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General Economy

Trump on Trade… and the Consequences

March 16, 2017
By: Robert Kleinhenz, PhD

President Donald Trump has promised to radically change the trade relationship between the United States and the rest of the world.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Trump and the Triumph of ‘Miserabilism’

November 30, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Donald Trump’s victory a few weeks ago threw the political science world into turmoil.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



California’s Ballot Propositions: A Few Thoughts

November 03, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

In California, this year’s bumper crop of confusing and often contradictory ballot propositions are the best example of a bad idea that has rapidly grown out of control (our most recent post, The Tyranny of Direct Democracy, lays out the serious and intensifying problems associated with the state’s Initiative system).

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Keeping An Eye On The IE

September 28, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It sometimes seems like the Inland Empire is the Rodney Dangerfield economy—it just doesn’t get any respect. But given the region’s ascendency as an economic engine, that will likely change.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Miserabilism Debunked: Middle Class Stagnation

September 01, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Humans by nature are inherently discontent—not that this is a bad thing. Much of human progress can be traced to people striving to improve their own personal circumstances.

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Brexit As A Non Issue

June 30, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

When the UK voted to leave the European Union, it set off an explosion of media coverage even as equity markets around the globe, including in the United States, dived in the aftermath.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Exporting Water In A Drought

February 26, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

The good news is that El Nino came back in 2016 bringing with it much needed rains and a snowpack that is already well above normal.

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What’s With Iowa?

February 04, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

As we kick off 2016 here at No Nonsense Economics it’s the perfect time to give a nod to the ‘official’ start of the presidential election year. This week’s Iowa caucus has once again raised eyebrows – and hackles.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



FFR: The Kardashians Of The Financial World

December 09, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It’s that time of the year again. Not the holiday shopping season—I’m referring to the rampant speculation over what might happen at the next bi-monthly Federal Reserve (Fed) board meeting on December 15 and 16.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Cut Me Some Slack: The Real Concern in Today’s Economy

December 03, 2015
By: Jordan Levine

As the tech sector continues its robust expansion, concern over whether the economy is in another bubble and speculation about when the next recession will hit, has deepened.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



How Many Holes Does It Take To Fill The Albert Hall?

October 13, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Advocates pushing for both education and immigration reform in the United States often invoke the ‘needs’ of the U.S. labor market in making their pitch.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



U.S. Financial Markets: What, Me Worry?

June 11, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

There has been a lot of ‘bubble’ talk lately. Sure, there is the lunatic fringe—such as Ron Paul’s online interview about the coming crash of the U.S. currency, or Jim Rickard’s dire warnings of the impending 25-year depression conveniently laid out in a $25 hardcover book ($13.99 for the Kindle edition!).

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Autonomous Cars On The Way… What Do They Mean For Infrastructure Investment?

June 03, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

Here in Los Angeles, the first thing visitors learn is that our public transportation system won’t get them anywhere. The second thing they learn is that, according to legend, Henry Ford is the reason why.

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Jerry’s Choice And The California ‘Drought’

May 07, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Not long ago I wrote a short piece here on No Nonsense Economics noting that the current water situation in California should more aptly be named a ‘water shortage’ rather than a ‘drought’, the difference being that a drought is a water shortage with significant negative economic consequences.

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We Need More Daylight Savings… Not Less!

March 27, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Well, we recently went through the annual process of moving our clocks ahead an hour for daylight savings, and once again, the whole process has come under attack.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



School Construction Bonds: A Matter Of Fairness

March 10, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Christopher Thornberg

Governor Jerry Brown announced in his recent budget proposal that California should stop issuing school construction bonds. This came as a bit of a surprise to many.

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Some Perspective On The Ports

February 25, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

If you haven’t caught the news, which would be tough given recent press exposure, it looks like the ongoing conflict between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) has finally come to an end.

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It’s Not the Economy, Stupid!

November 07, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Adam Fowler.

So the midterm election is finally over and, as the pollsters predicted, it was a big win for the Republicans.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Statistician, Heal Thyself

October 09, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It’s a cliché to point out that we live in the era of big data – from piles of personal data collected by the web geniuses at Google and Facebook to financial data compiled by credit rating agencies to the new government sponsored economic databases open to use by any number of firms including Beacon Economics.

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A Port Strike: More News Than Economics

July 15, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Over the last few months, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have been negotiating a new contract that will cover nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports...

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Myth Buster: Manufacturing A Primary Driver Of Growth In California

June 11, 2014
By: Eric Meux

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was updated on June 19, 2014 to include newly released and revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

You don’t hear many people talking about how great California’s manufacturing industry is doing. In fact, it’s regularly called out as an industry in demise in the state. How then do we account for the data – which shows that over the past decade, California’s manufacturing industry has been one of the state’s primary engines of economic growth?

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CATEGORY: General Economy



California’s Affordable Housing Problem: If You Don’t Like What You’re Reaping, Stop Sowing It

December 06, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

You may not have noticed, but California managed to dodge another regulatory bullet when Governor Brown recently decided to veto AB1229—a bill by Assemblymember Toni Atkins that would have made “inclusionary housing” part of the entire California housing landscape.

