New York Fed
Goldman forecasts nonfarm payroll growth of 215k in September, above consensus expectations of 200k by about 0.3 standard deviations of a typical surprise. Noting that August payrolls were likely distorted downward by seasonal bias last month and may be revised up, Goldman expects the unemployment rate to remain flat at 5.1% (and earnings growth to slow). Howver, judging by the collapse in September's regional Fed surveys, today's "most important" payrolls data ever could be a massive miss.
"As interest rates go more negative, market participants will have increasing incentives to make payments quickly and to receive payments in forms that can be collected slowly. This is exactly the opposite of what happened when short-term interest rates skyrocketed in the late 1970s: people then wanted to delay making payments as long as possible and to collect payments as quickly as possible.... if interest rates go negative, we may see an epochal outburst of socially unproductive—even if individually beneficial—financial innovation."
"Every day brings another reason why the Federal Reserve should hold off before raising interest rates... First and foremost there was the recent plunge in stock prices."
Will Janet Yellen proudly put the Fed on the side of the angels, announcing that she and her crew have decided to move the Fed’s key interest rate to a more normal level… regardless of how much it costs the cronies? No, she won’t. Once you begin manipulating markets, it’s a hard habit to break. After nearly seven years of emergency financial policies, we are now in a permanent emergency..."What if they say it’s my fault? What if they call it the Yellen Depression? Oh, no... It’s not fair... It’s not fair... Boo-hoo... sob... sob... I should have stayed at Harvard. I’d have tenure. I’d have a nice pension. George and I could go the Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. It would be such a nice life."
The private economy and its millions of savers exist for the convenience of the apparatchiks who run the central bank. In their palpable fear and unrelieved arrogance, would they now throw millions of already ruined retirees and savers completely under the bus? Yes they would.
With prices and valuations elevated, and earnings deteriorating, the backdrop for a continued "ripping bull-market" is at risk. The problem for the "perma-bulls" is that the deflationary backwash, combined with already weak economic fundamentals, continues to erode the ability for earnings to meet elevated future expectations. It is likely earnings will continue to disappoint in the quarters ahead and put further downward pressure on asset prices to close the current gap between "financial fantasy" and "economic realities."
"The Goldman blowback is a particularly challenging subject to understand and analyze. Taken to extremes, criticism of the firm, which was founded and built by Jewish Americans, smacks at times of anti-Semitism. Fed officials don’t want to fall into the trap of ostracizing qualified people merely because of their association with the firm or its Jewish roots."
- John Hilsenrath
"John and Volcker discussed all the pitfalls of Keynesian and monetarism and Volcker didn’t rule out an eventual collapse of the dollar and second deflationary depression. I remember Volcker asking John when he would begin dropping short term rates and John commented that rates would have to drop soon or else the economy would fall off a cliff. It’s interesting that it wasn’t long after our session that rates started to come down. John Exter spelled out his scenario for Volcker and warned him of how badly the Keynesian experiment would end if it went on for an extended period of time. Volcker just sat there and listened and showed his concern."
For the past 8 years, the US consumer has dutifully spent, spent and then spent some more. This all came to a screeching halt earlier today when courtesy of the latest New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations, we learned that the US consumer has finally tapped out. Households reported that they expected to increase their spending by just 3.5% in the next year, a major drop from the 4.3% the month before. This was the lowest reading in series history.
While many labor market indicators were softer in July, some important service sector indicators, such as ISM nonmanufacturing employment, were significantly stronger; and on balance, they expect job growth roughly consistent with the 223k increase in June. The participation rate showed a surprising drop of 0.3pp in June to 62.6% - due in large part from a calendar effect caused by the timing of the reference week relative to the end of the school year - they therefore expect an at least partial rebound in July.
"What can we do?"
"The share of young people living with their parents--which rose sharply during the recession and its aftermath--finally began to decline in 2014. But over the last six months, this decline seems to have stalled. We find that the share of young people living with their parents has increased relative to pre-recession rates for all labor force status groups, not just the unemployed and underemployed." - Goldman Sachs
The 0.18% month-over-month decline in Case Shiller home price index is the biggest since July 2014 which confirms the David Blitzer's view that "over the next two years or so, the rate of home price increases is more likely to slow than to accelerate." His biggest fear is that "first time homebuyers are the weak spot in the market," adding that prices are increasing about twice as fast as inflation or wages. Moreover, other housing measures are less robust - housing starts are only at about 1.2 million units annually, and only about half of total starts are single family homes. Sales of new homes are low compared to sales of existing homes.
There’s one side of the story which hasn’t been highlighted at all by the mainstream media...