Author Archives: Steve Kamman

Talk of Peace Talks and the Ukraine End Game

A friend asked me about recent US noises about Ukraine and Russia coming to a negotiated solution.  I figured I’d write it out here.  So what does this tell us? We are NOT going to see an “appeasement” peace.  A … Continue reading

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We’re Just Getting Poorer. Less “Inflation” Than “Stuff Getting More Expensive.”

We aren’t going through an “inflation” so much as a collective impoverishment. Prices are going up.  The October CPI was 8.11%. Wages are not keeping pace with prices.  Wages in September grew 6.3%, slowing down after a peak of 6.7% … Continue reading

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Bar Fights, Game Theory, And Why Putin Can’t Get a Face Saving Exit. Russian “Mobilization” Changes Nothing

Putin has just doubled down on his “madman” negotiating strategy.  The problem – for Putin especially – is that strategy gives him low odds for a face-saving negotiated outcome.  In bar fight terms, the madman eventually ends up getting kicked … Continue reading

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Lazy Consensus Likely Wrong. Ukraine War Ends in Months, Not Years. Russia’s Gas/Oil Embargo Ends With It.

I keep running into a lazy consensus around Ukraine – a long, grinding war prosecuted by implacable, iron-fisted Putin pressing crushing energy sanctions until…? The end game is usually hand-waving about “negotiations” that largely assumes Ukrainian capitulation.  If those ill-examined … Continue reading

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The Ukraine End Game – Keep It Frozen Past Putin’s Sell-By Date…

Ukraine will end up with a “frozen conflict” one way or the other.  The only question is how frozen for how long?   Framed that way, the Ukraine’s diplomatic/political end game is obvious.  A conflict frozen long enough to outlast … Continue reading

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Is the Job Vacancy Debate (Beveridge Curve) Off-Target Because The Data Is Skewed by a Move Online? Likely Yes.

Unfilled jobs – the “vacancy rate” – has gotten a lot of attention in the inflation debate. But that debate ignores an obvious discontinuity in the underlying data series. The data have definitely changed drastically around COVID. Some of that … Continue reading

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A Lazy Consensus Is Likely Wrong. The Shock Waves Will Be Big. Why Ukraine Matters.

Why am I so focused on Ukraine?  Partly because it is fascinating.  But more because it is so important to a lot of really important trends. If the cut-off Russian forces don’t hold around Kherson, the shock waves of that … Continue reading

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Kherson is Putin’s Stalingrad. Time is Not On His Side.

A friend asked me to update my Ukraine thoughts yesterday.  It turned out I had a lot to think through, so here goes with my apologies.  A lot of people believe that time is on Putin’s side.  That argument is … Continue reading

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Inflation Solution Might Be Lower Profits as Much as Lower Employment

A lot of commentary assumes Labor costs is the only variable in the “inflation” equation. We “must” have unemployment to control labor costs!!!!  This is an article of faith for your typical Wall Street Journal reader. But price is set … Continue reading

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“This fast financial tightening cycle might end sooner than we think:”  Fed Governor Mary Daly.

The Fed isn’t know for telling simple stories in plain English, but Fed Governors Mary Daly and Esther George are doing just that.  Their narratives contradict the dominant narrative of the business media/pundit complex.  Maybe they are trying to tell … Continue reading

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