July Job Cuts Reach Highest Level In 4 Years, Texas Still Leads Nation By Wide Margin In 2015

Challenger Gray & Christmas released their July job cut report, and it appears employment cutbacks revved up again during the month of July. Challenger reports there were 105,696 job cuts in July, the highest one-month total in 4 years. What was surprising in the latest report was that more than half of the July cuts came from the U.S. Army via troop and civilian workforce reductions. What's not surprising in the latest report is that Texas still leads the nation for layoffs this year by a wide margin. With oil prices flirting with a new [...]

By | 2015-08-06T14:00:14+00:00 August 6th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Spin Cycle, Texas Employment|0 Comments

August Crude Oil Drops 7.7 Percent To Settle At $52.53 Per Barrel

The contagion from the Greek referendum 'No' vote and the Shanghai shenanigans was mostly contained today in terms of U.S. equities, but the oil market was less than amused. August crude oil settled at $52.53 per barrel today, a fall of 7.7 percent. I think the Greater Houston Partnership may need to revise their already halved employment projections again pretty soon. It appears the premature bottom calls for oil were exactly that...premature. Crude oil is now down 9.5 percent during the last month. If sanctions are lifted on Iran any time soon, that would likely [...]

By | 2017-12-22T01:29:16+00:00 July 6th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Still Contracting In June

Today the Dallas Fed reported that Texas manufacturing activity continues to contract. The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for June was a continuation of previous reports this year noting a declining manufacturing sector in the Lone Star state. The production index posted at a negative 6.5, a fourth consecutive month of declining output in Texas. While the pace of decline has slowed, the June numbers show that Texas manufacturing activity continues to shrink. Here is a brief summary of the manufacturing numbers for June... Production Index: -6.5 Capacity Utilization: -6.1 Shipments: -8.8 New Orders: -10.3 Growth [...]

Texas Employment Decreases By 25,400 Jobs In March In First Employment Decline Since 2009

You knew it was only a matter of time, but the 53-month streak of successive employment gains for Texas ended in March. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that Texas shed 25,400 jobs in March in what was the first employment decline since 2009. With the Texas rig count down 53 percent year-over year, this announcement was inevitable. Contrary to what many economists have tried to downplay, the huge loss of jobs seen in the energy sector also affects other employment that is marginally attached to all of that economic stimulus resulting from the recent energy [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:38:38+00:00 April 19th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Texas Employment|0 Comments

Dallas Fed – Texas Manufacturing Activity Continues To Weaken

The March readings for manufacturing activity in Texas showed continued weakness in the Lone Star State. Readings from the March report show that the Texas production index posted at -5.2, the first negative reading in two years. Other measures of manufacturing activity were negative in March as well. The general business activity index declined 6 points to -17.4. The hours worked index posted at a -5.3. The finished goods index prices index fell to -9.8. Altogether it was a pretty miserable report for Texas manufacturing activity with numbers posting at post-recession lows. Remember how low [...]

Arthur Berman – Shale Oil & Gas And The End of the Beautiful Story

Arthur Berman offers an interesting if not contrarian point of view in this presentation. Speaking from Houston Texas, Berman highlights the fact that the shale oil revolution was really not a revolution at all since we have known about the possibilities of shale oil and gas deposits for decades.. Berman suggests that high prices were a primary driver behind the surge in shale exploration, and that "unconventional" simply means expensive. More importantly, Berman thinks that the proven shale reserves in the US are severely overstated, providing a beautiful story of American energy independence. Where I think [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:42:40+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Financial Repression – Interview With Dr Lacy Hunt

This is a thoughtful interview on the subject of financial repression with Dr. Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management out of Austin Texas. Hunt is a former employee of the Dallas Federal Reserve and a former chief economist with one of the largest global banks (HSBC). Hunt has been following the policy errors of the Federal Reserve for years, and here he discusses the financial repression that is still gripping the global economy. As Hunt explains, monetary policy is not the solution for our global indebtedness. Global central banks have facilitated $35 trillion in new [...]

By | 2015-02-23T21:27:43+00:00 February 22nd, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Video|0 Comments

Double-Edged Sword For Oil Producers As Supply Glut Continues

Oil producers are in an increasingly precarious position as the inventory of crude stocks continues to pile up. Today the EIA released the weekly crude oil inventory update showing that US crude stocks continue to pile up. The weekly petroleum status report from the EIA showed crude inventories rising by another 7.7 million barrels, nearlyy double analysts estimates. U.S. crude oil inventories remain at the highest levels seen during the last 80 years. The problem of course is stagnant global demand combined with a continued increase in US production courtesy of the shale oil boom. [...]

By | 2015-02-22T00:10:12+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Real Estate|0 Comments

Rig Counts Continue To Plummet – US Loses 90 More Rigs, Texas Drops 58 In Latest Weekly Survey

The U.S. rig counts continue to plummet in the face of falling oil prices. The latest update from Baker Hughes hows that the U.S. lost another 90 rigs in the latest weekly report. The U.S. Rig total is now 242 rigs lower year-over-year. The oil rig count fell by 94 this week to 1223 total oil rigs operating in the U.S. Texas accounted for 58 of the idled rigs in the latest survey, with the Permian Basin shedding 27 rigs in the nation's largest producing oil field. The Texas rig count is now 147 rigs [...]

Canada’s Housing Market Bubble Pricked By Falling Oil Market

Canada's richly valued real estate market is starting to get pinched by the collapsing oil market. That's the news coming out of Calgary, and also confirmed the latest news from the Canadian central bank when they announced a surprise rate cut. Active listings in Calgary were up by a whopping 64 percent in December while pending sales dropped by an equally large 53%. In Layman's terms that's what you'd call a pretty dramatic market shift! Closed sales of existing homes in Calgary were down 24.6 percent in December according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Today [...]