AAR: October Rail Carloads down 8.4% YoY, Intermodal Down 7.8% YoY

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission. A combination of a weak domestic manufacturing sector, feeble economic growth abroad that’s limiting exports, continued trade spats that are disrupting global supply chains, and general economic uncertainty are creating strong headwinds for U.S. rail volumes. In October 2019, […]


Early Q4 GDP Forecasts: 0.7% to 2.1%

From Goldman Sachs: [O]ur Q4 GDP tracking estimate declined by one-tenth to +2.1% (qoq ar), and we increased our past-quarter GDP tracking estimate for Q3 by one-tenth to +2.1% (qoq ar, compared to +1.9% as originally reported). [November 4 estimate]emphasis added From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at […]

Real Estate

VA Home Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The Veterans Administration (VA) Home Loan is a benefit that is available to more than 22 million veterans and 2 million active duty service members to help them achieve the dream of homeownership. In 2018, $161 billion was loaned to veterans and their families through the program. In the same year, the average […]


Don’t trust the economic think tanks: there is ample to do with £100 billion of investment, and the resources to do it

The big news of the morning is that the economy hit the election headlines yesterday. It hardly featured in 2017. It has already done so this time. And as Channel 4 showed last night, in a ‘compare and contrast’ film, what is noticeable are the similarities in policy announcements between the Labour Party and Tories. […]


Should we abolish Inheritance Tax?

The Brexit Party has suggested that inheritance tax should be abolished. Inheritance tax is charged almost entirely on death. It is usually charged at 40% on the value of the estates of deceased people that exceed ££325,000. However, there are generous allowances. All gifts made seven years before death are exempted, as are gifts to […]


The Tax Justice UK 2019 manifesto

I contributed to this tax manifesto published by Tax Justice UK yesterday. I stress, it’s their manifesto, not mine, but I share enough of it to endorse it.  At the start of the 2019 general election Tax Justice UK has set out 33 policies for tax justice. After ten years of cuts to public spending, there is now […]