That Sinking Feeling – copied right [from The Economist]

Making do: American manufacturers have it tough
Data published today may offer comfort to those frightened by August’s Institute for Supply Management survey of manufacturers. That survey suggested that new orders, production and employment were all contracting. Businesses were concerned about the Sino-American trade war, but said that falling trade in general was their most significant concern. It is possible that the numbers will improve this time. The Federal Reserve’s most recent data on manufacturing production suggest that output has not sagged as much as the survey data suggest. Economists at Deutsche Bank expect the ISM measure to improve slightly relative to the previous month. But this says more about the volatility of the indicator than the underlying health of the sector. Because the trade war shows few signs of abating, the dollar is strong and global demand remains weak, the environment for American manufacturers looks likely to remain difficult for a while yet.

Timing when you die and the Will to Live for a Special Moment

Last night in my Monday night group Dave Heath, who is 80, reported on his weekend in Houston for NASA’s 50th fete for Apollo 11.  Dave was a control room guy back then; a re-entry engineering specialist.  One of his remarks was about how Chris Kraft, at 95, was eagerly greeting everyone and having a great time.  Only about a third of that control room crew live, but there was Chris, their leader, hearty if not hale.
Chris died Monday.  News broke this morning.
Spell ck H/T to JNC!

Open Thread 6/14

I have added this thread in lieu of a recent Morning Report.

The Currency of Last Resort and Free Trade

Lately I have been following The Peterson Institute for International Economics.

See:  https://piie.com/

It can be characterized as pro free trade, and market oriented [right, Brent?].  It was founded by a guy named Fred Bergsten, a man with a long career in and close to government, as opposed to either business, finance, or academe.  The Institute got the Peterson brand because Pete Peterson gave it a bunch of money.  The place is considered one of the big time think tanks.

As it happens, Bergsten is a leading proponent of the strong dollar as the main cause of any trade imbalances.

His thinking goes like this: a strong dollar is the reserve currency, and thus the “price” of the dollar is relatively the highest price for any currency.

The high priced dollar means that America can buy overseas at a relatively low price for goods, while foreigners have to pay a relative premium for American goods.

Bergsten thinks this is a mixed blessing but balances on the gold/shit scale in favor of gold.  As an aside, I think most economists would say that.

But it has me wondering how much of the trade imbalance is related to the strength of the dollar, and whether there are empirical studies from either the IMF or the central banks or the leading graduate schools of finance?

Assuming there is a relationship, of course, how could a double blind study be managed?  I suspect any study would be entirely computer modeled and be dependent on inputs.

Brent, do you have any insights?

An Interesting Amicus Brief

Were states correct when they forced electors to vote according to the popular vote in those states?  Here are the arguments for elector discretion.

 

http://reason.com/volokh/2018/07/02/presidential-electors-can-vote-with-disc

Iowahawk knows best 1/3/17

NOT CONTENT TO RANK MERE UNIVERSITIES… 10/27/16

http://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/rankings-index

We’re # 4!

Germany’s “Heritage” ranking alone justified labeling this post “Goofy”.

Beethoven, Mozart, and uh…

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