Archive: Econtrarian

April 30, 2018 | Econtrarian

As of this Past Fourth Quarter, the S&P 500 Remained Relatively Cheap

Now that the first quarter of 2018 has ended, what could be more fitting than to look back at the relative valuation of the S&P 500 stock index as of last year’s fourth quarter? After all, isn’t that what we economists do best, look back? This commentary is an update to my November 29, 2017 […]

April 04, 2018 | Econtrarian

March 2018 Econtrarian Commentary

With the recent U.S. congressional passing and presidential signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the federal budget deficit is projected to increase in the next few years. According to projections by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the U.S. federal budget will […]

February 12, 2018 | Econtrarian

No Sugar High from Tax Cut Unless the Fed and Banking System Provides the Sugar

There has been chatter about whether the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will result in a temporary stimulus, or sugar high, to U.S. economic activity because of the increase in corporate after-tax profits and the increase in household disposable income that will flow from the tax-rate cuts. How can putting this extra […]

January 20, 2018 | Econtrarian

An Alternative Explanation for Walmart’s Announced Employee Bonuses and Wage-Rate Increase

On January 11, Walmart announced that it was raising its starting wage rate to $11 an hour, giving a one-time bonus up to $1,000 to employees, expanding its parental/maternal leave policy and providing employees adopting a child up to $5,000 per child in fees associated with the adoption. In making these announcements, Doug McMillon, Walmart […]

December 19, 2017 | Econtrarian

Festivus 2017 Airing of Grievances: I Gotta Lot of Problems with You, Taylor Rule

In 1993, John Taylor, a Stanford University economics professor, published a research paper in which he purported to describe how the Federal Reserve had conducted monetary policy in terms of its movement of the federal funds interest rate from 1987 through 1992. Essentially what Taylor did was estimate a Fed reaction function to consumer goods/service […]