Showing posts from June, 2018

This Is What Jamie Dimon Wants From Housing

I know what Jamie Dimon wants from housing. But first, here is what he said he wants in a recent article from Business Insider : "Seven major federal regulators and a long list of state and local regulators have overlapping jurisdiction on mortgage laws and wrote a plethora of new rules and regulations appropriately focused on educating and protecting customers. While some of the rules are beneficial, many were hastily developed and layered upon existing rules without coordination or calibration as to the potential effects. "The result is  a complex, highly risky and unpredictable operating environment  that exposes lenders and servicers to disproportionate legal liability and materially increases operational risks and costs." That appears to be a sophisticated analysis. He is the leading banker in the nation so who could find fault with the statement? Only, this was not the only statement he made. Other statements were very revealing. He said that mortgages are u

Trump Bilateral Trade and History

Donald Trump is pushing for bilateral trade agreements. He believes that the United States can take on any nation one on one, using its leverage to forge advantageous trade agreements with other nations. Looking at history, Germany pre WW2 trade agreements were bilateral. Hitler scrapped broad trade agreements. POTUS is borrowing from that play book. So, we should look at what may be gained or lost from that type of trade approach. There are similarities and differences between Trump bilateral trade and Germany's bilateral trade prior to WW2. The arguments have been made that Germany ultimately became aggressive in its worldview because it needed raw materials and it had an economy that was overheated by war preparation. Certainly it took other things, such as racism, white supremacy, and the desire to unify all Germans to push Hitler to war with Poland. But the essential economic foundation for war was most likely an overheated economy and the need for raw materials. Bilate

Scott Sumner's 15 Minute Macro Economics Lesson

Scott Sumner has given us a 15 minute lesson on what is important in understanding the field of macroeconomics. After this discussion there is some interesting interaction with Fed VP Stephen Williamson, some insights from him and an economic rant. But first, in order to make sense of Professor Sumner's arguments, it would be helpful to look at the definition of macroeconomics: Macroeconomics  (from the Greek prefix  makro-  meaning "large" and economics) is a branch of  economics  dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an  economy  as a whole... Macroeconomists  study aggregated indicators such as  GDP ,  unemployment rates ,  national income ,  price indices , and the interrelations among the different sectors of the economy to better understand how the whole economy functions... While macroeconomics is a broad field of study, there are two areas of research that are emblematic of the discipline: the attempt to understand the caus

Why Delaware Exists

Delaware owns the proud distinction of being the First State. However, it appears that, these days, Delaware exists to take advantage of all the other states. Without its major industry, it would not be a very prosperous state. Delaware exists to hide money. It has been reported that there are a million companies registered in Delaware. While that number is up for dispute, there are at least hundreds of thousands of companies in Delaware, compared to only 900 thousand residents.  Transparency International has singled out Delaware for special status as a tax haven. It is clearly the biggest tax haven in the United States. Delaware joins Nevada and Wyoming as places to form a shell corporation to hide money. (Learn more about  Transparancy International and  why Donald Trump may not want to divulge his tax returns, as you read on.) It is said that hiding money is the business of Delaware, contributing a quarter of its state revenue. According to William Black,   professor of Econ

Henry Kissinger Schools Mercantilist Trump About Reserve Currency

Before explaining Henry Kissinger's lesson for Donald Trump and all of us, I want to issue a disclaimer. I am not a fan of the former Secretary of State. I am not a fan of the abuse of globalization, which happened partly under Kissinger's watch. A real respect for the sovereignty of nations would have been preferable to Kissinger's policy. But that doesn't mean that Henry Kissinger fails to understand the importance of the USA as issuer of the reserve currency. Dr Kissinger understands that the US must remain issuer of the reserve currency, or else those expatriated dollars will flood uncontrollably back into the United States. Kissinger wrote: By gaining the global currency reserve status the US effectively forces the world to follow US monetary policy and the US gets to export inflation as the world is forced to hold US dollar reserves, not only could the US control global commerce but it lived above its means at the expense of other nations. Trump doesn’t unde