Presented with no comment...
Yesterday, Obama made a rare campaign trail appearance in Maryland where he spoke in support of Democratic candidate for governor, Anthony Brown, proceeded with his usual bulletin of reading fabricated economic data off the teleprompter in which he highlighted improvements in US unemployment (if not the 46.5 million people on foodstamps or the 93 million Americans out of the labor force), a rebounding housing market (just as the bouncing dead cat is once again dead), the benefits of health insurance (if no mention of the disaster for small businesses that Obamacare now definitively is) a resurgent manufacturing sector (just don't look at this chart) even if he did point out the unfairness of families having "two folks working", and... a mass audience exodus followed.
President Obama may have been busy golfing this weekend, and his brand new Ebola Czar may have had more pressing matters to attend than the White House's Saturday evening meeting on the US "response to domestic Ebola cases" (because clearly the Ebola Czar is superfluous at such Ebola-related events), but that doesn't mean that the administration will once again be caught with its pants down the next time an Ebola index patient is unveiled on US soil. Nope. In taking a page right out of America's response to the Ebola pandemic in... West Africa, where the US has dispatched several thousands troops to do, something, unclear what, earlier today, it was revealed that the U.S. military is forming a 30-person "quick-strike team", which according to CNN is "equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States, a Defense Department official told CNN's Barbara Starr on Sunday."
Given the pressure to act and apparent urgency to calm the public over the Ebola pandemic, it is likely no surprise to hear that President Obama decided to play a quick round of golf (for 5 hours) Saturday morning before arranging a late evening meeting convening "members of his national security and public health teams to update him on the response to the domestic Ebola cases," according to The Daily News. "The meeting concluded with a discussion of broader steps to increase the preparedness of our health sector nationwide," which one would imagine the newly appointed Ebola Czar would be directing - think again!
The level of micro-management by the Fed appears to have reached a new shockingly high plateau. Recently prices have been driven more by liquidity, fear, greed, and Fed policy, than by valuation. It is time that the Fed stops being a source of interference and confusion. There are also two less obvious or less discussed economic reasons why the Obama administration may be urgently focusing more on the Ebola crises.
News about the spread of the Ebola virus has been an increasing focus for market participants in recent days. Despite rising media coverage, Ebola seems to have had little discernible effect on consumer sentiment to date. However, as Goldman Sachs notes, the "fear factor" associated with Ebola appears more significant than in past instances of pandemic concern. While expert opinion sees the likelihood of a significant outbreak of Ebola in the US as very low, it is likely any negative macroeconomic consequences are most likely to be transmitted through fear or risk-aversion channels.
This should fix it and calm the panic:
*OBAMA SAID TO APPOINT RON KLAIN AS EBOLA CZAR, CNN TWEETS
Forget medical experience, what the USA needs to combat the worst Ebola pandemic ever is "an American lawyer and political operative best known for serving as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents - Al Gore (1995–1999) and Joseph Biden (2009–2011)" Gotta wonder how Tom Frieden feels about this...
As yet another fed speaker takes the jawboning lectern today, it is becomingly increasingly clear that The Fed truly has only one mandate - to keep stocks up. While claiming to be "data-dependent", which judging by the general trend of government-supplied data (and President Obama), things are going great; Jim Bullard joins his intervention-prone colleague Williams: BULLARD SAYS BOND PURCHASES SHOULD BE DATA DEPENDENT and SAYS 'U.S. FUNDAMENTALS REMAIN STRONG' but BULLARD SAYS FED SHOULD CONSIDER DELAY IN ENDING QE. So much for data-dependence...
"We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability." - Putin
“Unemployment down, jobs up,” President Obama exclaimed, adding gloatingly that "manufacturing growing. Deficits cut by more than half. High School graduation up. College enrollment up. Energy production up.” As Spectator's Ralph Reiland points out, Obamanomics, allegedly batting a thousand - everything that should be up was up and everything that should be down was down. “By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office,” declared President Obama... so why, if everything is ponies and unicorns, is President Obama's approval rating at record lows. 61% of Americans disapprove of Obama's foreign policy with only 42% approving of the President overall.
Istanbul's Marmar University Training and Research Hospital is not accepting new patients after, as Daily Sabah reports, a person suspected of being infected with Ebola has been quarantined. The patient, who arrived by plane from Ivory Coast, is suffering high fever and nausea. While Lagos, Nigeria was CDC Director Frieden's worst nightmare with regard Ebola contagion, we suspect Istanbul is a close second with over 14 million people living there. This news comes as US politicians begin to call for visa restrictions and travel bans from infected nations.
4 weeks ago this is what President Obama said "the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low." Today, having reassured Americans that "Ebola is not like the flu, it's not airborne," (despite experts' concerns that Ebola could indeed be aerogenically transmitted) Obama stated that a "widespread outbreak of Ebola in the US is 'unlikely'"
From "Extremely Low" to "Unlikely"... in a month.
You know its serious when President Obama cancels a fundraising trip to discuss Ebola. With the 2nd Ebola-infected healthcare worker having traveled around America symptom-free, we suspect Dr. Frieden will have a lot of calming down the public to do...
Most planned cities probably aren't designed with the view from space in mind, but, as Wired.com's Betsy Mason notes, some of them create incredible patterns on the landscape that can only be truly appreciated from above.