Comments & Context

Presidential economics: Do parties matter?

With the presidential election a mere 127 days from the release of this
report, and the candidates apparently not waiting for the
once-traditional Labor Day kickoff, this is a good time to look at the
partisan patterns in some major economic and financial indicators. The
differences are significant, and worth thinking about for anyone with
dollars at stake after January 20, 2009.

Not to spoil the suspense too much, but here are the basic
conclusions. Since Franklin Roosevelt’s third term (1941–44),
Democrats have generally presided over faster growth and stronger stock
markets than Republicans; Republican administrations have been
friendlier for disinflation and the bond market. Also, Republicans tend
to preside over recessions early in their terms, with growth
accelerating as time passes; Democrats tend to preside over earlier
accelerations followed by slowdowns as the term matures.

Whiplash: Trading on the MTS Rollercoaster

Originally published January 12, 2007

There ain’t no seat-belt hefty enough to keep you in your seat if you decide to take positions based on evidence in
the Monthly Treasury Statements. 

Every couple of months, an analyst seizes on a fluctuation, often a wild fluctuation,
in the Monthly Treasury Statements to make the case that the job market is either far stronger or way weaker
than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates suggest. Oh, OK, these remarks do come disproportionately
form those on the hunt for evidence that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is underestimating payrolls, witness recent attention to January’s surge in withholding at the federal level, recent stories focused on another strong showing in March receipts, and the fact that once the “hidden strength” story is out in the markets for a given month, the almost inevitable reversal in the following month never makes it to traders’ screens.

by Philippa Dunne· · 0 comments · Comments & Context