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Philly Fed Finds Economic Conditions For Low And Moderate-Income Families Deteriorated Under The "Wealth Effect" Mandate

Tyler Durden's picture


While many outside observers have correctly been arguing that the Fed's third mandate, that of the "wealth effect" has done little if anything to improve the lives of those not at the very top of the wealth food chain, there has been no confirmation of this "speculation" from the Fed. Not for much longer though. In its first quarter community outlook survey looking at the economic factors of services focused on low- and moderate-income households in the Third Fed District, the Philly Fed finds the the lower and middle classes are not only not benefiting from the Fed's financial experimentation, but that they are in fact being adversely affected by changes in the broader economy from Q4 2010 to Q1 2010 as the table below demonstrates. As the Fed confirms: "Overall, the negative trend identified in the first Community Outlook Survey
in January 2011 continued.
All diffusion index values remained below 50 except
for demand for service providers’ services. All seven indicators for this survey
were below the future expectations reported by respondents to the previous
" In other words, while the lower and middle classes, as proxied by services geared toward them, continue to hold on the "hope and change" their current existence and living conditions are deteriorating.

The table below says it all:

Note the red change in current conditions between Q4 2010 and Q1 2011.

And in case the table is insufficient, here is summary.

The diffusion index for the availability of jobs, at 47, indicates that service providers had a slightly negative view of the availability of jobs in this survey. Although still unfavorable, the index is 7 points higher than it was in the previous survey. Additionally, respondents had more favorable expectations for the availability of jobs over the next three months; that index stands at 64, compared with a diffusion index of 60 when respondents were asked about future expectations in the previous survey. However, the index of their responses about the availability of jobs in this survey, at 47, did not meet the future expectations they indicated in the previous survey (60).

Respondents reported a decline in the availability of affordable housing in the current survey as they did in the last survey. The majority of respondents indicated that there was no change in the availability of affordable housing (60 percent), but many more reported a decline (32 percent) than an increase (8 percent), resulting in a diffusion index of 38, similar to the last survey’s result (39). Expectations three months from now are neutral (50) and close to the index for expectations from the previous survey (48), although the diffusion index of 38 in the current survey did not meet the future expectations (48) from the previous survey.

As in the previous survey, respondents have an unfavorable opinion of their clients’ financial well-being and access to credit. The diffusion index for financial well-being was 21 for this survey, similar to the last survey’s index of 23: Only 1 percent of survey takers saw their clients’ financial well-being increase, while 59 percent saw it decrease. Relative to the diffusion index from the current survey (21), the index of expectations about clients’ financial well-being three months from now is higher (41), but that value is still under the 50 mark, indicating that respondents are still somewhat pessimistic. Moreover, respondents had similar future expectations in the previous survey (42).

Attitudes about their clients’ access to credit continued to deteriorate, as the diffusion index fell from 28 in the previous survey to 22 in this survey. However, respondents were relatively optimistic about access to credit three months from now: 10 percent anticipate an increase, while most expect it to stay the same (58 percent), yielding an overall diffusion index of 39. This value, though, is lower than that for respondents’ future expectations in the previous survey (43).

And it gets worse:

As these economic factors affecting their clients continue to show weakness, service providers find themselves in a more difficult position. They reported that demand for their services increased strongly once again (87), similar to the last survey (84). Moreover, service providers expect demand for their services to increase again over the next three months. This is the only indicator for which the last survey’s future expectations (88) come close to matching what we see in the current survey (87).

As demand for their services continues to increase, service providers are facing an increasingly difficult environment for satisfying this demand.... There was a significant decrease in respondents’ future expectations relative to the last survey. In the previous survey, respondents expected a small increase in capacity in the future, as represented by a diffusion index of 55, but in the current survey, the index has fallen to 37, suggesting that respondents expect a decrease in their capacity to serve their clients three months from now. Funding problems continue to persist and may be a contributing factor to the operational difficulties experienced by the organizations. More organizations report facing funding problems than in the previous survey, as the diffusion index dropped from 38 to 31. Future expectations also declined from 38 to 28, indicating that organizations expect to continue to lose funding over the next three months.

