A New Problem Emerges For Hillary: Obamacare

With more Americans having an unfavorable view of Obamacare than favorable and Clinton continuing to take credit for the law on the campaign trail, establishment Democrats are beginning to realize another (non-email, non-charity, non-vote-fraud-related) crisis looms for Hillary - the problem of dramatically higher Obamacare premium hikes in an election year. With the redistribution and disincentive to work that we already detailed about to get considerably worse, Senate leader Mitch McConnell asked pointedly, "maybe Democrats think the middle class should just get over double-digit premium increases..."

The Five Stages Of Central Bankers' Failure

Only when central bankers accept the complete and utter failure of their policies and accept the reality that their policies have increased wealth inequality and crippled the global economy with debt, speculation and manipulation, can we finally move forward. Until then, we're stuck with the world central bankers have created: a world of rising wealth and income inequality, of permanent manipulation of markets as a means of managing perceptions and of speculative debt/leverage bubbles that will burst with a ferocity few expect or understand.

The "Crazy Growth In Corporate Debt" Is Finally Noticed: Bloomberg Issues Stark Warning

One does not have to be financial wizard to to know that a firm which has to borrow more than it can generate from core operations is not a sustainable business model, and yet today's CFOs, pundits and central bankers do not. But more are starting to pay attention as the corporate debt pile hits epic proportions. As Bloomberg writes this morning, when it also issued a stark warning about the next source of credit contagion, while "consumers were the Achilles’ heel of the U.S. economy in the run-up to the last recession. This time, companies may play that role."

$50 Oil Doesn't Work

$50 per barrel oil is clearly less impossible to live with than $30 per barrel oil, because most businesses cannot make a profit with $30 per barrel oil. But is $50 per barrel oil helpful? Gail Tverberg argues that it really is not.

The Obamacare Cliff: Redistribution & The Disincentive To Work

As awful as Obamacare has been at its purported goal of making health care affordable, it has been unquestionably successful at one of Obama's other primary goals: the redistribution of wealth.  Unfortunately, the poor design of the redistribution function is one of the reasons Obamacare is failing. This will not end well.

US Government "Finds" Americans Had $70 Billion More In Disposable Income

Just one week after the US Department of Commerce quietly slashed historical US capex spending by billions of dollars following a major data revision it was time for another major revision to a series that is nearer and dearer to most Americans' hearts, namely Disposable Personal Income. Here, the US Dept of Commerce just "revised" personal wages high enough to add over $70 billion in disposable income to US pockets over the past 6 months.

Dallas Fed Tumbles (Again) - 17th Consecutive Month Of Contraction

This is the 17th month in a row of contraction for Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey as the headline print plunged to -20.8 from -13.9 (missing expectations of a hopeful bounce to -8.0 by 6 standard deviations). Despite the unequivocally good rebound in oil prices, sentiment in Dallas remains dismal with new orders crashing as even 'hope' has now given way to realism as the 6-month outlook tumbles back into negative territory.

Oil Spikes Near $50 On Libya Turmoil Despite Highest OPEC Production Since 2008

In its ubiquitous manner, crude futures decided to try and run the stops at the US equity open but were unable to get to $50 (49.984 in July WTI) before fading back a little. Ths driver - according to the narrative-du-jour - is turmoil in Libya and ongoing Nigeria and France disruptions, which are both offsetting a surge in OPEC production to its highest level since 2008 in the minds of the machines. "The market is pretty much on hold until we get all this information," says Deutsche Bank's Jens Pedersen of the data dump and OPEC meetings this week. "We need to get that out of the way to see if there is a reason for oil to go higher."

Consumer Confidence Plunges To 10-Month Lows As Job 'Hope' Fades

The Conference Board's consumer confidence measure has hovered around the 95 level for the last 6 months (as gas prices dipped and ripped, as stock prices dipped and ripped, and as political chaos reigned). This 'stability' is in stark contrast to other surveys of confidence such as Bloomberg's and Gallup's which are both at multi-month lows... until today. Consumer Confidence plunged to 92.6 (missing expectations of 96.1 by the most since November). May's dismal print (a 3 sigma miss) is below the lowest of 68 economist estimates as expectations slipped modestly but Present Situation tumbled with optimism on jobs sliding to 6-month lows.

Chicago PMI Slumps Back Into Contraction; Election Blamed

Having wavered around the magical '50' level for much of the last year, bouncing off December plunge lows, Chicago PMI printed below expectations of 50.5 at a contractionary 49.3 - the 6th month of contraction in the last 12 months. With weakness in new orders (lowest since Dec 2015) and production (both back into contraction), MNI notes that on the heels of April's decline, the latest results show activity stumbling in the second quarter, following only moderate growth in Q1.

Allergan Stock Surges After Carl Icahn Announces "Large Position" In The Company

Carl Icahn appears to be a big fan of Brent Saunders. After Icahn was instrumental in placing his favorite CEO at the top of Forest Labs before it was acquired by Actavis several years ago - a deal which made then Forest Labs investor Carl Icahn hundreds of millions in profit - the billionaire investor is now doubling down on Saunders, and moments ago the billionaire investor announced that he has acquired a "large position" in Allergan, and confirms he is "very supportive of CEO Brent Saunders."

Apple Back Under $100 On News It Will Extend iPhone Lifecycle To 3 Years, Cites Slowing Demand

In what, if confirmed, would be a major move for Apple's product development cycle, overnight Japan's Nikkei reported that Apple is moving from its existing "innovation cycle" with a major iPhone refresh every two years to a three-year cycle.  According to Nikkei the move is prompted by two factors, and is "largely due to smartphone functions having little room left for major enhancements. A slowing market is another factor."