Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 4 Aug 16

Factory orders fell -1.5% in June, following May’s decline, which was revised downwards to -1.2%.

Few chain stores still report monthly sales, but that did for July reported sharply lower sales growth, triggering earnings reassessments.

A surge of Job cuts in the energy sector pushed Challenger’s July layoff count to 45,346 from June’s 38,536.

Gallup’s July Good Jobs Rate rose to 47.1% from June’s 46.0%.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 269,000. The 4-week average rose 3,750 to 260,250. Continuing claims fell 6,000 to 2.138 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.1 points to 43.0 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $2.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.467 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-8.9 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $49.7 billion in the latest week.


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BLM – just another gang wanting “reparations” and “free” stuff

Black Lives Matter has finally gotten out of the middle of interstates and quit shrieking long enough to publish their “manifesto”.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the same old racial warfare stuff:

In a policy agenda titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” organizers call for policing and criminal justice reforms.

But:

It also includes a request for the passage of a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves.

And:

The document also calls for changes in U.S. educational policy including free tuition and retroactive forgiveness on federal student loans.

Not a word on black-on-black crime.  It’s all about getting stuff for nothing.  Because, you know, they’re “owed” this stuff.  The SJW invented “white privilege” is what justifies their grab.

The fact that none of them have been a slave or have ever even known a slave, have had the right to vote before they were even born and are students at some of the most elite educational institutions in the world, many of them on full rides, doesn’t matter one whit.

They perceive themselves to be victims.  To be discriminated against.  Micro-aggressions, you know, those nasty little comments and actions that they can handily interpret (because it supports their agenda and because white guilt for some reason lets them get away with the nonsense) as “racism”.  And, of course, they’ve redefined “racism” so they can never be accused of being what they denounce even though they are the very definition of the old racism definition.

So … nothing new here.  Just a bunch of petulant, spoiled, entitled people demanding something for nothing. Well, not “nothing” – they demand you pay for it.

These types have been a part of the world since it’s creation.  And when they get in the position where they can dictate how society functions, we all know what happens.

It’s one reason I call them “The New Red Guard.”

~McQ

 

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Economic Statistics for 3 Aug 16

The PMI Services Index was unchanged in July at 51.4. while the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -1.0 points to 55.5.

ADP estimates that 179,000 new private sector jobs were created in July.

Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index was unchanged at 33 in July.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.5% last week, with purchases down -2.0% and refis -4.0%.


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I just can’t take this election that seriously

I know I should care, but with these two candidates, I just can’t. I posted my unserious take on the candidates on my satirical Twitter account yesterday, and since most of you don’t do twits, uh, tweets, I thought I’d post it here too.








Some points to head off indignant comments:

– Yes, I know Hillary is a felon who dodged indictment because the fix is in. She would be Obama in a pantsuit if elected.

– I do like the pummeling of the establishment GOP by Trump. That doesn’t mean I think he’s likely to make a good president, or that he has any serious commitment to limited government. I’d love to be proved wrong about that.

– I don’t disparage Trump supporters, because it is so obvious that Hillary would be worse.

– I don’t disparage Trump detractors, because he furnishes so much raw material to detract.

Billy

(Not McQ! Someone seems to make that mistake every time I post something.)

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Economic Statistics for 2 Aug 16

Personal income for June rose 0.2%, but consumer spending rose 0.4%. The PCE Price Index rose 0.1% at both the headline and core rates. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE Price index is up 0.9% overall, and 1.6% less food and energy.

Motor vehicle sales were very strong in July, jumping to a 17.9 million annual rate from June’s 16.7 million.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index fell -1 point in July to -15.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales growth weakened further falling to 0.3% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.6%.


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The wages of Socialism

“Wages” being a euphemistic term in this case:

Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent. World oil prices have plummeted — and Venezuela relies on oil for 95 percent of its income.

Agriculture was neglected as Chavez and Maduro placed all their economic chips on crude and elected to import goods from abroad while spending on social programs that rallied the poor behind the government.

But now Venezuela has no cash to import food or other essentials. And because Chavez nationalized so much industry, it has no private sector to compensate.

So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food.

Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.

And there’s a Senator from Vermont that would love to see the system that is sliding into slavery at work here.  More intriguing is the fact that there are studies out that say that Sanders should have won the primary election that was apparently fraught with fraud and rigged from the beginning.  Think about that for a minute.

What does that say – other than total ignorance – about those who felt it was a good idea to “feel the Bern”?  Not that Bernie would have had much success in passing and implementing his programs.  I’m simply making the point that a significant portion of our population thought this potential tyrant was the best choice because – historic blinders, ignorance or both.  Not that anyone is getting a particularly better deal with the two nominees of record (one a crook and the other a clown).

What continues to puzzle me is how Venezuela, which is in the news every single day and pretty much implemented every one of Bernie Sanders policies and programs, is ignored so resolutely by these people.  How do you do that and call  yourself intellectually honest?

But considering their second choice, honesty – intellectual or otherwise – doesn’t seem to be much of a priority.

So there’s that …

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 29 Jul 16

The preliminary estimate for 2nd Quarter GDP is an anemic 1.2% annualized rate. The GDP Price index rose to a 2.2% rate. In addition, 1st Quarter GDP was revised downwards to 0.8% annualized.

The Employment Cost index rose 0.6% in the 2nd Quarter, and is up 2.3% from a year ago.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose 0.5 points to 90.0 in July.

The Chicago Purchasing manager’s Index fell a full point to 55.8 in July.


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Economic Statistics for 28 Jul 16

The deficit in America’s international trade in goods expanded to $-63.3 billion as exports rose 0.9% but imports rose 1.8% in June.

Wholesale inventories are unchanged in the preliminary July report.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index for July dropped from 2 to -6.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 14,000 to 266,000. The 4-week average fell 1,000 to 256,500. Continuing claims rose 7,000 to 2.139 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was unchanged at 42.9 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-16.5 billion last week, with total assets of $4.465 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-4.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $34.7 billion in the latest week.


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