Record Number Of Foodstamp Recipients And Near Record Low Volume - Market Melt Up Guaranteed

Tyler Durden's picture

First, just in case you were wondering, today's melt up episode #xyz is being orchestrated by the HFTs on no volume as per the norm. There is no volume period. The volume only appears when the Dow is down 1000 points. At that point everyone tries to front run everyone else as we saw last Thursday. It happened then, it will happen again. In the meantime nothing will change, except the launching station for the 30% drop straight down will be marginally higher (one would hope).

And as for the fundamentals justifying the market going right back up to 2010 highs: here you go - "Agriculture Department said 39.68 million
people, or 1 in 8 Americans, were enrolled for food stamps during
February, an increase of 260,000 from January. USDA updated its figures
on Wednesday."

From Reuters:

Nearly 40 million Americans received food stamps -- the latest in an ever-higher string of record enrollment that dates from December 2008 and the U.S. recession, according to a government update.

Food stamps are the primary federal anti-hunger program, helping poor people buy food. Enrollment is highest during times of economic distress. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent, the government said on Friday.

"This is the highest share of the U.S. population on SNAP/food stamps," said the anti-hunger group Food Research and Action Center, using the new name for food stamps, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). "Research suggests that one in three eligible people are not receiving ... benefits."

Enrollment has set a record each month since reaching 31.78 million in December 2008. USDA estimates enrollment will average 40.5 million people this fiscal year, which ends Sept 30, at a cost of up to $59 billion. For fiscal 2011, average enrollment is forecast for 43.3 million people.

We expect this number to hit 50 million before the year is out. But at least all those food stamp recipients still get their basic cable, so they can ignore the US-funded bailout of bankers, not only in the US (that was so 2009) but all over the world now.

h/t John

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jkruffin's picture

Wow, the same number of people getting food stamps went up by the same number of people who supposedly got jobs.  Did they get a job spending food stamps for research project?

Every day that goes by, its getting uglier and uglier.

Missing_Link's picture

No, they just got lazy with copying and pasting their numbers.

papaswamp's picture

Oh SNAP!...I just had to say it. But I thought the economy was recovering? What is scarey is that is the Feb 2010 number....wonder what it is now.

Janice's picture

Reminds me of the photos of the Great Depression era food lines

SheepDog-One's picture

Yep, except now the soup line isnt out in the street for all to see, its in the Walmart with 4 shopping carts and a 'non-degrading' Gubmint SNAP credit card! Hooray!

Buck Johnson's picture

You hit it right on the head, thats where the new soup lines are.  Hidden away in stores and late night Grocery shopping where many of the well to do are ashamed to show that card so they wait till night to use it to go shopping.  People in line are writing a check for 14 dollars of food (I've seen it) not because they don't believe in holding physical money, but they have 17 dollars in the bank and they need 3 dollars to keep the account open and they buy food with the rest.  Or the looks you get from individuals that are in front or behind you when you have a full grocery cart, they give a look of disbelief at how much you have.  On and On this goes on, because much of us in america are suffering in our apt. or homes trying to figure out how to spend this 60 or 90 dollars left on food, after catching up on the rent or catching up on other bills not associated with the mortgage (that you stopped paying).  We are suffering in private because in our society if your poor or don't have money, you are looked down upon.  You are considered a lesser man or woman, You in essence are considered a failure, and thats is why they hide away. 

It has always been implied explicit or implicit that we in america or exceptional, and that bad things happen to THOSE PEOPLE.  When bad things start to happen to you, then you feel as if your card that says your exceptional has been revoked and that now your a nobody to the rest of society.  It's horrible, but thats what happens when you build a society on hate and intolerance and pure greed, eventually it starts to feed on itself.

mikla's picture

It's easier to hide the starving masses when you don't force them to line up for a meal, at which an irritating photographer might document what's going on.

Of course, we have much more fraud now -- by at least two orders of magnitude -- in "gaming" the system.

uno's picture

Last week I went to a dermatologist, the person at the checkin desk with me looked around 40.  When asked about insurance he said he had medicare and medicaid.  How the hell is this possible to begin with, he did not have any visible disability.


Guess California will have pot-stamps soon; uncle sugar will soon have cable-tv-stamps, Disneyland-stamps.  What else?

