How UT-Austin administrators destroyed an intellectual diversity.

Reprinted from the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

So far, only the most dishonest or deliberately ignorant observers deny the existence crisis facing higher education. Universities no longer maintain the pretense of unpleasant rationalism and free inquiry, but instead focus on a particularly toxic and frankly irrational form of “social-justice” activism, increasingly in even the hardest science.

Why does this situation continue? Here, I can contribute to our understanding that a higher-education reform effort in recent memory got the front row seat for perhaps the most spectacular failure: the “Liberty Institute” at the University of Texas at Austin.

Any other recent effort that I know of is ambitious, close to success, and ultimately, proud of the same combination of inferiority and complete failure. The effort has been undone, not through the conspiracies of campus leftists, but through the weakness of supposed conservatives, a lesson that anyone else should jump into the reform effort.

Our story begins with a small group of faculty at UT-Austin Business School, who acknowledged the need to push back against the growing dominance of left-wing social-justice activism on campus. One of us, Carlos Carvalho, was given the opportunity to lead a small, policy-centric center within the business school. Over the years, we have made the Salem Center for Policy one of the most active centers on campus.

As these activities have been created, we have built a growing network of supporters who have encouraged us to pursue more ambitious goals. This was the beginning of what became known as the “Liberty Institute”. We have drafted a brief proposal for a separate academic unit that can keep faculty with perspectives and research agendas that would disqualify them from jobs elsewhere on campus.

What we saw at UT-Austin was a study of the basics of how free society works, as well as the relationship between freedom and human development. Virtually all other areas of campus where such national ideas were effectively explored that education or research take an approach that such national societies are indeed oppressive; That requires radical social change; And the activism that is designed to undermine the traditional foundations of a free society is a moral obligation. Beyond the apparent inadequacy of making such conclusions, such criteria were clearly in conflict with easily observable data. Thus, efforts were needed to recover intelligent analysis in UT-Austin.

The proposal we’ve made has received significant positive attention, and potential supporters have reached out to UT President Jay Hartzel to express their enthusiasm. The President kindly agreed to follow the plan.

At this point, the university, potential donors, and Professor Carvalho devised another plan that empowered an independent academic unit (thus, a college or a department) to appoint term-track faculty. This unit will offer a significant number of classes, including a major (politics, philosophy, economics, and proof), a minor, and a postgraduate degree. We will be tasked with significant outreach to high school students across Texas.

The plan, with the consent of the UT President and the Chairman of the Board of Regents, gained support in the Legislature and funding for the project was added to the 2021 budget. So we are preparing to implement the plan. Carvalho proposed to the President a preliminary committee of UT faculty to work on the project, but we never heard from him.

Instead, we spent many months working with other interested faculty for classes, curricula, and potential assignments.

We now know that, during this time, the President of UT appointed a critical race theorist in charge of the development of the Liberty Institute. That administrator, Richard Flores, belongs almost exclusively to the CRT-centric Mexican American Latino / Latina Studies Department. An initial attempt to place the institute in a business school, under our far-left dean, failed when he refused to cooperate. Previously removed from the portrait of the office of the former Dean and our nominee, Red McCombs, because there were so many white men, he clearly did not accept our project.

Then, at the end of August, Texas Tribune Run an unfavorable article on the project, which resulted in a continuous sequence of unfavorable faculty council meetings where UT professors attacked the idea, even opposing anything potentially conservative on campus. This The Tribune The article was explicitly used as an excuse to default on the original plan agreed with the state.

After the article appeared, Professor Carvalho was called to a meeting with President Hartzel about how to proceed. Unknown to Carlos, Richard Flores was also included in the meeting, and he determined how the institute would move forward. With the full support of President Hertzel, Flores directed that the Carlos Institute move forward only by finding people who want to hire existing departments and provide state-allocated funds to those departments.

This was clearly a complete default on what was agreed with the university legislature. The whole purpose of the project was to come up with some ideas and approaches that existing departments have filtered out because of their extreme political bias.

At this stage, Carvalho Flores rejected the plan and insisted on continuing with the one agreed with the legislature. He then reported what had happened to potential donors, which apparently led them to contact people in government who supported the plan. To our concern, the result of this communication was that the Chair of the Board of Regents, Kevin LTF, banned Carlos from any further involvement in the Institute.

Here was the moment when the project could be saved. Either the government could come and insist on following the original plan, or potential donors could present a united front demanding follow-through and the creation of a meaningful institute. Instead, everyone is totally drifting towards university.

Carlos was uninvitedly separated from a planned meeting between him and the donors, apparently at the urging of the UT president, who instead attended the meeting. Two of the three main donors have fully agreed to bring all the faculties together and come up with a plan to effectively end any statement on their behalf, excluding him from all subsequent involvement.

There was then a successful campaign to discredit Carlos’ character, in line with that effort (significantly led by Richard Flores) to weaken Rob Kuns, the last UT-Austin faculty member to attempt such an effort.

We continue to fight for the original vision, exactly why the Flores plan would be nothing more than an inverse fruitful fig leaf, but all our support evaporated as the university dug up. In the end, it was the conservative politicians and donors, not the Marxist faculty. , Which brought it down from their reluctance to face a so-called prestigious Texas organization.

At this point, President Hartzel began his campaign to maintain the illusion of the Liberty Institute’s progress. He formed a faculty committee that included Lauren Pangel, who was brought in as a professor at UT specifically to assassinate previous attempts to do something along this line.

Subsequently, a secret committee, apparently headed by William Inboden, began a “search” for a director. The search immediately focused on a single name, Justin Dyer, who founded the Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri, took money from conservative donors but coordinated with a leftist to create something that could be used to protect the university from further criticism without challenging it. . Campus orthodoxy.

Dyer and Inboden apparently have a long relationship. Dyer was even giving information about the faculty working on the UT project in Inboden and the president’s office. We never saw a posting or learned about the search until it was basically over, giving us the opportunity to bring in alternative candidates who would actually support the plan.

Notably, despite clear doubts about his quality as an academic, Dyer received a favorable term vote. Academic standards and state objectives were sacrificed to avoid clashes with leftists while creating the appearance of activity.

