The Keynesians will not be pleased. Despite the holiday season, December spending disappointed with no change MoM (0.0% vs +0.1% exp). This is further sentiment-destructivbe as income data rose more than expected MoM (+0.3% vs +0.2% exp) even as income growth YoY slipped to its weakest in 9 months. This of course means the personal savings rate rose, pushing to 5.5% - the highest since 2012.
One look at the chart below should explain not only how the "services" half of the US economy continues to grow, but just which tax, because that is how the Supreme Court defined Obamacare, is responsible for healthcare "spending" amounting to a quarter of the growth in US personal consumption expenditures...
President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address 2 weeks ago, and devoted most of the time to defending his "legacy" of bigger and more intrusive government, with an emphasis on the other aspects of personal and social life he wished could come under the blanket of more political paternalism. What if the president offered, instead, an agenda for freedom rather than one of paternalism? What would the State of the Union address be like if he had such an epiphany for defending individual liberty rather than more unrestricted government license over our lives?
While the economic implosion progresses this year, there will be considerable misdirection and disinformation as to the true nature of what is taking place. As I have outlined in the past, the masses were so ill informed by the mainstream media during the Great Depression that most people had no idea they were actually in the midst of an “official” depression until years after it began. The chorus of economic journalists of the day made sure to argue consistently that recovery was “right around the corner.” Our current depression has been no different, but something is about to change. Unlike the Great Depression, social crisis will eventually eclipse economic crisis in the U.S. That is to say, our society today is so unequipped to deal with a financial collapse that the event will inevitably trigger cultural upheaval and violent internal conflict.
To most people, a bull market is good. Share prices are connected to business productivity, right? In a free market, yes. However we don’t have a free market. We have monetary policy, how our central planners stimulate us into a wealth effect.
"Today we feast, for tomorrow we die..."
This is the title of its latest piece looking at retail spending paterns based on its credit and debit card data: "Confusingly cautious consumer." Here is why BofA so confused by the cautious consumers.
Health insurers are in panic mode as the Obama administration, ever eager maximize coverage optics for Obamacare, has, as The NY Times reports, allowed large numbers of people to sign up for insurance after the deadlines in the last two years, destabilizing insurance markets and driving up premiums. This surge in costs, from unintended consequences, has left 1 in 5 Americans with health insurance is having problems paying medical bills; and, as a new poll finds, more than one in three Americans, or 35 percent, said they were unable to pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, and housing because of medical bill problems...
Earlier we gave a big picture explanation how the US can add 292,000 while average hourly wages actually decline. Below is a more nuanced answer, looking at the breakdown of jobs by industry in December. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that for another consecutive month, the well-paying jobs: mining and logging, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and information barely posted a net increase. At the same time, the poor paying jobs continued to soar.
The ever-growing number of Americans who are joining the liberty movement are not interested in “reforming” the welfare-warfare state. They also have no interest in “fixing" the Federal Reserve via “rules-based” monetary policy. Instead, this movement is dedicated to auditing, then ending, the Fed and stopping the government from trying to run the economy, run the world, and run our lives. If this movement refuses to compromise its principles, we may succeed in restoring a society of liberty, peace, and prosperity in our lifetimes.
"Comedians" in cars...
The president has directed administration officials to explore any steps he could take on guns without lawmakers’ help, and he said in his weekly address that he would sit down with Ms. Lynch on Monday “to discuss our options.” Once he has Lynch's "blessing", the WSJ adds that Obama "could lay out multiple executive actions as soon as next week, and administration officials have confirmed that recommendations for the president are nearing completion."
The seventh anniversary of Zero Hedge is just around the corner, and so, for the seventh year in a row we continue our tradition of summarizing what our readers found to be the most relevant, exciting, and actionable news of the year, determined by the number of page views. We bring you the articles that you, dear reader, found to be the most interesting in the past 365 days.
The latest dilemma facing economists is why "unequivocally good" low oil prices haven't sparked excuberant consumer spending across America. We have discussed the simple (though awkward for the establishment) answer many times - soaring costs for 'shelter' and healthcare have hoovered up every penny saved (and more); and now, a new study proves it- exposing the reality that many Obamacare customers pay more than 10 percent of their incomes toward coverage (and some paying considerably more).