There is a gloriously simple solution to all the world's TBTF problems, one that could be enacted in a HFT millisecond by pulling the trigger, so to speak. The solution comes from none other than that historic US nemesis, Vietnam, where unscrupulous financiers don't just go to jail. Sometimes, they get death row.
Markit's Services PMI missed expectations (55.3 vs 55.5 flash) and dropped from last month - as it seems an easing of the 'weather disruption' did nothing for pent-up services demand. Services employment growth slowed (suggesting a weak NFP) as did new business (very significantly) but optimism rose (so that's good). On the heels of that the ISM Services print missed expectations for the 4th month of the last 5 (53.1 vs 53.6) but rose modestly MoM.
While we have covered the various ways in which Americans are scraping by in the current feudal economy, from food stamps and disability fraud, to student loans and living in mom and pop’s basement, this reverse mortgage thing is a piece of the puzzle we have been missing. These mortgages are not insignificant either. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, originations were up 20% in 2013, hitting $15.3 billion. So when you see that older guy working the cashier at Wal-Mart and wonder to yourself how he is surviving, the answer may increasingly be a reverse mortgage. Oh, and since the FHA is originating many of these loans, you the taxpayer will be on the hook!
It was so fitting that Obama sauntered into the Rose Garden on April Fools day to proclaim the wonderful success of Obamacare. We are the fools for allowing this fool and his fellow fools in Congress to further bankrupt our country with this disastrous government run clusterf*ck. Their is so much propaganda, spin, disinformation and outright lies circulating in the captured mainstream media that the dumbed down, distracted, disinterested American populace believe the sound bites from Obama and the talking heads on MSNBC and the rest of the Obama loving media. You may have noticed the non-stop 30 second ads trying to convince iGadget addicted morons to sign up for Obamacare over the last three months, building to a crescendo in the last few weeks. Let’s assess the tremendous success the Savior was blustering about yesterday. He sold the plan to the American public back in 2009 with a number of promises.
According to The White House, 7,041,000 people have signed up for Obamacare (though it's unclear how many have paid as of yet and what the mix of enrolees actually is). While this will be proclaimed as mission accomplished and spun for all it's worth, wasn't Obamacare supposed to reduce the ranks of the 45 million uninsured in America? Still, it seems like a long way to go to meet CBO projections, as WaPo notes, "the CBO and Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation in February projected that 13 million previously uninsured people would gain coverage in 2014." We suspect the President will be over the moon and blame Republicans, Twitter, and YouTube for the number not being higher...
First we had Jeab-Claude Juncker saying it's ok to lie to the people, then President Obama's poster-child for Obamacare who later discovered she was unable to get the healthcare she expected and now following Janet Yellen's apparently 'uber-dovish' "jobs are not plentful" sob story spech yesterday we have more governmental factual inaccuracies. As Bloomberg reports, in her first speech as Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen told the stories of three people who had trouble finding work to illustrate her concern about the unemployed -- omitting the fact that two had criminal records that might have influenced employers’ decisions on whether to hire them. As we commented yesterday, "it’s troubling when we have to assume that everything we hear from any politician or any central banker is being said for effect, not for the straightforward expression of an honest opinion."
Among the key overnight events was the February Euro area unemployment report, which was unchanged at 11.9%, lower than the 12% median estimate; in Italy it rose to a record 13% while in Germany the locally defined jobless rate for March stayed at the lowest in at least two decades Euro zone PMI held at 53 in February, unchanged from January and matching median estimate in a Bloomberg survey HSBC/Markit’s China PMI fell to 48 in March, the lowest reading since July, from 48.5 in February; a separate PMI from the government, with a larger sample size, was at 50.3 from 50.2 the previous month NATO foreign ministers meet today to discuss their next steps after Putin began withdrawing forces stationed on Ukraine’s border Gazprom raised prices for Ukraine 44% after a discount deal expired, heaping financial pressure on the government in Kiev as it negotiates international bailouts.
