National Weather Service
The last time US weather was this bad, annualized US GDP crashed from 2.3% to -2.9%.
Who can forget the farce conducted by Canada's labor statistics office back in August when, as we reported, "Canada Releases Atrocious Jobs Data; Then Revises It Above The Highest Estimate Following Public Outcry." It was then that we got our first hint that when it comes to massaging data, Canada is on par with China and even the US. Well, Statistics Canada just outdid itself moments ago when it reported that those 185,700 jobs gains it had previously reported for all of 2014... well, it was only kidding, and after a second look, the number has been revised a whopping 35% (!) lower to only 121,300. How long until a lightbulb goes over the BLS' head and the US department of seasonal adjustments decides to do the same?
- Fed seen remaining patient with rate guidance amid global turmoil (Reuters)
- National Weather Service apologizes for blizzard forecast miss (CBS)
- Greek PM Tsipras pushes on with radical change, markets tumble (Reuters)
- Obama Drops Plan to Raise Taxes on ‘529’ College Savings Accounts (WSJ)
- Hard Choices on Easy Money Lie Ahead for Fed Chief (Hilsenrath)
- Debt That Once Boosted Its Cities Now Burdens China (WSJ)
- Skymark Said to File for Bankruptcy After Airbus Deal Flops (BBG)
- Heavy Fighting Drains Ukraine Government’s Options and Finances (WSJ)
While the #Blizarrdof2015 may have been a dud, it is the skies above New York, some 10,000 feet and above, that is where the real action lies. Or rather doesn't. As this real time snapshot of airplane traffic over New York, not a plan is to be found.
As reported first yesterday, the North East in general, and NYC in particular, are about to be hit with a "historic" blizzard that may bring over 24 inches inches of snow in various places: a total accumulation which would make the "Blizzard of 2015" one of the top 5 worst snowstorms in the history of the city, and it the total snowfall rises over 27 inches, it would be the worst snowstorm in NYC history.
Schools in Chicago, Boston and other large cities closed on Thursday as sub-zero temperatures and bitter winds gripped central and eastern United States for a third day and, as Reuters reports, meteorologists warned there was little relief in sight. A stunning 83.8% of America was freezing this morning (and 12.9% below zero) as an Arctic air blast from Canada hit the U.S. Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with many parts around minus 10 Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), the National Weather Service said.
As previously reported, the anticipated Polar Vortex 2.0 has struck, pushing temperatures in all 50 states to below freezing, while heavy snow prompted a state of emergency in western New York and contributed to the deaths of four people. According to Reuters, it was the coldest November morning across the country since 1976, according to Weather Bell Analytics, a meteorologist consulting firm. It remains to be seen how many GDP percentage points were wiped out as a result, unless of course, this time it will be different from last winter. But it was the situation in upstate New York, especially around Bufallo and parts of Erie County, where things got most dire and where 60 inches (1.5 m) of snow accumulated, with more falling, said Steven Welch of the National Weather Service near Buffalo. It gets worse: forecasters are calling for more snow on Thursday, as much as three feet more, for a total of up to 100 inches over four days - a year's worth for the region!
As the G-20 meeting comes to a 'successful' end with back-patting congratulations having agreed to create $2 trillion more GDP out of thin air (or maybe hookers and blow), it appears that someone - or more than one - among these nations was less than diplomatic towards every nations' best friend - America. As AP reports, The State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system as technicians repair possible damage from a suspected hacker attack. Earlier attacks have been blamed on Russian or Chinese attackers, although their origin has never been publicly confirmed.
When scientists start using phrases such as "the worst drought" and "as bad as you can imagine" to describe what is going on in the western half of the country, you know that things are bad. Thanks to an epic drought that never seems to end, we are witnessing the beginning of a water crisis that most people never even dreamed was possible in this day and age. The following are 20 signs that the stunning drought is starting to become apocalyptic...
Anyone hoping for a resolution of the biggest economic conundrum of modern times will have to wait. What is the conundrum you ask? Simple: whether or not extreme adverse weather is positive or negative for GDP. It appears that any expectation Arthur would devastate the east coast, with either positive or negative GDP consequences, has been cancelled. Because not only has Arthur just been lowered to a Category 1 hurricane from 2, but now appears to be moving away from the east coast entirely.
When American explorers first traveled through north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, they referred to it as "the Great American Desert" and they doubted that anyone would ever be able to farm it. But as history has shown, when that area gets plenty of precipitation the farming is actually quite good. Unfortunately, the region is now in the midst of a devastating multi-year drought which never seems to end. Right now, 56 percent of Texas, 64 percent of Oklahoma and 80 percent of Kansas are experiencing "severe drought", and the long range forecast for this upcoming summer is not good. In fact, some areas in the region are already drier than they were during the worst times of the 1930s.
With so much of the recent bad news roundly ignored or simply "priced in" and blamed on the snow, it is unknown just what it is that catalyzed the overnight round of risk-offness, but whatever the ultimate factor, it first dragged the Nikkei lower by 1.8%, as we noted previously, then sent the SHCOMP down by 0.55%, then ultimately dragged the USDJPY below the key 102 support area which in turn pulled US equity futures to set the scene for a red open (with no POMO and no Yellen testimony today which also was canceled due to snow), and, putting it all together, suddenly Europe too is back on the scene, with a blow out in Italian yields driven by the realization that the Letta government is on the edge of collapse, in a deja vu moment to those hot summers of 2011 and 2012.
Here comes the latest one - Pax. Weather.com's description of what is about to be unleashed on Atlanta and the entire Eastern Seaboard is nothing short of a review of the movie The Day After Tomorrow: "Potentially "catastrophic" Winter Storm Pax began unfolding before dawn Wednesday in the Atlanta area as temperatures dropped below freezing and sleet and freezing rain began to fall." The National Weather Service's warning was not exactly cheery: "Let’s just start by saying this winter storm may be of historic proportions for the area,” the agency said in a forecast analysis. “We’re looking at significant snowfall totals north and significant, crippling ice totals, especially along the Interstate 20 corridor.” Eli Jacks, a meteorologist with National Weather Service, said forecasters use words such as "catastrophic" sparingly. Not in this case. "Sometimes we want to tell them, 'Hey, listen, this warning is different. This is really extremely dangerous, and it doesn't happen very often,'" Jacks said. The service's memo early Wednesday called the storm "an event of historical proportions." It continues: "Catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective."
It is still all about the Yen carry which overnight tumbled to the lowest level since November, dragging the Nikkei down by 4.8% which halted its plunge at just overf 14,000, only to stage a modest rebound and carry US equity futures with it, even if it hasn't helped the Dax much which moments ago dropped to session lows and broke its 100 DMA, where carmakers are being especially punished following a downgrade by HSBC of the entire sector. Also overnight the Hang Seng entered an official correction phase (following on from the Nikkei 225 doing the same yesterday) amid global growth concerns and has filtered through to European trade with equities mostly red across the board. Markets have shrugged off news that ECB's Draghi is seeking German support in the bond sterilization debate, something which we forecast would happen a few weeks ago when we pointed out the relentless pace of SMP sterilization failures, with analysts playing down the news as the move would only add a nominal amount of almost EUR 180bln to the Euro-Area financial system. Elsewhere, disappointing earnings from KPN (-4.3%) and ARM holdings (-2.5%) are assisting the downward momentum for their respective sectors.