The “… Recession of H1 2022”? (Part III)

Some people think we’re in a recession now, some think it’s in the past (we’re currently in H2 2022). With new incoming weekly, monthly and quarterly data, should we still think those views are plausible [follow up on this post]?

First, let’s look at what the quarterly (Q2 second release for GDP) and new monthly consumption, income and GDP data show:

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), Bloomberg consensus as of 9/1 (blue +), civilian employment (orange), industrial production (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), official GDP (blue bars), all log normalized to 2021M11=0. Lilac shading denotes dates associated with a hypothetical recession in H1. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (9/1/2022 release), and author’s calculations.

Most of these series are now posted and updated on the St. Louis Fed’s NBER Turning Points dashboard.

From these data, recalling that the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee (BCDC) does not place great reliance on quarterly GDP (because of the numerous revisions which can either erase a recession, or create a recession, over time — see this post regarding 2001), it doesn’t look like a recession occurred in H1. (The NBER BCDC now places greatest weight on employment and income.) The only clearly downward trending indicator is manufacturing and trade industry sales, and that reflects in part the consumption shift away from goods and toward services. Interestingly, monthly GDP (from IHS Markit, formerly Macroeconomic Advisers) peaked in December of 2021, and then fell in January, March and April (m/m). However, July is higher than April.

Considering that Q2 GDP will get one more revision, before the annual benchmark revision at end of September, it’s useful to acknowledge (again) that GDP is better measured in real time using a combination of expenditure side data (GDP) and income side data (GDI). A 50-50 weighting yields what BEA reports as Gross Domestic Output (GDO), which is only available with the second GDP release. Series that rely upon GDI show a different profile for output than GDP alone — as noted in the recent post by Jacobs, Sarfarez, Sturm and van Norden.

We also know that establishment survey data, while more precisely measured than household survey data, gets revised, and the preliminary benchmark data for March 2022 implies stronger employment growth than previously thought. This point was discussed in yesterday’s post. Putting together our knowledge of GDO and employment, this is the corresponding figure to Figure 1.

Figure 2: Nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), civilian employment (orange), industrial production (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), official Gross Domestic Output (blue bars), all log normalized to 2021M11=0. Lilac shading denotes dates associated with a hypothetical recession in H1. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (9/1/2022 release), and author’s calculations.

Second, let’s look at the weekly indices. The Lewis-Mertens-Stock Weekly Economic Index for the week ending 8/27 was just released today. With this release, we have the following high frequency picture of the economy.

 Figure 3: Lewis-Mertens-Stock Weekly Economic Index (blue), OECD Weekly Tracker (tan), Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Weekly Economic Conditions Index for US plus 2% trend (green) Source: NY Fed via FREDOECDWECI, and author’s calculations.

The WEI reading for the week ending 8/27 of 2.5 is interpretable as a y/y quarter growth of 2.5% if the 2.5 reading were to persist for an entire quarter. The OECD Weekly Tracker reading of 2.6 is interpretable as a y/y growth rate of 2.6% for year ending 8/20. The Baumeister et al. reading of 2.1% for the week ending 6/25 is interpreted as a 2.1% growth rate in excess of long term trend growth rate. Average growth of US GDP over the 2000-19 period is about 2%.

So, I still don’t see a recession as having occurred in H1 2022. As for Q3, GDPNow  newly updated today reads 2.6% (q/q SAAR), up from previous 1.4%; IHS Markit at 1.4%, and Goldman Sachs up at 1.1%.


40 thoughts on “The “… Recession of H1 2022”? (Part III)

  1. Macroduck

    You should have patented you NBER tracking effort. The St. Louis Fed has stolen your intellectual property and they’re never gonna pay you.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I told people Fred was an oddball guy and you can’t trust someone named Fred. But they wouldn’t listen.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Line of the night:
    “Good manners is nothing they’ve ever suffered from”

    And people think this guy is not deft and agile of mind?? Great Speech Joe!!!!! The right man for the right time. Just hope his citizens are good enough to answer the call.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      And I remember several occasions some years ago when you labeled him, Pelosi, and me as all being “senile.”

  3. ltr

    Because of a post in which an Arizonan candidate for office, offensively criticized a diversity focus in selecting government office holders, I looked to the diversity of Arizona and immediately was struck by the extent of the Indian population of the state.  I also know that Arizona has fared poorly through the coronavirus epidemic, and the CDC had just yesterday published work * on life expectancy by ethnicity from 1919 through 2021.  The way in which American Indians have fared, from a loss of about 6 years in life expectancy between 2019 and 2021, and having a life expectancy of about 65 years in 2021 is devastating and obviously has to reflect a lack of attention from public health authorities.

