March 28th, 2015
Among the many things that mystify economists these days, the biggest might be the lingering perception, despite six years of ostensible recovery, that the average person is getting poorer rather than richer. Lots of culprits come in for blame; but one that doesn’t get much mention is the changing nature of the bills we’re paying...
If, as one claims, one is innocent of i) using a personal email account to send out confidential information and/or to take advantage of one's political position to abuse opponents and ii) deleting said confidential emails against government regulations, what would one do when faced with a government subpoena demand? If one is the IRS' Lois Lerner, one would claim, against subsequently revealed facts, that a hardware error led to a permanent loss of all demanded emails, even though by email protocol definition, said emails are always stored on at least one off-site server. Or, if one is Hillary Clinton, one would just format the entire server.
"An electric car does not make you green... You’re better off filling up at the pump," if you live in Canada. According to a new study by professor Chris Kennedy, even if every driver in Canada made the switch - from gas to electric - the total emissions might not actually go down... since in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, electric cars generate more carbon pollution over their lifetimes than gas-powered cars. Paging Al Gore...
A carnivorous Koot...
If Tsipras and Varoufakis should elect to give in to Brussels and Berlin, that decision would still need to be put before the people to vote on, because it would mean a prolongation of austerity. And that is not the mandate. By the same token, if the leadership decides an exit is the only option, and that further negotiations are hopeless because Europe won’t accept anything else than strapping the proud Greek people in a straitjacket, that too will have to be put before a vote. They know there will come a moment when a referendum can no longer be postponed no matter what the polls say. In that, Greece is living up to its glorious past as the cradle of democracy. Still, make no mistake: of course they’re preparing to leave.
A non-bombastic look at the week ahead in the capital markets.
This situation will result in a Crash far larger than 2008. The markets involved are larger as is the risk and the leverage.
"I'm Not Stupid" Monsanto Lobbyist Refuses To Drink Weedkiller After Proclaiming "It Won't Hurt You"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2015 09:39 -0400
"Do as I say, not as I do," appears to be the message from a controversial lobbyist who claimed that the chemical in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer was safe for humans refused to drink his own words when a French television journalist offered him a glass... "I'm not stupid," he proclaims... you be the judge...
The Bubble Machine Is Complete: Soaring Stocks Push Investors Into Bonds Whose Issuers Buy More StocksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2015 09:29 -0400
As JPM notes, soaring equity prices have had the effect of altering investors’ asset allocations, effectively tipping the balance towards equities even as money flows into bond funds. "The more equity prices increase, driven by either hedge funds or investors with low equity allocations, such as Japanese pension funds the higher the incentive by other investors who are already very overweight equities to buy bonds to prevent their bond allocation from falling too low."
Intended warning or unintended slip? After Alan Greenspan's confessional admission that "Gold is a currency. It is still, by all evidence, a premier currency. No fiat currency, including the dollar, can match it," we found it remarkable that during the Q&A after her speech today that Janet Yellen, when asked about negative rates, admitted that "cash in not a very convenient store of value," seemingly hinting at Bernanke's helicopter and that there will be no deflation in The US ever... Rick Santelli then sums it all up perfectly... "deflation is clearly the boogeyman... and the only thing that will save the middle class."
We have solved the mystery of why US households did not spend all those billions in "dropping gas price" windfalls - the answer is that they did spend all this money. On Obamacare.
“The new normal for the Chinese economy and banking sector includes sluggish growth and persistent credit deterioration,” one analyst tells Bloomberg. China's largest banks are seeing loans tied to manufacturing and other sectors sour which is cutting into profitability just as rate cuts squeeze NIM margins.
Since the depths of the last recession, the price of ground beef in the United States has doubled. Has your paycheck doubled since then? Even though the Federal Reserve insists that we are in a “low inflation” environment, the government’s own numbers show that the price of ground beef has been on an unprecedented run over the past six years...
Over the past 2 years the Obama administration has been desperate to boost minimum wages, usually over tedious bickering with republicans and corporations who have resisted such an increase, with neither party realizing that such a measure would not do much to actually boost aggregate spending. Instead, what Obama should have been focusing on was to limit the maximum number of hours worked per week, because as the following chart shows, the reason why weekly pay is rising and aggregate earnings is not due to an increase in hourly wages but because Americans are simply working longer hours every week: not quality but quantity.