There’s nothing like a nice cup of reality 'tea' first thing on Monday morning. Periodically, we like to scan headlines for phrases like “record high” or “all time high”... in today's case, the results can often given an interesting big picture perspective of what’s happening in the world.
Despite months to plan and an early morning failure today already, the Obamacare wesbite Healthcare.gov is down once again...
*AP SAYS HEALTHCARE.GOV WEBSITE NOT ACCEPTING NEW APPLICANTS, TECHNICAL PROBLEMS PREVENTING HEALTHCARE.GOV APPLICATIONS: AP
Of course the frequency of visitors is having some effect and the adminstration has once again extended the deadline for enrolment as long as participants are in line today. Perhaps, Obama should ask the HFTs how they cope with the volume?
There are just hours left until the formal March 31 deadline (although at this point so many deadlines have been extended it is not quite clear just which deadline this is) to sign up for Obamacare. Or rather, to put Obamacare in your check out basket with the intention of paying... at some indefinite time in the future. So instead of rehashing and repeating all the things that have already been said countless times about Obamacare, below we show some of the best cartoons laying out the tragicomedy that is Obamacare by Politico's Matt Wuerker.
Moments ago the BEA reported February personal income and spending which were expected to show a modest pick up following what all economists have classified as the "polar vortex" winter doldrums. While it remains to be seen whether and if spending, and income, will indeed pick up considering the deplorable state of the US household's earnings prospects, both metrics came precisely in line with consensus estimates at 0.3% (if not those of DB's always amusing permabull Joe LaVorgna who expected a 0.6% increase in spending).
With the hours counting down to the latest deadline for open enrollment for Obamacare coverage, it appears the administration needs more keg-standing bro's, easy women, and twerking Richard Simmons to get the message out. A new survey by Kaiser finds 6 out of 10 unaware of the deadline. When reminded of the mandate and the deadline, half of those without coverage as of mid-March say they think they will remain uninsured.
- One-Ship Ukraine Navy Defies Russia to the End (WSJ)
- Crimea-Induced Trading Surge Stokes Moscow Exchange Rally (BBG)
- Moscow says Ukraine stops Russian crews disembarking in Kiev (Reuters)
- New images show more than 100 objects that could be plane debris (Reuters)
- Anger of Flight 370 Families Explodes in Beijing (BBG)
- Murdoch Promotes Son Lachlan in Succession Plan for Empire (BBG)
- Facebook to buy virtual reality goggles maker for $2 billion (Reuters)
- Syrian Regime Exploits Rebel Despair (WSJ)
- King Digital IPO price may not bode well for stock (Reuters)
- Rothschild in Twitter Spat as Bakries Cut Ties With Miner (BBG)
Another morning melt up after a less than impressive session in China which saw the SHCOMP drop again reversing the furious gains in the past few days driven by hopes of more PBOC easing (despite China's repeated warning not to expect much). A flurry of market topping activity overnight once again, with Candy Crush maker King Digital pricing at $22.50 or the projected midpoint of its price range, and with FaceBook using more of its epically overvalued stock as currency to purchase yet another company, this time virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion. Perhaps an appropriate purchase considering the entire economy is pushed higher on pro-forma, "virtual" output, and the Fed's capital markets are something straight out of the matrix. Despite today's pre-open ramp, which will be the 4th in a row, one wonders if biotechs will finally break the downward tractor beam they have been latched on to as the bubble has shown signs of cracking, or will the mad momo crowd come back with a vengeance - this too will be answered shortly.
If you are like most Americans, paying taxes is one of your pet peeves. The deadline to file your federal taxes is coming up, and this year Americans will spend more than 7 billion hours preparing their taxes. When the federal income tax was originally introduced a little more than 100 years ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent. But once they get their feet in the door, the social planners always want more. Since that time, tax rates have gone much higher and the tax code has exploded in size. Why do we have to have the most convoluted tax system in the history of the planet?