Consumer Confidence

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Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?

Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass... The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.

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Frontrunning: December 10

  • New Normal headlines: Global stocks up on hopes of China policy easing (Reuters)
  • China inflation eases to five-year low (BBC)
  • U.S. Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill (WSJ)
  • U.S. Braced for Blowback as CIA Report Lays Bare Abuses (BBG)
  • CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action (Reuters)
  • CIA Made False Claims Torture Prevented Heathrow Attacks (BBG)
  • Oil Resumes Drop as Iran Sees $40 If There’s OPEC Discord (BBG)
  • OPEC Says 2015 Demand for Its Crude Will Be Weakest in 12 Years (BBG)
  • Greek yield curve inverted as politics raise default fears (Reuters)
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RBS Abandons Japanese Bond Trading, Cuts 200 Jobs; Stocks, USDJPY, JGB Yields Are Re-Plunging

The Nikkei 225 has fallen over 300 points from the v-shaped recovery close at the end of the US day session and is now trading below the lows of the day at 2-week lows. USDJPY has plunged over 100 pips having briefly neared 120.00, now back below 119.00. JGB Futures are trading near record highs prices as yields collapse to near-record lows (30Y -23bps since QQE, 20Y -15bps) only seen during last year's yield-crash. No surprise then with the bond market "dead" according to market participants and yields negligible, that RBS has decided to exit the Japanese fixed-income business, slashing 200 jobs, and surrendering its primary bond dealership.

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China Surges, Japan Closes Green On Horrible Econ Data; Oil Tumbles To Fresh 5 Year Lows

Without doubt, the most memorable line from the latest quarterly report by the BIS, one which shows how shocked even the central banks' central bank is with how perverted and broken the "market" has become is the following: "The highly abnormal is becoming uncomfortably normal.... There is something vaguely troubling when the unthinkable becomes routine." Overnight, "markets" did all in their (central banks') power to justify the BIS' amazement, when first the Nikkei closed green following another shocker of Japanese econ data, when it was revealed that the quadruple-dip recession was even worse than expected, and then the Shanghai composite soaring over 3000 or up 2.8% for the session, following news of the worst trade data - whether completely fabricated or not - out of China in over half a year.

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Promises, Over-Reach, And Mistaken Remedies

The investment game is becoming more suspect and dangerous as asset price levels continue to ignore economic weakness and the lack of necessary political reform.  Instead, many investors (not just in the EU) have become conditioned like B.F. Skinner rats to bid up financial risk assets whenever a central banker makes a promise about accommodation or further stimulus; this even occurs when data disappoints, because investors expect ‘the promise’ to soon follow. Fear of missing the upside and underperforming peers and benchmarks is what makes this reflexivity work.  This is actually a sad state of affairs and an ever-more dangerous and epic game of chicken.  This conditional response pattern is unsustainable.  Indebtedness and market speculation continue to soar.  In the end, printing is a not a solution, but a source of long-term harm to markets and national economies.

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3 Things Worth Thinking About

In any economy, nothing works in isolation. For every dollar increase that occurs in one part of the economy, there is a dollars worth of reduction somewhere else. The real issue is what the fall in commodities in general, including oil, is telling us about the real state of the economy.

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Crushing The "Lower Gas Price = More Spending" Fiction

With uncertainty lingering and patience wearing thin after five-plus years of still lackluster wage growth, consumers are increasing saving for the future, hedging against a continuation of “more of the same.” Thus, for many, extra savings at the pump as a result of lower gas prices are simply being stored away to help supplement spending needs in the future, ramping up savings, not spending.

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Key Events In The Coming Week

Following last week's holiday-shortened week, which was supposed to be quiet and peaceful and was anything but thanks to OPEC's shocking announcement and a historic plunge in crude prices, we have yet another busy week of macroeconomic reports to look forward to.

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False Confidence Rising In The US

A recent article argues that the increasing demand for consumer credit is an indicator of increasing consumer confidence. The argument seems reasonable due to the way it is presented--there is an entirely different conclusion one would draw were the argument presented differently.

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Stuck In Reverse And Descending Into Trauma

While the media continue to just about exclusively paint a picture of recovery and an improving economy, certainly in the US – Europe and Japan it’s harder to get away with that rosy image -, in ordinary people’s reality a completely different picture is being painted in sweat, blood, agony and despair. Whatever part of the recovery mirage may have a grain of reality in it, it is paid for by something being taken away from people leading real lives.

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UMich Confidence Misses By Most In 13 Months

Following the Conference Board's tumble in confidence, Bloomberg's consumer comfort index surged this morning (rather aberrationally) to highs not seen since 2007. However, while UMich consumer confidence rose from last month to its highest since July 2007, it missed expectations by the most since October 2013. It would seem the survey respondents in UMich and Bloomberg confidence are stockholders, and Conference Board respondents are not... UMich data is dominated by a surge in current conditions with the outlook flat.

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"Failed" Bund Auction At Record Low Yield And All Other Key Overnight Events

While there has been no global economic outlook cut today, or no further pre-revision hints of "decoupling" by the appartchiks at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis,  both European and US equities are pointing at a higher open, because - you guessed it - there were more "suggestions" of "imminent" QE by a central bank, in this case it was again ECB's Constancio dropping further hints over a potential ECB QE programme, something the ECB has become the undisputed world champion in. The constant ECB jawboning, and relentless central bank interventions over the past 6 years, led to this:


The punchline: this was another technically "failed" auction as it was uncovered, the 10th of the year, as there was not enough investor demand at this low yield, and so the Buba had to retain a whopping 18.8% - the most since May - with just €3.250Bn of the €4Bn target sold, after receiving €3.67Bn in bids.

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