    So, I mentioned the Indian matter and will mention the Indian matter repeatedly as long as I am madly harassed for doing so.  After all, a life expectancy of an American people of 65 years needs attending to. **


    ** Case and Deaton understood all this years ago, but to so little avail.

    1. baffling

      what about the life expectancy of those in western china who have been placed in the prison camps for simply being a minority in china? let us please discuss that group of people ltr. who do you want to continue to ignore and deny their existence?

      what about the illegal takeover of tibet?

      what about the illegal harassment of the peaceful people of Taiwan, and independent and free nation?

      what about the squashing of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong?

      what about the massacre of Chinese civilians in Tiananmen Square?

      what about the millions of Chinese who perished under Mao and the Chinese communist party political policies?

      ltr, and am peacefully and politely asking you to explain to me all of this death and harm. or do you simply deny it has occurred?

  4. ltr–1cYGBqKzI2c/index.html

    September 1, 2022

    China’s service trade in first seven months up 20.7%

    China’s service trade value grew 20.7 percent year on year in the first seven months of this year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Thursday.

    Total trade value stood at 3.39 trillion yuan ($492.6 billion), according to the data.

    Service exports expanded 22.8 percent year on year to 1.64 trillion yuan, and service imports were 1.75 trillion yuan, up 18.9 percent from a year ago.

    The service trade deficit dropped 20.1 percent to 107.73 billion yuan between January and July.

    China’s trade of knowledge-intensive services maintained steady growth in the period, rising 10.2 percent year on year to about 1.42 trillion yuan.

    Sectors such as telecommunications and information services saw rapid increases in exports, while insurance services were among the fastest growing areas in imports.

    Travel service trade continued to recover, with its trade value expanding 7.5 percent from a year ago to 462.23 billion yuan.

    In contrast to merchandise trade, service trade involves transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing, and accounting….

    1. Ivan

      There are ways to quantitate crimes. How many people were victims?, How many were killed? How many prisoner person years? How many person years of forced exile? etc. Those can always be used if you want to quantitate and compare violations that can be called “crimes against humanity”.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Fair enough. I am far too lazy to quantitate this though. Happy to listen/read if anyone wants to compare and say one is worse than the other. My main subtextual point is that America also commits crimes against humanity, we have done some pretty awful/horrid things, and while we’re waving the naughty finger at other countries, we should also keep this in mind.

  5. ltr

    September 1, 2022

    The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading
    The results of a national test showed just how devastating the last two years have been for 9-year-old schoolchildren, especially the most vulnerable.
    By Sarah Mervosh

    National test results released on Thursday showed in stark terms the pandemic’s devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago.

    This year, for the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970s, 9-year-olds lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years.

    The declines spanned almost all races and income levels and were markedly worse for the lowest-performing students. While top performers in the 90th percentile showed a modest drop — three points in math — students in the bottom 10th percentile dropped by 12 points in math, four times the impact.

    “I was taken aback by the scope and the magnitude of the decline,” said Peggy G. Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal agency that administered the exam earlier this year. The tests were given to a national sample of 14,800 9-year-olds and were compared with the results of tests taken by the same age group in early 2020, just before the pandemic took hold in the United States.

    High and low performers had been diverging even before the pandemic, but now, “the students at the bottom are dropping faster,” Dr. Carr said.

    In math, Black students lost 13 points, compared with five points among white students, widening the gap between the two groups. Research has documented the profound effect school closures had on low-income students and on Black and Hispanic students, in part because their schools were more likely to continue remote learning for longer periods of time.

    The declines in test scores mean that while many 9-year-olds can demonstrate partial understanding of what they are reading, fewer can infer a character’s feelings from what they have read. In math, students may know simple arithmetic facts, but fewer can add fractions with common denominators.

    The setbacks could have powerful consequences for a generation of children who must move beyond basics in elementary school to thrive later on.

    “Student test scores, even starting in first, second and third grade, are really quite predictive of their success later in school, and their educational trajectories overall,” said Susanna Loeb, the director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, which focuses on education inequality….

  6. ltr

    September 1, 2022

    Can You Drown Government in an Empty Bathtub?
    By Paul Krugman

    Mississippi has long been America’s poorest state, with real gross domestic product per person only about 60 percent of the national average. The United States, however, is a rich country, so Mississippi doesn’t look that bad by international standards. Specifically, it’s roughly on a par with southern European countries: a bit poorer than Spain, a bit richer than Portugal.

