A Journal of Independent Research, Analysis,
 Opinion and Insight

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Crisis-Conscious; Active
TLR's Philippa Dunne Connects Dots in Economics & Culture; Listens
In a week that started with news of a Covid-denying President’s infection with the virus and only turned more bonkers from there, I wanted to speak with no one more than my old friend, Philippa Dunne. 

She is, to be sure, one-half of the duo (with Doug Henwood) that has not only kept the flame of what started as The Liscio Report burning bright in the many years since John’s untimely death, but  expanded it, as TLRanalytics, the independent go-to source of high resolution economic research, continued publishing the renamed TLR on the Economy, and launched their TLRwire, service for instant insight on breaking economic data. Philippa has done so, moreover, without skipping a beat in her alternative careers as a freelance professional musician and ceaseless campaigner for sensible environmental and conservation practices, on the board of non-profit Hudsonia Institute.  

But truth be told, I wanted most to speak with Philippa because she’s unfailingly a voice of piercing intelligence, calm and reason, even as she synthesizes the most discordant of economic and social counterpoints into insight and perspective on everything from markets to climate change to the cultural crisis du jour.

A House Divided
Absent An FDR-Style Landslide, How Gap Is Bridged To Be Key
10/09/20 8:00 AM
By Albert M Wojnilower
It is likely — though not certain — that there will be a US national election November 3 and that its outcomes will be accepted and honored. What the results will be — and when they become known — remains, to this observer, a mystery.

Stuck In Pandemic
Mired In ZIRP, Political Gridlock — Perhaps, Post-Election
10/09/20 7:00 AM
By Craig A Drill
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and the public’s mood and behavior. Most of the population remains vulnerable to infection.

Economic Innoculation
The Case For Scaling Up Public Investment Now For Revival
10/09/20 6:00 AM
By Vitor Gaspar, Paolo Mauro, Catherine Pattillo, and Raphael Espinoza
Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. While maintaining the focus on addressing the health emergency and providing lifelines for households and businesses, governments need to prepare economies for the transition to the post-COVID-19 world — including by helping people get back to work.

Lifeline Or Life Support?
Banks Need To Scrap Dividends In Crisis To Support Economy
10/09/20 5:00 AM
By Madeline Finnegan, Sarah Ngo Hamerling, Beverly Hirtle, Anna Kovner, Stephan Luck, and Matthew Plosser
By many measures the US banking industry entered 2020 in good health. But the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the associated economic disruptions have caused unemployment to skyrocket and many businesses to suspend or significantly reduce operations.

Employment Shocker
A 62-Year Uptrend Isn’t Broken Every Day...
10/09/20 8:20 AM
By Andrew Addison
Total US Employment has severed a 62-year up trend (that began in 1958)!

It is not often that 60-year trends are broken or hurdled. [More]

K-Cycle Thoughts
Only Higher Rates Will Sustain The Bull In Time; ESG Mania?
10/09/20 7:20 AM
By Blaze Tankersley
I wanted to take a look at the rates market today. Bonds have thus far refused to validate the potential for recovery. [More]

Unsafe Amid Huge Need
Social Safety Net In Tatters In Wake Of Covid-19
10/09/20 8:00 AM
By Marianne Bitler, Hilary W Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
The COVID-19 crisis has led to spiking unemployment rates with disproportionate impacts on low-income families. [More]

Putting A Price On Racism
Economic Cost Of Black Inequality In The U.S.
10/09/20 7:00 AM
By Dana M Peterson and Catherine L Man
A useful definition of racial equity hails from the San Francisco Fed: “racial equity means just and fair inclusion in an economy in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. [More]

Test Sensitivity
Rethinking Strategy For Covid-19 Containment
10/09/20 6:00 AM
By Michael J Mina, Roy Parker, and Daniel B Larremore
It’s time to change how we think about the sensitivity of testing for Covid-19. [More]

City Fiscal Conditions
The Distress Is Practically Universal
10/09/20 5:00 AM
By Christiana K McFarland and Michael A Pagano
In March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the US economy went into free fall. [More]

Household Financial Pain
Unequal Exposure To Macro Risks Evident In Response To Shocks
10/09/20 4:00 AM
By Kartik Athreya, Ryan Mather, Jose Mustre-del-Rio, and Juan M Sanchez
The goal of this paper is to show that household-level Financial distress (FD) varies greatly, meaning there is unequal exposure to macroeconomic risk, and that FD can increase macroeconomic vulnerability. [More]

Pandemic Spending Spree
Public Investment Required For Reopening, Future Growth
10/09/20 3:00 AM
The International Monetary Fund
This chapter argues that governments need to scale up public investment to ensure successful reopening, boost growth, and prepare economies for the future. [More]

Acute Observations, October 9, 2020
Perceptive Commentary from September 11-October 9 2020
10/09/20 8:00 AM
Jay Powell
Taken together, fiscal and monetary policy actions have so far supported a strong but incomplete recovery in demand and have — for now — substantially muted the normal recessionary dynamics that occur in a downturn. In a typical recession, there is a downward spiral in which layoffs lead to still lower demand, and subsequent additional layoffs. This dynamic was disrupted by the infusion of funds to households and businesses. [More]