National Weather Service
In the aftermath of the first deadly winter storm of the year, a dazed and confused nation suddenly finds itself in need of leadership. Unfortunately, it won't get it: "Obama offered condolences for those who lost their lives and for those who lost their homes in the tornadoes." He then spent the next 6 hours golfing and was "all smiles."
A powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile. The quake, originally measured at 7.2, has reportedly been upgraded to 8.3.
Have you noticed that events have begun to accelerate?
"We got hammered," Houston's emergency management coordinator Rick Flanagan told CNN, and as the following stunning images show, that is an understatement. "We've seen flooding before, but not nearly to this extreme," said one resident, adding "It rains and it rains and it rains, and there's really nowhere for the water to go... It's ridiculous." Perhaps even more stunningly, as Mashable's Andrew Freeman notes, the floods have been a remarkable turn of events for a region that was still mired in drought as of three weeks ago. That drought, which had affected Texas since 2010, is now effectively over in most areas, as is a long-running drought in Oklahoma. Authorities are still searching for 12 members of two families who went missing over the weekend.
The Fed stimulates absolutely nothing but the media’s descriptions of it and the various economists and their models that depend solely on them being successful in doing so. If recessions are emotional and irrational pessimism as the monetary textbooks believe, then QE and ZIRP are just right sort of “happy pills” to push emotions back to the “right” direction. Is it any wonder the economy is in danger of sinking toward catastrophic failure?
Seven years ago, the U.S. Army War College issued a report calling on the military to be prepared should they need to put down civil unrest within the country. Summarizing the report, investigative journalist Chris Hedges declared, “The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a ‘violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,’ which could be provoked by ‘unforeseen economic collapse,’ ‘purposeful domestic resistance,’ ‘pervasive public health emergencies’ or ‘loss of functioning political and legal order.’ The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’” At what point will all of the government’s carefully drawn plans for dealing with civil unrest, “homegrown” terrorism and targeting pre-crime become a unified blueprint for locking down the nation?
The one thing to note about today's "decisive" jobs number, is that most are scrambling to warn that they really have no idea what it will be due to yet another unprecedented instance of cold weather and snow in the winter (see "Goldman Warns Snow May Leads To Lower Jobs Number, But Snowstorms Will Result In Higher Wages"). The reality is that, based on recent ADP trends and the shale patch reality and recent ISM/PMI surveys, today's NFP should print well below 200,000 (unless some 100,000 bartenders were hired in the deep of winter), not where Wall Street consensus expects it, at 235,000 (on a range of 150K to 370K.
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.