The biggest mistakes in analysing macroeconomic data is to assume causality to factors that are just catalysts. Don’t blame the Fed or Trump. That is just noise. The problem of emerging markets is largely self-inflicted and comes after years of raising imbalances, both at a trade and fiscal level, based on impossible expectations of growth and demand.
"The Kerner report was the final report of a commission appointed by the U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 28, 1967, as a response to preceding and ongoing racial riots across many urban cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Newark. These riots largely took place in African American neighborhoods, then commonly called ghettos. On February 29, 1968, seven months after the commission was formed, it issued its final report. The report was an instant success, selling more than two million copies. ... The Kerner report documents 164 civil disorders that occurred in 128 cities across the forty-eight continental states and the District of Columbia in 1967 (1968, 65). Other reports indicate a total of 957 riots in 133 cities from 1963 until 1968, a particular explosion of violence following the assassination of King in April 1968 (Olzak 2015)."
The Doha round of the World Trade Organization talks started way back in 2001, and seems to have come to a standstill. Regional trade agreements became the preferred path for many nations, with 20-25 per year being negotiated most years from 2002-2016. Then the number drops off sharply in 2017, and falls almost to zero so far in 2018.
US corporations work their accounting system so that sales and profits turn up in non-U.S. jurisdictions (for example, here' s a description of the Double Irish Dutch Sandwich technique). One implication is that corporations pay lower US and overall taxes; another is that because of this shifting, measured US GDP is smaller than it would otherwise be.
For those who need the sweet and savory flavor of economics to accompany their end-of-summer Labor Day picnic (and really, don't we all need that?), here are links to some posts on labor market topics, mostly from earlier this year.
The stock market, like any other market, is a set of relative opportunities, not absolute ones. I have never seen a more pessimistic environment despite a stock market that continues to reach all-time highs. The S&P 500. Many economists are writing about the evidence of the bubble and the risks of a stock market crash.
The biggest European union has managed to achieve a long-standing goal: German metal-workers can now work a 28-hour week, if they wish. John Pencavel tells the story and draws out some implications for US labor markets in "The Future of Hours of Work?" a Policy Brief written for the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research (September 2018). Pencavel writes: