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John Mauldin's Outside the Box

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  • It Helps to be Rich

    Long time readers of Thoughts from the Frontline will be familiar with the name The Liscio Report. It is one of my 'secret' sources of high quality analysis on a wide range of topics including taxes, employment and the underpinnings of the economic headlines that we read which can be so distorted. I say secret because they get nowhere near the attention their work deserves. Philippa Dunne & Doug Henwood, authors of The Liscio Report, do actual on the phone conversations with each of the various states on their tax collections, employment and so on. I find their primary research to be invaluable. Their real time proprietary research based on state withholding and sales tax receipts gives their clients a unique insight into the state of the US economy.

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  • Penury, self-imposed or inflicted, the new normal?

    One of my favorite sources of information is The Liscio Report by Philippa Dunne & Doug Henwood. Among other things, each month they survey all the states about tax revenues, expenses and then give us the results in a very pithy fashion. No one pays taxes unless they have to, and thus taxes tell us a lot about the current spending and income situation. Taxes are a far more reliable indicator then surveys, which most 'data' is based on. They also look at various trends in a variety of topics. No surprise, this issue they talk about the numbers on retail sales, noting certain segments are up (essential spending) but sales for non-essential items are way down. This is very interesting to me. It is, as they point out, part of the journey to the new normal. They graciously allowed me to send this letter on to you as this week's Outside the Box. Those of you who might wish to learn more about theme can go to www.theliscioreport.com or drop them a note at online@theliscioreport.com.

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