Mitchman's picture

And the beat goes on...  Pitiful. Whre's the outrage?

moneymishap's picture

The "outrage" is remaining calm by hourly glances into their vaults.

Mitchman's picture

What I find particularly pitiful in that no talking head in the MSM connects these two dots - eiother because they are congenital idiots (the most likely explanation) or because they don't want to criticize "their" president.  You supposed you'd see an editorial in the NYT about this?

sumo's picture

Greece and Germany.


fuggetaboutit's picture

maybe BoA, JPM, GS and Citi were all huge long food stamps in Q1 '10?

maybe that explains how 4 organziations spanning dozens of markets, thousands of securities and numerous countries were collectively all able to make money 100% of all days open for business?

this clears a lot up actually

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

actually, jpm does administer the food stamps program for the government, so more foddstamps is good for them.  not counted under trading revenue, though.

Brian Griffin's picture

Atleast they're not cashing those stamps in for tv dinners, fried chicken, co-co puffs and ice cream treats.  If they were I'd hate to see where medicare cost are going...whew. 

Agent P's picture

I can't tell you how pissed I get every time I go grocery shopping and the fat fuck in front of me has two shopping carts full of soda, chips, sugar cereal, ice cream, snack cakes, etc...all branded items (no private label) of course...then whips out their Link Card (Illinois) to pay for it all.  It's especially infuriating when that person is talking on a Blackberry or iPhone...I've seen both on more than one occasion.

I honestly don't mind food stamp programs in concept.  I'm a conservative, but I think this country is too great to let any of its citizens go hungry.  That being said, something has to change to stop the abuses of the system!  My blood is boiling just writing about it!  Fuck!  Now I'm angry...thanks again ZH!

Brian Griffin's picture

Pour yourself a Gentlemen Jack and pull up a GOLD chart.  You'll feel better. 

curbyourrisk's picture

Why am I beginning to hate my country?  Not just the government anymore, but the people who keep electing the same schmucks over and over again. 

tecno242's picture

1 in 8 americans.. but that includes children..

of adult working age americans.. it's got to be closer to 1 in 5.

SheepDog-One's picture

OH, so 40 million on food SNAP's, yet 1 out of 3 'elligible recipients' have not yet even applied for the New and Improved soup line Gubmint credit card? Well, looks like its time to bubble up some zero volume equity markets for sure!

b_thunder's picture

so there are approx. 60 milion eligible for food stamps?   that's 20% of the entire population!   AAPL should really think about accepting food stamps for iPads


Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Welcome to the Banana Republic with no bananas (but lots of nuts).

sheeple's picture

they prolly use a birth-death model to seasonally adjust food stampers

Turd Ferguson's picture

Wow. This is exceptionally bad and sad news.

John McCloy's picture

Lets us all celebrate our free money nanny state good ol USA with a video of our soon to be favorite American song. Work and financial obligations are SO 20th century.


the grateful unemployed's picture

the SNAP program is also a boon for the stock market, since in order to qualify your assets must be below a ridiculous level, or parked in a 401K.  The notion that people have been using their 401K money to buy groceries may have led to this requirement. There are a number of agencies which help the applicants interface. The motivation to increase enrollment at the state level is based on additional federal funding that is then made available. The state governments want you to enroll for SNAP.

doggis's picture

WTF????? head hurts again.....! can someone please smack me across the head with the fat end of my baseball bat - i have decided to dull this ongoing headache with something exponentially more painful....

hiza's picture

Nothing to see here...move along

no cnbc cretin's picture

An interesting note about foodstamps. The GOV likes using them because it helps to conceal how bad things are. Meaning, you don't have people all over the place waiting in lines for food at soup kitchens - so the MSM can't bring it to attention. Keep the masses ignorant. Except for ZH readers.

the grateful unemployed's picture

whenever Uncle buys dinner you can bet the bill we be padded, so we see food prices jump by about 2.5%. why should this be any different than healthcare, where the individual who buys their own coverage must pay the inflated rate caused by government subsidizing the other 75%.

Sisyphus's picture

Joke of the day:

The economy is so bad that:If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

MarketTruth's picture

For those unaware, it is JPM that handles Food Stamps, and you can guess the $$$profit$$$ they make from taxpayers (your pocket) on them.

