Don’t let a good crisis go to waste – Vladimir Putin's slogan.
"Costs" and "Consequences"... not only has US foreign policy enabled Vladimir Putin's approval rating to surge to record highs but, perhaps more importantly, it has driven a massive wedge between the West and the rest...
Consumers are “straining against rising prices on daily essentials” and are cutting back on things they want to buy.
It appears the hopes and dreams of a resurgence in US GDP in Q2 will have to be extended-and-pretended another quarter. As Gallup notes, Americans' self-reports of daily spending fell back in June, averaging $91 for the month - down notably from a six-year high of $98 in May - and flat to the $90 average found in June 2013. Not exactly the pent-up demand 'surge' so many economists (and Fed PhDs) have been calling for... Even more concerning, Gallup notes, the drop in daily spending among all Americans can largely be attributed to upper-income Americans spending less in June. Even the 1% are cutting back?
It should come as no surprise that when Gallup recently conducted a poll asking residents to rank if their state is the "worst possible to live in" a whopping 25% of its residents, by far the most of any states, responded Illinois. Which were the other "worst possible" states? The table below ranks them all.
On July 4th, the United States will celebrate Independence Day once again. But who in the world are we trying to kid? Our founders intended to create a society where freedom and liberty would be maximized, but that is not what America looks like today. Instead, we live in a country that literally has millions of laws, rules and regulations. We have a government that is obsessed with spying on the entire planet and that tries to watch, monitor, track and record as much information about all of us as it possibly can. A “Big Brother” surveillance grid is being constructed all around us, and our militarized police are becoming more brutal with each passing day. Sadly, most Americans don’t seem too alarmed by any of this. In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that 79 percent of Americans are “satisfied” with the level of freedom in this nation. That is a very alarming statistic. If most people believe that everything is “just fine”, then our leaders are going to feel free to keep doing the same things that they have been doing.
Obama Worst President Since World War II, More Say US Would Be Better Under Romney, Latest Poll FindsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/02/2014 13:58 -0400
The president is increasingly finding that telling the Mr. Chairmanwoman to rig the market to all time highs does not translate to a comparable popularity rating. In fact, just the opposite. While Obama's slide in the polls is nothing new, the latest data from the Quinnipiac University Poll is about as bad as it gets for the president: in fact, perhaps the only thing more shocking than Obama "surpassing" George W. Bush as the worst president since World War II is the onset of revisionism, with some 45% saying the US would have been better with Romney as president, compared to just 38% who say Obama remains the better choice. Which incidentally confirms what we reported yesterday: while the Republican view of Obama has certainly never been lower, what is worse is that even the core democrat faithful are now giving up on the hope and change bringer, confirmed by the latest Gallup poll which saw democrat confidence in the economy tumbling to the lowest level for 2014.
Surge In Government Job Creation, Most Since August 2008, Offset By Private Jobs Decline Adds To ADP ConfusionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/02/2014 09:46 -0400
Moments after the outlier ADP private payrolls jobs number, the highest since November 2012, was released Gallup offered its own poll-based take on the US jobs market with the release of its monthly US Jobs Creation Index. To some this useful datapoint may explain the ADP-reported surge in hiring, although a more nuanced read simply add to the confusion.
It appears the faithful are losing belief... Gallup reports that Democrats economic confidence has faded to its lowest since January (less than half the levels of confidence when President Obama unleashed his 2nd term). Despite exuberance conference board (government sponsored) surveys of confidence (and seasonally adjusted happiness in PMIs and ISMs), Gallup notes U.S. Economic Confidence Index remained flat in June having hovered at this lower level for most of the year (with no post-weather rebound). The outlook also remains dismal - hovering at its lowest since Dec 2013 with only 39% of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 56% saying it is getting worse.
Following the rather stunning shenanigans of Q1 GDP with regard healthcare spending (as we detailed here), we thought, four years after its passage in 2010, it worth analyzing Obamacare's economic impact? Beforehand, economists generally believed that the broader coverage would raise the demand for healthcare goods and services, although there was some disagreement about related effects on healthcare inflation. In reality, as UBS notes, there was too much optimism about a positive immediate economic impact and a negative price inflation effect.
Following June's initial largest miss in 18 months, UMich consumer confidence 'final' print inched higher to 82.5, modestly beating expectations - but well below April's peak. In case you were confused at whether you should be exuberant (conference board confidence at highest since 2008) or dysphoric (Gallup survey at lowest in 2014), we don't blame you. What is most worrisome about the UMich data, aside from the non-confirmation of exuberance offered by the government survey, is the tumble in the "outlook' index to 3 month lows.
Abe's honeymoon is over. Following nearly two years of having free reign to crush the Japanese economy with his idiotic monetary and fiscal policies - but, but the Nikkei is up - the market may have finally pulled its head out of its, well, sand, and after last night's abysmal economic data from Japan which saw not only the highest (cost-push) inflation rate since 1982, in everything but wages (hence, zero demand-pull) - after wages dropped for 23 consecutive months, disposable income imploded - but a total collapse in household spending, the USDJPY appears to have finally been dislodged from its rigged resting place just around 102. As a result the 50 pip overnight drop to 101.4 was the biggest drop in over a month. And since the Nikkei is nothing but the USDJPY (same for the S&P), Japan stocks tumbled 1.4%, their biggest drop in weeks, as suddenly the days of the grand Keynesian ninja out of Tokyo appear numbered. Unless Nomura manages to stabilize USDJPY and push it higher, look for the USDJPY to slide back to double digits in the coming weeks.
With stocks at record-er and record-er highs, TPTB must be confused as as to how confused the American public is. While 'government' data showed confidence at Jan 08 highs, Gallup's latest survey shows, only one in five Americans (22%) say the economy is excellent or good, while 34% say it is poor; and worse still, Americans continue to be less optimistic about the economy's future - 38% say the economy is getting better, while 58% say it is getting worse - the worst differential since 2013. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index lost another point last week, the third week in a row, dropping to its lowest in over 2 months. The bottom line, sadly, is that in spit of all the sound and fury, Americans may not have shifted much in their perceptions of the economy's current status, but over the past month, they have become more negative about the economy's future.
Social Media Advertising A Dud: 62% Of Americans Say "Social" Ads Have No Impact On Purchasing DecisionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/23/2014 08:40 -0400
One of the great "paradigms" of the New Normal tech bubble that supposedly differentiated it from dot com bubble 1.0 was that this time it was different, at least when it came to advertising revenues. The mantra went that unlike traditional web-based banner advertising which has been in secular decline over the past decade, social media ad spending - which the bulk of new tech company stalwarts swear is the source of virtually unlimited upside growth - was far more engaging, and generated far greater returns and better results for those spending billions in ad bucks on the new "social-networked" generation. Sadly, this time was not different after all, and this "paradigm" has also turned out to be one big pipe dream. According to the WSJ, citing Gallup, "62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.