Chicago Disintegrates - Gun Shootings Soar An Unprecedented 89%: "It's The Struggling Economy"

Gun violence in the windy city is on track to post its worst year in the 21st century, the result of an unprecedented surge in gun deaths in the first three months of the year.  By March 31, 141 people had been killed, according to the Chicago Police Department. On Thursday, eight were shot and two of them died in one hour alone, Chicago Police said.The 141 deaths in the first three months of the year mark a 71.9% jump from the same period in 2015, when 82 people were killed. It's the worst start to a year since 1999, when 136 people died in the first three months the year

Why One Economist Doesn't Believe The March Jobs Number

Despite a lackluster holiday sales season and massive big box store closures, despite major 1Q hiring companies like Home Depot reporting flat hiring plans, the BLS model reports 181K payrolls added in 1Q 2016. To put that into context:Best 1Q ever; Better than the entire annual Retail payroll growth for 2014; 2/3s the level of 2015

Your Last Minute Payrolls Preview: What Wall Street Expects (And Why It May Be Disappointed)

At 8:30am Eastern, the BLS will report the March payrolls report: the median forecast calls for a March nonfarm payrolls gain of 205k vs 242k in Feb., the high estimate is 250k, the low is 100k. The number is released three days after a particularly dovish Yellen speech, which prompted many to ask "what does the Fed know" - today's payrolls report will either provide the answer, if it is a big miss, or it will add to the confusion: if payrolls are surging, why is the Fed so concerned.

For The Average American, Owning A Home Is Increasingly Unaffordable

Home prices are rising faster than wages in most of the United States, making homeownership increasingly difficult for average Americans in some of the most populous areas of the country, according to a report released on Thursday. The report found that home price growth exceeded wage growth in nearly two thirds of the nation's housing markets so far this year, with urban centers like San Francisco and New York City among the least affordable.

Why Trump Is Right On Trade Agreements

Free trade is a great concept, as are free markets and freedom.  The problem is none of these things exist in practice because they don’t provide sufficient advantages to the ruling class.  The Fed and HFT systems now dominate global markets, western nations systematically overthrow any (freely elected) foreign government that doesn’t bow down to them and free trade agreements are put in place to ensure investors maximize profits no matter what the costs to society.

Why The Fed Is Paralyzed - Its Economic Model Is Junk

If there is any doubt as to the confusion inside the FOMC, one needs only to examine its models. The latest updated projections make a full mockery of both monetary policy and the theory that guides it. Ferbus and the rest don’t buy the labor market story, either, which is why the Fed can only be hesitant at best about “normalization.” Coming from the (neo or not) Keynesian persuasion, what is showing up should never happen.

Is This Why Yellen Went Full-Dove: U.S. Hiring Plunges Most Since November 2008

One JOLTS data series that certainly caught Yellen's attention was the number of January "hires", because as shown in the chart below, with a print of 5,029K in January, this was a whopping 372K drop from the December 5,401K, which also happens to be the biggest single monthly drop in new hiring since November 2008!

Here Comes The Big Flush - Recession Pending, Fed "Put" Ending

If it sounds like history repeating itself, it most surely is.  The coming recession will again obliterate the sell side hockey sticks, which this time started last spring at $135 per share for 2016 and are already being reduced at a lickety-split rate not seen since the fall of 2008. But this time there is one thing that decisively different, and it will make all the difference in the world. As will be reinforced once again by the post-meeting contretemps on Wednesday, the Fed has painted itself into a deathly corner and is utterly out of dry powder. It has nothing left but to hint at the prospect of negative interest rates. And that will be usher in its thundering demise.

Global Warming And Food Prices

Given that we all have to eat and that there are some concerning environmental developments out there, here’s an interesting question: has global warming led to higher or lower food prices (thus far)?

The Fed's Got A Problem

Of course, if things were as good economically as we are told by Wall Street and the mainstream media, would the ECB really be needing to drop further into negative interest rate territory and boost QE? By fully committing to hiking interest rates, and promoting the economic recovery meme, changing direction now would lead to a loss of confidence and a more dramatic swoon in the financial markets. Such an event would create the very recession they are trying to avoid.

There Is No Spending Growth

Since 2005, 44% of retailers, on average, beat their same store estimates each month. In February, only 14.3% did...