    It’s also worth noting that because Mississippi is part of the United States, it gets huge de facto aid from richer states: It benefits enormously from federal programs like Medicare and Social Security, while its low income means that it pays relatively little in federal taxes. Estimates from the Rockefeller Institute suggest that in 2019 Mississippi received net federal transfers of almost $24 billion, roughly 20 percent of the state’s G.D.P. — far more than the aid that, say, Portugal receives from the European Union.

    Yet the citizens of Portugal and Spain have things that not all citizens of Mississippi have, things like universal health care — and running water.

    On Monday the water supply to Jackson, the state’s capital and largest city, collapsed. Much of the city has no running water at all; nowhere in the city is the water safe to drink. And it’s not clear when service will be restored.

    The immediate cause of the crisis was torrential rains that overwhelmed the city’s largest water treatment plant. But the weather event, while severe, wasn’t a Katrina-level shock; it was a disaster only because the city’s water system was already failing, the result of years of neglect.

    This neglect, in turn, was essentially a political decision. Mississippi as a whole, despite relatively low income by U.S. standards, surely has the resources to provide safe drinking water to all its residents. However, Jackson — a largely Black inner-city core whose economy has been hollowed out by white flight — does not. And the state refused to help, even as the coming water crisis became ever more predictable….

  7. pgl

    Poor little Tucker Carlson is scared that we want to kill him and his fellow racists:

    The right has responded with shock to Biden’s new claim, with politicians and pundits demanding an apology from the president and describing it as a gesture of disdain and disrespect. But Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a key intellectual architect of the political project that Biden is warning against, is now trying to exploit the moment to push his followers even further toward extremism by implying that Biden wants to exterminate half the country. Carlson’s response underscores how Biden’s comments, while accurate in the eyes of some experts, might provide fodder for the far right to grow even more confrontational toward the left. Carlson fed viewers of his Monday show a fresh helping of misinformation by distorting the president’s remarks. He said Biden believes “anyone who disagrees with Joe Biden is by definition a fascist” and suggested that the president considers all Republicans semi-fascists. Carlson then presented his haunting conclusion: Biden’s comments were “effectively a declaration of war against half the country.” “What do we do to fascists?” he asked. “Well, we fought a war and killed them.”

    Can someone tell this girly man that most white people – including many former Republicans – agree with Biden. So claiming half the nation are MAGA hat wearing flaming racists is a bit of an overestimate. And no – we are not calling for the killing of anyone. Now the MAGA hat types like Tucker did kill policemen on 1/6/2021 who stood in the way of a facist attempt to make Trump our dictator. And something tells me that Tucker would gladly have any black, Asian, or Hispanic that moved next door to his lily white house.

    1. pgl

      “that Tucker would gladly have any” murdered. Sorry I needed to kick this. I bet Tucker would gladly provide the rope and the tree to hang anyone who dared made his block not 100% white.

    1. pgl

      “And it was only about a week ago that pgl made fun of anybody who thought mortgage rates were rising!”

      That is a flat out lie. Then again you are incapable of writing a coherent sentence without some childish and dishonest insult of someone else. I would say grow up but we all know Johnny boy is incapable of doing that.

    2. pgl

      September 1, 2022 at 10:22 am
      Freddie Mac released its weekly reporting on this:

      30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States

      It rose from 5.55% last week to 5.66% today. Which is STILL below the 5.7% rate Princeton Steve reported a couple of weeks ago. Yes – this rate fell a bit earlier this summer but has partially gone back up.’

      Gee Johnny boy – I posted this news yesterday morning. You have just NOW figured this out. Oh wait – you still do not realize that Jeffrey Sachs was the chief architect of that cursed Washington Consensus over 30 years ago. I would ask how dumb are you but it is clear- you are the dumbest troll ever. And a pathetic little liar.

  8. pgl

    ‘Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 315,000 in August, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent’

    The payroll survey increase will likely so tick off our RECESSION cheerleaders that they might point to the reported rise in the unemployment rate. After all JohnH predicted that the household survey would show a decline in employment. But no – this survey showed even a larger increase in employment increasing the employment to population ratio to 60.1%. But the participation rate rose any more.

    1. JohnH

      BS: “ JohnH predicted that the household survey would show a decline in employmen.”