Thus, we have now started an institute that will be both intellectually mediocre (optimal) and does not have the ability to fulfill the mission of bringing low-prepared but important ideas to campus. The extreme hostility of the faculty towards this project shows the desperate need for something serious along this line. However, with the current administration of UT-Austin, nothing will be possible without the direct intervention of the state.

Richard Lowry

Dr. Richard Lowry is an associate professor of finance and has been at UT-Austin since 2009, when he completed his PhD. In Economics at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an applied game theorist with research on banking, investment banking, real estate and more. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Political Economy and other outlets. Much of his work focuses on understanding aggressive behavior in financial markets and other sources of potential inefficiency.

In UT, Dr. Lori has taught undergraduate programs, MBA programs and Master of Science in Finance programs. He also taught as a visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program. Her recent commentary has been published in The Hill, Texas Tribune, Houston Chronicle and FT. Price Star-Telegram.

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Why do consumer sentiment echo crash?

Whenever the economy goes into recession, something strange happens: consumer sentiment takes a jolt, recovers, and then crashes a second time, next to the recession.

I suspect that this feeling has something to do with the lagging nature of the survey: perhaps it’s the resentment of recovery or the resentment of disbelief.1

2022 is the fourth such crash in sentiment since recovering from the recession since 1990. The chart above shows that the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index goes back to the 1970s. Starting in the 90’s, there is a strange feeling of “echo crash” Later Every recession. Why this happens is unknown; Perhaps it’s the equivalent of PTSD’s Econ, or maybe it reflects frustration at how parts of the economy recover. Regardless, each recession was followed by a significant drop in sentiment after recovery.

Consider the recession of 1990: After falling from a high of 97.9 in 1989, sentiment plunged to a low of 63.9 in December 1990. By March 1991, it had recovered to 87.7 before collapse. Again 67.5 in January 1992.

Anyone who took the fall of sentiment in 1992 as a signal of market selling has left a lot of money on the table.

Similarly, before the 2001 recession, Michigan’s sentiment rating peaked at 112.2 in January 2000. It fell to a low of 82.7 in October 2001 (after 9/11) before recovering to 96.9 in May 2002. Echo was less than 2003.2 At 77.6.

The market has doubled in the next 5 years.

Sentiment of 96.9 was highest in January 2007 before the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) recession; Sentiment crashed to a low of 55.3 in November 2008, then reached 77.5 in February 2011 and before crashing sharply to 77.8 in August 2011 – almost identical to GFC Low.

If you sell based on low sentiment, you will miss a huge rally and the opportunity to triple your money in the S&P 500.

What about current feeling peaks and crashes? The pre-epidemic maximum sensitivity lesson in February 2020 was 101.0; They later came down to 71.8 in April 2020. Things are available here Strange kind: After recovering from April 2021 to 88.3, ​​they subsequently dropped to the lowest level of the epidemic at the GFC level of 58.4 in May 2022.

The epidemic recession and recovery have made everything abnormal; This is not a general expansion after the recession. Lots of cross currents and oddities have created a challenge in the analysis of this economy using traditional models and rules.

I’m not suggesting that we ignore the feeling – Phil Gram’s “mental depression” in 2008 showed us the dangers of that approach. However, some recent sentiment data seems to be strangely conflicting with employment and wage data. James McIntosh of WSJ mentions where it seems to be out of sync with reality:

“Since the University of Michigan began its long-running Consumer Sentiment Index in the 1950’s, families have been suffering the most. বিবে Conscience Test: Really? Worse than when unemployment was nearly double current levels in 1980 and inflation was in double digits with 14.5% interest rate? Worse than after the 9/11 attacks or in 2008 when the global banking system was on the brink of failure?

Instead, consider other factors: There is some data that shows that some of these are biased – people’s perceptions may vary based on their political affiliation and which party is in power. But inflation is probably to blame. It started to be aggressively higher in January 2021 and after 2 quarters till July 2021, the sentiment is increasing. One of the main reasons for the fall of 2021-22 is inflation.

I am intrigued by the idea that after a recession, there are long-lasting resonances of emotional issues that lead to feelings

The psychology of surveys is that people are imperfect measure of what they imagine or predict what they are going to do. From holiday shopping surveys to pollsters to market sentiment, everything has been a problem. Whatever the case, we should never ignore the fall in emotion.

I can’t help but wonder if this pattern of breaking echoes in feeling after a big recession is something valuable. Not only is it a reminder that sentiment is a backward indicator, but it also suggests a reverse way of looking at the market.

Sentiment LOL (May 17, 2022)

Many Bears (May 3, 2022)

Unilateral Market (September 29, 2021)

#Failed on Black Friday

See more:
Consumers say 2022 is the worst economy
By James McIntosh
WSJ, July 6, 2022


1. Feelings are inherently backward, but questions of expectation are flawed for different reasons: people are afraid to predict the future, what they will do (shop, vote, etc.) or how they will feel. But it does provide a snapshot of the mood.

2. The U.S. invasion of Iraq began in March 2003 and is probably a significant source of negative sentiment.

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10 Thursday AM read – big picture

My morning The train WFH reads:

A Trim-less economic downturn: Before the epidemic, the lowest ever rate for pruning was 1.1%. May was the 15th consecutive month of pruning rates below that level. Economic data may not be what you expect it to be. (TKer)

A There is a solution to high gas prices. Americans will hate it. Europe has woven energy conservation into its politics and economy in a way that the United States has not. Constantly higher prices may change that. (Grid) See more The war against inflation began at sea Biden is cracking down on the shipping industry at sea. (Vox)

A How China’s relationship with Hollywood shaped the films Big Hollywood movies are being made with Chinese audiences in mind. (Vox)

A Dollar costs average defense: This is a philosophy through which the average cost of the dollar runs. It is the data-driven foundation under which every financial trust of mine has been built. Without this foundation I would be lost. Without this proof-based bedrock, I would be terrified at the first sign of trouble. (Dollars and data)

A Wait, how did dry cleaning become so expensive? Up to 30% of large mom-and-pop dry cleaners in the United States have been shut down since the epidemic began; Now, the remaining dry cleaners say they have no choice but to pay more to their customers. (Wall Street Journal)

