New York Fed
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...
Despite much hopeful banter among the mainstream media, Goldman forecast nonfarm payroll job growth of 220k in June, notably below consensus expectations of 234k. This is roughly in line with Goldman's expectations for below average job growth over the remainder of 2015. Employment indicators were mixed in June: reported job availability, the employment components of most manufacturing surveys, and ADP employment growth improved, but jobless claims and job cuts both rose slightly and online job ads declined. Overall, the June data point to a gain below the very strong 280k increase in May.
CEOs are not the most trustworthy figures in society. They will lay off thousands of employees to beat analysts' estimates, and yet they have no trouble looting the stock to pay themselves millions while the company loses money. However, one theme that keeps coming up is that unethical behavior has a price tag. With this in mind, consider the implications when the New York Fed tells us that economic activity declined because of the weather. Now that it's summer, it's not clear how cold weather is interfering. Perhaps the Fed has a South Pole subsidiary? When will the market crash and the Fed be replaced for lying about poor performance?
“But the truly game-changing aspect of this proposal … lies in the “system” part. This would be an advanced, state-owned and operated system of electronic payments and settlements, denominated in ounces of precious metals, barred from engaging in lending, leasing, speculative or derivative transactions, and always maintaining a 100% ratio
Is something really big about to happen?
The next several weeks are likely to be relatively eventful in Washington...