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Wolf Richter

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On his site WOLFSTREET.com, Wolf Richter slices into economic, business, and financial issues, Wall Street shenanigans, complex entanglements, debacles, and opportunities that catch his eye in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and China. He lives in San Francisco.

Wolf Street - Potential homebuyers and speculators in Canada are now looking at rising interest rates coming their way, which is a dreadful sight with house prices at these ridiculous levels in the big markets. As is typically the case early in rate-hike cycles, there is now a mad scramble underway to buy a house now, no matter […]

Wolf Street - The broadest Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) jumped by 0.5% in December from November, and by 7.04% from a year ago, the highest since June 1982, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. But there’s a big difference between now and 1982. Now, the inflation index is spiking, and has been getting […]

Wolf Street - Super-inflated asset prices such as housing, stocks, and bonds; massive inflation; and central banks that have started to react. Many central banks have started pushing up interest rates; others have ended asset purchases. And Quantitative Tightening (QT) – central banks shedding assets – is on the table. Rising interest rates in the US won’t catch […]

Wolf Street - My “Wealth Effect Monitor” uses the data that the Fed releases quarterly about the wealth of households. The Fed, after having released the overall data for the third quarter earlier in December, has now released the detailed data by wealth category for the “1%,” the “2% to 9%,” the “next 40%” (the top 10% to […]

Wolf Street - In an amazing development for the Canadian housing market where prices have relentlessly exploded higher – fueled by money printing and interest rate repression that started in March 2020 – prices in November didn’t explode higher in all cities, but only in a few, and “paused” in some, and declined in others. In the most […]

Wolf Street - At the end of the third quarter, there were 283.8 million vehicles in operation (VIO) in the US, of all model years, from the oldest still-registered classic to new vehicles that were just sold, up from 281.6 million vehicles a year earlier, according to Experian’s quarterly report, based on registration data. And over the 12-month […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Ironically, most economic damage done by anti-inflation efforts

Wolf Street - “After 14 consecutive months of acceleration, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index finally took a turn,” said CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp today. But wait… Instead of spiking at a rate of 2% or more from month to month, the national index spiked by only 1.0% in the latest month, whittling down the year-over-year spike […]

Wolf Street - Stock markets closed at 1 p.m. today, and there wasn’t enough time to rectify this evil situation that has emerged on Black Friday, when stocks were supposed to be meandering higher on very low volume, driven by a few algos that would make sure stocks meandered higher to easily book another winning day and a […]

Wolf Street - So this is something that hasn’t happened in the Canadian housing market since 2019: The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index for October, released today, failed to rise from the prior month. The index for Vancouver, a red-hot housing market, fell for the second month in a row, something the market hasn’t seen since September 2019. […]

Wolf Street - Used vehicle wholesale prices spiked by 9.2% in October from September, the biggest month-to-month spike in the data going back to 1997, after having spiked by 5.3% in September, according to Manheim, the largest auto auction operator in the US. Year-over-year prices spiked by 38% from the already sky-high levels last October. Compared to October […]

Wolf Street - The story being propagated by the Fed is that the supply-chain nightmare caused this burst of inflation, the worst in decades. Inflation is taking off in other countries as well, with multi-decade highs in Germany, in Europe generally, in Canada, and other places. This has spread across big parts of the globe. But the Fed […]

Wolf Street - Following its policy meeting today, the Bank of Canada announced that it would end QE outright beginning November 1. And – unexpected by economists – it moved rate hikes closer, with April 2022 now showing up as the expected date of a liftoff, up from the second half in 2022, with four rate hikes expected […]

Wolf Street - The holiday selling season is approaching, and a whole litany of weird shortages is ricocheting through the economy. Stuff suddenly gets hung up somewhere, on a ship, or in a port, and then ends up somewhere else, or it’s on backorder for months, as manufacturers are struggling with material shortages and in in Asia with […]

Wolf Street - No one knows how much total leverage there is in the stock market. Only fragments are reported. Margin loans are reported monthly, and they provide a general idea of the trend in stock market leverage. Some types of leverage are not disclosed at all until something implodes spectacularly, such as Archegos. Other types of leverage […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Interest Rates, US Government Default

Wolf Street - Back when offshoring production by Corporate America to cheap countries was hailed as good for the overall economy, rather than just good for Corporate America, any fears about potentially exploding trade deficits were papered over with visions of the new American Dream: America was great at producing and selling high-value services – the financialization of […]

Wolf Street - Amid China’s many crackdowns is a crackdown on energy consumption, motivated by a slew of reasons, including most pressingly, spiking prices for coal and natural gas, particularly Liquefied Natural Gas. China is the second largest importer of LNG behind Japan. As Europe and Asia compete for supply, the price of LNG for November delivery to […]

Wolf Street - Sales of single-family houses, condos, and co-ops fell by 2.0% in August from July, and by 1.5% from August last year, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.88 million homes, according to the National Association of Realtors today (historic data via YCharts): Sales of single-family houses fell 1.9% in August from July and by […]

Wolf Street - Property development has been a huge factor in China’s economic growth. It accounts for 28% of GDP. And much of it has been funded by debt, including dollar-debt, and much of it is now blowing up. Foreign investors piled into the property sector over the years, buying hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds, including […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Interest Rates, Labour Shortage, Appliances

Wolf Street - It has been one heck of a year so far for automakers, with sales surging early in March and April to very high levels, only to get smacked down brutally by the inventory shortages that resulted from the semiconductor shortages that were triggered by the record mind-blowing spike in sales of durable goods more broadly […]

Wolf Street - The shortages are not at Costco or Safeway, though they too might run out of a few weird items here and there. But other retailers are complaining about them, including apparel retailers and shoe retailers – yup, it took five weeks for my running shoes to arrive after I ordered them online, when normally I’d […]

Wolf Street - It has been nearly 18 months that many big-company offices became no-go places, and the temporary disruption that was supposed to last only a few months has been dragging on and on. The vaunted and repeatedly delayed “return to the office” – as flexible, partial, and “hybrid” as it was supposed to be – is […]
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