A Does the White House need a ‘zoning jar’? As it seeks to mobilize bipartisan support to overcome housing barriers, the Biden administration should consider a permanent office dedicated to overcoming exclusionary zoning. (Citylab)

A Pruning is coming. The outsourcing industry will benefit. Amy Lynch, co-founder of Frontline Compliance, said outsourcing was “originally born out of the crisis.” (Institutional Investors) See more Dehumanization is a feature of gig work, not bugs Does the increase in gigs, freelance and contract work mean the identity of the people who do those jobs? The author, who drives for postmates, interviews other drivers, attends private and virtual company meetings, and reviews and contributes to driver forums on Facebook, Reddit, and other websites, examines the descriptions of who and what Gig employees tell themselves about. They do. (Harvard Business Review)

A Open House Hunters who target the rich and famous of LA: In the wake of a heinous crime, a couple allegedly stole millions of dollars worth of watches, bags and other luxury items from celebrities, the super-rich and even friends. Their trial will begin on August 25. (Business Week)

A Norway was an epidemic success. Then it spent two years studying his failures. Why a country wrote a playbook for the rest of the world. (Wall Street Journal)

A How Row vs. Wade evolved: A Behind-the-Scenes Visual Tour: A review of the Supreme Court’s internal documents reveals that the judges’ thinking on Row developed dramatically during the eight months of deliberations. If the heart had not undergone various major changes – and strategies – we would not have been able to end the pregnancy with an iron-clad right to consider abortion effective. (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview with Spencer Jacob, editor and author of The Wall Street Journal’s Hard on the Street column this weekend. In front of the tape Column He began his career as an analyst at Credit Suisse, where he eventually became director of emerging market equity research. He is the author of “That wasn’t the revolution: Gamestop, Reddit and the flirting of small investors

The first half returns assets

Source: Henry Allen, Deutsche Bank

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Progress of the private sector among the largest companies in China under Shir

Progress of the private sector among the largest companies in China under Xi Jinping

The issue of corporate ownership, even in China. There is a well-established difference in behavior between private-sector firms and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), if only the former are driven to a greater extent for the purpose of maximizing profits, resulting in higher productivity gains (Lardy 2014), Lardy 2019). The widespread presence of the Chinese Communist Party, and even its determination to control certain aspects of the behavior of private sector companies – for example, censorship and access to security services in data – does not offset the significance of that division. Thus it is important to find an accurate picture of the respective shares of the private and public sectors in China, as it is in other jurisdictions (Büge et al 2013, Abate 2020).

In our study on China’s largest companies (Huang and Véron 2022), we have collected and analyzed data on the variable shares of public sector and private sector among China’s largest companies for more than a decade. The data shows that China’s private sector has grown not only in perfect terms but also as a proportion of the country’s largest companies, measured by revenue or (for those listed) market value, from very low levels when President Shi was confirmed. The next top leader in 2010 is a significant part today. SOEs still dominate among the largest companies in terms of revenue, but their dominance is declining. Widely used to describe China’s economic trends, the Chinese phrase “progress of the state, retreat of the private sector” does not present the main picture of what is going on under President Shir in the Chinese business world so far. In recent years.

The rapid growth of the private sector among the largest companies in China

Unlike many other countries, China’s largest companies are often not listed on stock exchanges. This is true of both the public sector and the private sector, although most of the activities of many unlisted SOEs are conducted in the majority owned listed subsidiaries. Thus, we examine both listed and listed companies using the two partially overlapping rankings of the largest companies in China.

The first sample is ranked by revenue, a proxy for a company’s activity. We use data compiled by business magazine Fortune for its annual Fortune Global 500 rankings, from which the paper extracts companies from mainland China. The group has grown rapidly, from 15 companies in the 2005 ranking (based on 2004 revenue) to 130 in the 2021 ranking (based on 2020 revenue). Their total revenue increased from 2. 2.8 trillion in 2010 to 8 8.8 trillion in 2020 Their total headcount in 2020 was 21 million, slightly less than twenty percent of China’s total urban employment, a ratio that has been relatively stable over the past decade.

The second sample is limited to mainland Chinese companies whose shares are listed on stock exchanges, including companies such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and / or New York, Alibaba and Tencent who have adopted variable-interest-ownership in foreign sector ownership in certain sectors such as Internet services. China’s strict rules. We have compiled an annual ranking of the top 100 Chinese listed companies based on year-end market capitalization from 2010 to 2021. Their total headcount and revenue levels are significantly lower than in the first sample, as would be expected because it does not include some giant companies. Yet nonprofits are unlisted SOEs, and conversely they include some high-growth young companies that have a lot of promise but are still relatively small. Together, these largest 100 listed companies represent about two-fifths of the total market capitalization of all Chinese listed companies.

The ownership of this largest Chinese company involves a range of investor divisions. These include, among others, the Chinese state at the central and local levels, directly through government ministries or departments (such as the central government’s finance ministry) or indirectly through specialized agencies (such as state-owned asset supervision and administration), central and local level commissions or SASAC), state Investment firms (such as the Central Huijin Company, China Securities Finance Corporation, and the National Integrated Circuit Industry Fund), or SOEs that combine commercial and investment activities (such as the China National Tobacco Corporation)); Founders of private-sector companies and / or their relatives, management, and corporate pension funds; Private sector companies such as Alibaba and Tencent are acting as venture capitalists.Economist 2018); And foreign investors, such as diversified companies such as Softbank of Japan or Charoen Pokfund of Thailand, and global asset managers such as BlackRock or the Canadian Pension Fund.

For the purpose of our study, the private sector is conservatively defined as companies that we label “non-public enterprises” where state-owned enterprises hold less than 10 percent of equity capital. Within the public sector, a distinction is made between those we label SOEs, where the state owns a majority stake on the one hand, and what we call a “mixed-ownership enterprise,” where the state holds an equity share of 10. And 50 percent, on the other hand.

With these definitions in mind, Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the rise of the private sector among the largest companies in China, measured by revenue (all companies) and market value (listed companies), respectively. As is clear in Figure 1, SOEs still dominate revenue among the largest companies, far more than the Chinese economy as a whole. But in the mid-2000s, the share of the private sector continued to grow, from zero to 19 percent in the 2021 ranking of Fortune, based on 2020 revenues.

