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Consumer Comfort Plummets Most Since Feb 2008 As Personal Finance Confidence Crashes

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Having staggered along the bottom, mired in misery and reality, for over 3 years, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index finally signaled depression-fatigue in January of this year and started to break out - albeit to historically still low levels. This was then heralded in self-fulfilling style as an indication that everything was good again in the world, money would come off the sidelines, consumers would buy more iPads and American cars, and all would be well in the world. Well the sad reality is that the last 3 weeks - as stocks have begun to lag, economic data has begun to reflect an un-warmed winter reality, and Europe's conflagration reignites - have seen the largest collapse in consumer comfort in over 3 years and has fallen to 3-month lows. Digging into the detail is even more worrisome as in the last 3 weeks the comfort with personal finances has fallen by the most ever and back to six-month lows.

The lower pane shows the percentage change in Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort (a drop on a negative number there BBG's chart assigns it a positive) - which has not fallen this much since Feb 2008!

 

and stunningly - comfort with personal finances has crashed in the last 3 weeks...

 

Chart: Bloomberg

 


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Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:05 | Link to Comment The Swedish Chef
The Swedish Chef's picture

Clearly bullish.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

TIME FOR THE NATIONAL ENTHEM!

Tyler should add midi files to his texts :)

 

Here's the best national enthem in the world:

http://users.telenet.be/rudy.hoekman/Midi/bv.mid

 

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment deez nutz
deez nutz's picture

...thats comforting

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:57 | Link to Comment navy62802
navy62802's picture

Extra bullish.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:08 | Link to Comment pleseus
pleseus's picture

Buy the Dip

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:07 | Link to Comment nobusiness
nobusiness's picture

QE3 must be needed now

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:09 | Link to Comment vmromk
vmromk's picture

FUCKHEAD Bernanke says BUY, BUY BUY.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:08 | Link to Comment Jason T
Jason T's picture

OT: Finished motor gasoline now record low stocks... at this rate, we'll be out of gasoline in about 24 months ... can't stock this shit either because its got ethonal in it and it degrades + there is winter blend and summer blend..

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WGFSTUS1&f=W

.. future's not looking so bright for us here in the US.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Stock winter blend. More butane it makes it last a little longer.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:00 | Link to Comment DosZap
DosZap's picture

OT: Finished motor gasoline now record low stocks

Dont see this as possible, as we are IMPORTING 28% of our finished gasoline, and we have ZERO shortages.

We have a surplus of crude, and we are being SCREWED.

Additives to gasoline can add months of life to extend it's efficiency.....................ethanol, or not.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:28 | Link to Comment roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Ethanol = the most stupid idea in my life time and that's saying something. And Congress may add to the stupidity by raising it from 10 to 15%. You can't leave that gas in a small engine now without the seal in the carb wrinkling up in two months. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:43 | Link to Comment Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Amen to that - ethanol is not an additive, it is an adulterant, that takes more energy to create and ship to refineries than it adds to the displaced real gas.

Also can no longer burn it in my Cub once it is over 5%, and the stations don't have to label it until it hits 10%, so I have to test it myself, and it is hitting 10 and not being labeled.

But it's good for the fucking corn farmers, so all is well, right? Really, really stupid idea, too bad the bankers ride in chauferred vehicles and don't have to notice this shit.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:32 | Link to Comment Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture
Will the FHA require a bailout? – 12,000,000 underwater mortgages 3,000,000 are FHA insured loans. 1 million underwater mortgages originated in last two years.

 

Historically FHA insured loans made up roughly 8 to 12 percent of all mortgage originations but in 2009 they hit 30 percent.  For first time home buyers it was a stunning 50 percent showing that most people can only purchase a home today with a very small down payment.  Yet small down payments create instant negative equity positions if the market moves sideways or pops lower (aka our current market).  For example, the 3.5 percent standard FHA down payment is wiped away by the 5 to 6 percent selling costs.  What is interesting with this is that the FHA insured loan market is fully backed by the government (i.e., you) so any losses will be completely shouldered by the public.

 

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:08 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'm confident....confident we are all screwed.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:32 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Not me. I refuse to participate in the depression.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:45 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

You're not going to have a choice. There is a Fema cot with your name on it. Did you change your user name? Weren't you Robotraders mom? Or am I mixing you up with some other ugly shemale?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:10 | Link to Comment vmromk
vmromk's picture

Someone hand me a rope, I am ready to climb the wall of worry and buy up some overpriced pieces of paper called stocks.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:13 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

Assisted suicide is not legal where I live, someone else will have to help you out.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:23 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Don't do it man! Life is too precious to waste it on some over priced pieces of paper. Buy some silver instead.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:35 | Link to Comment ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

I would buy dehydrated food with a 30 year shelf life instead.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 14:58 | Link to Comment carguym14
carguym14's picture

We could all use some rope.

