Ryan has a bad plan, Biden has no plan at all.
The usual definition of a recession is GDP goes negative. But this isn't necessarily true. Notice that GDP never went below the zero line in the 2001 recession. Dipping close to zero was good enough. The more interesting line is our composite of economic activity. We can pose the "recession" question in this way: if real investment, net earnings after debt service and M2 money are all puking, how can the economy be "growing slowly but steadily"?
Just how much havoc does living within one’s means wreak?
The recent trade report does not provide much support for the economic and stock market bulls. As we have stated many times - the current fundamental and economic backdrops are not supportive of higher asset prices at current levels. However, while the market may advance due to the injections of liquidity into the financial system - it doesn't make it a "healthy" market. The outlook, and ultimately actions taken, by businesses are driven by demand for their products, goods and services. Unfortunately the Fed's bond buying program does not impact these core issues.
Stronger Periphery close will be the usual opportunity for politicians to rant about the lack of clout of rating agencies.
Good Jump in Risk appetite. Question is how far. Lack of absence of negative news, or better, markets simply ignoring the latter, doesn’t make for a convincing bullish rebound.
I’d say: We won’t get fooled again! European Bull trap.
This is the stuff that would never be aired in the US mainstream media, at least before a POTUS election!
- Global easing deluge resumes: Bank of Korea Slashes Policy Rate (WSJ)
- And Brazil: Brazil cuts Selic rate to new record low of 7.25 pct (Reuters)
- With Tapes, Authorities Build Criminal Cases Over JPMorgan Loss (NYT) Just don't hold your breath
- IMF snub reveals China’s political priorities (FT)
- Add a dash of trade wars: Revised Duties Imposed by U.S. on Chinese Solar Equipment (Bloomberg)
- IMF calls for action as euro zone crisis festers (Reuters)
- Dubai Losing Billions as Insecure Expats Send Money Abroad (BBG)
- Softbank in Advanced Talks to Acquire Sprint Nextel (WSJ)
- Lagarde calls for brake on austerity (FT)
- EU lambasts Turkey over freedoms (FT)
- Race Tightens in Two States (WSJ)
“A social affliction brought on by years of graft.”
Just two weeks after Egan-Jones started the party, S&P has downgraded Spain to BBB- (with a negative outlook). As we discussed here when Egan Jones pushed all-in with Spain to CC, of course, Moody's (Baa3 Neg) will likely follow shortly with Fitch (BBB Neg) deciding to avoid the office-raid and keep its French parents happy. The main reasons - and concern going forward, via Bloomberg:
- *S&P MAY CUT SPAIN IF POLITICAL, EUROZONE SUPPORT WANED
- *S&P MAY CUT SPAIN IF NET GOVT DEBT RISES ABOVE 100%/GDP '12-'14
- Doubts over some eurozone governments' commitment to mutualizing the costs of Spain's bank recapitalization are, in our view, a destabilizing factor for the country's credit outlook.
- In our view, the shortage of credit is an even greater problem than its cost.
As we all know, what matters isn't our nominal earnings, it's what our earnings can buy that counts. If it takes an hour of labor to buy four gallons of gasoline, it doesn't really matter if we're paid $1.60 an hour and gasoline costs 40 cents a gallon or we're paid $16 an hour and gasoline costs $4 per gallon. Ditto $16,000 an hour and $4,000 per gallon. What matters is if our hourly wage once bought eight gallons of gasoline and now it buys only four gallons. This is called purchasing power, and rather naturally the Status Quo has worked mightily to cloak the reality that our purchasing power of the bottom 95% of wage earners has been declining for decades. Until oil no longer matters, our real earnings and our economy remain hostages to the cost of oil.
Whether it is US companies' reporting or Chinese data confirming, times are getting tougher for the world's engine of growth. So, like every well-balanced western nation, instead of turning to meditation and exercise, beer appears the chosen method of stress-relief for the Chinese. As Bloomberg Briefs notes, three of the top six brands of beer in the world are Chinese with the great nation consuming 50 billion liters per year - more than double the US 24 billion. Do not worry though, USA is still #1 at 74 liters per capita per year relative to China's 37 liters. It would seem the start of their recession is perfect timing for them to make a run at increasing that average yearly intake. Already this year, Chinese domestic beer production is up 2% YoY and imports are up 100% - perhaps the only 'rising' data point the nation has seen; and maybe the next great anti-growth indicator.
The overnight session has been largely listless, with the market digesting a less than impressive start to earnings season by Alcoa, which reported declining cash flows, and various other negative earnings preannouncements out of major industrial companies. The IMF has not helped the somber mood with its analysis that by the end of 2013 European banks will need to dispose of up to $4.5 trillion in assets. Asian weakness (even the SHCOMP couldn't rally much on further easing rumors for the simple reason that the PBOC will simply not ease with QEternity out there and a food price hike over the horizon) has dominated the trading session so far. What little goods news there was came out ironically out of Italy and France, both of which reported better than expected August Industrial Production data. Italy IP rose 1.7% on expectations of a -0.5% drop, and up from -0.2% last, while the French Industrial Production posted a surprising surge, following weeks of poor data out of the country, with IP up 1.5% on expectations of a -0.3% print, and up from last month's 0.6%. However, even France warned not to read too much into a number driven by, well, cars and drinks.
Since the release of the most recent BLS Employment Situation Report, which showed an astounding drop in the unemployment rate, we have spent a good bit of time dissecting the release and discussing why the real unemployment rate is really between 17% and 22% depending on how you calculate it. (See Here and Here) However, today's release of the September NFIB Small Business Survey shows the extent to which the current BLS employment calculation method may have detached from reality. No matter how you look at the data there is a clear disconnect between the BLS report and economic realities. From the NFIB's point view it is "economic uncertainty" that weighs on business owners and keeps them on the defensive. The actions by the Federal Reserve to buy bonds and inject liquidity into the financial system does not solve the problem of "poor sales", reduce regulations that strangle growth or solve the "fiscal cliff" issues that threaten business profitability by the end of the year.
Much of Southern Europe is in a deep recession, and Greece is an unnecessary distraction.
Recession drives contingent liabilities into present liabilities quickly and with force and the cattle are now out of control and the stampede has begun. For those of you perhaps wishing for and certainly waiting for some type of “Lehman Moment” to flee; you may find it soon. The danger has always been that Europe will believe its own stuff and then make judgments based upon it and if this turns out to be the case then the decisions will be wrong and the consequences horrific.