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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 - 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 […]

Wolf Street - In the 27 states that have ended the extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits, paid on top of the regular state unemployment insurance, people are returning to work at a much faster rate than in states where the extra $300 a week are still being paid: this was further confirmed today by the […]

Wolf Street - Total miles driven by all types of passenger and commercial vehicles, including over-the-road trucks and local delivery vehicles, in June, on all roads and streets in the US rose to 282.5 billion miles, the highest since October 2019, and just a tad below June 2019, according to the Federal Highway Administration this week. In other […]

Wolf Street - This stuff is now going on everywhere, all the time, at all levels. Polaris, the Minnesota-based manufacturer that makes the Indian Chief motorcycles, a variety of snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, and other vehicles, raised its prices in May in response to higher input costs, and now, a couple of months later, it is again contemplating price […]

Wolf Street - House prices spiked 16.6% from a year ago, the biggest increase in the data going back to 1987, according to the National Case-Shiller Home Price Index today, which was for the three-month moving average of deals entered into public records in March, April, and May. But in some cities, the raging housing mania produced far […]

Wolf Street - At least the Bank of Canada is officially acknowledging the craziness of the Canadian housing market, which has been deemed to be the second biggest housing bubble in the world, behind New Zealand, whose central bank also officially acknowledged its housing bubble, and stopped QE cold turkey, unlike the Fed, which has refused to officially […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - US used vehicle market seeing insane prices

Wolf Street - Yes, the Fed is a drunken reckless money-printer, and the US government has been high for years on deficit spending, but other major central banks and governments do the same or worse. The long-term trends are clear, however. The global share of US-dollar-denominated exchange reserves ticked up to 59.5% in the first quarter of 2021, […]

Wolf Street - House prices soared by 14.6% from a year ago, according to the National Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the biggest increase in the data going back to 1987. But it pales compared to the raging mania that has taken hold of individual metros. Today’s release, called “April,” is based on a three-month average of sales recorded […]

Wolf Street - You saw this coming after today’s release of the Personal Consumption Expenditure inflation index. “Core PCE” inflation, which excludes food and energy – the lowest lowball inflation index the US offers and which the Fed uses to track its inflation target – spiked by 6.4% annualized for the past three months. In May alone it […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Shortages and more shortages

Wolf Street - The average age of all cars and light trucks on the road in 2021 in the US, regardless of how many times they have been traded, jumped by about two months from last year, to a record of 12.1 years, according to IHS Markit today. “Average age” means that a portion of the vehicles are […]

Wolf Street - Starting in 2018, President Trump harangued and hammered Fed Chair Jerome Powell to end Quantitative Tightening and to cut interest rates, and Powell buckled and did his infamous “180.” And now suddenly – unless this gets walked backed again tomorrow – we’ve got the opposite. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in an interview with Bloomberg […]

Wolf Street - The Fed’s favorite inflation measure, generally the lowest inflation measure the US government provides — tracking a lot lower than even the Consumer Price Index which already understates actual inflation — and therefore our lowest lowball inflation measure, and therefore the Fed’s favorite inflation measure, was released this morning, and it was a doozie, despite […]

Wolf Street - The first thing to know about the housing bubble in Canada is what the Bank of Canada has been doing, after its furious bout of QE: In October last year, it tapered purchases of Government of Canada bonds by one notch and also ended buying mortgage-backed securities. In March, it started unwinding its liquidity facilities, […]

Wolf Street - There has been a lot of commotion in banking and at the Fed about Americans having the temerity to pay down their credit cards – practically an abuse of stimulus, so to speak. In the five quarters since Q4 2019, Americans have paid down their credit card balances by $157 billion. “One of the most […]

Wolf Street - The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) today announced that it voted unanimously to maintain its policy rate at 0.1%. But in terms of its asset purchases, it took the trail the Bank of Canada blazed last November and then widened in April: tapering. The BoE announced that the blistering pace of its asset […]

Wolf Street - Big companies, such as Procter & Gamble, have used their earnings calls to prepare investors, customers, and consumers for what is coming: Surging input costs are creating hefty margin pressures, and companies are confident they can regain their margins by passing on those surging costs by implementing large price increases. Smaller companies face the same […]

Wolf Street - The median price of new single-family houses sold in March fell by 4.4% from February, to $330,800, after having already dropped by 4.5% in February from January, and by 0.8% in January from December, for a combined three-month drop of 9.4%, the biggest three-month drop since 2009, which brought these house prices right back into […]

Wolf Street - he index for mortgage applications to purchase a home in the week ended April 9 fell by 3.7% for the week, and by 20% from peak-frenzy in January this year, and thereby edged below the same week in April 2019 for the first time since this Pandemic housing boom started, according to the Mortgage Bankers […]

Wolf Street - The Economics and Strategy shop at the National Bank of Canada, the country’s sixth largest bank, sent a missive to clients today that would be hilarious if it weren’t pointing at such a serious and massive issue: It celebrated “40,” referencing a 40th birthday, but instead of a birthday, it referred to the Bank of […]
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