All Macro-Thematic Trend Reports:

The 10 Most Interesting Things We’ve Read Recently (FFTT, 7/30/21)

PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL NOT BE PUBLISHING TREE RINGS NEXT WEEK AS WE WILL BE ON VACATION; TREE RINGS WILL RETURN IN TWO FRIDAYS (FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2021.)  THANK YOU! “Citi US Economic Surprise Index in negative territory and at its lowest since June 2020” (Page 2) “US consumers burn through almost all of COVID excess savings” (Page 4) “With debt/GDP ratios reaching new record highs, it would not take much of a shock to

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US real rates set new lows for 1st time since Aug-20; will the Delta variant provide political cover to re-launch the “standing emergency fiscal facility”? (FFTT, 7/29/21)

Such a mechanism of [Central Bank monetary financing of fiscal expansion] could take the form of a standing emergency fiscal facility. It would be a permanent set-up but would be only activated when monetary policy is tapped out and inflation is expected to systematically undershoot its target over the policy horizon.– Former Fed Vice Chair Stan Fischer, et al, August 2019 “Standing emergency fiscal facility” sounds like the policy equivalent of “jumbo shrimp.”-FFTT, 7/28/21 A

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The 10 Most Interesting Things We’ve Read Recently (FFTT, 7/23/21)

US government tax receipts are finally back above “true interest expense” (Interest + Entitlement Pay-Go’s) (Page 2) Getting US tax receipts back above US “true interest expense” required “silly season” in stocks AND home prices (Page 4) The mechanics of how the US has gotten tax receipts back well above US “true interest expense” in 2021 (Page 6) “Dow sinks more than 900 points as Delta variant fears hit Wall Street hard” (Page 9) “Never

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Shortest recession ever after biggest economic shock in 150 years announces economic policy regime change…& “Delta variant” during economic slowdown may give policymakers the cover to continue it. (FFTT, 7/21/21)

Many economists are still operating from a first principle of “lending driven by economic incentives”, when we have already crossed the Rubicon to “lending driven by political incentives.”  The rules have changed.  We last saw this in the US in the 1930s. – FFTT, July 2021 The Fed is highly unlikely to be able to normalize policy for the foreseeable future without causing severe market and economic disruptions.  Fed QE is likely to continue in significant

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The 10 Most Interesting Things We’ve Read Recently (FFTT, 7/16/21)

Nissan joins Audi, GM in talking about the acceleration of the shift toward electric vehicles (Page 2) “For sustainable finance to work, we will need Central Planning” (Page 3) “Biden, Yellen to maintain Trump’s halt in US/China economic talks” (Page 7) “Have we ever seen a country in history persistently running broad money growth of 10% that didn’t have 4% inflation or above?  No.” (Page 10) “The term ‘fuzzynomics’ describes a world where the old

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Peak Cheap Oil returns to the forefront – will it touch off a new secular commodity bull market? (FFTT, 7/15/21)

Key points: In the past 6 months, a series of stories have pointed to a strong likelihood that Peak Cheap Oil has returned as a potential major catalyst for energy and metals commodities in particular in coming years. Unlike the start of the early 2000’s secular commodity bull market, US shale production has likely peaked (at least for the time being) and the US debt and deficit positions are far worse (running 10-15% fiscal deficits,

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