October 12, 2016
This article picks up on a fascinating Bloomberg feature about two orthodox Jewish kids from Brooklyn who became rich and debauched by ruthlessly ripping off everyone they could find – especially their own kith and kin. What makes mainstream yeshiva boys turn into cruel monsters – and why do big Wall Street firms want to do the same disgusting things, but on a much bigger scale?
October 12, 2016
September 19, 2016
Bottom line: The current account surplus slipped for the fourth consecutive quarter — according to revised data using new methodology. However, at $2.66bn it is still comfortably large, with the surplus on trade in services still growing steadily. The deficit on trade in goods jumped by one-third from the first to the second quarter, but the latest trade data make clear that this deterioration is reversing in the third quarter.» Read more
September 18, 2016
Bottom line: The number of housing starts in January-June 2016 was down — but only compared to the levels of 2015. In absolute terms, 24,000+ apartments is a good rate. As for the overall supply pipeline, the total number of apartments under construction is making new highs every quarter.» Read more
September 13, 2016
Bottom line: The tentative signs of improvement in the trade deficit, apparent in the previous month or two, continued to develop in August. These are a) a sharp slowdown in the rate of increase in imports, with some groups now contracting; b) a more mixed picture in exports, with some groups expanding while others are contracting more slowly. This is positive as far as it goes — but it doesn’t go very far…» Read more
September 11, 2016
FISCAL POLICY: Clouds have appeared in what has, since mid-2015, been a clear blue sky. Although the January-August data show that the budget performance is still strong and fiscal policy is very comfortable, the figures for August — at least on the revenue side — indicate that a change for the worse seems to be underway. One month’s data is not sufficient to draw firm conclusions, but an orange light has gone on — for the first time in quite a while.
August 24, 2016
Bottom line: The Industrial Production data for June point to a sharp reversal, from contraction to expansion, in the high-technology sectors, which has positively impacted the indices for the entire industrial sector. Revenues from exports have jumped higher, while revenues from domestic sales are stagnating.