Catullus's picture

Yes yes.

Also people on food stamps have learned how to withdraw cash on them. They take a 50% haircut on that intelligent manuever, but it can be done.

alphaninja's picture

Look under the hood folks, there are REASONS for the DJIA to be up...

homersimpson's picture

Save your bandwidth folks - lemme sum it up for you. A Rosy IBM outlook doesn't mean the US economy is saved. End of story.

chunkylover42's picture

Exactly, and let me add an important point to your summary.  That EPS growth comes from buying back shares.  Increased profitability and top line growth?  Not so much.

P-K4's picture

"It's easier to hide the starving masses when you don't force them to line up for a meal, at which an irritating photographer might document what's going on.

Of course, we have much more fraud now -- by at least two orders of magnitude -- in "gaming" the system."

Those who say that things aren't as bad as they were during the depression, don't realize that poverty, bankruptcy, unemployment, homelessness, debt, rising crime, etc. are all being hidden from the public. Mikla is spot on !   MSM will not report the truth because being impoverished in US means you can get free health care, food stamps, low income housing, college loans, etc. compliments of the "Equalizer." 

geminiRX's picture

wow, such positive fundamentals.......

Deflationburger with Fleas's picture

Its all good folks - they'll soon just let people buy shares of C with their food stamps.  Re-ramp!!! 

Flounder's picture

It's a good thing that Whole Foods accepts food stamps.  Go WFMI!  Booyaa!

"...the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes forward, bowl in hand, and makes his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more."

Rogerwilco's picture

Since food stamps are a subsidy to the grocery industry, quit yer bitchin' and buy into the fix. The whole goddamned thing is rigged, and this really is in-your-face good news -- either play their game or go away.

glenlloyd's picture

subsidy just begets more of the same. I'm not suggesting we should let people go hungry but just pointing out that when barriers to entry are easy the system can only grow larger.

And since the advent of the food stamp credit card look alike there's no shame in using it anymore. We've eliminated the stigma with technology.

And even when someone is no longer eligible for the program there will be an unwillingness to give it up, it will become a permanent right.

Whats that smell's picture

Most gun bearing US citizens like to think of European peoples as pussies, but I hear of very few Americans taking to the streets to get their ideas heard? They are on the couch playing video games or what?

Mercury's picture

Actually the eyebrow-raiser should be: "I'm paying for 1 out of every 8 American's  grocery bill?"

Give me a break, I though we were having an obesity epidemic?  How many food stamp recipeints also "suffer" from the "disease" of obesity I wonder?

And they're not food stamps any more they're plastic government credit cards that look just like regular credit cards.  Surely some people used to want to get off food stamps ASAP to avoid the shame of being seen peeling off stamps in the check-out line.  That's gone forever I guess.  How many Americans today wouldn't accept food stamps if the government lowered the bar enough to qualify them? Not too damn many I bet.

People actually starved in the 30's Depression.  Today's America (at least for now) has the cheapest food the planet has ever known.  Rice, beans, and some decent fresh or frozen veggies can feed a family of four for $10 a day easy.  Easy. Not that you're likely to see rice, beans and veggies in the shopping cart of the next food stamp payer you come across in line at the supermarket...

Obviously some people probably need food stamps but 1 in 8? Bullshit. And just so you know that number is never going down even if unemployment suddenly drops to zero.  Like everything else what used to be called relief (as in temporary) becomes welfare and then turns into an entitlement.  Europe isn't melting down right now because it's member countries have too few entitlements.

How about printing some damn tax stamps?

caconhma's picture

There is no need to work in the US Obama paradise. Food stamps and life-time unemployment benefits are destroying this country. But these benefits recipients are the main Democrats and Republicans voting block.


Will farmers accept food stamps as a payment for their crop? I doubt.  This is a road to America hunger and starvation.

The Alarmist's picture

The card also has the advantage of not involving cash, which is a positive in the rare but possible event that physical currency is short or lacking.  This actually happened during the Great Depression, with the result being that many locations ended up creating their own scrip.  With the card, you will always have "money" to spend of your junk ... err, nutritious food, making it easy for you to sit fat, dumb, and mind-numbed in front of the Tube watching American Idle.  Unless, of course, the satellite carrying it spins hopelessly out of control. Then watch out, because Greece will be the word.