August 20, 2015

Crickets: Fed Official Finds No Evidence $4.5 Trillion in QE Accomplished Anything

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:06 am

Imagine if, in 1987, a Federal Reserve official could have pointed to a poorly performing economy and said, “Gee, this supply-side economics hasn’t worked out very well.” The press would surely have treated the story as a front-page item and ensured that it got air time on the Big Three networks’ then-dominant nightly news broadcasts. Of course, there was no such credible report, because the economy under Ronald Reagan boomed.

Fast-forwarding 28 years, the author of a July Federal Reserve white paper on the Fed’s Keynesian-based “quantitative easing” program contends that “There is no work, to my knowledge, that establishes a link from QE to the ultimate goals of the Fed—inflation and real economic activity.” In other words, there is no evidence that $4.5 trillion in funny money with which the economy has been saddled has accomplished anything. In the establishment press, only CNBC’s Jeff Cox has covered it (bolds are mine):

(more…)

Initial Unemployment Claims: 277K SA; Raw Claims (230K) 8 Percent Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:57 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending August 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 277,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 274,000 to 273,000. The 4-week moving average was 271,500, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 266,250 to 266,000.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 229,674 in the week ending August 15, a decrease of 9,652 (or -4.0 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 13,114 (or -5.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 249,463 initial claims in the comparable week in 2014.

This is another strong result.

If you want to make a contrarian argument, it would be that this indicator of low employment churn shouldn’t be associated with annual GDP growth of only 2 percent, and demonstrates that with the economy being managed as it is, 2 percent annual growth is the best we can hope for.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082015)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Knights celebrate life of founder 125 years after his death

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New Haven, Connecticut:

Aug 15, 2015 / 12:15 pm

On Friday, hundreds of faithful gathered in New Haven, Conn. to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the death of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus.

Although he lived just 38 years, Fr. McGivney left a remarkable legacy– the order he founded has become the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Just last year, the Knights raised more than $173.5 million for charity and performed more than 71.5 million hours of volunteer work.

The memorial Mass on Friday was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Haven, where Fr. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, the organization’s supreme chaplain, recalled in his homily how Fr. McGivney’s priesthood modeled the teaching of recent popes.

“St. John Paul II said that the priest’s personality must be a bridge to Christ, and indeed Father McGivney’s unassuming, lighthearted-yet-determined character attracted many to the Catholic faith and to St. Mary’s Church,” said Archbishop Lori. “When Pope Francis tells priests to acquire ‘the smell of the sheep’ and ‘to bring the Gospel to the margins of society,’ I think of Father McGivney. He loved the priesthood deeply.”

At the end of the Mass, John Walshe, a great grandnephew of Father McGivney, joined Archbishop Lori and Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in the incensing of the sarcophagus near the entrance of the church, where Fr. McGivney’s remains are interred. The Archbishop then led those present in prayers for the canonization of the priest.

Father McGivney passed away Aug. 14, 1890, two days after his 38th birthday, in the rectory of St. Thomas parish in Thomaston, Conn., where he served as pastor for six years. He was also pastor at the time of Immaculate Conception parish in nearby Terryville. Previously, he was assistant parish priest for seven years at St. Mary’s, where he gathered a handful of parish men in the church’s basement to found the Knights of Columbus.

These first Knights saw in Fr. McGivney an example worth following, Archbishop Lori said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.