      Find the quote!

      pgl’s main specialty is smearing others.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        JohnH: In the context of your (apparent) view of an incipient recession, you noted twice flattening of the household employment series, here and here. So you are correct, you did not predict a fall, but seemed to imply further sideways trending. In actuality, the two series — household and establishment — are now converging (as shown in Figure 1).

        1. pgl

          ‘Maybe this time is different? Just looking at the graph, the employment series has a pretty good track record of flattening at the onset of a recession.’

          Actually this time is the same – JohnH denies what he earlier tried to say.

      2. pgl

        You now deny telling our host that it was likely that the household survey measure of employment would fall? Just yesterday you went on and on about this. Gee Johnny boy – you might want to watch a Guide for the Married Man (1963). Deny, deny, deny!

      3. pgl

        “pgl’s main specialty is smearing others.”

        No – I just point out what you really said. Which of course you deny.

        You try to smear people by making up total BS.

        There is a BIG difference even if you are too dishonest to admit it.

  9. pgl

    Why did Trump have classified documents at Maro Lago? The story keeps changing:

    Donald Trump and his lawyers have made a range of arguments to explain why the former president was keeping hundreds of classified documents at his Ma-a-Lago resort after leaving office. But increasingly their explanations are diverging. In an interview Thursday, Trump repeated an argument he has been making for weeks – insisting he had declassified the information before leaving office under his sweeping presidential powers to lift classification of government information.

    Wait – his own lawyers note this declassification claim is not true. Try again:

    They focused on arguments that Trump was entitled to keep the documents under executive privilege rules. This, they argued, allow presidents the right to designate as personal and hold back some government documents from the National Archives after leaving office, Politico reported.

    Of course a former President does not enjoy “Executive Privilege” and even if he did – this privilege does not allow one to commit crimes – even “mundane” crimes such as espionage.

    Try again folks. In other words, admit your client wants to monetize these documents by selling them to Putin.

  10. Macroduck

    Off topic, more evidence that aliens have…that baby sacrifice is…never mind, it’s just the boring old jobs report –

    Employment rose by 315,000 if you prefer the establishment survey (as you should), or 442,000 in the household survey. Darn job-creating recession!

    The jobless rate rose to 3.7% from 3.5% because of a 0.3% increase in the participation rate. The employment rate rose to 60.1% from 60.0%. Hourly earnings up 0.3%, which may turn out to beat inflation.

    Expect the troll choir to declare recession because the jobless rate rose. Even though that happens routinely during expansions:

    1. pgl

      JohnH told us yesterday that the household survey would likely show a fall in employment. And yea this lying troll has no clue Jeffrey Sachs was the main proponent of the Washington Consensus some 30 years ago.

    2. pgl

      “The jobless rate rose to 3.7% from 3.5% because of a 0.3% increase in the participation rate. The employment rate rose to 60.1% from 60.0%. Hourly earnings up 0.3%, which may turn out to beat inflation. Expect the troll choir to declare recession because the jobless rate rose.”

      Anyone who even remotely gets the Household Survey realizes that the unemployment rate represents the difference between the participation rate and the employment/population ratio. But Lawrence Kudlow routinely gets very confused about such simple matters. Yea Kudlow is a dumb, dishonest rightwing troll. And you expect our RECESSION cheerleaders such as JohnH to be any different????

      BTW I have a dumb news feed on Microsoft Bing as it keeps telling me how the rise in the unemployment rate is a sign the economy is weakening. Stupidity everywhere!

    3. pgl

      Poor little Johnny probably hates it that I get Dean Baker’s emails and he doesn’t. Dean in his latest email just undermined Johnny boy’s latest argument that the labor market is cratering – that being the fact that the employment to population rate (household survey) had remained flat:

      Household Survey Still Shows Strength
      In the case of the household survey, the rise in the unemployment rate went along with a 442,000 increase in employment. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) rose 0.3 percentage points, while the employment-to-population ratio rose by 0.1 percentage points — tying previous peaks for the recovery.

      There had been some concerns about the lack of employment growth in the household survey even as the establishment survey was showing large gains. This report should alleviate those concerns.

      The LFPR for prime-age workers (ages 25 to 54) rose 0.4 percentage points. It is now 0.3 percentage points below its pre-pandemic peak. For prime-age women, the increase was 0.8 percentage points, putting their LFPR 0.3 percentage points above its pre-pandemic peak. The increase was 0.2 percentage points for prime-age men, leaving their LFPR 1.0 percentage point below its pre-pandemic peak.

