WMDs, and that we were winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, too.”

        Now you are blatantly lying. In my Angrybear days I strongly condemned the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the lies that led to it. And not once did we see any peep from you.

        BTW – no one is asking Russia to be destroyed. Macroduck has accused you of being emotional. No – you are just a small little child prone to lying about everything.

      2. AndrewG

        “reduce Russia to rubble”

        You are the only one saying this. You and maybe Joni Ernst. Except Ernst is earnest; you’re just repeating the Kremlin line, again.

    3. JohnH

      Does this sound like Russia is on the verge of collapse, as MSN (and pg,) would have us believe?

      “The announcement by Russian Defence Ministry on Tuesday on Vostok-22 strategic command post exercises during August 30-September 5 gives a big message to the West in political and military terms…

      given the hostile posturing of the NATO forces all along Russia’s western borders, it is inconceivable that Moscow would have risked by heavily committing its forces to the Ukraine operations. Interestingly, Germany’s army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais told Handelsblatt newspaper recently in an interview that Russia has “almost inexhaustible” resources.

      In the general’s estimation, “With its artillery superiority, the Russian army is apparently working its way forward kilometre by kilometre. This is a war of attrition that will raise the question of how long Ukraine can hold out… The Russian army is getting stronger, and Russia has resources that are almost inexhaustible.”

      Any reporting like this is simply not fit to print or air…it might make people wonder why we’re wasting hundreds of billions on yet another pointless and futile war.

      1. pgl

        Wow – you are now bragging about Putin’s war machine. It is akin to celebrating how Hitler was successful in killing 6 million Jews.

        1. JohnH

          Not bragging…just pointing out a ‘reality’ that’s far different from the one that pgl and the war boosters want you to believe.

          The truth lies somewhere between US propaganda and Russian propaganda.

          “ Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.” pgl and Rosser would have you believe whatever propaganda The NY Times sees fit to print.

          1. pgl

            The truth lies somewhere between US propaganda and Russian propaganda.

            So you admit you are not being honest as you spew Russian propaganda nonstop.

          2. Macroduck

            “The truth lies somewhere between US propaganda and Russian propaganda.”

            This is a textbook example of the logical fallacy known as “argumentum ad temperantiam”. The literal translation is “argument to moderation”, but it’s commonly expressed as “the truth lies somewhere in between”. There is no logical reason to believe that. It is always possible that truth lies outside the opposing positions in an argument. That’s why we rely on facts.

            Johnny doesn’t have facts. Just words (lots of words), faulty logic and emotion.

      2. AndrewG

        “pointless and futile war”

        Yes, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is pointless and futile. You don’t seem to mind it at all though.

      3. baffling

        “it might make people wonder why we’re wasting hundreds of billions on yet another pointless and futile war.”
        I don’t agree at all that it is pointless and futile. why would you allow somebody like Putin to expand his empire and influence? this simply means the west should double down on the conflict and insure a winning outcome for Ukraine. no, John, the west is not going to simply sit down and lose. explain to me how a soviet Ukraine is better for the world? you cannot.

        I would imagine Johnh would have resisted the us participation in World War II as well. was that a pointless and futile war John?

        1. JihnH

          “ why would you allow somebody like Putin to expand his empire and influence?”

          Same argument that is used in all US military misadventures:
          Why would you let people as awful as the Taliban rule Afghanistan?
          Why would you let someone as awful as Saddam rule Iraq?
          Why would you let someone as awful as Ho Chi Minh rule North Vietnam and let all Southeast Asia fall to communism?

          How did all those escapades turn out? Millions of dead civilians and very prosperous US merchants of death.

          The public may have belatedly soured on past wars, but this one will be different, the war cheerleaders assure us…

          1. Barkley Rosser


            None of these cases you cite is equivalent to the current situation at all. They all involved the US invading nations to get at rulers in them.

            In the current situation it is Puin who is invading another nation with no US troops involved at all, merely the US helping to arm the nation being invaded.

            You are just way off with your ridiculous attempts at analogies while defending ongoing massive war crimes.

        2. JohnH

          “ why would you allow somebody like Putin to expand his empire and influence?”

          Same argument that is used in all US military misadventures:
          Why would you let people as awful as the Taliban rule Afghanistan?
          Why would you let someone as awful as Saddam rule Iraq?
          Why would you let someone as awful as Ho Chi Minh rule North Vietnam and let all Southeast Asia fall to communism?