So, if we may ask, if even the Fed finds that living, economic and credit conditions for everyone below the wealthy strata of society is being impaired by the Fed's ongoing economic tinkering, what justification is there for Quantitative Easing again?

h/t John Lohman


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Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:46 | 1289580 Michael Victory
Michael Victory's picture

The Filly Fed.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:43 | 1290602 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Isn't it nice that Captain Obvious found a well-paying job in Philly?  Praize to the Obamatron! :>D

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:21 | 1289585 silberblick
silberblick's picture

Not related to Philli fed, but other disturbing news that might presage the road we are going down. Belarus now has a full-fledged currency crisis and crackdown. Is this what awaits us? Read here:


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:33 | 1289621 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Personally i would be embarrased to go around to other blogs trying to pump up business for my own little blog.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:05 | 1289756 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I am going to rate you a "blog whore" on WOT.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:12 | 1290196 JR
JR's picture

Thanks for the breaking news, silberblick; your website is excellent. Your comment is a succinct summary of America’s plight. F.A. Hayek gave the “classic warning against the dangers to freedom inherent in social planning” to America as she travels down "the road to serfdom", as in Belarus.  Will the free nations heed his warnings against those who engage economic controls and central planning that destroy individual freedoms, culminating in induced socialism by a tyrannical minority using the control of money to control our lives and “the allocation of the limited means for all our ends”?

The UPI article you posted is a reminder of those who would enslave the number that would be free: “Belarusian security forces arrested hundreds of regime critics, including several presidential candidates, after the demonstrations. ….Andrei Sannikov, a former deputy foreign minister and pro-democracy activist who ran against Lukashenko, was sentenced to five years in prison for organizing mass unrest.”

So much for "the good intentions of the holders of totalitarian power."

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:42 | 1290266 trav7777
trav7777's picture

are the interest rates on their bonds high or low?

When bonds sell off, the currency does with it.

If our auctions start failing, this is what awaits us.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:58 | 1290312 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

so now is the time to pick up a trophy wife from Minsk?

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:27 | 1289594 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

"what justification is there for Quantitative Easing again?" - because the fucking banksters and their enabling minions in congress don't have enough yet.


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:31 | 1289606 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

People with high value added contributions in areas with barriers to entry can do well regardless of monetary policy.

If you have nothing to offer but a nonpractical degree or just low value labor you are screwed regardless of monetary policy.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:54 | 1289688 Loose-Tools
Loose-Tools's picture

Yes, but it is possible that monetary policy can provide the "push over" to the many living on the edge. I find it hard to call the multi-millionaire Wall Street paper-merchants people "with high value added contributions".

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:44 | 1290272 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I dont consider them useful either.

I was discussing things like doctors, iphone programmers, etc

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:40 | 1290109 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

I agree with the "barriers to entry" part, and the "high value added" bit is sometimes true as well, but more often than not that is just an artefact of our current rigged synthetic (as opposed to organic) economy. I think our situation is more accurately described as the "fiat sectors" vs. the "base sectors"... a.k.a. the free and voluntary economy vs. the compulsory economy.

I call them the "fiat sectors" because these jobs' pay (and sometimes very existence) is largely in the hands of lawmakers. A legal tweak here and a new regulation there and et voila... a newly minted "middle class" job appears. Of course, eventually this strategy is doomed, as these new jobs are largely non-wealth-producing overhead, and as such just end up decreasing American competitiveness... thus accelerating job losses in the organic economy to compensate for the new costs.

For roughly the past 5 decades or so, the US government has been offsetting middle-class job losses in the free and voluntary side of the economy by goosing job growth in the compulsory sectors... such as government, law, banking/finance/insurance, corporate HR departments, education administration & support, etc...

They do this for the obvious reasons; to hide their bad policy effects and to pretend we are still a middle class nation, but it also helps sop-up the excess college graduates with useless degrees as well... and lord help the politicians when that particular bubble pops. Once it becomes clear that a good degree from a good school guarantees nothing, then DC can no longer pretend the blame for our decline falls at the people's feet... it was all top-down from the beginning.

It's sad, really. We built this nation on innovation, sweat, and saving. Now, due to decades of failed leadership from the low-bred dwarves we call our elites, from Washington to Wall Street, from academia to entertainment, we are left to muddle through with legislation, lotteries, and loans instead.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:43 | 1290282 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Having a high income does not necessarily mean you have a high value added skill.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:44 | 1290286 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Yep. That's what I was sayin'.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:44 | 1290285 trav7777
trav7777's picture

a shitty degree from a good school guarantees nothing anymore.

People need to wake up to that.

The ENTIRE black middle class was created by racist government setasides and hiring and promotion policies.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 06:50 | 1290647 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

a sad chapter in american race relations.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 09:18 | 1290955 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

What "race relations"?  The bullshit the government propaganda pushes?  The races hate each other...always have and always will...learn to live with that...don't try to fight it.


