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So Much For "Confidence" - NFIB Small Business Outlook Drops To Record Low

Tyler Durden's picture




 

While Europe's confidence-inspired rally is floating all global boats in some magical unicorn-inspired way, the reality is that on the ground in the US, things have never looked worse. The NFIB Small Business Outlook for general business conditions had its own 'cliff' this month and plunged to -35% - its worst level on record - as the creators-of-jobs seem a little less than inspired. Aside from this unbelievably ugly bottom-up situation, top-down is starting to be worrisome also. In a rather shockingly accurate analog, this year's macro surprise positivity has tracked last year's almost perfectly (which means the macro data and analyst expectations have interacted in an almost identical manner for six months). The concerning aspect is that this marked the topping process in last year's macro data as expectations of continued recovery were dashed in a sea of reality (both coinciding with large 'surprise' beats of NFP). We suspect, given the NFIB data, that jobs will not be quite so plentiful (unadjusted for BLS purposes) the next time we get a glimpse.

 

NFIB Small Business Outlook for General Business Conditions 'crashed'...

 

And the US Macro Surprise Index (which tracks both macro performance absolutely and relative to expectations) has tracked last year's rise almost tick-for-tick. This stunningly close analog suggests we have reached a peak in this macro cycle...

 

Charts: Bloomberg

 

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Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:23 | 3051524 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

It's hard to be hopeful when you've got thousands of little red dots dancing all over your chest.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:01 | 3051597 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

They are just trying to figure the best place to attach your nobel peace prize.

Everyones getting one didnt you hear?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:03 | 3051604 madcows
madcows's picture

I thought those were ladybugs.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:28 | 3051659 mirac
mirac's picture

fire ants?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:22 | 3051525 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

ES must be tanking!!!!

Wait...let me check....

 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:24 | 3051526 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture
  • BREAKING NEWS:  Yea, they're going to ramrod the market higher anyway.

I know...you're stunned.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:27 | 3051528 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

more breaking news.......watching cramer this morning....he has elevated his game to the top 1% of  pathetic fucking assholes on this planet....

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:55 | 3051581 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

My hats'off to you for being able to stomach him...I can't listen to that loud mouth for more than a few seconds.  If I were a Gitmo prisoner  the sound of his voive would be my waterboarding.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:57 | 3051588 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

The database thanks you! Carry on.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:27 | 3051529 SheepleLOVEched...
SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

sad

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:29 | 3051531 youngman
youngman's picture

Lets see..more taxes..regulations..fees..penalties...fines...lawyers...whatever..yes I would be happy too...in an padded white room.....

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:35 | 3051542 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Looks like we're gonna have to raise the price of slurpees at 711......again.

 

Get them while you can cause next year it's gonna require an I.D.......unless you're an illegal alien.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:58 | 3051591 technicalanarchy
technicalanarchy's picture

Yes that's it youngman! And it's not just the feds, it's all over the local, state and federal level. It's not Just the federal government driving the nail in the small business coffin it's everyone.

Plus the banks aren't loaning to anyone with a small business for any reason with any amount of collateral. (Around my town anyway)

Most construction jobs around here are insurance work or government contracts.

and this article from yesterday applies to more than just finance. It's on a much wider scale.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-10/guest-post-too-big-understand

It's also my belief that raising the taxes on the 1% won't actually hurt the big money big business guys at all. Probably loop holes a mile wide they can take advantage of. But the people with small busnesses will get a little more crushed from it cause they won't get the holes or won't have the money to hire a lawyer to find them.

I heard yesterday that Peter Schiff said he is paying around 47% (+-) federal and state income taxes. Buffett claims to be paying what 17%

I've been watching the Money Masters documentary on youtube (TM) and the game is sooooo rigged and getting worse. Use to be by the year, then the month then week then day now by the hour.

