September 20, 2021
MainStreet Macro: No Free Lunch
There’s a saying in economics – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The idea is that things that look free often have hidden cost. The cost of borrowing, for both Main Street and Wall Street, isn’t exactly free, but it is really, really cheap right now thanks to the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy, which has kept interest rates at rock-bottom levels. But all that cheap money can come at a high cost to all of us down the road. When Fed governors meet this week to take their regular measure of the economy, they’ll be weighing three of the biggest tradeoffs of cheap money.
September 13, 2021
MainStreet Macro: Wages, Three Ways
Wages have been on a tear lately. In August, they grew 4.3% from a year earlier. To put that number in perspective, in the decade leading up to the pandemic, wages never grew more than 3.5% from the previous year.
There are three possible reasons wages are accelerating, each with a different implication for the broader economic recovery. On this weeks blog we discuss wages three ways.
September 7, 2021
MainStreet Macro: Creative Destruction
On today's blog we discuss a new economic concept into our discussion of jobs recovery. It’s called creative destruction. Although it sounds mysterious, maybe even a bit ominous, it has deep roots in economic research on the labor market, new business formation, and economic growth. Creative destruction tends to track the economy and the ebb and flow of the business cycle. However, the unprecedented global pandemic has both shifted and accelerated the process of creative destruction in three unique ways.
August 30, 2021
MainStreet Macro: Jackson Hole
Every year at this time, some 120 prominent central bankers, finance leaders and academics gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss pressing global issues. The highlight of the conference is a Friday-morning speech given by the head of the Federal Reserve – this year Chair Jay Powell. Traders, economists and other finance geeks hang on the speech’s every word for signs of a shift in monetary policy -- essentially whether the Fed will nudge interest rates up or down
August 23, 2021
MainStreet Macro: Consumer Mojo
Consumers have a special kind of economic mojo. What people buy, how much they buy and where they buy it – that’s the economy in a nutshell.
Consumer spending was the first part of the economy to recover after the pandemic, and has been a tailwind to growth ever since. However, recent surveys point to a drop in consumer confidence. There are signs the consumer tailwind is losing some of its strength.
August 16, 2021
MainStreet Macro: Working from Home- The Good, the Bad and the Virtual
This week we’re talking about a subject that a lot of us have gained experience with over the past year – working from home.
During the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, as much as a third of the U.S. workforce did their jobs from home specifically because of the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number shrank to just 13% in July as more adults were vaccinated. We review four key findings from the survey, “On-site, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiment on the Workplace”.
August 9, 2021
MainStreet Macro: A jobs recovery like no other
Last week was a big one for labor market data. On Wednesday, the ADPRI National Employment Report showed that the economy added 330,000 jobs in July, a marked slowdown from the 728,000-job pace we saw in the second quarter. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a blockbuster report showing that private payrolls had grown by 703,000 in July. Including the government, the economy added a total of 943,000 jobs. Though the monthly ADP and government numbers have often disagreed dramatically, year-to-date they sing the same tune. Here are three reasons why this is a jobs recovery like no other.