March Publication Schedule

The Lehmann Letter (SM) The stock market has had a Trump bump. How about the rest of the economy? We’ll see. ECONOMIC INDICATOR PUBLICATION SCHEDULE  March 2017  Source (* below)……Series Description……Day & Date  Quarterly Data BLS…….….Productivity…….……Wed, 8th BEA..International Transactions..Tue, 21st BEA…GDP & Profits & Fed Def…Thu, 30th Monthly Data ISM..Purchasing managers’ index…Tue, 1st BEA.New-vehicle sales.(Approximate).Thu, 3rd Fed. Consumer credit..(Approximate).Mon, 7th BLS……..….Employment……….   Fri, 10th BLS…………Producer prices……. Tue, 14th BLS……….Consumer prices.….. Wed, 15th Census………….Inventories………. Wed, 15th Census………Housing starts…….Thu, 16th Fed……….Capacity utilization……Fri, 17th NAR……Existing-home sales….Wed, 22nd Census….New-home sales…… Thu, 23rd Census…….Capital goods…….. Fri, 24th Conf Bd..Consumer confidence..Tue, 28th *BEA = Bureau of Economic Continue reading

India #10 (Bodhgaya)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) While many westerners follow tourist routes thru the festivals of Rajasthan or the backwaters of Kerala, the Buddhists come to the impoverished state of Bihar where Buddha rested, meditated and finally gained enlightenment.  Bodh Gaya is the site where Siddhartha Gautama sat down under a Bodhi tree and became the Buddha. A descendant of that tree still grows in just the spot where it happened. We joined tens of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims to see that tree and the temple complex that now surrounds it. There were crowds of white-clad Buddhist pilgrims – mostly from Asian Continue reading

India #9 (Ellora Caves)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) If the Ajanta caves might be best described as elegant with their evocative paintings; the Ellora caves are straight up audacious.  Carved out of the same kind of rock as Ajanta, the Ellora caves -maybe 100 miles away- started when the Ajanta caves were abandoned.  To get specific, construction at Ellora began in the 8th century CE, right about the time Buddhism’s popularity was waning and Hinduism began enjoying a resurgence.  Consequently, of Ellora’s Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples, the largest and most impressive one is Hindu. The Kailasa Temple is the world’s largest monolithic sculpture. Continue reading

India #8 (Ajunta Caves)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) In 200 BCE, Buddhists found the Ajunta valley and started hammering into the stone, carving temples and monasteries out of one great monolithic wall of rock. The scale is awe inspiring. The artistry seems like magic – they carved and painted for the next 800 years. Until about 600 CE when the Buddhist faith fell from favor in the area. While carving dormitories and sites of worship out of solid rock is impressive, we toured the site to look at the paintings. Early paintings did not include the Buddha as he hadn’t yet been elevated to Continue reading

India #7 (Hampi)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) In 1565 five Sultans attacked the centuries-old Hindu kingdom at Hampi in southern India. They sacked and looted it and burned everything not made of stone. The Hampi kingdom collapsed and was abandoned, to be unearthed and rediscovered in modern times. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hampi palace and grounds were vast: Approximately five kilometers by six kilometers, with walls twice that length. The first photo gives you some notion of the size. Note the people on the distant platform. The second photo shows the wall’s scale, akin to the Cyclops Wall Continue reading

India #6 (Halebid)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) We visited the Hindu temple at Halebid which, like its twin at Hoysala, is about 1,000 years old. The first photo illustrates the complex’s substantial size. We see only part of one wall. Note the intricate friezes on the wall. The second photo shows a local guide commenting on the beauty of the stone carvings. (We traveled with a guide who accompanied us for the entire trip, staying with us at our hotels and joining us for meals. He journeys with us by van, by train and on the half-dozen flights we made within India. A Continue reading

India #5 (Hoysala)

The Lehmann Letter (SM)  We traveled from Mahabalipuram to Hassan, which is west of Chennai and closer to the west coast of India. We visited the Hindu temple at Hoysala. We know of nothing like this in the western world. The first photo looks across the temple square. The second photo shows us with some of the detail of the friezes carved all over the exterior. This temple, like Notre Dame in Paris, was built around 1100AD. But this temple, unlike Notre Dame, is covered with the kind of intricate carving you find in the Treasury of the Cloisters in Continue reading

India #4 (Mahabalipuram)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) Hindu empires ruled all of India until the arrival of Moslem invaders from the north and west around 1000AD. The Moslems believed the Hindu religion to be idolatrous and systematically destroyed the Hindu temples of northern India. (Think of the Taliban and Isis today.) That’s why the Hindu antiquities are to be found in southern India, which eluded Moslem destruction, and why our journey began in the south. Mahabalipuram provides great examples of ancient Hindu temple construction. The first photo shows the greatest feat: Those temples are each carved from solid granite. They are not constructed Continue reading

India #2 (Kanchipuram)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) We traveled south from Chennai to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram. Kanchipuram is a Hindu temple complex built in 800AD and added to over the years. See the exterior shots of Millie and our daughter Mera. The interior shot shows one of several galleries of interior columns. Suffice it to say that these Hindu antiquities rival anything we know of in the West. Questions or comments? Contact Mike Lehmann at lehmannm@usfca.edu. (To be fully informed visit http://www.beyourowneconomist.com/) © 2017 Michael B. Lehmann

India #3 (Rich & Poor)

The Lehmann Letter (SM) You may be interested in these views of the Indian Ocean. The first is from our van: At the beach in Chennai. A fishing family’s shack, complete with laundry and goat. Their skiff is beached out of range of this shot. But there’s a whole flotilla of boats pulled up on the beach, for a whole community of fishing families. They sell their catch at an open market on the beach road. The catches are small and sold out daily because the temperature is typically in the 80s. The other shot is from our balcony at Continue reading