Figure 1 Chinese companies share total revenue in Fortune Global 500 rankings, according to ownership, 2004-20

As for the market value of the largest listed companies (Figure 2), the private sector represented only 8 percent in 2010 but rose above the 50 percent threshold in 2020, slightly behind in 2021 (48 percent) despite some major crackdowns that year. Such as internet platforms and post-school tutoring. Thus, last summer’s regulatory storm using the market price indicator rarely stopped in contrast to the advancement of the private sector. In fact, it could not only offset the growth of private sector shares in the previous year, where the end level of 2021 was better than the end of 2019.

Figure 2 Shares of the total market capitalization of the 100 largest listed companies in China by ownership, 2010-21

Figure 3 shows a similar growing trend for other metrics based on the same corresponding sample of the company.

Figure 3 China’s private sector is growing across a number of important metrics

Displacement of SOEs by well-performing private firms, not privatization

The growth of the private sector among China’s largest companies is not the result of long-term planning or top-down decisions, but of bottom-up dynamics. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who was the chief architect of the Chinese market embrace in 1978, erred in predicting in 1980 that “whatever the proportion of private investment, it will cover only a small percentage of the Chinese economy.” Will not affect. ” In the 1990s, in the face of the need to restructure the damaged public sector, China made a deliberate choice to keep state concerns at bay under Premier Zhu Rangji, and even many small SOEs were boycotted or privatized. This policy has become widely known by the four-letter phrase “hold the big, leave the small” while preserving public property as the “core of China’s economic model”. Consistent with these preferences, the first major Chinese companies to enter the global corporate rankings, based on revenue or market value, were all from the public sector by the end of the 2000s.

Privatization was virtually non-existent among the largest companies in China, and had mixed results when it happened (Harrison et al. 2019). Nor did the state go the way of providing comparative advantage to the private sector. In contrast, President Xi announced in 2016 that SOEs need to be “stronger, better and bigger”. Explaining the observed trend rather than national policy shows that private sector companies have become more dynamic and profitable than the public sector. Chinese scholar Nicholas R. Despite having a policy environment that Lardy has described as “displacement of SOEs” by private sector companies, which is clearly not in their favor (Lardy 2019).

The rise of private-sector champions reflects, but is not limited to, the spectacular growth of Internet content and e-commerce platforms. We find many more areas where the private sector has become stronger, including manufacturing (e.g., electronics, electric cars, batteries, steel and chemical), consumer goods and services, pharmaceuticals and life-science companies. In our sample, the platform’s share of the overall market value of China’s largest listed private sector companies peaked nearly five years ago, and has been declining since then (before the regulatory storm) as large private-sector companies in other industries. Grew faster. In contrast, financial services, telecom, energy and transportation are dominated by SOEs.

Of course, the structural trend of private-sector progress, which has marked the past decade of growth for China’s largest companies, is not a failed safe prediction of what will happen next. But more than once in the past there have been claims of a return to domination of the public sector and China’s private sector has already moved on. There is no strong indication that this time is different.


Abate C, A Elgouacem, T Kozluk, J Stráský and C Vitale (2020), “COVID-19 Increases State Ownership,”, 7 July.

Büge, M, M Egeland, P Kowalski and M Sztajerowska (2013), “State-Owned Enterprises in the World Economy: A Cause for Concern?”,, 2 May.

Harrison, A, MW Meyer, W Wang, L Zhao, M Zhao (2019), “Tiger Stripe Change: Reform of Chinese State-Owned Enterprise in the State’s Penumbra”,, 7 April.

Huang, T. and N. Veron (2022), “Private Sector Progress in China: The Developed Ownership Structure of the Largest Companies in the Xi Jinping Era”, Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper 22-3.

Lordy, N. (2014), Market on Mao: The Rise of Private Business in ChinaPeterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC.

Lordy, N. (2019), The State Strikes Back: End of Economic Reform in China ?, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC.

Lardy, N. (2018), “Private Sector Development”, R. Garnout, El Song and C. Fang (2018), 40 years of China’s reform and development 1978-2018ANU Press.

Economist (2018), “Alibaba and Tencent become China’s most powerful investors”, 2 August.

Opening and leaving a private-sector job takes a second.

The latest job openings and labor turnover survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the total number of job openings in the economy fell to 11.254 million in May, down from 11.681 million in April and a record-high 11.855 million in March. The number of vacancies in the private sector fell to 10.212 million in May, from 10.627 million in April and to a record-high 10.812 million in March (see first chart).

Dividing the total job opening rate by the sum of jobs and job openings, it fell from 7.2 percent in April to 6.9 percent in May, while the private-sector job opening rate fell to 7.3 percent from 7.6 percent in the previous month (see chart first). May results for the private sector are the lowest since November 2021.

The three industrial divisions still have more than 2.0 million open each: education and healthcare (2.166 million), trade, transportation, and utilities (2.016 million), and professional and business services (2.002 million). Retirement and hospitality (1.570 million) above 1 million. The highest opening rates were leisure and hospitality (9.1 percent), professional and business services (8.3 percent), education and healthcare (8.2 percent), transportation, and utilities, trade (6.6 percent), and manufacturing (6.0 percent) and all pre -Lockdown-recession is above the pre-sector maximum of 5.1 percent.

The number of private-sector dropouts fell to 4.270 million in May from 4.327 million in April (see chart 2). Trade, transportation, and utilities led by 923,000 sacrifices, leisure and hospitality with 857,000 sacrifices and professional and business services including 754,000.

The total resignation rate fell to 2.8 percent for the month, down from 2.9 percent the previous month, while the private-sector discount rate fell to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in April. The current private-sector dropout rate is the lowest since October 2021 and 0.3 percentage points below the record high of 3.4 percent in November 2021 (see Chart 3).

Leaving rates among private-sector industry groups are still predominant in leisure and hospitality at 5.5 percent, well ahead of number two, professional and business services, at number 3.4 percent and number three, trade transport, and utilities, with a 3.2 percent discount.

