"Adults over 30 are less happy than any of their predecessors," concludes a study published last week which examined happiness data from more than 50,000 adults, gleaned from the General Social Survey which has collected information about American adults since 1972. Perhaps most notable is that, for the first time ever, adults ages 18 to 29 were happier than adults over 30.
These are not problems that can be glibly dismissed with a few well-chosen words, as most politicians are inclined to do. Nor will the 2016 elections do much to alter our present course towards a police state. Indeed, it is doubtful whether the popularity contest for the new occupant of the White House will significantly alter the day-to-day life of the average American greatly at all. Those life-changing decisions are made elsewhere, by nameless, unelected government officials who have turned bureaucracy into a full-time and profitable business.
Guest Post: Donald Trump Says The U.S. Should Have Stolen Iraqis' Oil After Destroying Their CountrySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/27/2015 17:45 -0500
What’s refreshing about Trump is the directness with which he expresses his psychopathy. For example, candidates such as Hillary Clinton sugar-coat theirpsychopathy, or even find ways to get their interviewers to join eagerly in their expressions of it (camaraderie with power-holders), but they don’t say such blatant things as (to paraphrase Trump here), “After we raped them — which we shouldn’t have done — we should have stolen from them, and we should still be stealing from them.”
Despite ongoing low gas prices, a recovery in stocks, and the nationally-advertised unemployment rate remaining low, Consumer Confidence tumbled in October from eight-year highs to three-month lows. Worse still, "hope" slid to its lowest in 3 months as "jobs plentiful" slid notably with fewer jobs and decreasing income.
While we knew the quantitative answer to the biggest conundrum stumping economists, namely that Americans bought even more gas with their gas savings, we were missing the qualitative one. Courtesy of the NYT we now learn that not only did consumers not redirect their spending to other discretionary items, but engaged in an act that has stunned economists around the globe: they don’t just buy more gasoline; they bought more expensive gasoline!
Thanks, we presume, to a resurgent stock market (because almost every macro and micro fundamental data item has been a disaster), UMich Consumer Sentiment rose from 89.0 to 92.1, bouncing after 3 straight months lower. Both current situation and futures expectations rose (the former to near cycle highs). Good news right? Be careful what you wish for however, as The Fed's Bill Dudley previously noted this consumer confidence data is a must-watch for The Fed in its rate-hike decision-making.
One year ago we reported that companies were using secured bank debt to repurchase stock: a stunning, foolhardy development. It so unbelievable we promptly forgot this bizarre tangent into "use of loan funds"... Until today when we found that it was, indeed, all a lie and that the banks themselves had become complicit in perpetuating not only the worst possible capital misallocation, but being an accessory to the US stagnation, soon to be replaced with full-blown recession.
Over 5 Million Non-Existent Jobs: How $1.3 Trillion In Student Debt Broke The "Birth/Death Adjustment" ModelSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/15/2015 16:53 -0500
One of the main reasons why the BLS has been massively overstimating job creation ever since great financial crisis, is due to the well-known birth-death adjustment, aka the CES Net Birth/Death Model, which quantitatively is shown on the chart below, has resulted in the "addition" of some 5.3 million jobs, that don't actually exist, but are merely modelled by the BLS which continues to assume the same new business creation/destruction dynamics that existed before the crisis. The is a big problem with this fundamental assumption: it is dead wrong. Here's why...
Most Americans Think Government Corruption is Biggest Problem
They are spending it on... gas.
The latest BAC credit and debit card spending data is out and it is not pretty, and not just for the mid-level consumer who, as documented previously, has been tapping out ever since April as the following Gallup consumer spending chart shows but also for the high-end.
According to what is arguably the most respected polling organization in the US, consumer confidence has crashed to the lowest level in a year. On the other hand, according to a tax-exempt research organization, consumer confidence is not only the highest it has been in 2015, but it practically the highest since 2007.Someone is lying, we leave it up to readers to decide who.
The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.
This is the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a Banana Republic. Which makes perfect sense, because America is a Banana Republic.