Thursday, May 26th, 2016 MST

Whom to believe

Is the US economy slowing down, which will prompt more Fed stimulus, or is it “dramatically better” as NY Fed President William C. Dudley said in a recent New York Times interview, which will allow the Fed to raise the discount rate later this year?

In the first quarter, US Gross Domestic Product rose only 0.5%, its slowest quarterly rate in two years.  And, there was no “weather impact,” as has been the case in past years.  The 0.5% increase was less than half the increase for the 4th quarter 2015, which was down from the 4th quarter 2014.

ECB to stop printing €500 notes

In what is being reported as an effort to impede criminal activity and terrorism, the European Central Bank announced that it will discontinue issuing €500 notes around the end of 2018.  However, the ECB was quick to affirm that the €500 notes already in circulation “will remain legal tender and . . . always retain

Government spending, worse than taxes

April 15 is behind us, and that gives a feeling of relief to those Americans who labored and toiled in 2015 to provide for themselves and their families while seeing billions of  dollars confiscated from their earnings.  (And, now they must keep records for years just in case they are later audited by the IRS.)

War on cash

A former head of the UK’s Standard Charter bank proposes that the war on cash be ratcheted up. ln a paper published Sunday, Peter Sands demonized large banknotes, saying they are “king among terrorists, drug lords and tax cheats.” According to him, Illicit money flows are estimated to run up to $2 trillion a year.

Draghi doubles down

Mario Draghi, ECB chief, again reaffirmed his pledge to print more euros next month in a Keynesian effort to fillip economic activity in the eurozone. In December, the ECB’s measures fell short of market expectations, and stock markets declined. This time Draghi does not plan to disappoint.

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