Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 27 Nov 11

This week, Bruce Michael, and Dale record talk about the implications of Germany’s failed bond auction.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Economic Statistics for 23 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reports that mortgage applications fell -1.2% in the Nov 18 week, with purchase apps up 8.2%, but re-finance apps down -4%.

Weakness in the transportation sector led durable goods orders down -0.7% last month, but up 7.5% from last year. Ex-transportation, orders were up 0.7% for the month, and 11.7% for the year.

Personal spending and income both rose last month, with spending up 0.1% and income up 0.4%. On a year-over-year basis, income has risen 3.9$, but spending rose faster, at 4.7%. The Price Index rose by 0.1% for the month, and 1.7% year-over-year.

Initial unemployment claims rose to 393,000 from last week’s revised 391,000. The 4-week average fell from 396,750 to 394,250.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was -50.1 last week, from -50 a week earlier. The index has hovered at -50 for 9 weeks.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index fell slightly, to 64.1 from 64.2 last period.

Manufacturing growth in the Kansas City Fed’s district eased slightly, with the KC Fed Index falling from 8 to 4. Future expectations remained solid, though.

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Dale Franks
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Climategate 2.0

As of today, FOIA.org released another 7zip file—which can be obtained here—containing 5000 unencypted, and an additional 250,000 encrypted, climate change emails from all the usual suspects we remember from Climategate. FOIA.org says they don’t plan on releasing the encryption keys for the remaining emails yet, but the 5,000 unencrypted emails are…interesting.

More background is available from Pajamas Media and the links they provide. But the good stuff is in the emails themselves.

One quick take-away: Michael Mann’s temperature results may be…questionable.

<4241> Wilson:

I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures.
[…] The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

That would seem to be a pretty big vulnerability in the "hockey stick".

And the IPCC process seems…really questionable.

<1939> Thorne/MetO:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary […]

<3066> Thorne:

I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

<4755> Overpeck:

The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.

<1104> Wanner/NCCR:

In my [IPCC-TAR] review […] I crit[i]cized […] the Mann hockey[s]tick […] My review was classified “unsignificant” even I inquired several times. Now the internationally well known newspaper SPIEGEL got the information about these early statements because I expressed my opinion in several talks, mainly in Germany, in 2002 and 2003. I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.

<0414> Coe:

Hence the AR4 Section 2.7.1.1.2 dismissal of the ACRIM composite to be instrumental rather than solar in origin is a bit controversial. Similarly IPCC in their discussion on solar RF since the Maunder Minimum are very dependent on the paper by Wang et al (which I have been unable to access) in the decision to reduce the solar RF significantly despite the many papers to the contrary in the ISSI workshop. All this leaves the IPCC almost entirely dependent on CO2 for the explanation of current global temperatures as in Fig 2.23. since methane CFCs and aerosols are not increasing.

<2009> Briffa:

I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!

But, remember, the science is settled!

<0310> Warren:

The results for 400 ppm stabilization look odd in many cases […] As it stands we’ll have to delete the results from the paper if it is to be published.

<1682> Wils:

[2007] What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably […]

<2267> Wilson:

Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models, surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs.
[…] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from the sun alone.

<5315> Jenkins/MetO:

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?

<2292> Jones:

[tropical glaciers] There is a small problem though with their retreat. They have retreated a lot in the last 20 years yet the MSU2LT data would suggest that temperatures haven’t increased at these levels.

<1788> Jones:

There shouldn’t be someone else at UEA with different views [from "recent extreme weather is due to global warming"] – at least not a climatologist.

<4693> Crowley:

I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships

<2733> Crowley:

Phil, thanks for your thoughts – guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in the open.

<2095> Steig:

He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong.

<4470> Norwegian Meteorological Institute:

In Norway and Spitsbergen, it is possible to explain most of the warming after the 1960s by changes in the atmospheric circulation. The warming prior to 1940 cannot be explained in this way.

<4944> Haimberger:

It is interesting to see the lower tropospheric warming minimum in the tropics in all three plots, which I cannot explain. I believe it is spurious but it is remarkably robust against my adjustment efforts.

You know what else is remarkably robust against adjustment efforts? Reality.

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Economic Statistics for 22 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

3rd Quarter GDP took a downward bump on the Commerce Department’s first revision from 2.5% to 2%. Analysts had expected a revision to 2.4%, so today’s revision was well below that.

The Richmond Fed Index ended 4 months of contraction, coming in at 0, indicating no growth or contraction.

Corporate after-tax profits in the 3rd quarter rose 6.5%.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales were down -0.9% for the week, and only up 2.8% year-over year. Meanwhile, Redbook reports strong 3.7% sales growth over last year.

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 20 Nov 11

This week, Bruce Michael, and Dale record the most pessimistic podcast ever.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Economic Statistics for 18 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases, or rather release, since there’s only one, the Index of leading indicators.  Which actually looks pretty good this month, up 0.9%. There’s only one negative element for the month: vendor deliveries are showing slightly fewer delays, which pretty minor. The report indicates that the risk of a downturn or recession is receding. That’s good news.

Or, would be, if Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal weren’t ready to go belly up in default, destroy the Euro, trash global banking, and plunge the world into a Second Great Depression.

But, you take the good with the bad, right?

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 17 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Initial jobless claims continue to improve slowly, dropping 2,000 this week to 388,000.

Housing starts stayed fairly steady, though off a bit at a 628,000 annual rate. Housing starts, however, jumped to 653,000, a positive sign for future construction.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week improved to -50 from the last week’s -51.6.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey shows growth slowed in the Atlantic region, falling from 8.7 to 3.6.

E-Commerce sales rose 1.9%, following the 2nd quarter’s increase of 2.6%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 16 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Like the PPI yesterday, the CPI softened last month, down -0.1%, and up 3.6% year over year. The core rate rose 0.1% last month and 2.1% last year.

The Mortgage Banker’s Association reports that mortgage application dropped sharply in the latest week, down -12.2%.

Industrial production was up sharply, rising 0.7% last month, while capacity utilization rate rose to 77.8% in the nation’s factories.

The Housing Market Index rose to 20, the 3rd consecutive 3-point jump, and the highest reading in 18 months.

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Economic Statistics for 15 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

A decline in energy prices resulted in a -0.3% drop in producer prices, with the core rate, which excludes food and energy, remaining unchanged last month. On a year-over-year basis, producer prices have risen 6.1%, with the core rate rising 2.8%.

Retail sales activity continued to increase in October, rising 0.5% overall, and 0.3% excluding auto sales.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey edged back into positive territory for the first time since May, rising from -8.48 to 0.61. The six-month outlook is strengthening, with predictions of growth in new orders, which should, if it materializes, result in increased hiring as well.

Finally, in the two weekly retail sales reports, Redbook reports pre-Thanksgiving promotions helped boost store sales by 3.3%. ICSC-Goldman says sales rose 0.3% last week, up 3.21% from the year before.

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Dale Franks
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