The number of job seekers (unemployed and those who are not in the workforce but want jobs) rose slightly to 1.034 in May from a record low of 0.957 in April. Before the lockdown recession, October 2019 had a low of 1.409 (see third chart).

Today’s job opening data shows that the labor market is quite tight, although a little less tight than a few months ago. The signs of economic recession have begun to accumulate. Caution is inevitable.

Robert Hughes

Bob Hughes

Robert Hughes joined AIER in 2013 for more than 25 years researching economic and financial markets on Wall Street. Bob was previously head of Brown Brothers Harriman’s Global Equity Strategy, where he developed an equity investment strategy combining top-down macro analysis with bottom-up fundamentals.

Prior to BBH, Bob was a senior equity strategist at State Street Global Markets, a senior economic strategist at Prudential Equity Group, and a senior economist at Citicorp Investment Services and a financial markets analyst. Bob holds an MA in Economics from Fordham University and a BS in Business from Lehigh University.

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The service-sector survey suggests continued expansion in June

The Composite Services Index of the Institute for Supply Management fell to 55.3 percent in June from 0.9 points in the previous month. The index stays above neutral and suggests expansion for the 25th consecutive month for the services sector. However, the June result also suggests the slowest pace since May 2020, suggesting that the momentum may be slightly slower (see top of chart first).

Among the key components of the Service Composite Index, the Business Activity Index rose 1.6 points to 56.1 (see first chart). This is the 25th month above 50. However, the three-month average came in at 56.6, down from the ten-year average of 58.7 during the last economic expansion from 2010 to 2019.

The new-orders index for services fell to 55.6 percent from 57.6 percent in May, down 2.0 percentage points. June was the third lowest result of the current expansion and below 69.0 readings from October 2021 (see below the first chart). Still, the new orders index has been above 50 percent for 25 consecutive months.

The non-manufacturing new-export-order index, a separate index that only measures export orders, also weakened in June, reaching 57.5 vs. 50.9 percent in May. Four reports reported an increase in six industrial export orders as opposed to a fall. However, for all respondents, about 21 percent said they perform and track individual activity outside the United States.

The backlog of orders in the services sector probably increased again in June as the index rose from 52.0 per cent to 60.5 per cent. It was June 18thM Months in a row with increasing backlog. Ten industries reported higher backlogs in June, while four declined.

The service employment index declined in June, from 50.2 percent in May to 47.4 percent. This is the third time in the last five months that the employment index has fallen below the neutral level (see below the first chart). Weak lessons reflect a lack of supply rather than a lack of demand. Seven industries reported an increase in employment and five reported a decrease. Respondents suggested that the supply of qualified labor was low and competition remained fierce.

Supplier Delivery, a measure of supply time for non-producer suppliers, came in at 61.9 percent, up from 61.3 percent in the previous month (see at the top of the second chart). This suggests that suppliers are lagging further behind in the service business and the slippage has accelerated somewhat from the previous month. The overall level of the index has remained high by historical comparisons but has fallen sharply since reading above 75 in October and November 2021. The survey of the manufacturing sector coincides with the recent improvement (see at the top of the second chart). For the services sector, sixteen industries reported slower deliveries in June while none reported faster deliveries.

The non-manufacturing price-paid index returned to 80.1 in June, the second consecutive fall from a record-high 84.6 percent in April (see second chart below). All eighteen industries reported paying higher prices for inputs in June. Price pressures have eased somewhat but are intense in both service and manufacturing (see second chart below).

The latest report from the Institute of Supply Management suggests that the services sector and the wider economy expanded for the 25th consecutive month in June. Respondents to the survey continued to highlight acute input price pressures, material and labor shortages, and logistical and transportation problems, although there were also some comments on signs of improvement in some of these cases. Respondents also noted concerns about rising interest rates and signs of layoffs by consumers.

Robert Hughes

Bob Hughes

Robert Hughes joined AIER in 2013 for more than 25 years researching economic and financial markets on Wall Street. Bob was previously head of Brown Brothers Harriman’s Global Equity Strategy, where he developed an equity investment strategy combining top-down macro analysis with bottom-up fundamentals.

Prior to BBH, Bob was a senior equity strategist at State Street Global Markets, a senior economic strategist at Prudential Equity Group, and a senior economist at Citicorp Investment Services and a financial markets analyst. Bob holds an MA in Economics from Fordham University and a BS in Business from Lehigh University.

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Leave it to the gas station owners

On the weekend of Independence Day, the Biden administration removed its blame from Vladimir Putin for the rising price of petrol to retailers, and especially for the increase in the price of petrol. Saturday, July 2 at noon, President Biden’s Twitter account Investigation

My message to companies that run gas stations and set prices at pumps is simple: this is a time of war and global danger. Reduce the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the price you are paying for the product. And do it now.

On July 1, 2022, the average price of gasoline in the United States was $ 5.34 per gallon. It hit a high of $ 5.47 per gallon two weeks ago, but still a historically high level. On the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYME), gasoline futures rose 57% in 2022. Diesel recently topped $ 5.75 per gallon and now sits at $ 5.73 per gallon, the highest price in decades.

The biggest factor input for both petrol and diesel is the price of oil, which has declined somewhat in the last month. The main reason for the decline in the price of both oil and oil-derived products is the increasing accumulation of economic data which indicates that an expected recession may already occur here. (The first count of US GDP figures for the second quarter will be released on July 28.) But despite recent price declines, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is up 37 percent in 2022, while Brent crude is up 38 percent.

Misinformation and confusion are both essential skills in politics, but the current administration has pushed the practice to new heights amid rising inflation and the slow pressure of economic growth. The tweet, which was undoubtedly not written by the president but in which he gave his name, begins with a salvo directed at “companies running gas stations”.

In fact, of the estimated 145,000 fuel stations across the United States, less than 5 percent (7250) are owned by refiners who, the president says, “set the price.” But even those small gas stations are not ultimately setting the price of petrol. Prices were first obtained in the global oil market, largely due to the decisions of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

In addition, more than 60 percent of retail stations are solely owned by a family or an individual. And although the numbers have undoubtedly changed over the past decade, 2013 census data show that 61 percent of these stations are owned by immigrants. Thus the Democratic administration, which campaigns daily against billionaires and “big companies,” has targeted “mom and pop” stores to attack newcomers to the United States, on which it is clearly left and most Democrats bet their political futures.

