Previously published in the California Economic Forecast, March 24, 2011 If you are looking for a summary statistic on the United States economy, I recommend you consider bank charge-offs. These are the loans that banks have written off their books, because the probability of collecting them is so low. It doesn’t mean that the borrowers… Read more

Last year about this time there was all sorts of talk about green shoots and economic recovery.  We were vocal in cautioning that the shoots were ephemeral and would evaporate with the end of incentive programs and census hiring.  We were right, as job growth turned negative in the 2010’s second quarter. Now, there is… Read more

The Federal Reserve released its 2010 quarter 4 Flow of Funds Accounts today. The 125-page press release and the related database includes a huge volume of data on all things financial for the United States. I will focus my comments on debt levels and on the wealth of the household sector. Quarter 4 debt of… Read more

The February United States jobs report came out this morning, and it is contains a glimmer of hope. This does not mean the recovery is strong yet. One month’s worth of data is nothing to base a trend on. There were 2 things of note that happened in February. Job gains occurred in the construction… Read more

At CNN’s request, California Lutheran University released its February jobs forecast today. The actual data will come out Friday. The weakness in jobs persists: the federal government’s net hiring is expected to be close to zero and state/local government’s net hiring is expected to be negative due to a lack of revenues, non-decreasing expenditures, and… Read more