Larry’s Blog

Age of the Next U.S. President: Some Interesting Facts

September 22, 2015

Barack Obama is the 44th U.S. president but only the 43rd different person to hold that office since Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms. The average age of the 43 presidents at the time of their initial inauguration is 55.  25 were in their 50s.  10 were in their 60s but just 2 as old […] More

Some Fundamental Beliefs

September 16, 2015

It’s been 49 years since I first studied economics and 40 years since I worked as an analysts in the Foreign Department of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.  Here’s a list — alas incomplete – of core beliefs acquired as a currency market watcher. Currency movements are often very counter-intuitive, and a single ill-advised […] More

Earned Trust is a Fleeting Commodity

September 9, 2015

Never trust completely what you hear from financial market advisors.  Decades of experience in this business have led me never to attach 100% or 0% probability to a forecast.  Even the top guns in the business have been known to get the outlook entirely wrong, and as an example I came across in my files […] More

The Trouble with U.S. Income Inequality

June 1, 2015

In a thought experiment, imagine two scenarios each with a U.S. population of 100 people and a rise in real GDP of $1,000.  In the first case, everyone’s income rises by $10, but in the second, the entire incremental GDP of $1,000 is reaped by a single individual, and the other 99 residents experience no […] More

Uncompromising and Incompetent Leadership

May 31, 2015

It’s hard to maintain critical mass when the implicit message is lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.  Organizations need dreamers and leaders.  Success also requires good administrators and committed worker bees.  In the case of a local organization, damage to morale from the refusal by leaders to compromise is multiplied by […] More

U.S. Real Growth and Technology

April 30, 2015

The span of time since Y2K constitutes a “long run,” and it has seen a proliferation of new electronic devices transforming the world as we know it.  U.S. inventions have driven much of this technology revolution, yet U.S. real economic growth has counter-intuitively slowed greatly.  It’s not that America’s best and brightest have done a […] More

U.S. Economic Growth Over the Past Ten Years

March 27, 2015

While faster than growth in Japan and the eurozone, U.S. growth during the past decade was considerably slower than in the prior ten-year intervals.  Nine consecutive calendar years have now passed without any showing average real GDP growth of as much as 3.0%.  The averages in the most recent three years — 2.3% in 2012, […] More

Congress and the Federal Reserve – A Comment on Their Appropriate Relationship

February 11, 2015

The Federal Reserve System was created by an act of Congress just over a century ago and remains organizationally accountable to that body.  The dual monetary policy mandate to preserve price stability and maximize employment was defined by the Congress and mandated to the central bank.  Federal Reserve officials by law routinely testify before federal […] More

Comments on U.S. Political Scene

January 16, 2015

Obama’s Economic Record This coming Tuesday marks the completion of the sixth year of Obama’s presidency.  Three-fourths of his stewardship belongs to history, which presents a convenient opportunity to calculate how the economy has done during the period so far.  The economy was in an expansionary phase for all but the first five months of […] More

The Dark Side of Street Protests

September 23, 2014

Without the prodding of street protests throughout history, the causes of social justice would not have progressed as far as they did.  In the United States, there is greater racial equality and fairer conditions for children, women and workers.  Law enforcement is more accountable.  Women won the right to vote in 1920, 144 years after […] More