      This is impressive because 523,000 people still report being out of the workforce because of COVID-19, but only 213,000 are prime-age workers.

  11. pgl

    JohnH the other day tried to mansplain to Barkley that Poland’s economic reforms were not the Washington Consensus stuff that JohnH routinely criticized. After all – JohnH loves to cite Jeffrey Sachs as his new economic guru and of course Sachs has to be the anti-thesis of an approach, which it seems in reality is something Sachs did promote some 30 years ago. Of course JohnH has no clue what he is talking about:

    The collapse of Communism in Poland following the victory of the opposition Solidarity movement in free elections in 1989 paved the way for the rapid establishment of a free-market economy. Poland’s transition to a capitalist system was spearheaded by then finance minister Leszek Balcerowicz, with the assistance of U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs. Balcerowicz and Sachs administered so-called “shock therapy” to the Polish economy by implementing a large-scale privatization program of state industry; creating a stock exchange, capital markets, and a convertible currency; eliminating price controls and slashing subsidies; and carrying out strict budget cuts. The goal of the program was to integrate Poland into the mainstream global economy by making it more like the states of Western Europe, which shared a “common core of capitalist institutions,” Sachs explained in his 1993 book Poland’s Jump to the Market Economy. When Poland’s new, democratically elected government—led by former prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki—came to power, it faced significant economic challenges, including an inconvertible currency that was not functional, an inefficient economy driven by heavy industry, and a monetary overhang resulting from a debt burden accumulated in the 1970s, explains the University of Michigan’s Anna Grzymala-Busse. Shock therapy, Grzymala-Busse says, immediately freed up the currency and opened up the country’s labor market, even as consumer goods flooded the market. Still, because Poland was willing to forcefully apply shock therapy, the Paris Group of international lenders forgave half of the country’s debt. The approach “worked insofar as after the period of hyperinflation, it basically brought the economy into line,” argues Grzymala-Busse. “There was not much of an alternative.” Similarly, Harvard University’s Grzegorz Ekiert says that despite some initial doubts about the “big bang approach,” shock therapy was ultimately successful in Poland. “Central and Eastern European countries that were moving faster [in implementing economic reforms] are in better shape today than countries that adopted more gradual policies,” Ekiert says. In his revised 2005 book God’s Playground: A History of Poland, Norman Davies wrote that shock therapy in Poland “proved to be a great blessing” for, among other reasons, bringing hyperinflation under control quickly, increasing productivity, reducing the country’s foreign debt, and paving the way for greater foreign investment. “In terms of economic recovery measured as GDP per capita, Poland by 1996 clearly led the field of all ex-Communist states,” Davies said. Still, shock therapy has its share of detractors, including Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein. In her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Klein argued that economists like Sachs took advantage of post-Communist countries, including Poland, to implement radical free-market policies and advance a strict neo-liberalist ideology at the expense of democracy. In Poland, shock therapy caused a “full-blown depression,” triggering a 30 percent reduction in industrial production and rising unemployment, she wrote. Sachs has forcefully refuted Klein’s claims. In 2008, he told the Guardian, “Poland ended up the most successful recovery, with robust democratic institutions, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

    Sachs was the uber Washington Consensus type. BTW Barkley notes Poland did well in part because they did not totally but into Sachs extreme version of the Washington Consensus.

    Also this discussion notes Poland was smart enough not to tie its currency to the Euro even as it joined the European free trade zone.

    Of course JohnH hates free trade but generally applauds things like gold standards which the Euro system replicates. Go figure!

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Parts of this are not accurate. In particular, the privatization effort proved to be far more limited than advertised, although it did focus on mostly large-scale heavy industry sectors. But the fact it was limited, which most superficial observers failed to notice, can be seen in that Poland now has the highest percentage of state-ownership of any of the former non-Soviet CMEA members. Among the sectors still state-owned include shipbuilding (pretty moribund) and coal mining. A major reason for resisting the sort of massive and rapid privatization that a lot of other transition nations did like Russia and the Czech Republic was fear of German or Russian companies coming in and taking over firms, in short, nationalism.

      Also, the initiative to suspend Poland’s debts, which I have noted other transition nations did not get, came from the US following Walesa’s speech to the US Congress, as I have also noted elsewhere. I am not all that impressed with this CFR summary of things, a bit too impressed by labels such as “shock therapy,” when in some sectors other nations had therapy that was more shocking. It just looked shocking in Poland because Poland had such a high rate of hyperinflation when it was implemented that then got brought down quickly. Poland did turn around before any of the others in terms of GDP growth and has outperformed the other transition nations in terms of growth, and was the only European nation not to go into recession in 2009, helped by not being in the euro.

