What do you do when you're a government statistician and the economic data doesn't say what you want it to say? Why you "adjust" it of course.
There's been no shortage of discussion about the weather among economists this year as "snow in the winter" took the blame for a bevy of bad data in H1 while summer is Citi's new scapgoat for any weakness in August and September payrolls. Meanwhile, unseasonably mild temps took the fall for poor October retail sales and now, going into the winter, it's all about El Nino.
... for many equities are simply, as SocGen puts it, "too scary."
The talking heads were busy this week powdering the GDP pig. By averaging up the “disappointing” 1.5% gain for Q3 with the previous quarter they were able to pronounce that the economy is moving forward at an “encouraging” 2% clip. And once we get through this quarter’s big negative inventory adjustment, they insisted, we will be off to the ‘escape velocity’ races. Again. No we won’t! The global economy is in an epochal deflationary swoon and the US economy has already hit stall speed. It is only a matter of months before this long-in-the-tooth 75-month old business expansion will rollover into outright liquidation of excess inventories and hoarded labor. That is otherwise known as a recession.
The Fed needs to extricate itself from manipulating the financial markets. It needs to end backstopping market liquidity. It must never again print Trillions of new “money” out of thin air. Because so long as the marketplace perceives that the markets are "too big to fail", there will be speculative excess, major securities markets mispricings and Bubble fragilities. No one – average investor or sophisticated financial operator – has a clue as to the degree Fed policies have distorted asset prices.
The shark jumping continues as Citi says its analysts "have found serious residual seasonality in payroll reports for the period from August through October"...
Having blamed the entire financial crisis on one reporter (despite the implicit government encourage of people to "invest in stocks"), detained "malicious sellers" (which killed the entire futures market), and now cracking down on overly-aggressive stock-pumping by "sinister stock squads," we thought we had seen it all from China. Until now... CHINA OFFICIAL: LUCKY THAT STOCK BUBBLE BURST BEFORE TOO LATE...
When the bubble vision stock peddlers get desperate, they talk decoupling. So by the end of yesterday’s bloodbath you would have thought China was on another planet, and that “commodities” were some trinket-like collectibles gathered by people who don’t wear long pants, drink coca cola or jabber on their cell phones. On these fine shores, of course, its all awesome from sea to shinning sea. So don’t be troubled. Buy the dip.
It's Not A Devaluation If The Ministry Of Truth Says So: China's "Style Council" Takes On Currency TradingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 19:15 -0500
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
After 6 straight months of decline in annual spending growth, May saw YoY spending pop 3.6% (the most since Dec 2014). After an unchanged April, May expectations for spending were a 0.7% jump but the data blew that away, printing a 0.9% MoM jump - the biggest since August 2009 and biggest beat since Jan 2013. Personal Income only grew at 0.5% (still the highest MoM jump since March 2014) driving the savings rate down to 5.1% - the lowest since December. Before Steve Liesman and his buddies get too excited - spending was driven mainly by a 4.72% surge in spending on Energy goods & services - not exactly what the discretionary buying consumer-oriented society that is required to keep the dream alive was looking for. Spending Ex-Energy is the lowest since March 2011. Finally we note non-durable spending topped durables and this exuberant GDP-boosting spendfest (un-save-fest) provides more ammo for an earlier Fed rate hike.
But don't worry Steve Liesman is certain it's all good in the 'dots'...
"While most are focused on the risks around a withdrawal of liquidity, we believe the biggest hit to confidence could be the opposite: if another round of US QE is necessary to prop up the economy," BofAML says, suggesting the Fed is now cornered as raising rates risks destabilizing markets and QE4 risks betraying the futility of successive central bank interventions.
Steve Liesman is quaking in his reporter's boots this morning as the SF Fed & BEA's credibility-crushing "double-seasonal-adjustment" thesis is crushed into statistical neverland by the The NY Fed. A study by economists at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve did not find significant statistical evidence for such distortions on the aggregate GDP level, despite meteoroconomist Joe Lavorgna's assertion that Q1 grew 1.2% thanks to the magic of made-up numbers. As The NY Fed concludes, in a tone that suggests "sigh, again, "it will not be surprising if the question of residual seasonality comes up again next year when first-quarter growth numbers are announced."