Blah I'll quit rattling.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:36 | 3051681 infinity8
infinity8's picture

I have a friend, smart guy, retired Air Force with a pretty high security clearance. Played poker professionally for @7 yrs after he retired. (he's pushing 70 now) Got sick of the game and thought he had a good idea for a retail business. He had never been in that world before and was quite the "optimist" in general.. after doing his homework looking into getting everything going, his head almost exploded. He just couldn't believe how many flaming hoops he had to deal with to get something going. He's back in Vegas.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:42 | 3051698 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So all of the millions of small business owners in the world (like me) must be fucking acrobats, given that we managed to jump through all of those flaming hoops without much difficulty.    In my experience, the most irritating regulations are on the local level, which completely flies in the face of those who think decentralized government would somehow change everything for the better.  It would be great to minimize the rules/regulations, but anyone who claims that the root problem is those rules is probably just an ideologue that has never owend a small business.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:52 | 3051729 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Not trying to have an argument, those are just the facts. He's got plenty of money and was bored and thought he would try something new. Reality slapped him in the face and instead of starting a small business that would have created a few jobs and given him something new to do, he ended up saying "fuck it", it's not worth the trouble.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:03 | 3051605 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, it's too many regulations and taxes (after decades of tax cuts, the elimination of which has been universally deemed by MSM the cause for great panic).  The fact that most of the goods that were made here 40 years ago are now manufactured in countries with virtual slave labor has little or nothing to do with the fact that the middle class is shrinking and not buying stuff.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | 3051624 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

The implicit premise of the phrase "tax cuts" is that the government has the right to some share of people's labor, and that anything less than that share is therefore a "cut."  Let's be clear..."eliminating tax cuts" means raising taxes and nothing less. 

The thing libs cannot overcome is the notion that the government, and not the labor of private citizens, is not just a source, but THE source.  All of the irrational, twisted logic flows from that.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:37 | 3051683 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Because the govenrment has never created anything, right?  Those bridges, roads, airports, the GPS you use, the police, firemen, and all of those other things would magically exist and be funded without taxes.    But just keep singing your song that taxes are theft -- it is so very productive.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:33 | 3051857 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

Did government create the tax base that enables the funding?  Take your time...

Apparently, you are not smart enough to understand what is meant by "source."  Let me rephrase the issue to make it easier - did the government precede the settlers?  Did the government give rise to the people (with the condition that they pay homage to their creator, the almighty and pre-existent government)? 

As the saying goes - you can't fix stupid. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:51 | 3051927 De minimus
De minimus's picture

Small business man my ass. You're a lying sack of shit Marxist.

Who's paying you to be here pinky? Or are you just one of those dedicated freelancers with a anus for a mouth? Do you people really think this kind of crap works with people who can actually see what happening to themselves and their businesses, their way of life?

I think you were looking for the dummies over at comedy central. I'm sure they'll be very enraptured because you won't make their little brains hurt.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:34 | 3052104 technicalanarchy
technicalanarchy's picture

Should't there be a ? "The fact that most of the goods that were made here 40 years ago are now manufactured in countries with virtual slave labor has little or nothing to do with the fact that the middle class is shrinking and not buying stuff?

I'm sorry I can't see your point on that at all unless you add a ? If we aren't making stuff someone is, where is the money for the middle class suppose to be coming from?

Several articles in the local news lately touting $8.50 to $10.00 an hour jobs, part time, seasonal as the cream of the job market and the news outlets and the company owners and or managers are SHOCKED that people aren't flocking all over the jobs. I mean seriously, unless you just have a work ethic why would you fuck up your unemployment over that? Shift work and whacky ass schedules and for minimum wage (damn near it). If I remember correctly there was a time in the past when minimum wage was for high school kids not fucking grownups with kids.

VW opened a plant near by and they are paying around $14.00 an hour. Great money I suppose. They actually said they want former fast food workers because they can train them better and easier than former auto workers. Bullshit it's because a monkey could actually do the job and the former fast food workers will believe $14 an hour is a fortune to be had and not a 66% cut in pay. I'm not for or against the UAW just saying low is the new high.

Slave labor is only one piece of the low cost puzzle, lax environmental laws as well as insurance requirements are other parts that are rarely if ever mentioned in the low cost puzzle. Plus I believe with China the fact that many american factories are outdated and many of the Chinese factories are fairly new has something to do with it as well.

