Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog
Why U.S. long-term interest rates have been rising since May 1
On or about May 1, the U.S. long-term interest rate started to rise as indicated by the interest rate on U.S. Treasury Bonds. I follow the movement of long-term U.S. interest rates on the following page:
The graph shows that around May 1, the 10 year U.S.Treasury bond interest rate turned on a dime. It had been going down from about March 11 (about 2.05%) to May 1 (about 1.65%). It has since headed up to about 2.55% today.
I have been trying to figure out the cause. There are several possibilities that could cause the U.S. Treasury bond rate to rise, including:
According to Lars Christensen, Danske Bank's chief emerging-markets analyst, China's big regional banks have been selling their Treasury Bonds because they are facing a short-term cash crunch. Here's a selection from a Bloomberg article about his explanation (Is China to Blame for Rising U.S. Interest Rates?):...
The President's Climate Action Plan
Andrew Watt (The President's Climate Action Plan -- the good, the bad, and the ugly) stayed up late last to give a quick read to The President's Climate Action Plan which was released at 6am this morning.
The main economic impact of the plan will be felt by the trucking industry. In recent years, a favorite technique of the government when it is trying to keep its budgets under control, is to pass the costs on to the private sector. It will greatly increase regulation on new trucks. Watt's writes:...
Sarah Hall Ingram is being written out of the IRS scandal
Sarah Hall Ingram is being written out of the IRS scandal. Take, for example, this selection from an article in today's Insurance Journal which states:
The height of the scandal was January 2012 when, for the second time, a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) list was instituted which specifically targeted groups whose names included words such as "Tea Party." And Ingram was Commissioner of the relevant IRS division at that very time:...
Who ordered that targeting of Tea Party groups be resumed in May 2012?
According to May 21 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, in July 2011 IRS targeting of conservative groups for additional scrutiny was stopped, only to be resumed in May 2012. The initial targeting was blamed upon underlings in the Cincinnati IRS office. But, mysteriously, nobody at the IRS seems to know who ordered that targeting be resumed. Senator Pat Toomey (Republican, PA) questioned Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller about it (see the 2:07 mark):
Why the IRS scandal is worse than the others
In today's Baltimore Sun, former Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., (Why the IRS scandal is worse than the others) lists several reasons why the IRS scandal is worse than the others, one of which is that the IRS targeted conservative groups:
Parenthetically, Ehrlich notes the flippant answer given by IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman when asked about his many trips to the White House:...
John Stossel, No they can’t, Why Government Fails –But Individuals Succeed (New York: Threshold Editions, 2012)
This is a book all liberals should read because it challenges the myths they believe in. Many conservatives share some of these same myths. John Stossel is well-known for his Network show, Stossel, and his contributions to Fox News, He has won many Emmy Awards and is a five-time National Press Club honoree. He writes about “Fixing” the Economy, fairness myths, political correctness, education, the War on Drugs, conservationist extremes, food faddists, globalization and a host of other topics and host of other issues everyone is concerned about.
Throughout the book, he inserts a box related to the topic he is discussing, with the heading, “What Intuition Tempts Us to Believe In” and “What Reality Taught Me”. But these should be read while reading the text. A few examples:
Intuition, “It’s good for government to encourage home ownership” and the reality “When government interferes in a market … Bad things happen.”
Manufacturing Employment Down for Third Month in a Row
According to the employment survey statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment fell in May for the third month in a row, down from 11,988,000 in February to 11,967,000 in May.
The graph below shows that manufacturing employment has generally been rising from the depths of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, though the recovery has been small, compared to the number of jobs lost during the Great Recession:
The fall in manufacturing jobs is likely to become a trend due to:...
Blacks Do Poorly Under Obama's Stimulus Policies
It is generally believed that blacks have fared well under Obama but the truth is that Obama’s policies have made blacks worse off. A black scholar, Dr. Reginald Clark, points out that every racial group, except the blacks, has benefitted, however moderately, since 2009. He writes that “since 2009 Blacks are the only group that has taken a definitive step BACKWARDS since then.” This continues to be true as the following table shows:
Census Release, May 13, 2013
Unemployment Rates Apr. 2012 Apr. 2013
Total 16 and over 8.1 7.5
Teenagers 24.9 24.1
White 7.4 6.7
Black 13.1 13.2
Asian 5.2 5.1 .
Hispanic 10.3 9.0
Journal of Economic Literature:
Atlantic Economic Journal: