The Irrational Exuberance Of Consumer Confidence Indexes As Economic Indicators

chart tracking volatility of consumer confidence surveys from November 2018 to April 2019

by Richard Cameron   The Consumer Confidence Board released survey numbers for May, which showed an increase in the index from April’s 129.2 to 134.1.  What are these surveys asking, who is being asked and should anyone rely on them for an indication of the economy’s performance in the near term or beyond? The two main surveys that investors follow are the Consumer Confidence Board – actually conducted by the same people (Nielsen) that estimate TV ratings and the University of Michigan. There are some other surveys that troll these two,…

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The Trump Presidency: A Steady Global Devolution Towards Disorder

by Paul Szydlowski Three weeks after he was elected, I posted some predictions of where a Trump presidency might lead us. Among the predictions were failure to complete a border wall, soaring federal deficits, potholes in the attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act and steady global devolution towards disorder if the U.S. were to withdraw from global treaties and alliances. I believe it’s time for a review of where things stand. This is in no way an exhaustive list. Internationally, our withdrawal from multiple international agreements, along with our…

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Have We Lost Our Minds?

by Tony Wyman It has never in the history of humanity been easier to know the truth of things than it is today, yet Americans chose to believe things that are easily disproved with just a few clicks of a keyboard. Have we grown lazy and stupid, too distracted by the drama of reality TV shows, too transfixed by our social media world to know much about the real world that exists off the web? Are we, as the Daily Beast put it in 2017, in a cult of ignorance,…

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2020 Presidential Election Power Rankings – The Democrats

by Tony Wyman Back in February, we listed the top 20 candidates most likely to win the presidency in 2020.  Since then, a number of the top choices have dropped out.  Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ranked 5th in our early ranking, and Ohio’s Senator Sherrod Brown, seeded one spot higher than the publishing magnate in 4th, have both called it quits.  So has number 19, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, number 15 in our February rankings. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock hasn’t, as…

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An Open Letter to Maria Butina From Her Victims

by Kseniya Kirillova An open letter to Maria Butina from her victims Very few people know that before her arrival in the US, Maria Butina, recently convicted of spying for Moscow, had managed to gain trust with the Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin, and participated in human rights and opposition efforts in the country. Her work and apparent commitment was so compelling that none of the activists she knew and participated with could even imagine that she worked for the government or intelligence agencies.  Parallel to Butina’s “opposition” activities, she…

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