I have my own small business (very small) and I'll be damned if it matters how much I make there is always someone or something there to make sure that starting the next month I start at 0 again. I'm sure the list of what I'm doing wrong would fill up the Internet, but my business works for other small businesses and they are about in the same shape as I am. One of my customers use to carry about 4 or 5 thousand in $100's on her all the time, now she's down to carrying about $30 mostly in $1's and $5's (still a roll if you just glance at it) but she's still in business and hasn't lost anything, but damn it's barely.

another customer has a warehouse he was rentling out and had a 5 year lease where his tenent was paying $6.00 psf per year, lease came due for renewal this year and the tenent moved cause they found a 5 year lease on a bettter warehouse for under $2.50 PSF. So you might think that the company netted out great and saved SOME CASH! I'd say not cause it's going to just get switched to paying for the employees insurance. 

All that to really say I don't think there are many wins left for the little guy and there will be less wins next year.

As of currently there aren't that many regulations on my business (computers and networking) but that's about to change I'm sure of it. My dad had a construction company he started in 1976, he passed away in 1998 and it was a different world and now it's even worse. Taxes, insurance, permits, fees and insurance.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:31 | 3051534 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The "fix is in" in the Middle East. The irony that the first general war over there since 1973 will "come as a surprise" should scare people actually. "In England their Kings and Queens were German"...and in America...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:47 | 3051567 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Go on...

Could you spell out what you are saying, I'm not following your shorthand, though it looks interesting.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:10 | 3051614 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

Yeah, he kinda left me hangin' there, too.  I was hopin' I'd maybe just missed the comprehensive solution to the Middle East problems.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:18 | 3051634 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

He was saying "the fix is in" as in war in the middle east is set to go. And I agree. I agree too that "it will come as a surprise"... Just like pearl harbor came as a surprise to everyone other than those who had been driving Japan towards that end game for years. It was the German kings and America stuff I didn't follow.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:31 | 3051537 Xue
Xue's picture

It's ok, we get our new QE fix tomorrow...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:32 | 3051538 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Need moar hopium!  Moar obamaphones!  Moar SNAP!  Moar SS disability!  Moar federal, state and local govt spending!  Moar debt!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:33 | 3051539 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

Reality is there are no free markets.
Up down sideways it's all by plan
Hope they anticipated my boot up there arses

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:37 | 3051546 Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

But increasing the taxes on all of the small business owners and making them buy insurance for employees over 30 hours will help them. That's what I've been told so it must be true.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:30 | 3051847 3ringmike
3ringmike's picture

Looks like a 29 hour work week will be the new normal also

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:05 | 3052418 technicalanarchy
technicalanarchy's picture

Yep

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:37 | 3051547 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Clearly this is a Buy FB signal!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:36 | 3051548 PUD
PUD's picture

Lloyd Blankfein bought a 30 million $ getaway home.....clearly confidence is very high in the Hamptons.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:03 | 3051602 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

He has another 30 million dollar getaway home but it's in the Adirondacks and goes 240 feet underground.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:38 | 3051551 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

look we all know things suck out there..but its been 4 yrs ..how much longer??.. maybe the 2nd quarter of 14 do we finally get the economy growing again??

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:41 | 3051557 SheepleLOVEched...
SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

clearly you are not familiar with long term debt cycles......

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:49 | 3051575 pods
pods's picture

I think we will see the Visigoths before we see organic growth.

pods

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:44 | 3051564 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

Yes, 2114, though.  Just after the greatest depression wrings out all the excesses.  And people.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:52 | 3051579 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

No.  Japan has been here for 30+ years and this is the "model" we are following.  That being said, America does have considerably more natural resources and could make a comeback, but that would require an increase in the flux of energy through the system.  The earth's energy output has flatlined.  This doesn't even consider the energy required to input in order to discover, develop, and deliver new energy flows.  Not good, especially for a world built on centrally planned fractional reserve banking.  The latter collapses in the absence of growth.  You tell me, would you bet on infinite growth in a finite world?

Clear the bad debt, prosecute the fucking fraud, let the bad businesses (no matter how big) fail and this will all fix itself much faster in the end.  But that would require an honest conversation by those who are in power and committed the fraud in the first place.    No, if history is any guide here, another world war will be the outcome of all this.  Hedge accordingly.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:40 | 3051553 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Who gives a shit about small businesses anyway? Just so long as  the large corporations are happy that's all that matters. The politicians know where their bread is buttered.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:46 | 3051708 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

In fact my buying experience would be complete if I just had one store to walk into and get everything.

Like the store in Idiocracy.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:39 | 3051554 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Stepping away from the BLS BS, in the 2010 census there were about 111 million private sector jobs in the US, almost 3 years later there are still only about 111 million private sector jobs in the US, meanwhile the US government has spent 3 trillion in "investment" and increased the public debt stock by 1/3, and achieved NOTHING.  Go figure why business owners aren't optimistic... and it's not eve 1/1/13 when the new taxes and regulations start kicking in...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:42 | 3051561 PUD
PUD's picture

Exports of U.S. goods lowest since Nov 2011 BUT OBAMA SAID HE'D DOUBLE THEM WITH HIS AWESOMENESS!  CLEARLY WE NEED MORE HOPE!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:55 | 3051583 tsx500
tsx500's picture

Bush's fault ! 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:09 | 3051685 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Some exports are up, The US approved 20 F-16 fighter planes today for Egypt as part of a $1 billion foreign aid package.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:43 | 3051563 ZFiNX
ZFiNX's picture

I'm sure the DOW will end positive today, no one believes any of the numbers anymore, but they understand the consequences of more money versus less money. That's why fiscal cliff news gets market reactions. I wonder why the market would believe political agreements are anymore honest than the NBS numbers, though.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:46 | 3051566 Debtless
Debtless's picture

Gotta convince everyone deeply that the cliff is a really big deal for small businesses. 

- Goebbles

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:47 | 3051571 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

this is all gonna come out right if we just keep doing the fixes they will work, that is all. sarc

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | 3051631 Debtless
Debtless's picture

Yep. Herding sheep.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:48 | 3051568 Sutton
Sutton's picture

Weimar central bank.

Communist president.

Gov't takeover of 1/6 of the economy starting Jan 1.

What's to be pessimistic about?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:59 | 3051595 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Let's see what your scorecard reads for your comment:

One for three.

You got the first one correct, but you failed miserably on the second and third.

Obama a communist. You never took a political thought and theory class, now did you?

And, near as I can tell, PRIVATE insurance companies will still be the final arbiter (and often a "death panel) for who can or cannot receive health care in this country, no? Sure - you will no longer be denied heatlh insurance coverage dut to pre-existing conditions, but that doesn't mean the insurance company will have to approve your medical procedures or other related services.

So, how exactly is that a "government" takeover? Hmmmmm?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:08 | 3051611 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Good and important work... Unfortunately, it's you vs. fox news, the republican wing of the fascist oligarcy and years of programming. I don't like your odds.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | 3051630 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Thanks.

I realize all of that quite well enough.

It doesn't stop me from at least giving it the good ol' college try.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:27 | 3051651 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-10/fiscal-cliff-context - I put on my worker bee hat yesterday, taking up the same charge (the Obama as a Marxist BS). Sometimes I feel like doing it, sometimes I don't.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:33 | 3051672 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

That's how I am, too. Some days, I'm up to the challenge. Others, I give up before I even begin to try.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:41 | 3051697 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

There is a sign up sheet over in the corner. Do what you can.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:51 | 3051923 Sutton
Sutton's picture

He IS a fucking Communist

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:14 | 3052024 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

No, he isn't. Words have meaning and you retard the conversation when you use them incorrectly. Our political system is designed to divide people in order to conquer them. Our current fascist president is no different on issues of any importance than the 7 or 8 who proceeded him. He is only more divisive because of the narrative created around him, and that is by design. Let me challenge you... What specifically has he done that you would define as "communist"?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:50 | 3051576 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Long BLS Charts.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 09:51 | 3051578 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

Did anyone hear the latest from the Pelosi/Reid talking points that the current bill to extend unemployment benefits will ADD 400,000 jobs to this economy? 