          How did all those escapades turn out? Millions of dead civilians and very prosperous US merchants of death.

          The public may have belatedly soured on past wars, but this one will be different, the war cheerleaders assure us…

          1. Macroduck

            Johnny, Johnny, Johnny,

            Two things –

            1) The U.S. isn’t fighting in Ukraine. You listed a bunch of wars fought with U.S. troops. I’ve pointed this out to you before, Johnny. You know I have… Johnny not only can’t do economics; Johnny can’t be bothered with facts. Ukrainians are fighting Russia and they have every right to do so.

            B) “Why would you let someone as awful as Hitler rule Europe, North Africa and the Levant?” See? Now your little argument ain’t so hot.

            You’re not good at this, little fella. I can see you want to play with the big kids, but you don’t have game.

          2. JohnH

            Funny…MacroDuck has to go back almost a century to find a justifiable American military intervention!

          3. pgl

            August 20, 2022 at 5:09 am

            You are a very worthless little liar. Everyone here knows that. Why don’t you just run to the Kremlin and beg Putin for a bone.

      4. 2slugbaits

        JohnH First, the website is hosted in Moscow and is a Russian propaganda site. But more to the point, like a lot of people unfamiliar with the military, you’re under the impression that high ranking generals have expert knowledge in military affairs. That might have been true 200 years ago, but it’s no longer true. Generals are…well, they have general knowledge as opposed to detailed expert knowledge. They rotate across career fields every two years. They are jacks of all trades and masters of none. LTG Mais was simply using the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an excuse to push for more Bundeswehr spending, which he’s been doing for a very long time. The facts are that Russian logistics is and always has been a bad joke. And Russian equipment is junk. Yes, they’ve been firing a lot of rounds and shooting a lot of old and inaccurate missiles, but over one-third have been duds. I’ve seen “front line” Russian weapon systems up close and personal. Poor reliability and bad design doesn’t begin to express just how bad their equipment is. There’s a reason so many Russian tanks have seen their turrets blow straight up like a jack-in-the-box. Did it ever occur to you that the reason the Russians keep hitting civilian targets is that their artillery and missiles are so inaccurate that they can’t hit militarily significant targets?

        1. JohnH

          2slugbais is obviously not open to opinion not sanctioned by official Washington sources (often anonymous officials.)

          And 2slugbaits is obviously NOT open to information offered by well credentialed, neutral foreign sources whose opinion differs from the official US narrative. Talk about blinders!

          M. K. BHADRAKUMAR writes about his experience: “ Roughly half of the 3 decades of my diplomatic career was devoted to assignments on the territories of the former Soviet Union and to Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Other overseas postings included South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, and Turkey. I write mainly on Indian foreign policy and the affairs of the Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific.”

          1. 2slugbaits

            JohnH Well, I’m certainly not open to Moscow hosted Russian propaganda sites as you seem to be. As to this comment: NOT open to information offered by well credentialed, neutral foreign sources , I assume you are referring to LTG Mais’ comment about Russia’s supposed “inexhaustible” resources. In this case it’s pretty obvious that LTG Mais was pumping up Russian capabilities as part of his longstanding push for greater spending on Germany’s Bundeswehr. He had been pushing that line long before Russia invaded Ukraine. I take his comments with a grain of salt both because they are self-serving and because he is hardly an expert on military logistics.

          2. pgl

            “2slugbais is obviously not open to opinion not sanctioned by official Washington sources”

            You need to get a better go to line as this one is so boring as well as being dishonest as it gets.

      5. JohnH

        If you get away from the corporate media, which rarely reports from the battlefield, an entirely different picture is painted:
        “Ukraine war veterans on how Kiev plundered US aid, wasted soldiers, endangered civilians, and lost the war”

        A Ukrainian journalist: “ “Real journalism is dangerous here,” he continued. “You see, since the war started, we have these new star reporters, and every day, they write that ‘Putin is bad, the Russian soldiers behave very badly…today, the Ukrainian army killed 1,000 Russians and destroyed 500 Russian tanks.’ They get a million followers on Twitter because they lie, and this isn’t real reporting. But if you write about the corruption in the Armed Forces, and have real examples…you won’t be famous, and you’ll be in trouble.”

