They don't make money like they used to

Amid all the dizzying complexity and staggering economic numbers of the modern world, the importance of the most basic economic drivers has been lost. National economies and the financial markets that serve them are aggregations of billions and trillions of transactions and exchanges driven by as many wants, needs, hopes and dreams. There are terabytes of data informing us about these amorphous entities but most is scrubbed and sterilised by statisticians, economists and accountants, then carefully disseminated by spin-doctors and the media according to the prevailing narrative.
Often when drilling down into the data reports, through the seasonal adjustments and historic revisions into the finer detail, a different pattern emerges from the initial gloss, giving important early warnings of changing trends. At other times, the noise of disparate bits of detail obscures the direction and strength of the underlying situation and it pays to draw back to get a better macro perspective, to see how far things have progressed, or regressed, over the previous few years and even decades.

Puzzled? But school kids get it!

Many equity market bulls, economists and politicians have been puzzled by the global economy and stock markets failing to respond to increasingly radical central bank monetary policies such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates. But they shouldn’t be. High school students studying calculus start learning to solve for the second derivative — also known as