As one of the “wars and global dangers” at the present time, it is a matter of opinion as to how much the United States’ interests are tied to the fighters in Southeast Europe. If indeed danger is to be avoided, it is a wise approach to take a much more neutral position than to send billions of taxpayer dollars and 5000 miles of lethal weapons.

But it is only by advising gas station owners to reduce their prices that deep ignorance, deep dishonesty or both are revealed.

In fact, even at current prices, most gas stations only make money by selling petrol or actually lose money. According to IBISWorld, where the average U.S. business profit is just under 8 percent (7.7 percent), the average gas station is less than a quarter of that: 1.4 percent lower. At 3 5.34 per gallon, the average national price of gasoline on Independence Day weekend, a 1.7 percent profit will come to $ 0.09 cents per gallon.

The Hostel estimates that after overhead (labor, utilities, insurance, credit card transaction fees, and so on), a gas station owner receives an order of five to seven cents per gallon. Even selling a few thousand gallons of gasoline a day would cost the owner hundreds of dollars free and clean. Franchise City estimates that gas pumps cost 50

You get $ 30.75 to the oil company, $ 7.00 to the refinery, $ 4.00 to the delivery company, $ 1.25 to the processing and transaction fee, and finally শেষে 1.00 to the end of the chain. And that number can and does change, sometimes even less, as most owners offer an average of ৷ [profit] 1 to 3 cents per gallon net.

Meanwhile, the federal gasoline tax of 18 0.18 cents per gallon provides Washington with a risk-free, earned fee of 3.4 percent per gallon. This is doubly risk-taking for entrepreneurs, most of whom own small businesses and a large portion of whom are immigrants. And it doesn’t take into account state petrol taxes, including the top five in Pennsylvania (7 0.57 per gallon), California ($ 0.51 per gallon), Washington ($ 0.49 per gallon), New Jersey ($ 0.42 per gallon) and Illinois ($ 0.39).

And none of this takes into account other costs and headaches with gas retailing. Small profits come with keeping costs and records related to environmental regulations at the local, state and federal levels. Competition intensifies with the clustering of numerous locations at high-volume transport junctions. The price sensitivity of many drivers is active at a difference of about one cent. Many stations operate 24/7 to maximize revenue. And for those who work as franchisees, the associated fees in exchange for name recognition and some volume discounts can be huge. (Not only do franchisees have to pay a fee to the parent company, they also have to pay the price of their product according to their national promotion, which can reduce profits.)

The terrible business economy of gas station ownership, in fact, is why big oil companies and refiners are not interested in it. And that’s why they’ve reduced their exposure to the consumer-oriented edge of the energy sector for decades. Surprisingly this is a bad financial prospect that has pushed fuel stations to retail food, beverages, cigarettes, cosmetics and a variety of other products that passengers may want or need. All of these products have remarkably high profit margins compared to retail gasoline sales, and many independent, sole proprietorship service stations are the key to their survival.

So why do so many immigrants choose a business with seemingly desperate financial prospects? Trisha Gopal researched that question in Itar a year ago; Please note Biden’s July 2 tweet while reading his explanation:

When I talk to every owner, I realize that the choice of a gas station is always a useful one. When I ask her why they chose a gas station, Angelina Rizzo gives me two answers. The first is what I hear from every restaurant owner I talk to: people need gasoline, so the more people drive, the more likely they are to be customers, and the more likely those customers are to need something to eat. It’s an explanation that I’ve seen and heard all my life is at the root of the same immigrant mentality: look for opportunities, stay on your toes and find ways to always be useful. When we think about why immigrants are so entrepreneurial, the reason is that many of us are first taught to see where we need to be, and then, once we get there, get over it.

Biden also has a dark element of redirecting fault. It is ironic that an administration built on the ideological promise of political correctness and the idea that words should be chosen with the subtlety of surgery would send a messy message to it. Gas station owners, a business community represented by new immigrants to the United States, have often been the target of racist and xenophobic rage. Blaming them for a particularly detrimental aspect of the ongoing rise in inflation is utterly wrong, irresponsible and morally irrational.

No one expects government officials, especially politicians in the profession, to understand this. They have no incentive to take real economic, financial and business details within their fixed, ultra-simplified massive. The Biden administration has an inherent interest in promoting the image of gas station owners as highly compensated corporate executives, led by the income of multinational corporations. And there is no better measure for a political organization beyond concept than a growing mad jump from scapegoat to scapegoat.

Peter C. Earl

Peter C. Earl

Peter C. Earle is an economist and author who joined AIER in 2018. He has previously spent more than 20 years as a trader and analyst at several security firms and hedge funds in the New York metropolitan area, as well as running a gaming and cryptocurrency consultancy.

His research focuses on financial markets, cryptocurrencies, monetary policy-related issues, game economics, and economic measurement issues. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, Grants Interest Rate Observer, NPR and numerous other media outlets and publications.

Pete holds an MA in Applied Economics from American University, an MBA (Finance) and a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Follow him On Twitter.

Selected publications

“General Institutional Considerations of Blockchain and Emerging Applications” co-authored with David M. Waugh Emerald Handbook on CryptoAsset: Investment Opportunities and Challenges (Forthcoming), edited by Baker, Benedetti, Nickbacht and Smith (2022)

“Operation Warp Speed” co-authored with Edward Escalant Epidemic and freedom (Forthcoming), Raymond J. Edited by March and Ryan M. Young (2022)

In “A Virtual Weaver: Hyperinflation in Diablo III” Invisible Hands in the Virtual World: The Economic Order of Video GamesEdited by Matthew McCaffrey (2021)

Co-author with “Philip W. Magnus” “The Science of Lockdown” The Wall Street Journal (December 2021)

“How does a well-functioning gold standard function?” Co-author with William J. Luther, SSRN (November 2021)

In “Popularist Prophets, Public Prophets: Pied Pipers of Lucre, Then and Now” Financial history (Summer 2021)

In “Boston’s Forgotten Lockdown” American conservative (November 2020)

In “Private Governance and Rules for a Flat World” Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership (June 2019)

“The idea of ​​a ‘federal job guarantee’ is expensive, misleading and increasingly popular with Democrats.” The investor’s business is daily (December 2018)

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Free riding, express voting and charity

America is an amazingly liberal country. Citizens invest a lot of time, effort and money to help the poor and the victims and to advance other suitable causes. But in light of this fact, why do so many people think that we should use the government to take from some, forcibly support and give to others, rather than relying on individuals and voluntary organizations for charitable purposes.