        Andrey has been picking up extra work as a fixer, arranging interviews and translating for foreign journalists in Ukraine to cover the war. “I have worked with about a dozen journalists from different countries in Europe,” he said. “All of them have been shocked. They left Ukraine shocked. They said they could not believe the situation here. But this shock did not make it into any of their articles about the war. Their articles said that Ukraine is on the road to victory, which is not true.”

        Rampant corruption was one of the reasons the US fared so poorly in Vietnam and Afghanistan…and guess what? Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe.

        Deja vu all over again…pointless and futile.

      6. Barkley Rosser


        You admit you are quoting a Russian propaganda source, which supposedly quotes a German general without a date attached. But his supposed quote is pretty inaccurate. There is only one very precise part of the front where the Russian army is moving itself forward gradually “Kilometer by kilometer,” namely near Bakhmut, a not very important town in Donetsk oblast they have been gradually approaching without reaching for a month and a half since their last notable victory in Lysychansk. Evertywhere else on the front they are either completely stalled out or in fact being pushed back. This is a ridiculous mischaracterization of the situation.

        And a Numen Lumen to you.

        1. JohnH

          I acknowledged quoting a long serving Indian diplomat who is probably as neutral as it gets.

          Question is, why is the US media so afraid to print or air independent, outside opinion from experts from major countries that are aligned with neither the US nor Russia. Seems to me that Rosser have forgotten about the Wisconsin ethos of ‘sifting and winnowing’ the day he graduated.

          BTW. Bakhmut, far from being insignificant, is strategically important for keeping Ukraine troops supplied. But I understand the propaganda value of downplaying Russian gains…

          1. Barkley Rosser


            You are falling flt on your face here.

            First of all, I could care less about this Indian diplomat you are quoting. The problem is not him, it is the German general who seems to probably be being misquoted.

            He supposedly claims that Russia is making all these advances steadily kilometer by kilometer. That was true for awhile back in April or so, and even maybe even into May in the Donbas. But then they bogged down, except for finally managing to get Severodonetsk and Lysychansk by the beginning of july. Now they are seriously bogged down, and also losing territory in the South. Either this German general made his statement much longer ago than admitted or he is being misquoted.

            You in effect admit that indeed the only place on the entire war front, several hundered miles long, where the Russians have been making any gains at all, is near Bachmut, which you now claim is strategic for Ukrainian supply lines. No it is not. This is just a blatant lie. Some of us are paying attention to what is gong on, and you are just lying.

            Bachmut is not on any supply lines. It is on the way to get to Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, the bigger citie that the Russians need to conquer in order to get all of Donetsk oblast, which they recognize as being part of this dumb little fake republic they recognize and is their big goal in the whole region. But they cannot even get to Bachmut, which is nothing at all. Indeed, while they have been making kilometer by kilometer advances, with massive amounts of artillery firing and troops, they have only advanced about 10 kilometers since the fall of Lysyschansk at the beginning of July, so like maybe a kliometer every three or four days, and this is the only place they are advancing This is pathetic.

            Oh, and earlier you linked to this crank propagandist Doctorow who claimed that the Russians are about to take Kharkiv and Odesa. They have renewed major attacks near Kharkiv, but seem no more likely to take it than they were a few months ago. As for Odesa, this is beyond hilarious. They do not even have Mikolaev that is before it, with in fact the Ukrainians pushing on them towards Kherson rather than pushing on Mikiolaev, much less Odesa. This is almost as silly as when MOses Herzog was telling us about those Russian troops in southeastern Romania that were going to be invading Ukraine soon.

      7. Ivan

        So you managed to find a moron who would say what you wanted to hear. You should check your sources against reality and logic.

        Sure Putin has “almost inexhaustible” amounts of black powder and cannon fodder soldiers, but is that important? Russia has been sending missiles with washing machine chips to Ukraine for months – I guess those supplies of real chips were not so “inexhaustible” after all. Their “inexhaustible supply of smart bomb/missiles have run so low that they no longer can hit military goals, but instead end up hitting nearby civilian structures (and that is about as dumb as it gets in military terms). Their “increased” bombing of targets as punishment for Ukriane’s attack in Crimea are so small they are a joke – since they already were attacking with all they had. Their actual procession in Donbass the past few weeks are not measured in kilometers – but in feet. They are basically stuck because they have exhausted their “inexhaustible” supply of actual trained soldiers and had to move the remainder of functional units down south to stop the Ukrainian from throwing them back across the Dnipro river. If the Russian army was getting stronger it would be gaining ground rather than stalling all over and digging into defensive positions.

