And you thought the preliminary 0.2% Q1 GDP print from last month was bad. Moments ago, just as we warned, the BEA released its latest, first, revision of Q1 GDP (pre second-seasonal adjustments of course), and we just got confirmation that for the third time in the past four years, the US economy suffered a quarterly contraction, with the Q1 GDP revised drastically from a 0.2% growth to a drop of -0.7%: the worst print since snow struck, so very unexpectedly, last winter.
Yesterday, New Yorkers walking by the Ocean Luxury Rental apartment building at 1 West St around 10:40am, were greeted with a gruesome sight: a 29-year-old man had just jumped to his death from the 24th floor. Today, we learn that the tragic incident was merely the latest banker suicide, when according to the NY Post the still unidentified jumper was the latest in a long series of investment bankers who have decided to take their own life.
Another day, another stock market dump saved by another Greece headline...
GREECE WILL MAKE JUNE 5 PAYMENT DUE TO IMF, GREEK ECONOMY MINISTER STATHAKIS: REAL
The question is, what money will Greece use this time? They already "borrowed" their IMF reserves to make the May 12 €750MM payment to the IMF...
Russia is moving to undercut a critical financial communications link by creating an alternative system backed by the world's rising EM powerhouses who are set to officially launch their own development bank when they convene in July. At the same time, Moscow will consider cementing its economic ties with regional allies via the establishment of a currency bloc.
How do you support a consumer economy with stagnant incomes for the bottom 90%, rising basic expenses and crashing employment for males ages 25-54? Answer: you don't.
It seems bad news is bad news after all...
We did not actually need confirmation that global trade is slowing to a crawl (and has in fact reversed): after all, we have been showing just that for the past year, most recently earlier this week but it is important to note that in today's negative GDP print, it was net trade (exports less imports) that subtracted -1.9% from the final GDP print, driven by a -1.03% annualized drop in exports. This was the biggest hit to US trade since thegreat financial crisis.
Following the collapse in Gallup's consumer confidence and Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort, UMich Consumer Senitment printed 90.7 (against expectations of a rise to 89.5 from 95.9). With May's preliminary print the biggest miss in 17 months, this final drop leaves Consumer Sentiment at its lowest since November 2014. Hope dropped from 88.8 to 84.2 but it was the collapse in Current conditions - which fell from 107 to 100.8 - that crushed the headline. This is the biggest plunge in current conditions since Summer 2011 (the US debt downgrade). Business expectations plunged to 8-month lows, employment expectations tumbled... but the number who think it's a good time to buy a house rose.
Following Milwaukee ISM's plunge to 15-month lows this morning with a plunge in new orders (missing for 4 of last 5 months), Chicago PMI printed a disappointing 46.2 (against expectations of a slight rise to 53.0 from 52.3 last month) - lower than the lowest economist estimate. After last month's modest (dead-cat) bounce back from winter's collapse to 6 year lows, this re-collapse is hardly the kind of Q2-recovery-reinforcing data the mainstream wants. With the level now back at the same when Lehman hit, New Orders, Production, and Employment all contracted in May.
"U.S. surveillance imagery shows China has positioned weaponry on one of the artificial islands it is developing in the South China Sea," WSJ reports. US Defense Secretary says the US will "fly, sail, and operate" wherever it wants.
The age of propaganda is now upon us; where perception trumps the truth, until that is, the house of cards burns and falls, which it always does. With such blatant data manipulation going on, why shouldn’t we question the extent of stated “glut” in oil? The longer perception is distorted to create a false reality, the worse things will get in the end. We saw this before in 1999/2000 with the internet bubble and in 2008/2009 with the housing bubble, and it will not end well. If producers are dumb enough to get roped in to turning the spigot on when oil does rise (just as they appear to have done this morning) then, once again, prices won’t hold.
Yesterday Japan amazed everyone when it reported that its unemployment rate had dropped yet again, this time to 3.3%, the lowest since April 1997. The paradox is that while the number of Japan's unemployed dropped by 20,000, the number of those employed plunged by 280,000! Or as Goldman calls, it "growth in jobholders looks to have peaked amid a lack of recovery momentum in the economy"
€5 billion in deposits flowed out of the fragile Greek banking system in April, underscoring the urgency of discussions between Athens and creditors. Meanwhile, data out of Eurostat officially confirms that the country is back in a recession.
- Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges (Reuters)
- Blatter expected to win re-election despite soccer corruption scandal (Reuters)
- NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup (WSJ)
- What Will Happen to a Generation of Wall Street Traders Who Have Never Seen a Rate Hike? (BBG)
- Japan spending slump casts doubt on central bank optimism (Reuters)
- Unclear rules, market volatility take toll on bank capital (Reuters)
- Greece Told Budget a Red Line for Creditors Venting at G-7 (BBG)
- The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are (Michael Lewis)
- Pimco Said to Have Considered Goldman’s Cohn for Top Job (BBG)