One argument stems from a so-called free-rider problem, which results in people giving less voluntary charity than they “really” want to contribute, if we leave those choices to their voluntary effort. In short, the central argument is that my personal contribution will have virtually no effect on poverty reduction. As a result, although I want to help, I contribute less, or maybe not at all, because the problem of poverty can affect my wealth.

This argument leads to the conclusion that our government needs, and the power to compel the people, to force us to pay “what we really want” to tax more than what we have voluntarily paid, which presumably makes “donors” Good to be involved.

This is an incredible argument. The problem of “helplessness in the face of the severity of poverty” does not mean that people now give less than they want. As EC Pasur writes, “The idea of ​​a free rider … has been widely misused in charity.” While it is true that my potential contributions are admirably small enough to reduce the existence of poverty, my potential contributions are large enough that I can do something about the poverty of a particular person, situation or group that I encounter. In situations like this, the Free Rider problem only arises if I think about some overall poverty, but not about the poor people I face. And it seems to be a very unimaginable combination of choices. Furthermore, we can join groups with others where our contributions are more influential towards “making a difference” in certain areas (which was, in fact, one of the primary principles of a church where I supervised charitable giving for years).

But that’s not the biggest problem with the argument that “government coercion forces us to give what we want”. To the extent that free-rider problems occur, it is true that government intervention can change how much charity is provided. But that doesn’t mean the results are closer to what we want to give than what we actually want to give. One of the main reasons is called expressive voting.

Imagine that your vote is likely to be an election result worth tens of thousands of dollars, much more than the adversity you faced in your 2020 vote. Mechanically seen শুধুমাত্র only as an improved end-to-end-the expected value of that vote is one cent ($ 10,000 divided by 1 million). Such a small receipt cannot explain the decision to vote, much less unwavering support for a particular candidate or measure. Even if the remuneration increased to $ 1,000,000, its material cost would still be only $ 1 (1 1,000,000 divided by 1 million), creating virtually identical results.

Although in addition to the mechanical value of voting, people often think about the expressive value of voting-they believe what their vote says about them. They may want to vote for something because it embellishes a noble self-character or makes them feel better for a position they want to be associated with. For example, a vote can verify one’s self-worth with examples such as “I’m generous,” “I’m caring,” “I’m patriotic,” “I’m not racist.”

As an example, consider one of the “1 percent” facing a vote to raise taxes on the “rich.” With one in one million possibilities of changing the election results, the expected cost of voting materials to increase one’s taxes by 1 million is 1. Therefore, if the value of showing their generosity towards themselves and / or others by voting for the proposal exceeds $ 1, such voters will benefit by voting against their vested interests (i.e., they will advance what they think).

So, once we incorporate this expressive motive for voting, can we be sure that voting for a proposal that will give a million dollars out of the voter’s pocket to a special government poverty effort (i.e., অংশ 1,000,000 will be their share of the tax bill) is actually theirs? How much more do they “really want to give” than what they choose to do with their own resources? No.

Many people would be willing to bear the expected additional burden of 1 to vote for their $ 1,000,000 share, but would not actually be willing to donate নিজস্ব 1,000,000 of their own money for the same purpose. In other words, the cost of voting for that 1 1 million through the government is much higher, actually much less than the cost of paying 1 1 million, and that artificially low price makes people willing to vote for something that they actually want to give much more. .

As a result, we can’t say how much people will vote for charities (their share) is a more accurate indicator of what they want to do than what they actually do with their own money. Furthermore, if the problem of free riders is not very big (i.e., those who think about poverty care about the poor people who come in contact with them, so give them whatever they want, even if they are given something private) Will. Even if some amount of free-riding exists, I believe that what we actually do with our money is a more accurate indicator than what we vote to do with it, because of the massive effective subsidy for voting to feel good about yourself.

In fact, it is highly commendable that such voting for charitable purposes can make people worse. And that “solution” to the free-rider problem will greatly enlarge the government, which is seldom an effective way to advance the welfare of society.

In addition, I think my vision reflects the Constitution and the beliefs of that era. The Constitution does not mention a federal role in the field of charity, nor does it mention its widely accepted meaning in American history. As Grover Cleveland said nearly a century later, in vetoing federal aid to drought-stricken Texas farmers:

I do not find any warrant for such an allocation in the Constitution and I do not believe that the powers and responsibilities of the general government should be extended to alleviate personal grievances which are not properly related to public service or benefits. … The friendship and philanthropy of our countrymen can always be relied upon to deliver their fellow citizens from misfortune … In such cases federal aid encourages the expectation of paternity care from the government and weakens the strength of our national character among our people. Kindness prevents attitudes and behaviors that strengthen the bonds of a common brotherhood.

Gary M. Gals

Gary M. Gals

Dr. Gary Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine.

His research focuses on the role of independence, including public finance, public choice, firm theory, industry organization, and the views of many classical liberals and American founders.

His books included The path to policy failure, Defective premises, Defective policy, Messenger of peaceAnd Line of Liberty.

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SCOTUS in Congress: On environmental policy, do your job

Reprinted from internal source

The U.S. Supreme Court has sent a strong message to Congress about regulating the country’s environmental policy:

Do your job.

In West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the court ruled 6-3 that the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA broad authority to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

“Stopping carbon dioxide emissions to a level that will force a nationwide transition from using coal to power generation could be a wise ‘solution to the crisis of the day,'” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “It is not reasonable that Congress has given the EPA the power to adopt a regulatory project like its own.

Roberts added, “The agency must be directed to clear congressional approval for the power to claim it.”