        1. Noneconomist

          JohnH says he doesn’t like pointless and futile wars. Yet, he can’t help himself when obsessing (and outright fawning) over Russia’s current attack on Ukraine, even coming very close to justifying it because everyone knows (especially omniscient JH) that Ukraine is so darn corrupt.
          Of course, he continues to excuse any “alleged” Russian atrocities because United States blah, blah,blah. And until that’s mentioned, he doesn’t want to hear about dead children, assaulted girls and women, and ravaged countrysides.
          He’s very popular with 7th graders, especially those in Russia who cheer his anti-American diatribes.

        2. AndrewG

          There’s more. The normal artillery levels from Russia (which were pretty big at one point) have come down to a trickle. That was their one overwhelming advantage left. And they seem to have been lured into a trap on the west bank of the Dnipro. Ukraine is entirely undermining the Russian military with smarts and Western kit. Russian soldiers must be asking themselves, what the hell am I here fighting for? Like US in Iraq 2005, x1000.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Hahahahaha, it tastes like shit warm. But it “gets to the point” pretty fast. I actually like VERY COLD South Korean Rice beer, which really isn’t “that different” from saki. I knew a South Korean Mom when I lived in China, who let me drink South Korean beer in front of her children, while I was taking a LARGE (for there) payment for tutoring her children. I really don’t feel guilty about it, I taught her two Children on Friday nights for ABOUT 9 months and really I feel I did a good job. Still…… you’re thinking inside your own mind “This is kinda weird” “She’s letting her children watch me drink alcohol while I teach them”. Kids, young people, when adults tell you “This is a crazy world” Believe the adults.

        I’m not gonna lie, I miss those days a lot

        1. pgl

          Kirin makes good beer. And they bought up Wild Rose – a Kentucky bourbon legend.

          And Santori bought up Jim Beam.

          It seems Kentucky bourbon was doing fairly well in Japan.

        2. Barkley Rosser


          Not surprising that you miss those days when you had some interesting work to do in an interesting place, when we get it that basically whatever work you do now amounts to nothing and no career of any interest or worth.

    1. Macroduck

      I was about to point you to the same article. Not that you are surprised by it.

      The question you posted in an earlier comment, regarding the risk to the U.S. from economic troubles in China and Europe, isn’t getting the attention it should in the economic and financial press. The interruption to supply from the real estate shake-out isn’t likely to be large unless there is some sort of systemic “splat”. Always watch for systemic splat. The Covid problem is likely to cause supply issues – bad for growth and for inflation, without much that domestic U.S. policy can do to respond in the short run.

      China also has a growing water problem. I don’t have how much that problem will spill over into electrical power generation, but it ain’t good for agriculture. So far, harvest estimates for China remain health, so maybe weather problems don’t overlap with farm regions. Need more data.

        1. AndrewG

          Do you know how question marks work?

          In any case, Chinn’s post is directly related to your (false, sarcastic) implication.

  12. Macroduck

    Just a thought about real PCE, base on the inflation adjustment of retail sales. The components of PCE not captured in retail sales tend to be less volatile than retail sales, so overall PCE is less volatile. The PCE deflator has been less frisky this year than CPI, mostly due to the heavy weighting of housing in CPI. These two factors both suggest a rise in real PCE for July. Of course, anyone checking GDPNow would already know that.

    By the way, when Johnny (AKA JohnH) recently tried to claim that the odds of a GDP do traction in Q3 were high, based on GDPNow, he clearly hadn’t checked the latest GDPNow estimate. It’s at 2.4%, not 1.6% as Johnny claimed. Apparently, Johnny copied an old link from mishtalk and didn’t bother (or know how?) to check the real estimate.

    Par for the course; Johnny can’t do Economics.

    1. pgl

      Johnny has been on a tirade over the rising cost of lumber. Except it has recently declined. Oh – Johnny looks at historical nominal lumber prices and says current lumber prices are still high. Except when inflation adjusted the picture changes. Johnny can’t even do basic numbers.