Nothing to do with suicide though.....

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:10 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Thats why CC debt increased people having difficulty getting by.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:11 | Link to Comment alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture

 

   ....but, but bernanke just said that all is good and rosy, (well at least for the banking cartel) that he's in his comfort zone.

   Don't trust this mf; buy physical gold and silver!

 

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment kralizec
kralizec's picture

BTFD

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:14 | Link to Comment slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

When does reality catch up with fantasy?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:17 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

when we're at the end of the rainbow

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:30 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Long after you have become insolvent betting short-term against The System.  Bet long-term: gold & guns.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:20 | Link to Comment DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

As a youth, how are we suppose to consume when we have 50K+ in student debt exiting college.  Just to be able to enter the lower middle class costs us atleast 50K+. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:27 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'm sure there will be some debt forgiveness incentive if you enlist in the military for the upcoming wars. Otherwise you are pretty much screwed.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:40 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Debt forgiveness in exchange of enlisting in the military to fight the sand people will be the new GI Bill

Boy, will they be in shock when they find out that arts majors aren't really good at aiming and firing M-16s.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:06 | Link to Comment sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

Shiz$$$, you know in actuality, the arts majors are much easier to break down (to a clean slate) and build up (brain wash) into drone killers-- then the engineers-- those are the ones who tend to be more logical...

"Obi-Wan: "I think we better get indoors. The Sand People are easily startled but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers." R2-D2: "Beeping whistling and bliping." Luke: "3PO." 

haha, sand people...

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Can we just get rid of all of these Stupid Consumer Comfort reports and any of this touchy-feely bullshit.  Or at least change the name to the Ass-Hat report.  We interviewed 15 Ass-Hats who feel better about some bullshit meaningless statistic than they did last week.  Or maybe the BFD report, not to be confused with the Highly accurate BTFD report.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:25 | Link to Comment BudFox2012
BudFox2012's picture

But Cramer said the other day that the Panera Bread in his neighborhood was packed?  How can this be?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:29 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

You mean this Cramer?

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3FVBKic5Ek

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:30 | Link to Comment BLACK_DOG
BLACK_DOG's picture

Thats why this..

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now that cover'in your ass!
Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:11 | Link to Comment sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

fine print bitches

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

ass holes are like opinions, everyone's born with countless ones.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:42 | Link to Comment LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

because no one knows how to cook for themselves anymore which will add jet fuel to the fire when the drive-thru menu lights go out...

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:34 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Panera Bread is delicious (only place I eat when I go to Foxwoods), and it is usually packed.......

.....but what happens when coffee and bagels go up in price (I used to analyze restaurant pricing, so I'm very familiar with it)?

What happens when coffee goes to $3/cup?  $4?  Or a bagel and coffee, which usually topped off at around $3.50-$4.50 for the combo, goes to $7-$9?

People start to make their own fucking bagels and coffee. 

Something that the investor class doesnt quite understand.  Yes, you can have a great business, great products, and even great service....but if costs are rising and no one is getting good, solid pay......they WILL go galt. 

The consumer isn't a prime number; he/she won't consume forever. 

It's a mathematical problem.   

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:11 | Link to Comment roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I'd up arrow you more if I could. If Americans have to work for half the wages they used to get then consumer prices have to match or NO SALE.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:26 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

As Biderman said earlier today: European mess will not resolve itself until the fundamental belief that we all deserve to be taken care of from cradle-to-grave dissolves.   Same with the U.S.  Personally I'm doing great and am highly confident because I am not afraid to do alot of hard long work and I know that I will always be able to do alot of long hard work until I don't want to any more - I'm in total control of that.  I work almost all the time either for my employer, at home around the house, or doing volunteer work in my 'spare time'.  "Comfort Level" - what a crock of shit!  Americans need to get off their fat lazy disablity sucking asses and get back to work - ANY work.  And don't give me the lame-ass loser excuse that "there's no jobs" out there. Bullshit!  Maybe not your "Comfort Job".  If I get laid off today I will not file for unemployment benefits - I will go get ANY job (or 2) that I can and keep looking continually for a better job just like I do all the time anyway.  I admire my landscapers - I don't like illegal migrants any more than the next guy mainly because alot of them are sucking from the system and not putting much back into it - but I got a way to fix that.  Alot of them are hard-ass workers - so for every able-bodied American citizen on unemployment or welfare, trade citizenship status for them one-for-one with the hard-ass working illegals - the productive illegals then become legal contributors and make American stronger, and likewise kicking out the lazy-ass able-bodied parasites makes America stronger. Win-win.  Consumer Comfort - what a bunch of pussys we've become. Pisses me off! 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:01 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The question for you, Mr. Angry Guy, is what good does it do for all the people who have expenses (like mortgages, heating, electrical bills) to start working jobs which won't pay the bills?