Proponents of the Obama-era policy argue that the threat of climate change exceeds the limits of governmental authority set by the courts, and they question whether an elected Congress is capable of controlling such an important issue.

“Members of Congress often don’t know enough এবং and know they don’t know enough জন্য to control a matter sensitively,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent.

“The decades-long struggle to protect citizens from corporate polluters is being wiped out by these MAGA extremist judges,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.). Crisis. “

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

“Trying to turn our power generation system from the inside out was incredibly risky for the federal government,” said Sam Cazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Today the Supreme Court ruled that if the government is going to do that, it must be explicitly approved by congressional law rather than directing unelected bureaucrats.”

Myron Abel, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and the Environment, said the court’s ruling reversed its 2007 decision. Massachusetts vs. EPA.

“The Massachusetts case caught that the EPA could use the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions,” Abel said. “The court has now called for the main question doctrine and recognized that Congress has designed the Clean Air Act to control air pollutants and not carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, natural gas and oil.

“The Biden administration must get clear approval from Congress if it wants to introduce major climate policies that will further raise energy prices,” Abel added.

President Joe Biden has instructed his legal team to work with the judiciary and affected agencies to review the decision and find ways to protect the administration from harmful pollutants for climate change.

“We cannot and will not ignore the threat to public health and the existence of a climate crisis,” Biden said in a press release on Thursday. “Science confirms what we all see with our own eyes – fires, droughts, extreme heat and severe storms are endangering our lives and livelihoods.”

Former President Barack Obama also weighed in, saying no challenge is a big threat to our future without a changing climate.

“Every day, we’re feeling the effects of climate change, and today’s Supreme Court decision is a big step back,” Obama said. Tweeted.

But instead of passing legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, Obama and his team went ahead with a regulatory plan that led to today’s ruling.

The Sierra Club also shared its frustration, calling it a dangerous decision that frustrated the EPA’s efforts to protect communities and families by giving “coal executives and ultra-right politicians exactly what they wanted”.

“For years, the EPA has had a clear authority and duty under the Clean Air Act to effectively reduce climate-disruptive carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants, as claimed by the public and science,” said Andres Restrepo, Sierra Enrique Attorney. “But Thursday’s decision seriously shrinks that authority and gives way to those in power instead of the people.”

But advocates in the energy sector say their industry is still not out of the extra-regulated EPA wood.

“While this decision clearly reinforces the EPA’s authority to create carbon rules that force the restructuring of the country’s electricity mix, the company has already indicated that it will use all other tools at its disposal to accelerate the shutdown of the coal plant and pursue its agenda.” An industry insider told InsideSource. “If you are concerned about grid reliability and power capacity, Congress must take action and ensure that it is conducting domestic energy policy, not regulators in the EPA.”

Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.

“This is a victory for climate and constitutional democracy,” said Drew Bond, president of the Conservative Coalition for Climate (C3) solutions. “Any serious person knows that innovation, not excessive control, is the solution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Instead of looking to regulators to impose a top-down mandate, Bond said workers on all sides should ask lawmakers to pass legislation that encourages bottom-up solutions.

“Our climate and independence agenda highlights dozens of steps that Congress can make to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and the expansion of economic freedom,” Bond said of the C3 solution. “Let’s focus on us there. American innovation will not disappoint. “

Chris Woodward

Chris Woodward

Chris Woodward is a reporter with experience in radio and television news and writes about industry and technology.

He is a graduate of Mississippi State University.

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10 Wednesday AM Read – Big picture

Morning in the middle of my week The train WFH reads:

A Worst 6 months for financial markets. The period ending June 30, 2022 is among the worst 3% of all 6-month returns since 1926. Only 6 months performance numbers that were worse than what we just gave during the Great Depression, 1937 crash, WWII, 1970 market, dot-com bubble burst and 2008 crash. (Common sense resource)

A We are not already in recession: We believe a recession is coming but the United States is clearly not in one yet. In the first five months of the year, manufacturing output grew at an annual rate of 6.6%, non-farm wages rose at an average monthly rate of 488,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6% from 3.9%. Meanwhile, in April, consumer spending and actual personal income were at record highs. If it is a recession, we can use more recession. (Real Clear Markets) See more We are probably not in recession right now: You’ve probably noticed that things are very strange now. The stock market is crashing but the economic data is still quite fine. We’re probably not in recession right now, but the market is working as if an impending one. (Irrelevant investors)

A Incredible prices go up as the economy cools: Remember that bad news for the economy can be good news for inflation. And so if prices continue to fall as a result of declining production activity, then what the Fed is looking for is bad news. (TKer)

A The red states are winning the post-epidemic economy Workers and employers have moved from the coast to the area between the country and Florida, where rapid recovery has begun (Wall Street Journal)

A Why this crypto crash is different : There can be no return to a highly leveraged, fractionally preserved cryptocurrency system whose illusory resources are now leading the way to real loss. (Coindesk)

A ‘God, Hwang and Archegos’: Inside details of collapsed farm revealed in lawsuit: Former Employee Loss Bonus $ 50 Million Recovery Case Litigation Claims Family Office Conducted as ‘Personality Religion’. (Bloomberg)

A The lost glamor of department-store restaurants: Pot pie and fancy sweets make shopping delicious. (Atlas Obscura)

A Can dual-use solar panels provide power and share space with crops? Companies like Bluewave are betting on it. But there are critics of technology. (New York Times)

A The Happiness Data which destroys a Freudian theory: In a five-decade study involving more than 2,000 participants, researchers found that success does not actually make people unhappy (Wall Street Journal)

A America’s unique, enduring gun problem, explained: The causes of tragedies like Highland Park, Tulsa and Uvalade are deeply involved in U.S. politics, culture and law. (Vox)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week in Perth Toll with the founder and sponsor of the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF, founder of the Life + Liberty Index. The first type of strategy uses the metrics of personal and economic independence as the primary cause of its investment process. Prior to the formation of the Life + Liberty Index, Perth was a personal wealth advisor to Fidelity Investments in Los Angeles and Houston, and lived and worked in Beijing and Hong Kong, where his observations led him to explore the relationship between freedom and the market.

US House price increases by state

Source: Miller Samuel

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