The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey fell -6.4 points to 4.1 in December.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $7.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.509 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $7.7 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $18.8 billion in the latest week.
As you’ve probably surmised, I’m taking a bit of a break the last two weeks of the year. Decompress, catch up on other things and generally relax. That said, I was happy to see that Erb and the anti-Erb have managed to provide the best in entertainment for the QandO faithful.
Looks like the anti-police riots and ambushes are reaching their natural end. That’s what happens when you overreach. I’m not at all implying that some protest isn’t necessary or warranted. But when it goes beyond that to murder, well, then you’re likely to lose any sympathetic audience you might of had prior to that. And that’s pretty much what has happened.
I’m also finding if pretty interesting to watch de Blassio sink in his own man-made rhetorical swamp. Great choice, NYC. Now live with it.
Of course we’re having to live with the choice of enough of America’s voters that we’re into year 6 of the 8 year nightmare presidency. And what do we have on the horizon? More of the same. A Bush/Clinton run? If so, we’re worse off than I think. No more of either family … please!
As for Elizabeth Warren? Yeah, let’s again go for a junior Senator who has never run anything or done anything except claim minority status to get a good paying gig in academia that certainly didn’t tax her “work ethic”. Let’s again let some smooth talking “populist” promise us the moon and deliver Ecuador. And, yes, I’m talking to the press.
The GOP? Name someone with a chance for a nomination and you’ll likely name someone I wouldn’t want anywhere near the Oval Office.
Then there is the GOP Congress. It appears Obama is saying he will have a new use for his pen these last two year – the veto pen. I say that’s good news. Here’s a chance for the GOP and Congress to use an opportunity to drop the onus for being obstructionist on the President. If they have the plums to do that. By the way the “obstructionists” in the past wasn’t the GOP but Harry Reid who wouldn’t bring passed House legislation to a vote in the Senate (not that the press ever caught on) – that problem, theoretically, no longer exists). Do I have any faith the Congressional GOP will inundate the President with legislation he will have to sign or veto? No. None. Recent history gives me no warm and fuzzy about that – especially while McCain and Graham are still in the Senate. Look for McCain and his lapdog Graham to again resurrect the “Maverick” brand and spend as much time as Reid screwing up any plans the Senatorial GOP might have to push legislation to Obama’s desk.
Oh …. guess what the NY Times has discovered? There may not be enough doctors to cover any expanded insurance rolls … especially Medicaid. Why? Well for one thing, there are a finite number of doctors that can see a finite number of patients and having insurance hasn’t changed that fact one bit. But, what is a determiner in who may or may not get to see a doctor is how much that doctor gets reimbursed for his/her work. And Medicaid is cutting that amount by about 43%. That means doctors will likely opt out of seeing Medicaid patients (or at least new ones). In essence then, not much changes in the real world despite the utopian plans of our betters. While more may have insurance, emergency rooms will be the “primary care” unit for most and “preventive care”, a supposed goal of this abomination we call ObamaCare, is still a fantasy without realization. Funny how ignoring immutable facts (number of doctors and how humans respond to incentive or lack thereof) always ends up with predictable results.
Bah … enough. I’m supposed to be taking a break.
See you next year. In the meantime, happy New Year!
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 0.9% last week, with purchases and refis both up 1.0%.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 9,000 to 280,000. The 4-week average fell 8,500 to 290,250. Continuing claims rose 25,000 to 2.403 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.4 points to 43.1 in the latest week, the highest reading since October, 2007.
ICSC-Goldman reports strong weekly retail sales, rising 3.4% for the week, and 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports same-store weekly retail sales surged 5.3% on a year-ago basis.
Durable goods orders for November dropped -0.7%, far below expectations, while ex-transportation orders fell -0.4%. On a year-over year basis, durables orders are up only 0.3%, though ex-transportation orders are up 3.9%.
GDP for the 3rd Quarter of 2014 was revised sharply higher in this final revision, to a 5.0% annualized rate, significantly higher than expected. The GDP price deflator, an inflation measure, was unchanged at 1.4%, annualized.
Corporate after-tax profits in the 3rd Quarter of 2014 were $1.895 trillion, following $1.842 trillion for the 2nd Quarter.
The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.6% in October, and is up 4.5% from a year ago.
The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was little changed for December, falling just -0.2 points to 93.6.
Personal income rose 0.4% in November, while personal spending rose 0.6%. On a year over year basis, income is up 4.2% while spending is up 4.0%. The PCE price index fell -0.2%, and the core rate, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE price index is up 1.2% overall, and 1.4% at the core level.
November new home sales fell -1.6% to a lower-than-expected 438,000 annual rate. Also, price data show weakness with the median price falling -3.2% to $280,000.
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index rose 3 points to 7 in December.
Markit’s PMI services flash for December fell -2.7 points from the final November reading to 53.6.
The Philadelphia Fed Survey fell to a very strong 24.5 in December, from November’s unusually high 40.8.
The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators rose 0.6% in December, following November’s 0.9% gain.
