It was just earlier this week that a bunch of irrelevant confidence trackers said that US consumer confidence had hit 3 year highs. Oddly enough, ground data not only does not confirm this data, but says it is merely more baseless propaganda. According to Gallup, which actually knows how to poll, "Americans have become much less confident in the U.S. economy over the
past two weeks, with Gallup's Economic Confidence Index falling from -18
to -30 during that span. The -18 Index score from two weeks ago was the
most positive Gallup had measured in the last three years." And as we suspected when we reported the latest confidence data "These results ... indicate the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of
Consumer Sentiment, released Friday but based mostly on interviewing
from early and mid-February, was essentially out of date when it was
released. The Index of Consumer Sentiment showed consumer confidence to
be the highest it has been since January 2008, similar to what Gallup
showed two weeks ago. But Gallup's latest weekly update suggests
consumer confidence has fallen back to where it was in early December." Luckily bad news no longer matters, because if it did Gallup's forecast would guarantee QE3,4, and so forth: "The short-term prospects for a turnaround in consumer confidence do not appear great, with gas prices likely to continue to rise, with state and federal governments facing increasingly difficult budget situations, and unemployment remaining high."
Today's Moment Of Lunatic Insight Comes From Bill Dudley: "Fed Not To Blame For Emerging Market Inflation"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/28/2011 10:32 -0400
Former Goldman managing director, and current uberhead of the Fed Ponzi extend and pretend efforts, Bill Dudley, gets the prize for today's moment of lunatic brilliance. Some choice quotes from a speech delivered to the NYU Stern Busines School:
- Fed is not an exporter of inflation and not to blame for inflation in emerging markets
- It would be unwise for the Fed to overreact to recent commodity price pressures
- Current Fed policy is in the interest of the world's economy
- Rates likely to stay low for extended period
- Several areas of vulnerability for US economy, and sees need to be ever watchful for any price bubbles
Once again investors came out in full force to buy the fucking dip on Friday after learning that...
Guest Post: Analysis of the Global Insurrection Against Neo-Liberal Economic Domination and the Coming American RebellionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2011 21:53 -0400
In previous Revolution Roundups, before we were knocked offline, we featured mass protests by the people of Ireland, Italy, Britain, Austria, Greece, France and Portugal, as the Global Insurrection contagion spread throughout Europe. And now, as we have seen over the past month, North African and Middle Eastern nations have joined the movement as the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, Gabon, Mauritania, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and Algeria have taken to the streets en masse. The connection between this latest round of uprisings and the prior protests throughout Europe is one the mainstream media is not making. We are witnessing a decentralized global rebellion against Neo-Liberal economic imperialism. While each national uprising has its own internal characteristics, each one, at its core, is about the rising costs of living and lack of financial opportunity and security. Throughout the world the situation is the same: increasing levels of unemployment and poverty, as price inflation on food and basic necessities is soaring...The global banking cartel, centered at the IMF, World Bank and Federal Reserve, have paid off politicians and dictators the world over — from Washington to Greece to Egypt. In country after country, they have looted national economies at the expense of local populations, consolidating wealth in unprecedented fashion – the top economic one-tenth of one percent is currently holding over $40 trillion in investible wealth, not counting an equally significant amount of wealth hidden in offshore accounts. IMF imperial operations designed to extract wealth and suppress populations have been ongoing for decades. As anyone researching economic imperialism will know, a centrally planned Neo-Liberal aristocracy controls the global economy.
As Conference Board/UMichigan Find Confidence At 3 Year High, Rasmussen Says Investor Confidence Plunges To 2011 LowsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/25/2011 12:42 -0400
Is it about the time that everyone agreed that all "consumer confidence" is politicized, circular, irrelevant, and just as credible as the next lie to come out of Larry Yun's mouth? While a few days Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan "found" that Consumer Confidence had surged to a According to Rasmussen, "investor confidence sinks to another 2011 low." Ok, enough. It is more than obvious to anyone with half a brain that "confidence" is nothing more than a gamed, goal seeked indicator, which is a function purely and entirely of the political agenda of the entity collecting the data. Another great example: while the Consumer Comfort index was managed by ABC until last week, it was scraping all time lows. Then the week it starts being managed by Bloomberg, and, lo and behold: "Consumer Comfort Increases to Highest Level Since 2008." A surge in confidence? Really? On gasoline passing $4? Luckily even Bloomberg admits the credibility of this latest propaganda index is suggest to say the least: "The four-point gain last week follows a five-point increase
in early January. The gauge dropped five points in the week
ended Feb. 6, the biggest setback since January 2010. Movements of that magnitude are unusual because the index
is based on a four-week average, Langer said. Nonetheless, the
gauge is mimicking the shifts seen in a 10-week span in mid-
1993, when the economy was also recovering from a recession." Ah, the good old Bloomberg "assumption taken as fact" Jedi mind trick. Last time we checked the only "recovery" was that in the debt ceiling, er, target, assuming its achievement of $100 trillion in under 10 years is considered "recovery." Was the "also recovery" driven by the biggest global deficit spend in the history of the world, and the first outright debt monetization episode since the advent of Weimar? Guess we won't read that in the Bloomberg piece.
The Conference Board says people are more optimistic. Gallup says they aren't. Who are we to believe?
