Entries by Peter C. Earle

US Economic Growth Plunges in First Quarter 2024

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The release of 1st quarter 2024 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on April 25th surprised virtually all forecasters. The first three months of 2024 were characterized by a notable deceleration in US economic growth, marking an almost two-year low. The same data release revealed that inflation, as measured by US GDP Personal Consumption Core Price Index […]

$34 Trillion and Climbing

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Just before the start of 2024, the US Federal debt surpassed a new milestone: $34 trillion. In 2023 the US added $2.65 trillion in debt, the second largest annual increase in history after the 2020 increase of $4.5 trillion. Going back to 1995, Federal Debt has increased by just over $1 trillion per year, but […]

A World Dedollarized is Gold Remonetized

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

From August 22 through 24th, an extended coalition of over 40 nations which has become known as BRICS+ will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa. Among the likely topics of discussion is the feasibility of setting up a jointly-owned international financial institution. It would be funded by gold deposits, issue a currency, and extend loans tied […]

De-dollarization Has Begun: Redux

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last week’s article (“De-dollarization Has Begun”) produced a large number of comments and follow-up questions. Enough, in fact, that it feels necessary to address the most common of them in a follow-up piece. Some of these responses require a degree of speculation, while others are quite straightforward. 1. Is the reduction in use (or complete […]

Every Curve Flattened

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed the mounting problems in European energy markets. On Twitter, blaming Russia for “manipulating” energy markets, she recommended a handful of steps to mitigate the rolling blackouts and other shortages plaguing Europe. The first tweet reads as follows: Smart Savings of Electricity: We need a strategy to […]

About That “0 Percent” Inflation in July

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

On Wednesday, August 10th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July 2022 Consumer Price Index data showing a year-over-year change of 8.5 percent. That’s down from June’s 9.1 percent year-over-year number, but still at 40-year highs. The Biden administration, predictably, chose to seize upon the 0.0 percent month-over-month change between June and July. As […]

Leave the Gas Station Owners Out of It

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Over the Independence Day weekend, the Biden Administration shifted its blame for rising prices, and specifically rising prices of gasoline, from Vladimir Putin to gasoline retailers. On Saturday, July 2nd at noon, President Biden’s Twitter account inveighed: My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of […]

No, Putin Didn’t Cause Inflation

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The May 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI) release was worse than virtually any forecast predicted. The year-over-year CPI came in at 8.6 percent, not only higher than expected but notching a new four-decade high. The month-over-month CPI (April to May) also came in higher than expected: 1 percent versus 0.7 percent surveyed. Today’s release makes clear that […]

Are Gold Rubles Gold or Rubles?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Exactly one hundred years ago, in March 1922, the Soviet “goods” ruble was in its final stages of collapse after years of debasement and economic mismanagement. Facing hyperinflation and the commensurate inability to calculate economically, the beleaguered People’s Commissariat of Finance deserted it in favor of a new parallel currency: the gold ruble. A century […]

Woke Capital Is Destined to Become a Relic

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

In a market economy, consumers vote with their dollars. The survival and growth of a business depends pivotally upon how effectively they convince customers to buy their products over those of their competitors. But recently, consumers seem to expect a new product in addition to what they were already purchasing from firms: corporate consciousness. In […]