Gallup

Someone Is Lying: Consumer Confidence Is Somehow Both "Highest" And "Lowest" For The Year

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.

Weekend Reading: Fed Confusion

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.

Half Of Americans Think "Government Is An Immediate Threat To Liberty"

Government poses a threat to liberty, that much is clear. But what may be surprising is that almost half of Americans clearly identified government as a clear and “immediate” threat, and are obviously outraged about what is going on. It is time that Americans embrace their anger at government, and focus their attention past the politicians to the real problem. Start with the bankers, follow the money, and see where it goes...

Destroying Dimon's Delusionary View Of Economic Realities

While Mr. Dimon's view - "Amerca has the best hand ever dealt right now." is certainly uplifting, it is a bit delusional. But of course, give any person a billion dollars and they will likely become just as detached from economic realities. Does America have "greatest hand ever dealt." The data certainly doesn't suggest such. However, that can change. We just have to stop hoping that we can magically cure a debt problem by adding more debt and then shuffling it between Central Banks.

Vote With Your Feet: Free States Are Happier & Richer

The greater the economic freedom, the wealthier and happier the people. States with more libertarian free market policies enjoy better results: greater median incomes, a more equitable distribution, less poverty, greater success for minorities and immigrants, and higher overall levels of happiness and well-being. In the political rhetoric landscape the battle of ideology is fierce and filled with demagoguery; in the real world the difference in results between competing economic policies are strikingly clear.

Last Thing The Fed Sees Before Its Rate Hike Decision Will Be Very Ugly

"The weakness in the August BAC data suggests a high risk for softness in the Census Bureau advance retail sales report given that the two measures trend closely. While we know that the retail sales figures are volatile and subject to revisions, it is hard to ignore a weak report." Why is all of the above particularly important? Because with the August Retail Spending report due on September 15, it will be the last report on the economy the Fed will read ahead of its "most important if not ever then surely in the past decade" FOMC meeting starting on September 16, and concluding with the 2pm announcement on September 17.

Goldman Fears "Government Shutdown" Is Looming As Lew Urges Congress "Raise Debt Limit ASAP"

With Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sending a letter to Congress this evening demanding they raise the debt limit as soon as possible, warning that cash balances have dropped below the "minimum target," it is perhaps less than surprising that Goldman Sachs is warning that a government shutdown at the end of the month has become much more likely over the last several weeks. While out-months in VIX (beyond the prospective shutdown) remain elevated, Goldman finds a silver-lining claiming that the effect of a potential shutdown on financial markets and the real economy would probably be modest if it did occur. We shall see...

Retail Sales Slump On Deck: Consumer Spending Slides To Lowest Since March After Worst August Since 2012

according to the latest Gallup report on US consumer spending, in which a random sample of 15.724 adults were interviewed by phone, Americans' self-reported daily spending averaged just $89 in August, down not only from August in 2014 and 2013 but the fourth month in a row of year-over-year spending declines, as well as was also the lowest monthly spend since March of 2015. And this time there are no "scapegoats" to blame the spending slowdown on: the weather in August was uniformly gorgeous around the US.

The Corruption Of American Freedom

Our form of government today allows revolution (theoretically) through the ballot box rather than on the battlefield. But nonetheless, the message for our political elites today is much the same as it was in 1776: They ignore the people’s contempt at their own risk.

UMich Consumer Sentiment Tumbles As "Hope" Drops To Lowest Since 2014

After July's disappointing drop in UMich Consumer Confidence, August did not help. Printing 91.9, below expectations of 93.0, UMich is hovering at the 2015 lows. Both current and future sub-indices dropped with hope falling to its lowest since 2014 (biggest 7mo decline in 2 years). Income growth expectations dropped and business expectations dropped to lowest since Sept 2014. This follows the highest conference board confidence in 2015 and lowest Gallup confidence in a year. Bill Dudley will be disappointed after proclaiming this a key driver of The Fed's rate hike call (more important than jobs).