The power elite that believe they can control the masses as puppet master commands a puppet should beware. The wrath of the masses can be fierce and sudden. Ask Hosni Mubarak. As Steinbeck realized many decades ago, selfishness run amok, supported and encouraged by the authorities lead to poverty, despair and sometimes revolution. The false mantra of an economy based on self-interest and free markets is a smokescreen blown by the few with wealth and power to obscure the truth that they have used their wealth and power to rig the game in their favor. The have-nots can dream about becoming a have, but the chances of achieving that dream today are miniscule. Steinbeck pointedly distinguishes between the selfishness of the moneyed class and the altruism of the working poor. In contrast to and in conflict with this policy of selfishness stands the migrants’ behavior toward one another. Aware that their livelihood and survival depend upon their devotion to the collective good, the migrants unite—sharing their dreams as well as their burdens—in order to survive. Those in control need to keep the masses divided. They need Americans to be distracted by phantom terrorist threats, inconsequential political differences, American Idol, Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan and Lady Gaga. They need Americans to be focused on “I”. Their greatest fear is that the American people realize that “We” can change the direction of this country and bring the perpetrators of crimes against the people of this country to justice.
Administration Declares GSE Model "Dead", Increases Down Payment Requirements, Sends Gold To Highs Of WeekSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/11/2011 09:53 -0400
As the Treasury releases its long-awaited GSE report on "Reforming America's Housing Finance Market" the one asset class that moved is gold. The reason: D.C. proposes, very tentatively, to decrease the role of the government in GSEs, as rumored previously, considering that the banks would love to get an ever greater piece of the securitized GSE action. Not helping is the soundbite from the administration: ""The GSE model is dead," an Obama administration official
told reporters as the Treasury Department released a
long-awaited report on options to revamp housing reform.
" As Reuters reports: "The housing "white paper" presents three different visions for replacing mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are set to be slowly wound down. The paper does not make a single recommendation, but broadly outlines alternative possibilities to reduce the government's role in the mortgage market. That strategy aims to "open a dialogue with Republicans that would lead to a consensus outcome within a couple of years," said Michael Barr, a professor at the University of Michigan and a former Treasury Department official." In other words, just like the findings of the president's commission on the deficit, this paper will be glossed over by a bunch of beltway politicians and then promptly forgotten as whatever the banking lobby wishes to happen behind the scenes, happens. As for actionable proposals, the paper core recommendation is "increased guarantee fee pricing, increased down payment requirements, and other measures – to bring private capital back into the mortgage market and reduce taxpayer risk."
Trade and confidence today….There is a $6-8 billion POMO for bonds due 08/15/2016 – 01/31/2018: the battle between reality and central planning continues
RealtyTrac's January foreclosure update shows that banks are once again starting to flex their muscles. Total foreclosure events (defined by the firm as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions or REOs) came at 261,333, a decline of 17% from a year earlier, but a 1% increase from December (one in every 497 houses received a foreclosure notice). “We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.” What is interesting is the growing distinction between judicial and non-judicial state REO activity. Readers will recall that Bank of America (partially) stopped foreclosure activity in non-judicial states in January. "Lenders foreclosed on 78,133 U.S. properties in January, up 12 percent from the previous month but still down 11 percent from January 2010. Bank repossessions (REO) in non-judicial foreclosure states increased 23 percent from December but were still down 9 percent from January 2010, while bank repossessions in judicial foreclosure states decreased 7 percent from the previous month and were down 16 percent from January 2010." In other words, look for non-judicial activity to drop off even more.
We all know by now that Meredith is a witch: an unpatriotic, racist bitch, who eats kittens for breakfast, who deserves to be grilled by Joe McCarthy's exhumated corpse for telling communist truths, pardon, lies (just a Freudian slip dear Department of Central Planning and Internet supervision), and who will soon be accused of having unprotected (yet arguably consensual) sex with a Swedish man. But just in case she is on to something, here comes the president's plan to bail out the (otherwise perfectly solvent and all, we promise) states. The NYT reports that "President Obama is proposing to ride to the rescue of states that have borrowed billions of dollars from the federal government to continue paying unemployment benefits during the economic downturn. His plan would give the states a two-year breather before automatic tax increases would hit employers, and before states would have to start paying interest on the loans." But where are the details you may ask? Patience grasshopper: they will be included in the latest budget proposal which has been delayed for nearly half a year now as the printer ran out of zeroes. "The proposal, which administration officials said would be included in
the 2012 budget that the president is scheduled to unveil next week, was
greeted coolly by Republicans on Capitol Hill, who warned that the plan
would ultimately force many states to raise their unemployment taxes in
the years to come." Ah yes, the Republicans - those paragons of sound financial judgment and sounder virtue. After all who can forget whole "Tea Party thing" which did so much to prevent the incurrence of a few hundred billion in additional debt over the next decade to pay for the latest Russell 2000 at 36,000 hairbrained ponzi scheme concocted by Rudolph von Bernankestein.
Goldman's Francesco Garzarelli throws some numbers at its Bond Sudoku model, spins around its Wavefront Growth equity basket, and the magic firm's 8-ball spits out the following: "we presently show a 3.25% level in US 10-yr rates at the end of Q1:11. In light of the strength of the data, this now looks too low, and we would now lift the forecast to 3.5%. Our end-2011 and end-2012 projections are 3.8% and 4.3%, respectively, and we stick to these." In other words, if the market moves, we will adjust our "forecasts" accordingly. If China hike 3 more times as is expected and the 10 Year falls off a cliff, well then, we will no longer "stick to those."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he doesn’t mind breaking promises to pensioners to close a $10.5 billion budget deficit -- even if they sue...
The effort in Washington State draws heavily on the success of the 92-year-old Bank of North Dakota (BND), currently the only state-wide publicly-owned U.S. bank.
Holy(land) shit did the market sell off on Friday as civil (or more exactly, uncivil) unrest overran the streets of Egypt like...