      I am not impressed by Naomi klein’s analysis, outright wrong on numerous matters. She almost makes JohnH look good.

  12. pgl

    Kevin Drum is actually worried that California may set the minimum wage too high?

    We just passed a bill that sets up a Fast Food Council, and among other things it’s tasked with setting a new minimum wage for the industry. The legislation caps the minimum wage at $22 per hour in 2023, which presumably means the minimum wage will be $22 per hour.

    But wait- the story clearly says that the Fast Food Council would be barred from setting the minimum wage above $22 per hour. It could see the minimum wage at something a bit lower such as $15 an hour. NYC’s fast food places are already paying $15 per hour and are doing fine as long as they can fill their job openings. If they can’t, maybe they should pay more than $15 an hour.

  13. pgl

    Another episode of how dumb Trump’s lawyers are:

    “A lawyer representing Donald Trump in the affair of the sensitive documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago has claimed that the matter has been overhyped, likening a crucial Department of Justice letter to “the stuff of an overdue library book.”

    National security secrets are now just library books? Hey I bet Putin will pay the library fine for the book being overdue since his agents have already made copies of these “books”.

  14. pgl

    G7 intends to put a price cap on Russian oil:

    The G7 — which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States — will set a price cap on Russian oil, the group’s finance minister announced Friday. The G7 leaders have yet to announce exactly what the price cap will be. “The price cap is specifically designed to reduce Russian revenues and Russia’s ability to fund its war of aggression whilst limiting the impact of Russia’s war on global energy prices, particularly for low and middle-income countries, by only permitting service providers to continue to do business related to Russian seaborne oil and petroleum products sold at or below the price cap,” the G7 announcement said.

    But wait ….

    Russia said it would cut off any country that joined the plan. “As far as price restrictions are concerned, if they impose restrictions on prices, we will simply not supply oil and petroleum products to such companies or states that impose restrictions as we will not work non-competitively,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, according to the Russian News Agency TASS.

    Of course the Russians would love to sell their oil at the market price. But unless other nations step up their purchases of Russia oil, Russia may not so easily undermine the G7 price ceiling.

  15. ltr

    September 2, 2022

    Barbara Ehrenreich, Explorer of Prosperity’s Dark Side
    Her book “Nickel and Dimed,” an undercover account of the indignities of being a low-wage worker in the United States, is considered a classic in social justice literature.
    By Natalie Schachar

    It was a casual meeting.

    Over salmon and field greens, Barbara Ehrenreich was discussing future articles with her editor at Harper’s Magazine. Then, as she recalled, the conversation drifted.

    How could anyone survive on minimum wage? She mused. A tenacious journalist should find out.

    Her editor, Lewis Lapham, offered a half smile and a single word reply: “You.”

    The result was the book “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” (2001), an undercover account of the indignities, miseries and toil of being a low-wage worker in the United States. It became a best seller and a classic in social justice literature.

    Ms. Ehrenreich, the journalist, activist and author, died at 81 on Thursday at a hospice facility in Alexandria, Va., where she also had a home. Her daughter, Rosa Brooks, said the cause was a stroke.

    Working as a waitress near Key West, Fla., in her reporting for “Nickel and Dimed,” Ms. Ehrenreich quickly found that it took two jobs to make ends meet. After repeating her journalistic experiment in other places as a hotel housekeeper, cleaning lady, nursing home aide and Wal-Mart associate, she still found it nearly impossible to subsist on an average of $7 an hour.

    Every job takes skill and intelligence, she concluded, and should be paid accordingly.

    One of more than 20 books written by Ms. Ehrenreich, “Nickel and Dimed” bolstered the movement for higher wages just as the consequences of the dot-com bubble snaked through the economy in 2001.

    “Many people praised me for my bravery for having done this — to which I could only say: Millions of people do this kind of work every day for their entire lives — haven’t you noticed them?” she said in 2018 in an acceptance speech after receiving the Erasmus Prize, given to a person or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to the humanities, the social sciences or the arts.

    Ms. Ehrenreich noticed those millions throughout a writing career in which she tackled a variety of themes: the myth of the American dream, the labor market, health care, poverty and women’s rights. Her motivation came from a desire to shed light on ordinary people as well as the “overlooked and the forgotten,” her editor, Sara Bershtel, said in an email….

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