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The Panama Canal Expansion: A Threat To SoCal Jobs?

November 06, 2013
By: Jock O’Connell

Together, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle approximately 40% of all inbound containerized trade entering U.S. seaports.

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Timeless Lessons: Remembering the Roots of the Crash

September 20, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Five years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The collapse caused the markets to swoon and billions of dollars in taxpayer support was handed out. I remember it well because in many ways it was the final vindication of the warnings I had been giving over the previous two years, after I had left UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and started Beacon Economics.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



U.S. Economic Growth Stronger Than Believed: What We Thought We Knew About The Recovery

August 09, 2013
By: Jordan Levine

Recently, on July 31st, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released it comprehensive revisions of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA). This is a process that occurs once every five years, and incorporates the results of the most recent Economic Census and benchmark input-output accounts.

This new revision of NIPA has brought about major changes in the way real output is measured across the U.S. economy.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



First Quarter GDP: What To Make Of It?

April 26, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

First quarter GDP data just came out and growth is up—2.5% (seasonally adjusted) compared to a paltry 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Yet despite the better number, many economists still say the first quarter is a disappointment because it came in below expectations.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



A Christmas Thought

December 21, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

As we make our way through the holiday season, I want to ‘wrap’ up my posts for the year with a challenge to the conventional economic wisdom regarding gift giving.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



China and Local Government: From Boogeyman To Benefactor

November 14, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

If you managed to peer through the blizzard of news reports about the presidential election, you may have heard that there is another country out there that is also going through a major change in leadership—albeit one with far less public scrutiny about the process than ours.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Now That’s A Fact, Jack

October 16, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Last Friday’s relatively positive national employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) elicited cries of foul play from the far right – started by none other that Jack Welch, the former head of GE who tweeted that the books were being cooked to help President Obama following his disastrous debate with Mitt Romney. Numerous other right wing pundits quickly jumped on board and started building on the story.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



2012 Presidential Election: The Big Bet

July 25, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

The upcoming presidential election will likely go down in history as the great Super Pac race—given the tremendous amount of cash the campaigns are taking in and starting to spend.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Enough With Faith-Based Economics

June 26, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Dennis Meyers of the California Department of Finance has recently been writing a series of articles arguing that the state’s economy is not in the midst of a massive economic collapse as some have characterized.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Actually, Mr. President… You Were Right

June 14, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

A few days ago President Obama made what the press have been referring to as a major ‘gaffe’ when he said during an interview that “the private economy is doing fine.” Republicans pounced, painting the President as ‘out of touch’ and declaring the statement symptomatic of his inability to lead the nation out of its severe economic crisis.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



The Unfortunate Triumph of Ideology Over Analysis

February 15, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Back when the housing market was booming, Wall Street firms were handing out record bonuses, and unemployment had fallen all the way to 4.5%, I was regularly being called “Dr. Doom” by the various groups I spoke to, and by members of the media who called me to get an ‘alternative’ opinion.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Disappointing Revenues or Stealth Cuts?

November 23, 2011
By: Jordan Levine

This week, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released an updated economic and revenue forecast for the state of California. Overall, Beacon Economics has found little to disagree with in those revenue projections for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years. In total, the LAO is forecasting that the State will end the 2011-12 fiscal year roughly $3.7 billion lower than estimated in the Budget Act. The entirety of this variance is explained by the $4 billion in additional revenues that were attached to the Budget Act and Automatic Triggers, which has failed to materialize.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Two D’s For the Double Dip: What to Worry About in the U.S. Economy—And What Not To

August 23, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

With all the market turbulence, and mediocre economic reports that have come out lately, that old specter ‘the Double Dip’ is yet again being splashed across the headlines. And along with the headlines have come the odds makers—the folks in my profession who like to attach probabilities to economic events.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Volatility Returns with A Vengeance

August 12, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It has been a wild ride in the equity markets over the past few days. The 5-day volatility index has hit highs that were topped only during the days following Lehman Brothers’ collapse, and Black Monday in the late 1980’s. Even after yesterday’s rally, the markets are roughly 10% to 15% off from where they were in July of this year. What comes next, we will have to wait to see.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



A Bond Rating Conundrum?

August 01, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Press coverage was intense through the weekend as the White House and Congressional leaders worked to pull together a budget compromise to allow the debt limit to be raised.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



New GDP Release Brings Both Good and Bad News

July 29, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new and revised estimates of U.S. GDP. The release told us some things we already knew. It also changed the picture of what happened over the course of the recession.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Welcome to No Nonsense Economics

July 28, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Interpreting news about the economy is tricky. What you see and hear on the surface may not accurately represent what is really going on underneath. Economic data is filled with unexplainable ups and downs, and can be easily misinterpreted or manipulated to support a particular point of view. No Nonsense Economics is a new feature from Beacon Economics where we hope to provide clear, relevant insights about what is happening in the economy - without the hype or hyperbole that seems to dominate the headlines.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



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