recovery

Rising Wages Where? Real Wages Post First Annual Decline Since 2012

For all the talk about "noisy inflation" this and "rising prices are good for the economy" that, what the Fed's cheerleading squad continues to ignore is the one most important inflation the US economy needs in order to actually have a sustainable recovery instead of centrally-planned stagflation: wage inflation. And while bullish pundits keep reffering to some mythical CEO survey promising wage will increase any day now, just not today, the BLS released its most recent real wage (adjusted for inflation) report today showing that not only did the average real hourly wage remain flat for the second month in a row at $10.29, the lowest level since September 2013, but posted the first annual decline since October 2012.

Is Yellen Being Misled By Employment Statistics?

The actual state of employment in the U.S. is likely far weaker than the economic statistics currently suggest. If this is indeed the case, it creates a potential for policy mistakes that could have negative consequences to both the economy and the financial markets.

Frontrunning: July 19

  • Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive (Reuters)
  • Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation (BBG)
  • Israel kills militants entering from Gaza, death toll tops 500 (Reuters)
  • The other Gaza: In violent weekend, at least 40 people shot in Chicago (Reuters)
  • Barclays Dark Pool Drew Early Alarms (WSJ)
  • Finance Industry Bonus Hit in Poll as Revenue Disappoints (BBG)
  • Severstal to Sell North American Units (WSJ)
  • Yum, McDonald's apologize as new China food scandal brews (Reuters)
  • Yellen Wage Gauges Blurred by Boomer-Millennial Workforce Shift (BBG)
  • Ukraine Offers to Hand Over Malaysia Airlines Probe to Dutch (WSJ)

"Buying The Car Was The Worst Decision I Ever Made" - The Subprime Auto Loan Bubble Bursts

It has been over six months since we first highlighted the growing deterioration in the quality of auto loans and mentioned the 's' word (subprime) as indicative that we learned nothing from the financial crisis. Since then, auto loans (and especially subprime in the last few months) have surged to record highs; and most concerning, recently has seen delinquencies and late payments spike. The reason we provide this background is that, thanks to The NY Times, this story is now hitting the mainstream media as subprime-quality car buyers (new and used) realize the burden they have placed on themselves thanks to exorbitantly high interest rates (and a rapidly depreciating 'asset'). As one car 'owner' exclaimed, "buying the car was the worst decision I have ever made."

Recovery Of Malaysian Airlines Black Box Caught On Tape: Separatists To Hand Over To International Delegation

With the rabbit hole of conspiracies getting deeper by the hour, video has emerged showing what appears to be the "black box" flight data recorder from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being taken from the crash scene. As NBC reports, the men in the video are wearing Ukrainian Emergency Ministry uniforms, but a senior Ukrainian official told a news conference Sunday that rebels had taken the black boxes. This fits with reports from The Hill that pro-Russian separatists have located the black boxes for the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and will hand them over to international authorities, according to separatist leader Alexander Borodai. With the US having offered more "proof" that Russia was involved, perhaps some facts from the Black Box will help clarify details in this dreadful situation... though we are not confident.

What Recovery? US Macro Suffers Longest Streak Of Weakness Since Lehman

Despite the best efforts of The Fed, its apologists, and the commission-taking talking-heads to persuade the world that the US economy is picking up and set to reach escape velocity any minute... the fact is, the US economy (judged on data not fantasy) is hurting. Consensus expectations for 2014 US GDP growth have collapsed from over 3.00% to a mere 1.7% now. But what is more critical is the incessant bleating that data is picking up and suggests a 2nd half recovery... it doesn't. US Macro surprise data has been negative for over 21 weeks... the longest such spell of disappointment since Lehman.

What Disposable Income Looks Like: With And Without Government Handouts

If one looks past headline figures, things are not really getting better. As shown in Figure 1, real disposable income per capita in the U.S. has increased only modestly since the Great Recession. However, all of this increase is due to Government Transfers, not from an improvement in the real economy.

Hoisington: 30Y Treasury Bonds Are Undervalued

With U.S. rates higher than those of major foreign markets, investors are provided with an additional reason to look favorably on increased investments in the long end of the U.S. treasury market. Additionally, with nominal growth slowing in response to low saving and higher debt we expect that over the next several years U.S. thirty-year bond yields could decline into the range of 1.7% to 2.3%, which is where the thirty-year yields in the Japanese and German economies, respectively, currently stand.

Goldman Slams Abenomics; Questions "Validity Of BoJ's Target"

While we have again and again explained why Abenomics is ultimately doomed as you simply cannot print your way to prosperity (a message The Fed appears to be discovering rapidly), when Goldman Sachs unleashes an Abenomics-bashing piece, one has to wonder just what options Abe has left as economic data starts to collapse (and approval ratings drop just as fast). Simply put, as we concluded before, "Monetary debasement does NOT result in an economic recovery, because no nation can force another to pay for its recovery... Eventually the monetary debasement raises all costs and this initial benefit to exporters vanishes. Then the country is left with a depleted capital base and a higher price level. What a great policy!"

White House Statement Offers Condolences, Blames Russia, Demands "Full, Credible, Unimpeded" Investigation Into MH17 Crash

The White House issued a full statement at 2238ET with regard the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash following President Obama's earlier brief comments: "The United States is shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and we offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board... It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible... While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training."

Philly Fed Soars To 3 Year Highs As Capex Investment Plans Tumble

By the magic of hopes and dreams, Philly Fed's headline index soared to cycle highs at 23.9. Smashing the 16.25 expectation, this is the highest since March 2011 (and almost the highest in the recovery cycle). This is a 4-standard deviation beat. While most of the 'current' subindices improved with new orders exploding to their highest in 10 years (really!?). Great news right? Well no - the outlook 6-months forward sees employment drop, workweek drop, and capex investment plans drop to its lowest since January...