Lady Liberty

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Clay Bennett)

In other news, permits for new home construction fell to a 2-year low in June according to the Commerce Department. And in related news, Chinese buyers are running away as fast as they can. Home sales to foreigners have dropped by 36 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Rand Paul is Rand Paul-ing again. Rand, son of Ron, has blocked fast-track approval of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund because it's too expensive, he says.

Finally, railroad shipping giant CSX reported a 2 percent drop in revenue today after forecasting a 2 percent increase. CSX CEO James Foote says the global economy is incoherent right now and expects the second half of the year is when a few economic chickens may come home to roost as Trump's trade war drags on.

“Both global and U.S. economic conditions have been unusual this year, to say the least, and have impacted our volumes. You see it every week in our reported carloads,” Chief Executive James Foote said on a conference call Tuesday after the earnings report. “The present economic backdrop is one of the most puzzling I have experienced in my career.” [...]

Before the earnings report, CSX had a stellar performance this year with its stock surging a whopping 28%. But like other big transports, CSX is starting to feel the pain from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

“Obviously, what would help in the back half would be a resolution or clarity on trade tariffs ... but that is obviously beyond our control,” Wallace said.

When he says economic conditions have been unusual, I think he's referring to the fact that industrial output in the rest of the world is already at recessionary levels and it hasn't entirely caught up to us yet.

In any case, it seems fairly clear that these kinds of concerns are the primary reason why the Federal Reserve is planning to cut interest rates. Chairman Jerome Powell says he'll take action to 'keep the expansion going,' implying that they know something is coming.