Initial weekly jobless claims 6,000 to 289,000. The 4-week average fell 500 to 298,750. Continuing claims fell 147,000 to 2.373 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.4 points to 41.7 in the latest week, hitting a 7-year high.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $13.4 billion last week, with total assets of 4.502 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $16.1 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $5.3 billion in the latest week.
In reality the left is everything it condemns and is apparently not bright enough to know it:
A University of Michigan department chairwoman has published an article titled, “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans,” which will probably make all of her conservative students feel really comfortable and totally certain that they’re being graded fairly.
“I hate Republicans,” communications department chairwoman and professor Susan J. Douglas boldly declares in the opening of the piece. “I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal ‘personhood.’”
She writes that although the fact that her “tendency is to blame the Republicans . . . may seem biased,” historical and psychological research back her up, and so it’s basically actually a fact that Republicans are bad! . . .
Republicans now, she writes, are focused on the “determined vilification” of others, and have “crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy.
Wow … irony anyone?
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.3% last week, with purchases down -7.0% and refis unchanged.
Consumer prices fell -0.3% overall in November, while the CPI less food and energy rose 0.1%. On a year over year basis, the CPI is up 1.3%, while the core rate is up 1.7%.
The nation’s current account deficit widened by $1.9 billion to $-100.3 billion in the 3rd Quarter from a slightly revised $98.4 billion in the 2nd Quarter.
The Federal Open Markets Committee ended their meeting today, with the Fed Funds Rate target left unchanged at 0% to 0.25%.
The FOMC’s newest GDP forecasts: 2014: 2.3 to 2.4%; 2015: 2.6 to 3.0%; 2016: 2.5 to 3.0%; 2017: 2.3 to 2.5%; longer run: 2.0 to 2.2%. Essentally, sub-par economic growth will continue for as long as can be forecast.
No not Obama’s decision to improve relations with Cuba – that’s pretty par for this president. If anyone is surprised, you shouldn’t be. As one person noted, he has to be among the worst negotiators in the world – although Bowe Bergdahl might disagree (btw, what was the finding of that Army investigation?).
Instead I’m talking about this absurdity going on in academia where poor traumatized students expect their professors to delay or cancel their finals because, you know, there’s injustice in the world. Another way to define “injustice” for these special snowflakes is any decision that goes against the narrative they prefer.
So, we have students demanding that their colleges and universities heed their trauma and give them what they want – delayed exams.
Of course there have been the usual capitulations – Harvard, Columbia. But not, surprisingly, at liberal Oberlin College. In fact, when a particular student wrote to a professor to ask that the school do what Harvard and Columbia have done, she got a very short, terse and to the point reply. One word. “No.” I admit, I laughed.
The student then put the email on her Facebook account and issued a “trigger warning”. No, seriously, a trigger warning.
“TRIGGER WARNING: Violent language regarding an extremely dismissive response from a professor. This is an email exchange I had with my professor this evening. … We are obviously not preaching to the choir. Professors and administration at Oberlin need to be held accountable for their words and actions and have a responsibility to their students.”
Yes, I laughed again. She’s a Freshman and has decided she runs the place. You can read her email and the prof’s reply here.
Speaking of “triggers”, this is what’s going on at Harvard in that regard:
Students seem more anxious about classroom discussion, and about approaching the law of sexual violence in particular, than they have ever been in my eight years as a law professor. Student organizations representing women’s interests now routinely advise students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence, and which might therefore be traumatic. These organizations also ask criminal-law teachers to warn their classes that the rape-law unit might “trigger” traumatic memories. Individual students often ask teachers not to include the law of rape on exams for fear that the material would cause them to perform less well. One teacher I know was recently asked by a student not to use the word “violate” in class—as in “Does this conduct violate the law?”—because the word was triggering. Some students have even suggested that rape law should not be taught because of its potential to cause distress.
You know, I thought academia was supposed to prepare students for the real world. Instead, it appears it is all about letting them build their own fantasy world. How in the world, given this line of “reasoning”, does someone who is a victim of this sort of crime hope to get competent representation from a bunch of pansies who are afraid to talk about it?
Robby Soave brings it home:
It’s time to admit that appeasing students’ seemingly unlimited senses of personal victimhood entitlement, unenlightened views about public discourse, and thinly-veiled laziness is not merely wrong, but actively dangerous. Colleges are supposed to prepare young people to succeed in the real world; they do students no favors by infantilizing them. But worse than that, by bending over backwards to satisfy the illiberal mob, colleges are doling out diplomas to people who are prepared for neither real life nor their eventual professions. Should medical colleges abdicate their responsibility to instruct students on how to administer a rape kit to a victim, or ask a victim difficult questions about her trauma, because that discussion is triggering to some of the students?
It would be better for professors to instruct students on how to confront their uncomfortable emotions and grow beyond them, but alas, that seems less and less common.
Ya think?! However, what we have here is a bunch of academics hoist on their own petard. They helped build this absurd world and now they’re stuck living with their creation.