I have a friend in a house she bought recently, mortgage around $1100/month, this is in AZ, and she was working a "comfortable" office job (which I'm sure pisses you off), and now she's not.  Previously earning in the $60K range.

She can go start working at an $8/hr job tomorrow if she chooses.  That would leave her an expense deficit of about $450/month. 

What would be your approach to that problem?  Start trying to sell the house and live in a van?  Run up debt on credit cards to bridge the gap until "conditions improve"?  Stop paying nonessential bills?

She's on unemployment, which is providing ALMOST enough to make expenses, so if she can find another well-paid gig, she should be OK.  Personally, I don't think she's got a chance, as she doesn't have the kind of skills that are difficult to train, and she's over 50. 

But what's the Pissed Off Solution to her problem, you think?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:26 | Link to Comment bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

Work two jobs.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:35 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

A simple answer that doesn't work, because the additional expenses involved aren't covered by the additional income.  It'd require child-care, which is expensive.

That's the problem a lot of folks are having.  Working a bullshit job just won't pay for itself in many circumstances.  If people are supposed to be rational consumers, that means they don't perform work that involves a financial loss.

Nice try, though.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:37 | Link to Comment bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

Oh I missed the part about having kids. Yeah thats tough.

Short sale the house.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:34 | Link to Comment justsayin2u
justsayin2u's picture

The solution is she needs to take 2 jobs and rent out a room in her house.   She can also put the house on the market and accept the hit.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:44 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It's a thought, although I don't see that as a better option than foreclosure, myself.  What's the ADVANTAGE over not paying the mortgage?

You should look at this economically, not morally.  This is a business decision.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:40 | Link to Comment gnomon
gnomon's picture

She should have NEVER bought a house at this time.  She should have rented.  This is your typical blunder by a clueless grass-eating/smoking consumer in the midst of the never-ending Greater Depression.  Her only excuse is that she listened to the MSM.  And if she did listen to them, she is probably a dumbass, all-in-for-Obummer idiot who is getting her just desserts.  

NO pity here.  What a DUMBASS!!!

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:46 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Glad to see you're enjoying her distress and all, but it's not about justice, man, it's about a solution to the problem.  I think she's already had her "come to Jesus" moment.

Maybe someday you'll get to have one too, and someone else will get to laugh at you about it.  For sure no one wants your pity.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:57 | Link to Comment gnomon
gnomon's picture

blunderdog,

What our politicians have done to this country has made me very unforgiving from top to bottom, from the Destroyers of Liberty to their fucking Enablers.

Let the Sword of Justice swing far and wide.  Fuck Fair.  Fuck Social Justice.  I want some real JUSTICE all around, (even if it takes off my head as well).

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:56 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Sorry about your friend, and anyone else in her situation -- but she needs to help herself.  No one else is going to be able to satisfy her desires/goals, not the Govt, not even family, better than herself.  I think she has a great chance and I have full faith in her ability to pull herself up by her bootstraps and dig out of the hole she's in, and I don't even know her - but I do know that she has the capability to do so.

Solution: Lower overall costs/liabilities to match income and continually find ways to increase income. Anyone can do this.  If I was your friend I would find the best job available right now -anything / any field- and then continually look for a better job.  If it wasn't enough to pay the bills I would reduce my bills starting with either short-selling the house or jingle-mailing in the the keys and getting an apartment.  If she has money pit car(s) I would dump them and get lower total cost car(s).   If she has to take the bus and/or bike I would do that.  I have a friend who did that - biked to the bus stop, loaded bike on bus - biked rest of way to work - until he got back on his feet.  Cars are huge money pits. 