      1. JohnH

        Funny! pgl can finally celebrate the decline of lumber prices below the short-term peak of 2018…a year too late. Let’s not forget that pgal and Team Transitory were celebrating their brief decline at this time last year as a harbinger of inflation dropping to 2%. But don’t expect pgl to remember that!

        Like losers say in baseball…wait until next year!

        1. pgl

          I hope you realize that EVERYONE knows what a disgusting little liar you are. Try growing up someday if you know how.

    2. JohnH

      MacroDuck needs to learn how to read. The latest GDPNow estimate (Aug17) clearly shows 1.6%, not the 2.4% that MacroDuck fabricated.

      Worse, GDPNow 3Q estimates are tracking lower than 2Q did up to this point in the quarter. What will the ‘don’t worry, be happy crowd’ do if GDPis down for three quarters in a row? Fortunately for Democrats, 3Q GDP won’t be known until just before the midterms and probably won’t affect the results, though we can expect Democratic partisan hacks like pgl to continue furiously spinning economic results.

      Lost in all of this obsession with GDP is the fact that real average weekly earnings are now below what they were in February 2020. Workers may be experiencing a recession in their earnings, but who notices or cares about that? Don’t worry, be happy!

      1. Macroduck

        Make you a deal, Johnny. If, after the first three quarters of 2022 GDP data are available in “final”, all three are reported down, I’ll stop commenting here for 3 months – all of Q1 2023. That’s on the condition that if all three quarters aren’t reported as having fallen in final, you stop commenting for all of Q1 2023.

        Come on, Johnny, you’ve already got the advantage. One quarter down in final. One quarter down in advance. And you seem giddy at the prospect of a decline in Q3. I’ve got one hand tied behind my back. Come on, Johnny, put up or (please, please, please!) shut up.

          1. pgl

            Accusing someone of not being able to read numbers correctly? The troll who kept telling us how much UK real wages rose under Cameron. Your both an idiot and a disgusting little LIAR.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            JohnH: Aren’t you the guy who kept on telling us the government didn’t report median real wages? And persisted after various individuals (including myself) pointed you out to specific instances where you were wrong? I think the answer to those questions is “yes”.

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            JohnH: No, as I recall, you then said they didn’t report the data in an easily accessible form, and/or too tardily. This debate went on for a while.

  13. pgl

    FBI Questioning Trump’s National Security Staff About His Top Secret Document Alibi
    The ex-president claims he’s able to declassify whatever he wants. The feds are grilling former NSC personnel for answers, sources familiar tell Rolling Stone

    John Bolton headed the NSC so he should know. And he has already said Trump’s little alibi is utter BS.

  14. pgl

    More on Trump’s dishonest lame “standing order” excuse:

    However, John Kelly, who served as Trump’s White House chief of staff from July 2017 to January 2019, and Mick Mulvaney, who held the role in an acting capacity from January 2019 to March 2020, told CNN for an article published Thursday, that there was no “standing order.” Kelly went so far as to call the idea “foolish.”

    “Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given,” Kelly said. “And I can’t imagine anyone that worked at the White House after me that would have simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed that order to go forward without dying in the ditch trying to stop it.”

    Mulvaney told CNN that he was “not aware of a general standing order” while he served as the former president’s top White House aide. The CNN report cited 18 former Trump administration officials, some of who were not named, who said they’d never heard of the directive.

    1. Ivan

      Yes that claim is as stupid as it is desperate. Those “Top secret”, “Secret” etc. designations are actually “archival” designations to guide who is allowed to get access to them. The search warrant was not based on those designations. It just happened to be that some of the stolen documents had been judged to be so sensitive that they had been classified at the most restricted levels. They didn’t become any less sensitive just because an ignorant clown like Trump declared them to be accessible to a much larger group of people. If Trump declared the nuclear codes to no longer be classified and handed them over to Putin, it would still be espionage and terribly harmful to our country. The potential harm of information reaching our enemies is not reduced by reducing their designation.

    1. CoRev

      Another funny and ignorant comment from MD. His reference starts with scare mongering: “Megadrought may be the main weather concern across the West right now amid the constant threat of wildfires and earthquakes. But a new study warns another crisis is looming in California: “Megafloods.”

