Waiting for the Other Sheep To Drop… Or Not

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Does anyone really know what’s going on?  Despite the gloom and doom of my recent posts (Waiting for the Other Sheep to Drop, Alphabet Soup:  What Shape will the Recovery Take?), the latest publication of the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) on Tuesday trumpets:  “Fifth Consecutive Increase!”  The LEI is supposed to predict economic activity approximately 6 months into the future, so you’d think that a five-month run would mean it’s time to celebrate, especially given what looks like the impressive bounce shown in this graph. ...  Additional Details

Alphabet Soup: What Shape Will the Recovery Take?

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On the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ demise and the near-collapse of global markets, it seems appropriate to take a step back from our little corner of heaven for a wider view.

Given where we were a year ago, the world seems to have heaved a huge, if cautious, sigh of relief.  During the chill days of February, the stock market had lost more than half it’s value.  Now it’s down “only” 35%.

San Francisco home prices have also improved.  In January home prices were down 37% from their all-time highs. By July prices had recovered 11%. In August, however, prices fell back 2%.  That’s a pretty stiff drop. (Click the chart for a big version.) ...  Additional Details