My approach, in fact, what I did:  I have a mortgage. I have 2 kids.  I have cars to maintain (money pits!).  In 2002 I got laid off (kids 4 & 6 then).  Within 1 week I had an out-of-state job making more money than the job I got laid off from.  Looked nation-wide and found the best job I could.  Traveled back home every other weekend.  Eventually got a good job back home.  My current company is laying off people continually.  If I get laid off I will go find the best work where ever I can - any field - any job.  If I have to take 2 jobs I will.   If I have to dump my house and move into a more affordable rental house/apt, I will.  If I have to dump my money-pit cars, I will.   Been laid off 3 times.  No one, especially the Govt, cares about you more than yourself and your family (maybe, depends on your family).  Your life is not what the Govt makes it, or what Company X  makes it - its what you make it - if you resign yourself to being taken care of by someone/something else then you will be miserable.  If you don't, and don't give up, then you will succeed. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:04 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I agree with any/all of that, but as I'm sure you realize, the implications of similar practices by millions of Americans include several decades of economic contraction.

It's going to be a long-slow slog of shit for the country.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:13 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Could not agree more.  Me & my wife both have friends & family in same boat as your friend.  One of my wife's friends has contemplated suicide - just divorced, 2 kids that hate her for "ruining their lives", lost her job, now working a $10/hr job, etc. But now she's not giving up and looking to better her situation - she hit bottom and is back on way up, slowly.  They are going thru a lot of pain.  It is going to be a painful adjustment period of a couple decades.  The only way out is to get back to working hard and structuring your life so that your spending less is than income. The American Dream is not "stuff", eg, houses, cars, iPhones, HDTVs, etc - its LIBERTY - and in this case, financial liberty - not being a debt slave/debt surf, or a slave to your "stuff" which has a voracious appetite for your money.   Its high time Americans reject the welfare/entitlement state/mentality and get back to any kind of work, and rejects "stuff" that they cannot afford on their income (living within their means).  We've all grown up in and been immersed in a highly materielistic society that has a deep safety net and naturally believe that this is the way it is, the way it has to be, that there is no other way, and that if it isn't this way then its someone else's fault.  That is what is going to be very hard to overcome - that ingrained way of thinking. But it must be done and can be done, by anyone and everyone.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 14:01 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Simply not going to happen - not voluntarily. That would require all kinds of things - sense, pride, basic arithmetic, a time-preference that extends beyond next weekend - which "consumers" inherently lack, contrary to what Milton Friedman may have told you.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:18 | Link to Comment sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

solution: in your next life, be born into a trust fund rich family (like walmart or JNJ); then pay a few millions for lobbyists to bail out your derivatives worth the several hundred millions... call all other people stupid and then lazy for not earning millions... lower tax rate on yourself, as you alone are the job creators... blame vaporizing of funds on your public company going bankrupt... it's too easy

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:00 | Link to Comment vincent van goo
vincent van goo's picture

Maybe those great sub-prime car loans weren't that great of an idea?   Now the credit deadbeats have even more weight on their back.

Who woulda thunkit?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:30 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

The majority of us don't have any money, and we don't want debt anymore, no matter how cool the shit (that corporations import from China), is. 

Fuck you, Economy.  Fuck you, Stock Market.  And fuck you, Federal Reserve.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:58 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I was dragged to the local megamall last sunday to help my grandmother buy an iPad (86 year olds on fixed incomes with half a dozen different incurable ailments really need more iToys? Yay medicare). Anyway, consumer confidence was fantastic. The whole place was packed, everyone had one or more bags in hand - not just window-shopping, seemingly every store was bustling, especially the high-end "it's all really $2 chinese crap" boutiques, such as the Apple store. About 25 employees, all of which were constantly busy, including the runners. The store had a single cash register (or so I was told, it was nowhere to be found), the employees take credit card payment with their fancy new iPhones, which really tells you all you need to know.

This is still what I see everywhere. The much-touted shoe of consumer austerity has yet to drop - retailers think what they're seeing NOW is bad, this is NOTHING.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 16:52 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I've noticed stores in my 'hood are a lot busier than they were a few years ago, too.

Although--there are only half as many now, so that may be a factor.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment Sigep0612
Sigep0612's picture

The baby boomers are past their peak spending years.  With 70% of the US econcomy geard toward consumer spending , it is unrealistic to think that we will recove any time soon.  We've got an adminsitration that continues trying to stimulate with additional liquidity.  It doens't make sense.  Change the tax code to reward savings and eliminate deductions and write offs.   Plus, the spending has to diminsh.  Absolute must! 

Washington doesn't like to deliver medicine.  If we maintain the current trajacetory surgery will be required. 

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