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BruceInKY

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  • Ed DeMarco surely looks out as FHFA director as the White House leaks its intention to nominate a replacement early next year. DeMarco has made no friends in the administration, refusing to sign off on its hope of a principal-reduction program for mortgages. Principal reductions could mean big losses for owners of MBS - mREITs, banks, and the Fed (only one of whom probably doesn't care). [View news story]
    Good for the banks and perhaps some realtors, not for the homeowners who've lived within their means.
    Dec 10 09:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan's Q3 GDP shrinks at an annualized pace of 3.5%, worse than a forecast of -3.3%. With the government revising Q2 from growth to slight contraction, it puts the country technically in a recession. The current account surplus slides to ¥376.9B in October, a bit better result than the expected ¥218B, but off 25% from a year ago. [View news story]
    Massugu ni itte! (Forward!)
    Dec 9 10:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index slides to -33.8 from -33 previously. Averaging -38.6 YTD, this could be the first time the index will be above  -40 - a level associated with severe economic distress - for a year since 2007. The -34.5 average thus far for Q4 is the best since Q1 2008. [View news story]
    It's Bush's fault!
    Dec 7 10:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dec Reuters/UofM Consumer Sentiment: 74.5 vs. 83.0 expected and 82.7 prior. [View news story]
    Wait until consumers get a good luck at their January paychecks and--especially for those lucky enough to have employer-provided health insurance--they start comparing total withholding to December. Pour a glass of Victory Gin, comrades, and march Forward!
    Dec 7 10:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The number of Spaniards registering for unemployment benefits grows for the fourth consecutive month in November, increasing by 1.5% M/M to 4.91M. The rise of 74,296 is well above the 59,536 increase in November last year. With new rules making it easier to fire workers and nationalized banks set to close branches, the job stats look set to get even worse. [View news story]
    If you want to know what happens when a government throws away revenue trying to build a green carbon-capped economy for the 21st century, look no further than Spain.
    Dec 4 03:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After voters approved tax hikes for the rich in the recent election, California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office is forecasting that the state will enjoy a surplus of $1B by FY 2014-2015. Critics says the increases will lead to an exodus of residents, businesses and jobs, although Governor Jerry Brown's office points to a report which says that the link between tax policies and migration are untrue. [View news story]
    Zero.
    Dec 4 08:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After voters approved tax hikes for the rich in the recent election, California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office is forecasting that the state will enjoy a surplus of $1B by FY 2014-2015. Critics says the increases will lead to an exodus of residents, businesses and jobs, although Governor Jerry Brown's office points to a report which says that the link between tax policies and migration are untrue. [View news story]
    Hollyweird saves the day! (As if that documentary will ever be produced.)
    Dec 4 07:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "There are two enormous problems with the story that manufacturing is returning to the U.S.," writes Felix Salmon. "(A) It’s not creating many jobs, and (b) the jobs it is creating are not the good jobs which people want to have for many years. Instead, they pay $15ish per hour, which is what teenage babysitters make in New York." [View news story]
    Glad to see you maintain an emotionless approach to your portfolio and save the hyperbole for the comments.
    Dec 2 08:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "There are two enormous problems with the story that manufacturing is returning to the U.S.," writes Felix Salmon. "(A) It’s not creating many jobs, and (b) the jobs it is creating are not the good jobs which people want to have for many years. Instead, they pay $15ish per hour, which is what teenage babysitters make in New York." [View news story]
    Your second paragraph describes GE Appliances perfectly. To EMS below, see above. As a GE shareholder, I wish your opening salvo was as accurate a portrait.
    Dec 2 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Shortage Equals A Poor Economic Outlook [View article]
    Thoughtful piece, Mr. Hansen. As a 20th century American who had a couple different career phases before having to invest significant capital to create my own business, I agree that the "barriers to entry" into self employment have become harder to negotiate.

    Your closing speculation about how much new economic activity is "off the books" will be topical for the next four years. At the retail consumption-and-service level, there are growing incentives to barter, trade in unreported cash, make bookkeeping mistakes, and report losses rather than profits. A rapacious government forces individuals underground before it drives the people into the streets.
    Dec 1 10:16 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oct Personal Income and Outlays: Income flat% m/m vs. +0.3% expected, +0.4% prior. Personal spending -0.2% m/m +0.1% expected, +0.8% prior. PCE core price index +0.1% +0.2% expected, +0.1% prior. [View news story]
    Comrades, if you think this is good news you're going to love the January 2013 numbers and Recovery Summer 3.0. Forward!
    Dec 1 09:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Consumer Confidence: The 73.7 read is the highest since Feb. 2008's 76.4. This month's gain was the result of an increase the Expectations Index to 85.1 from 84, while the Present Situation Index held about steady at 56.6. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" rose to 11.2% from 10.4%. "Hard to get" held steady at 38.8%. (full report[View news story]
    Apparently the 47% were over-sampled.
    Nov 27 04:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: -41K to 410K vs. 415K consensus, 451K prior (revised). Continuing claims -30K to 3.33M. [View news story]
    So widespread announcements of layoffs have translated into lower numbers of initial claims. Guess the big-box retailers went on the mother of all seasonal hiring sprees. Or it could be that they will be revised up next week.
    Nov 21 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • European finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels today, when, it was once hoped, they'd finally authorize more bailout money for Greece, but that prospect is apparently looking unlikely. Ministers will also have to work out how to plug another €15B hole in the country's finances, over and above the bailout already agreed. The gap was created by giving Greece another two years to cut its budget deficit. [View news story]
    Taxpayer-funded salaries, plus generous benefits and pensions.
    Nov 20 06:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House has reportedly proposed axing $150B of tax breaks over ten years as part of negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff. These include $28B for fossil fuel companies, $77B connected to inventory valuation, and $13B in low capital-gains rates for P-E funds, VC firms, and real-estate transactions. [View news story]
    Fortunately, we can count on reduced tax breaks for fossil fuel companies leading to lower prices for consumers and businesses. Forward!
    Nov 19 09:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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