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Pivotfarm's picture

What’s Austerity?





As the EU agrees to fund another bailout deal to help Greece rise from the ashes, providing them with another $8.7 billion in financial aid, the question that begs an answer is: will this have any effect on the austerity that is being imposed on the country. Throwing good money after bad?

 
Tyler Durden's picture

And Now Another Poll: Most Americans DISapprove Of Government Spying





Two days ago, when Pew Research came out with a poll showing that a majority (56%) of Americans replied affirmatively to the question if "the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism," we were disappointed if not shocked. However, what is surprising, is that moments ago Gallup has released its own poll conducted on June 10-11  "with a random sample of 1,008 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia" and which finds precisely the opposite: "More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to "compile telephone call logs and Internet communications." ... The reactions to these types of government programs have remained constant over the past seven years, although Republicans and Democrats have essentially flipped their attitudes over that time period, reflecting the change from Republican President George W. Bush to Democratic President Barack Obama.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Less People Working Now Than A Year Ago; Gallup Warns Recent Job Gains Not Sustained In May





As the world waits breathless for some Goldilocks print in tomorrow's non-farm payroll data, Gallup's most recent survey of employment trends does not paint a pretty picture for the real economy. Though, by the 'adjustment bureau' and their Arima-X goal-seeking, nothing is ever clear, not only is the payroll-to-population (the number of people working) worse than a year ago but the unemployment rate is also rising with under-employment - at 18.0% - near 15 month highs. If the NFP print plays out in line with this, the estimate of 165k will be woefully over-optimistic, leaving the question of whether bad-is-good, or have we crossed the Rubicon of belief in moar is better.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Guest Post: The Great "American" Divide





We have often spoken of the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.   While asset prices are inflated by continued interventions of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, boosting Wall Street profits and widening the wealth gap between the top 20% of Americans and the rest, "Main Street" continues to suffer a from a rising cost of living and falling wage growth. "How long can the disconnect last between Wall Street and Main Street?" There is no clear answer for that as consumers have shown a willingness to draw down savings rates to historically low levels while quickly returning to cheap credit forgetting the disaster that it caused them not so long ago.  However, in reality, when you have a family to feed, clothe and house - it really doesn't matter what is logical, but what is necessary, regardless of the consequences down the road.  Of course, for many American's today, the only real difference between now and the "bread lines" of the 30's is that the "bread" is delivered in the mail rather than at the "soup kitchen" on the corner.

 

 
Tyler Durden's picture

David Rosenberg: "When They Say Unemployment Rate, They Mean The S&P 500"





Last week's plunge in wholesale sales (and "completely involuntary" surge in inventories) has Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg greatly concerned that current quarter real GDP will be very close to stall speed. However, as he notes, "either Mr. Market has yet to figure this out or simply doesn't care any more because of the well ingrained belief that the 'Fed has my back'." When even the Fed is pimping stocks as cheap, he explains, you know what is dominating the thought process of the central bank's targeting - "they say unemployment rate, but they really mean the S&P 500." The 'wealth effect', however, only benefits a chosen few and as Rosie illustrates, an historically low 52% of American households have any money invested in the stock market (based on a recent Gallup poll) - which merely spurs the 'bulls' to argue that the Fed has to be more aggressive...

 
George Washington's picture

Multiple Polls: Americans Are More Afraid of the GOVERNMENT than TERRORISTS





Washington Post and Fox News Find that – Even Right After the Boston Terror Attacks – Americans Are More Leery of Government  Tyranny than Terrorists

 
Tyler Durden's picture

No Country For Rich, Fat Men





Given the increasing weight of taxation on the middle- and upper-incomes in this country and the first step towards savings 'wealth' taxation, it is perhaps no surprise that the nation's employers have decided enough is enough with another implicit tax - healthcare. As the WSJ reports, cost-conscious companies (such as spare tire manufacturer Michelin North America) are passing on the additional costs of healthcare to their obese workers. Are you a man with a waist measuring 40 inches or more? Have high blood pressure? Starting next year, your unhealthiness will cost you. Incentivizing 'healthiness' via credits is increasingly shifting to penalizing unhealthiness as six in ten employers are set to enforce a 'fat tax' in the next few years. The inability to grow top-lines and need to cut costs amid the uncertainty surrounding the surging corporate healthcare costs resulting from Obamacare means employers' balance of carrot and stick seems to be tilting increasingly to the stick. So the people got their pro-equality Obamacare but if you are an 80/20 risk factor - you will be less equal than others.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Weekly Bull/Bear Recap: Mar. 4-8, 2013





This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week.  It is not geared to push an agenda.  Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases. 

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Guest Post: 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead





Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn?  Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now. In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened.  Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality.  When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly.  Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008.  Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever.  As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed.  In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.

 
testosteronepit's picture

Budget Hawks ... Until Something Gets Cut In Their Districts





Army Chief of Staff: “The conundrum we have is that we don’t need the tanks”

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Weekly Bull/Bear Recap: Feb. 4-8, 2013





This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week.  It is not geared to push an agenda.  Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases. 

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Weekly Bull/Bear Recap: Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2013





This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week.  It is not geared to push an agenda.  Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases. 

 
Tyler Durden's picture

How The Stock Market Became The "Food Stamps" for the 1%





Food stamps are just a payoff to the poor. It keeps them off the streets.  It’s an unspoken bribe plain and simple.  The oligarchs do not want angry, roving, hungry masses on the streets while they strip mine what’s left of the economy. However, the oligarchs have another problem to deal with - the huge group of people that resides in between them and the poor. The average person can feel themselves getting poorer despite the nonsense spewed by the mainstream media; and this is where the stock market comes into play. More than any other group, the 1% has been convinced that the stock market represents some sort of leading indicator of wealth and prosperity. A rising stock market today is actually a leading indicator of the destruction of the middle class, cultural destitution and a society in collapse. The stock market is like slop in a pigpen.  It is a key instrument used to keep the 1% from getting antsy.  Unlike the middle class (a group that isn’t falling for any of the tricks), many of the 1% work on Wall Street or related industries and own stocks. They must be kept quiet as the coup that started in 2008 is brought to fruition. So as the 1% sits around analyzing a casino, the poor collect food stamps and the middle class dies.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Gallup Poll: Americans Most Negative On the Nation And Economy In 30 Years





We guess Americans just haven’t heard of a little something called the stock market.  Isn’t that right Bernanke?  Wasn’t the stock market rally you engineered supposed to make everyone feel all nice and confident?  Well the great middle class squeeze continues, as the stock market is for the 1% what food stamps are for the poor.  They are just strategies to keep these groups apathetic and obedient.  The middle class isn’t buying it though, as is evidenced by this recent Gallup Poll conducted January 7-10, 2013.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Gallup Finds December Consumer Spending... Soared?





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Listening to talking heads and certainly to various retail associations, US consumer spending in December was lackluster driven by such traditional scapegoats as "lack of confidence ahead of the Fiscal Cliff", lack of clarity on taxation, fears about what the market may do, etc. And while retailers certainly did report a very mixed sales report for both November and December, it certainly was not due to lack of spending, at least not according to Gallup. Curiously, and rather inexplicably, the polling organization found that in December the average self-reported daily spending in stores, online, and in restaurants rose by a whopping $10 to $83. This was the highest monthly figure Gallup has reported since December 2008. It is also the first reading above the $80 mark since the 2008-2009 recession. But how is that possible? Wasn't the strawman that nobody would spend due to fiscal and tax uncertainty? Apparently not, and this unleashes merely the latest episode of baffle with BS, where data from one source contradicts directly what has been reported from other aggregators of spending data.

 
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