E Currency Manipulation

Writing in Asia Times, David P. Goldman warns:

“US financial markets breather a big sigh of relief (yesterday) when the government reported a 9.8% jump in March US retail sales, showing recovery from February’s unexpected decline. And yet there is inflation in vehicle prices, inflation in gas price, inflation in home prices, and pandemic spending on healthcare reflected in the biggest gainers in retail sales. Dare investors hope that the Jerome Powell Fed will find a Goldilocks path of buoyant growth with less-than-horrific inflation? That depends on whether you believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics or your own eyes. The biggest increase in retail sales (comparing the January-March 2021 quarter toQ4 2020) came from motor vehicles and parts. According to the well-respected Mannheim Index, which uses sophisticated adjustments to estimate used car prices, the cost of used cars has risen by about 30% since the Covid crisis began. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the used car and truck component of its Consumer Price Index rose only 8%. I think Mannheim is closer to the truth. Four groups of retailers accounted for almost three-fourths of the quarter-on-quarter increase in retail sales. Motor vehicles headed the list, followed by pharmacies (not surprising during a pandemic), building materials, and gasoline stations.”

*Washington's currency manipulation and charges over tax avoidance against Taiwan and Switzerland have been removed for political reasons. The Swiss will cooperate on a minimum tax on foreign companies. The real issue, alas, is what Ireland will do. I think it will be hard for the Biden Administration to spank Dublin.

*London's FTSE 100 index today rose over 7000 for the first time in 14 months. It hit 7019.53.

Healthcare

*Oxford University, which developed the covid-19 vaccine being sold by Astra-Zeneca—not disinterested—today issued a study that showed that blood clots in people getting any of the current vaccines from AZNPfizerModerna, or Johnson & Johnson are about the same. The rate for cerebral venous thrombosis rate is one in 4 mn for the AZN jab and one in 5 mn with the rivals. The risk for people who get Covid-19 is ten times higher, at 39 per mn.

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William K. 4 weeks ago Member's comment

The federal reserve people have been manipulating the USA currency for many years, making errors all along the way, and much of the timer pushing in the wrong direction. That is what clowns do as part of the clown business. In spite of that fumbling manipulation the country has done fairly well, but not quite excellently for all. Perhaps if the goal had not been constant inflation the bottom 30% of the economic level folks would be better off. There will always be a bottom 30%, but if they were closer to the middle 30% it would be better.

And the detailed report on the rise and fall of many reminds us that weare still in a dynamic situation.