This news should help confidence for sure.

 

 

 

 

(report to the unicorn stables for your new jobs)

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:00 | 3051593 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

"But increasing the taxes on all of the small business owners and making them buy insurance for employees over 30 hours will help them. That's what I've been told so it must be true."

No, no, no. Small business CANNOT afford to pay more than the minimum wage. Small business CANNOT afford to pay for healthcare. Small business CANNOT afford pensions of any kind for employees, let alone defined benefit ones, still less disability ones.

In case I've left out anything else that small business CANNOT do, here are some extra blanks for filling in.

___________
___________
___________

We are here engaging in hand wringing, lamentation and grief for the drop in small business outlook, right? Goodness knows we shouldn't burden small business with an obligation to compensate people for their work.

:-/

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:00 | 3051594 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

Duplicate

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:01 | 3051596 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Fascists.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:07 | 3051610 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

In the days of broader support for labor, the knowledge class was small enough that it had to line up with labor to have any impact.

But now the knowledge class is much larger and has been absorbed as a servant class to the rent collectors; a conglomeration of government and banking business.

Much of their work – especially for those dealing in words not technology – is to obscure this class structure, from themselves as well.

Up till now, the knowledge class has lined up with the rent collectors and stood by while the rent collector’s problems are worked out on the back of labor. But the rent collectors have ground down labor far enough that they increasingly need to predate on the knowledge class too. Also, even though the knowledge class has such a subordinate role in the currently existing economy, it is still the class that would be the core of the economy in the alternative future that the knowledge class is paid to prevent.

The form this takes in day-to-day life is the large number of knowledge workers who know full well (even if many deny it) that they are either doing the wrong work or are doing the right work in the wrong way (i.e medical workers).

This is why the left and right focuses either on distant issues or lifestyle ones (because they can actually be changed; the economic problems we face aren't political, moreso than they are structural).

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:10 | 3051613 ZFiNX
ZFiNX's picture

If all the consequences of their follies can be perpetually delayed to the future, they will survive I think is their belief. It's like a ponzi where you just keep agreeing to get your money back at a later date, but you know and they know you'll never get that principal back. If you're smart, draw down when the new suckers are entering.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:10 | 3051781 Samsonov
Samsonov's picture

I place the business survey data in the "not quite bullshit" category, which for me means it's better than 90% of available information.  The data mentioned in the article is consistent with corporate guidance provided near the end of the Q3 reporting period, however, so I believe it.  The corporate guidance is most reliable because that's the only category of information where telling a lie could land you in jail.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:22 | 3051828 pleseus
pleseus's picture

taxes going up everywhere.  Socialist utopia

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:34 | 3051861 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

"taxes going up everywhere. Socialist utopia"

.. And, where taxes are high, so are living standards. Where low, not so much.

Come to think of it, higher living standards are a utopian goal, right?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:36 | 3051866 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

"Looks like a 29 hour work week will be the new normal also"

Correct. Capitalists should not be expected to pay healthcare benefits and it is asking far too much of them to do so.

Also, the minimum wage is too high and the 13th amendment should be reconsidered. You agree?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:50 | 3051921 Pooper Popper
Pooper Popper's picture

Heres a laugh!!! cnbc's spin on same story!

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100299643

 

What cock suckers!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:16 | 3052465 MagicMoney
MagicMoney's picture

Confidence problem can be possibly solved by mandating these people taking the "happy pill".

Wed, 12/12/2012 - 00:59 | 3054781 Lord Of Finance
Lord Of Finance's picture

Gee wiz. Government economic reports keep putting out "encouraging" news about an economic recovery, but nearly every non-governent report shows the economy spinning wheels in quicksand.

 

FUCK YOU GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA APPARATICES

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