We've FAILED as a country because we tried too hard to get blacks/browns "mainstreamed" into society.  It didn't work, it WON'T work...ever.  We're as different as dogs and cats.  Trying to keep blacks/browns at the level of whites/asians has destroyed us.  We've given up EVERYTHING for this one goal...and we've failed miserably.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:32 | 1289616 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Jew confetti Bitchez

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:32 | 1289625 mukuch
mukuch's picture

Tyler, you might take  a look at this, it's somewhat related, lol

$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps From The Detroit News:$2M-Michigan-lottery-winner-defends-use-of-food-stamps#ixzz1Mko1dy1I
Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:47 | 1289667 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Guillotine bitchezzzzz

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:57 | 1289701 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

I talked to the Snap-On rep today.  He said that his business is scary right now.  People are not getting cars fixed because they can't afford the gas.  That said, it looks like Garth Brooks is well on his way to selling out his upcoming concert at the Wynn in Las Vegas this November.  Quite the mixed message.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 20:57 | 1289704 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

dont think Obama can count on 90% of the vote in 2012

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:12 | 1289771 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

in 08 he got 96% of the black vote

probably 102% in detroit, chicago and philly

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:28 | 1290058 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

Prolly get 110% in Chicago and Madison, wi. Only city more corrupt than Chicago is probably Madison, Wi.  If there aren't more votes there than registered voters they call for a recount.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:40 | 1290100 anti Oligarchy
anti Oligarchy's picture

No - Rahm is in charge now.


Its all legit

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:45 | 1290275 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

true, prolly be more like 120% in Chicago, can't let some upstart hick town like Madison beat ya out

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 00:58 | 1290394 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"Vote early and vote often"

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:00 | 1289717 sabra1
sabra1's picture


During an interview with a Denver radio station this morning, author Jerome Corsi said he was about to release bombshell evidence that proved the alleged Obama birth certificate released last month was a composite of three different birth certificates from other individuals born at the same hospital.

“I’m going to be telling the entire world about this scandal over the next few weeks,” Corsi said in a separate interview. “This is going to make Watergate look like a political sideshow by comparison.”

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:08 | 1289750 Misean
Misean's picture

Gotta win the bloody Captain Obvious award! How much loot do these f'tards steal from the rest of us to do this socially important research?


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:05 | 1289751 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

translation: under an affirmative action presidency this is

better than expected.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:40 | 1290269 trav7777
trav7777's picture

maybe they should start acting white and get educations and obey the law

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:49 | 1290289 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Get an education, obey the law?

We must respect the choices of different cultures. We must subsidize those choices too, so that they can maintain that distinct culture.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:45 | 1290607 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Gee, does that mean you speak jive?  Or is it Ebonics (not that there's much difference)?

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 06:49 | 1290644 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I'm from the old school.


I be shuking and a jiving.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:17 | 1289808 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I'd like to see a bit better description of who those "service providers" are.

Are we talking about foodstamps offices and that sort of thing only, or does it include any kinds of private going business?

Not to sound too much like the old original Wanger, but I know several folks currently working at a company which is completely *flooded* with business.  This may not necessarily augur well for the company's future, because I'm not sure they're pricing well, and the delivery costs may be exceeding the revenues collected, but for sure there may be some specific sectors or models booming in this environment.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:39 | 1290258 samsara
samsara's picture

I heard during a plague,  Undertakers make a 'Killing'

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:38 | 1289901 max2205
max2205's picture

Last time I saw a fed member at IHOP or Denny's was .... NEVER!

Rents are insane in this economy and food and gas. A Fed Trifecta

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:49 | 1290292 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

Unless they were there to scope out the help DSK style

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:53 | 1289944 catch edge ghost
catch edge ghost's picture

More Ovaltine, please!

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:57 | 1289955 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

Philly Fred, one elbow on the counter at Tony Luke's, says:


Ay, shits fuckn' bad on the workn' classss!


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:03 | 1289974 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture

All the while Obama is handing out drilling permits, er jobs, to Petrobras and trying to power freight liners on solar pannels.

This shit is beyond meniocal!  Someone get a rope...

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:06 | 1289981 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

but wait theres more - obama us aid to MENA coming

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 01:57 | 1290462 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Maybe he meant AIDS.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:06 | 1289988 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Republican's Win!


Double Winning!!


Tiger Blood Bitchez!!! Trickles Down for the Poor!!!

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:23 | 1290025 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

who tf are the  "service providers" for these people? 

social workers?

stay tooned.  next month, we get the answers to:  "what would you do if they cut off your food stamps?" 

we got the same thingy from the survey in great britain:  after cigs & booze, housing was impossible to navigate.  this can't end well.  we need to expand section 8 housing vouchers so people can live in freddie-, fannie-, & the FED-ville.  the goobermint housing $'s can pay the banksters, who have foreclosed on the houses, the rent for clients to live there.


Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:11 | 1290188 Korrath
Korrath's picture

Nonsense, good sir!  Why I hear Hooverville is actually quite charming this time of year...

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:24 | 1290037 knukles
knukles's picture

All Hail Caesar.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:37 | 1290092 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The wealth effect didn't work for me.  Even though the banksters have pocketed trillions the local merchants still won't give me any credit.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:12 | 1290200 Dr. Impossible
Dr. Impossible's picture

maybe the georgia guildestones have a point...

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:42 | 1290273 trav7777
trav7777's picture

these people are lost; there is nothing that can be done.

The Fed and Gov have no choice but to try to keep the upper middle and lower upper classes "invested" in the status quo and they are accomplishing that by levitating the stock market.

If the trade classes are lost, the government will fall.  This is always the way it is.

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:50 | 1290299 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


It is easy to control the bottom forty percent.

When more ambitious, disciplined, healthy, and intelligent people with real resources join the fray, then you got yourself a real rebellion.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 00:09 | 1290327 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Power to the People!

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 04:07 | 1290548 uff the fluff
uff the fluff's picture

That's why the plan is to repossess said assets - and I fear all is going smoothly on that front.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 00:17 | 1290344 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

The silly philly fed needs to realize that the chairsatan knows not these stats. At any rate, I always love using this as an opportunity to state once again: end the fed.

These bastards have done enough damage to the real economy, and no matter how much they pretend to care about the peasantry they are far from competent to do anything to help us.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 09:23 | 1290434 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


Let's see:

Wage stagnant.

"Health"care = +15% a year in increased premiums, deductilbes, costs

Same for utilities, taxes, fees, insurance.

Food, fuel, clothing, and other crap you have to buy = +25%

I could moan and groan more but I've got just one thing to say to the FED, the Politicians, and the Bankers:


<Goodness me - I must not write angry and drunk - something about spineless jellyfish whelps in Washington and Wall Street with a lot of cussing - sorry>.


Thu, 05/19/2011 - 03:54 | 1290543 Bear
Bear's picture

It's offical ... Tiny Tim finally admits to reading ZeroHedge:

"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner threw a bomb at America’s financial future last night (5/18), saying he is “certain” another financial catastrophe is on the way and that there is no way of reaching agreement on the debt ceiling without increasing taxes on the wealthy."

Read more on Geithner: Another Meltdown is 'Certain' — Raising Taxes on the Wealthy Will Come 

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 08:49 | 1290841 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Everyone who lives in california or new york is wealthy. They take 2 to 3 times as many dollars as rest of country. Yet without their real estate imploding they can't go back to being "unwealthy".

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 04:33 | 1290555 jaffi
jaffi's picture

Who woulda thunk that inflation cannot target specific prices?  I mean really?

The wealth effect is an horrible joke.  You cannot direct inflated dollars to target specific prices, you can only ensure that those that get the money first (before the price increases) benefit over those who don't.  I have watched Fed economist after Fed economist state that "inflation doesn't hurt anybody, because wages rise too", yet I have not seen a single objective analysis to support that theory in real terms; this dynamic isn't something that would not be expected in real economic analysis.  

Not all prices are effected the same by an inflation of the currency, along with the fact that a wage is merely another price, it should be of no surprise that it would follow that the waste of capital that an inflation wrecks upon an economy would also lead to lower real wages; capital is the key to higher real wages, this is simple econ 101 (ok, maybe it is second year econ).  Man, I hate those "synthesis" F*&%s!!!  They completely screwed the entire econ profession....

I really wish that I didn't have to piss into the wind with such statements, and that people would finally get how the structure of capital works, but such is life... I guess.  It still pisses me off how people simply do not get this shit, even though it is entirely elementary.  

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:56 | 1290612 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I have watched Fed economist after Fed economist state that "inflation doesn't hurt anybody, because wages rise too"


If this were true, an awful lot of wage-slaves should now be Billionaires!  Someone needs to check their premises, because such a statement leads to absurd conclusions!

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 06:40 | 1290637 gkm
gkm's picture

So that's what the Bernanke means when he says conditions are improving.  He just leaves off the part about the top 1% being where the conditions are improving.

As for the need for further QE, what part don't you understand about improving conditions?

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 08:42 | 1290825 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Great trouble for the people, misery looms! Who ya gonna call?  Obama Poverty Buster!  Yes, my little people, become more dependent, more pliant, more needy! Lean on me, Mr. Hope & Change and I will take care of you for your vote my little slaves.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 09:40 | 1291068 Imminent Collapse
Imminent Collapse's picture

14 signs that we are in the process of collapse:

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!