John Rubino

Articles by John Rubino

Towards the end of long expansions (this one is the longest on record) things get tight. Factories operate flat-out and start raising prices. Good workers become harder to find and companies start competing for them with higher wages and...
Not so long ago, the major US political parties had very different views on monetary policy. Democrats, representing labor, wanted high government spending, low interest rates and generally easy money to create as many jobs as possible....
Paying someone in order to lend them money seems kind of pointless.

Yet the practice of stashing wealth in places where it yields nothing (and maybe even costs a bit for storage) is more common than you might think. Chinese, Russians,...
The business cycle has its stages, and they’re usually both predictable and logical. For example, governments tend to generate a lot of tax revenue late in an expansion as more people get jobs and start paying income taxes and rising stock...
California Governor Jerry Brown inherited a $27 billion deficit from Arnold Schwarzenegger eight years ago. This month he’s leaving his successor a $13.8 billion surplus and a $14.5 billion rainy day fund balance. Pretty good right?...
A few years ago the Swiss National Bank (SNB) – which traditionally held “monetary assets” like government bonds, cash and gold to back up the Swiss franc — decided to branch out into common stocks.

This was a departure, but for a...
There are two ways of looking at the intersection of debt and population. One way says that if debt is rising population should also rise to allow future workers to pay for the retirement of today’s. More people thus make debt easier to...
A quick recap of the past couple of months:

Stocks plunge.

The politicians, bureaucrats and bankers who depend on artificially-elevated financial asset prices start to panic.

The Fed announces that maybe it won’t have to raise...
One of the strangest things about this strangest-ever expansion has been the way pretty much everything went up. Stocks, bonds, real estate, art, oil – some of which have historically negative correlations with others — all rose more-or-...
A recent MarketWatch article notes that:

GE was one of Wall Street’s major share buyback operators between 2015 and 2017; it repurchased $40 billion of shares at prices between $20 and $32. The share price is now $8.60, so the company...

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Indian gold demand muted at festival, buyers hope for lower prices