      His blind acceptance of these scar mongering commentaries is hilarious. It is endemic within the climate scared community which is overwhelmingly liberal/democratic. Ignorance of weather history reinforces their fears.

      Even most climate believers and skeptics understand the propensity to flood after a drought.
      “A good rainfall is usually very welcome after a long dry period. But when the soils are dry and hard, rainwater can quickly become a hazard and lead to flash flooding — a specific type of flooding that occurs in a short time. As climate change makes droughts and extreme weather more likely, this phenomenon is likely to become more frequent. ”

      Why don’t you?

      1. pgl

        Wow – the dog who chasing his own tail all day managed to piece together THIS MUCH gibberish. So talented!

      2. Noneconomist

        A word here on mega floods, CR. The most recent news I saw (and heard) concerned possible worst case scenarios connected to mega storms causing mega flooding in the Central Valley and Bay Area.
        A point perhaps missed is that large floods here historically have occurred in cooler seasons, December-March, after the ground has been saturated. The floods of 1986 and 1997 were, as I remember, caused by warmer rains, less snow, and rapidly filling/full reservoirs. In 1997, Lake Oroville, with a 3.5 million af capacity, was full in late December.
        The authors of the recent studies do mention an obvious fact: decreasing and rising snow levels (and lack of snow at higher elevations) increase the likelihood of flooding. Add in a possible increase in the number and intensity of “atmospheric rivers” blanketing NorCal and possible worst case scenarios get worse.
        In February 1986, when considerable flooding occurred both north and south of Sacramento, my rain gauge measured 21 inches for the month at 2100’ elevation. As I recall, there was little of that month’s rain that fell as snow at higher elevations.
        Last year, Oct, 20+, an atmospheric river dumped 12 inches at my house and 15 inches a thousand feet above, In two days. (One higher spot in the Bay Area measured over 16 inches) Fortunately, snow fell in large amounts at higher elevations.
        Put three or four of those storms together in a month—with decreasing snowfall—and you won’t need any “liberal/Democratic ignorance” to determine what is and isn’t possible.

        1. Noneconomist

          BTW, CoRev, here’s a likely way the worst happens.
          We have a good winter, plenty of snow, ski resorts ecstatic.
          Mid-March, weather warms considerably (not unusual), snow melt quickens. Ground saturated from sufficient winter rains.
          Same time, an atmospheric river hits NorCal, snow level, however, rises to 8000’ feet. Storm totals 6 inches. Mountain rivers roiling. Valleys still coping.Reservoirs full.
          A few days later, another atmospheric river arrives. This one is more intense, dropping 8 inches in the Sierra. Intense flooding in lower foothills and valley.
          Last week in March. Very warm weather, but, yikes, a third atmospheric river arrives., sprays another 8 inches of subtropical moisture.
          This triggers the worst case fears some know nothings called liberal ignorance and fear mongering. Sac Valley rice farmers are navigating their fields in boats. Interstate highways inundated. Areas north and south of Sacramento cut off. Sacramento levies fail.Lots of flooding in Bay Area.
          Meanwhile, weather at Donner Summit (7300’) is 80 slopes still open. Problem? Nobody cares because the slopes are isolated.

        2. CoRev

          Nonecon (and non-climatologist), what was your point? YES, WEATHER EVENTS HAPPEN. Just as climate changes Weather events are not climate, but climates is made up of weather. Demonstrating the obviousness of these points adds no value.

          Did you even understate my point, floods are common and expected after droughts? Strangely floods occur when the ground is bereft and saturated with water.

          1. Noneconomist

            Obviously, you don’t get it. Surprise! You’re now a self styled on climatology, adding to your vast knowledge and expertise in economics, agronomy, history, national security,
            Huge difference between flooding—a not uncommon occurrence in numerous parts of NorCal—and a mega flood that could be one of the worst natural disasters ever.
            What you term recent “scare mongering” has been a recurring topic here for decades. Sacramento has long been recognized as the major city most at risk from flooding as have the valleys north and south of the city.
            The most recent study says climate CHANGE has doubled chances of a mega flood happening in the next 40–50 years. Not simply a flood, or a flash flood, but one caused by a succession of “atmospheric rivers” drenching the mountains,foothills, and valleys for weeks, not simply a few days. Add-in rising snow levels—or worse, no snow with intense rainfall—and even you should understand what could happen.
            The area most at risk is the Central Valley, which is similar in size to the combined states of Vermont and Massachusetts; the CV annually produces about a fourth of the country’s food supply.
            Do I understand your point? No. Where the subject of a California mega flood is concerned, do you even have one?

          2. CoRev

            Nonecon/non-climatologist and Barkley, this is what MD claimed/copied: “Climate change has made catastrophic flooding twice as likely (In California? Or everywhere? Needs an editor.) Megafloods in California’s past would have been sufficient to put some modern cities under water:”

            From the actual study abstract from which the claim originated: “…using a combination of climate model data and high-resolution weather modeling. Using the data from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble, we find that climate change has already doubled the likelihood of an event capable of producing catastrophic flooding,…” and “We find that both ARkHist and ARkFuture events occur during simulated warm-phase ENSO (El Niño) years, although the El Niño event ..”

            There is no known relationship of ENSO to climate change.

            Neither, catastrophic flooding nor mega floods are due to climate change but ARE WEATHER EVENTS. For evidence CA’s famous mega flood occurred in 1861-1862, or ~161 years ago. Could another occur? Clearly, yes given the occurrence of similar WEATHER conditions.

            Weather events are not climate, but climate is made up of weather. Demonstrating the obviousness of these points adds no value.

            Barkley, it is just another Ho Hum model-based projections with no real-world data for support. Is ther anything not blamed upon Climate Change? BTW, can you define Climate Change?

          3. Noneconomist

            You disagree with the study’s authors. Another surprise! You might have also noted:
            “Meanwhile, a growing body of research suggests that climate change is likely increasing the risk of EXTREME PRECIPITATION (my emphasis) along the Pacific Coast of NorthAmerica, including California and of subsequent severe flood events. The primary physical mechanism for this projected regional intensification of extreme precipitation is AN INCREASE (my emphasis) in the strength of atmospheric river (AR) events.Previous analyses have suggested that the thermodynamically driven increase in atmospheric water vapor with warming is directly responsible for most of this projected AR intensification with the remainder contributed by shifts in regional atmospheric circulation.
            …Compounding the increase in extreme precipitation associated with AR events are warming temperatures themselves —which raise the mean elevation of snow accumulation in mountainous areas, increase instantaneous runoff rates as rain falls at the expense of snow, and raise the risk of “rain on snow” events
            …We find that climate change has already increased the risk of a GF (I.e..Great Flood)1862- like megflood scenario in California but that future climate warming will likely bring about even sharper risk increases.”
            Of course, compared to the great CoRev, what do these UCLA researchers/climatologists know about their subject? They probably believe rising sea levels may also add to future problems for California and the Pacific Coast. Scare mongers all.

          4. Barkley Rosser

            Holy scheiss, CoRev, you did it again. You already verified what Macroduck said once, somehow thinking you were criticizing him, and then you do it again.

            Look at what yo quoted from the article Abstract. It says in clear English as you yourself quote:: “Using the data from C..E..S…L…M…E.. we find that climate change has already doubled the likelihood of an event capable of producing catastrophic flooding…”

            And then you have the nerve to demand that people here define “climate change.” I suggest you demand that of the authors of this article.

            Gag, just how stupid are you? Are you completely losing your mind, CoRev?

          5. CoRev

            Barkley, you don’t read and comprehend very well do you. Yes, there are floods associated with the end of droughts. Megafloods in California are rare and well enough studies to be named. Once in ~166 years, occurring when nearly everybody agrees the climate was cooler, does not support the cause of the next megaflood as due to CLIMATE CHANGE. Do you even now understand to what my objection(s) pointed?

            You were asked: Is there anything not blamed upon Climate Change? If nearly everything is blamed upon climate change then almost nothing can be shown to be true. Or in scientific terms rejecting the hypothesis is impossible, which is a hypothesis issue and not a testing issue.

            Please list the successful projections from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble.

      3. Barkley Rosser

        Um, CoRev, so while you seem to think you are succeeding in dumping on Macroduck, did you fail to notice that in fact you ended up supporting the point he was making? That point is that droughts may be followed by floods, and, gosh, you then proceeded to verify this while somehow thinking you were successfully criticizing him. All you did was reconfirm that you are a complete idiot, while throwing out some pointless political sloganeering..

      4. AndrewG

        CoRev, I ask you this just like I ask ltr: What is the point? You don’t convince anyone with your ignorant posts.

        I’ll say something else I say to ltr: I’d have more respect for you if you were a paid troll. At least it’d be your job. If you’re not paid, then it’s just a pathetic waste of your time.

          1. CoRev

            AndrewG, did you have actual weather events in mind? List them so we can assure they are actually real.

            I’ll wait. We have decades to determine most climate.

        1. Noneconomist

          It’s classic CoRev.He honestly believes he’s more knowledgeable in numerous fields of study than those like Drs. Huang and Swain who are (or are on their way to becoming) experts in their chosen fields.
          Fairly certain here he did not understand (or even bother to read) their thoughts on increasing storm intensities in limited time periods (30 days ) and the effects of a month’s worth of ARs (atmospheric rivers)—with numerous variables mentioned—on California in general and the Central Valley specifically.
          What he termed “scare mongering” has been widely discussed here for decades.
          Really, given his long track record, eternally clueless is what we’ll continue getting.

          1. AndrewG

            “He honestly believes he’s more knowledgeable in numerous fields of study”

            Agree with everything except this. I’m with Macroduck here: He’s bullshitting.

          2. CoRev

            The eternally clueless nonecon and AndrewG, just doesn’t get the issue of BLAMING EVERYTHING ON CLIMATE CHANGE means almost nothing can be proven true of the claims.

            Please, please, show us the evidence that’s not models-based.

            I’ll wait. you have plenty of time as determining climate usually takes decades and not days, months or years. Those periods usually exemplify weather. Only ignorant liberal climate change true believers make that mistake

          3. AndrewG

            “Please, please, show us the evidence that’s not models-based.”

            You don’t even know what that would entail.

            I’ll give you a hint, though: What’s the joint probability of several regions around the world simultaneously experiencing once-in-1000 year events? What’s the joint probability of that happening two years in a row?

  15. Macroduck

    Off topic, labor market –

    Layoff announcements are still quite low, though up in July from June:

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg wants you to know that PWC thinks half of U.S. firms are planning layoffs:

    Heavens, I’m confused. When confused by low-context press reports, there’s a question I ask myself: Is that a lot? In other words,, is it unusual for half of U.S. firms to consider job cuts while trying very hard to keep others? That is, after all, the gist of the PWC report.

    My guess would be that hiring freezes matter more than job cuts, since even growing firms cut some jobs. A hiring freeze prevents increased head counts. Job cuts don’t. Net job cuts decrease head counts, but it’s not clear how many of the firms PWC surveyed intend net job cuts.

    Meanwhile, the most recent JOLTS report show heavy turnover, mostly due to quits, not cuts. That’s a sign of health in the labor market. And openings (which I don’t entirely trust) are still historically quite high. Hiring freeze with lots of job openings and job cuts with very few terminations? Still confused.

    My expectation is for slower hiring, and turns in economic data are often choppy. Breathless, context-free coverage of the PWC report and some signs of a return to normalcy in the Challenger data allow me to confirm my bias, even if they aren’t very illuminating.

    Final tidbit from Andrew Challenger: “The job market remains tight, and large-scale layoffs have not begun. There are some indicators that hiring is slowing after months of growth, however.”

    1. pgl

      PwC covers the labor market? I thought they were too busy fighting off shareholder lawsuits that came from their lying about the books of their financial audit clients.

    2. pgl

      Layoffs Are in the Works at Half of Companies, PwC Survey Shows

      A new data point for RECESSION cheerleader Princeton Steve. Of course if the other half of these surveyed companies were hiring. But why waste time on a survey from corrupt CPAs?

    3. AndrewG

      Look, you’re being too reasonable.

      Obviously, companies plan to lay people off, announce it to the public, don’t announce hiring freezes, wait a couple months while the people to be laid off are on payroll still, then lay them off while hiring more people. Meanwhile, bullish employees still quit because they somehow don’t get the memo (don’t follow their companies on Twitter).

      Fire cold, knife dull. What’s so hard to get?

      Jokes aside: AFAIK lower hiring is *always* the main mechanism for *un*employment growth. Lower quits should be roughly concurrent if there’s a recession. Big layoffs happen only if things get really bad.

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