Here we go again with political theater.
A familiar Washington melodrama - will they or won't they shut down the government - took center stage on Friday when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the government, but only if President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law is ransacked.
Notching their 42nd vote against "Obamacare" and knowing full well the Democratic Senate will reject it, Republicans in the House cast their votes, staged a noisy celebration in front of a placard declaring: "SenateMustAct," and then left town for several days to give time for the Senate to demolish its work.
"The Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said flatly.
As much as I dislike Obamacare, the answer is not another major change. Anyone with management skills knows that continuous major change is destructive. It is far better to fine tune. Even worse, the members of the House know that this bill is dead - so it is simply a political dogmatic statement. The government is incapable of passing legislation that helps the majority - and only special interest legislation seems to be moving.
This is leading towards a government shutdown with two camps playing with fire. The majority will suffer. Way to go Congress!
The Econintersect economic forecast for September 2013 improved but still shows the economy barely expanding. The concern is that consumers are spending a historically high amount of their income, and several non-financial indicators are weak.
The ECRI WLI growth index value has been weakly in positive territory for over four months - but in a noticeable improvement trend. The index is indicating the economy six month from today will be slightly better than it is today.Current ECRI WLI Growth Index
Initial unemployment claims went from 292,000 (reported last week) to 309,000 this week. Historically, claims exceeding 400,000 per week usually occur when employment gains are less than the workforce growth, resulting in an increasing unemployment rate.
The real gauge - the 4 week moving average - improved from 321,250 (reported last week) to 314,750. Because of the noise (week-to-week movements from abnormal events AND the backward revisions to previous weeks releases), the 4-week average remains the reliable gauge.Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line)
Bankruptcies this Week: Rural/Metro, FriendFinder Networks (fka Penthouse Media Group), ECOtality
Data released this week which contained economically intuitive components (forward looking) were:
- Rail movements growth trend is continuing to accelerate.
All other data released this week either does not have enough historical correlation to the economy to be considered intuitive, or is simply a coincident indicator to the economy.Weekly Economic Release Scorecard:
- The Fed Fails In Its Dual Mandate
- Three Sparks and a Powder Keg
- Economic Praise for Merkel As Election Looms
- How Does Social Security Work?
- Infographic of the Day: The Secret Lives of Milk
- Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 20 September 2013
- Online Ads Lack Consumer Trust
- Emerging Markets Revisited
- Markets Close Down On Moderate Volume
- What We Read Today 20 September 2013
- Markets Continue To Display Weakness Before Weekend
- 13 September 2013: ECRI's WLI Growth Again Improves Marginally
- Averages Continue To Melt Down From Yesterday
- Fed's Balance Sheet 18 September 2013: Record Growth Making Up For Slow Previous 2 Weeks
- Rail Week Ending 14 September 2013: Another Strong Week
- August 2013 Leading Economic Index Rises Sharply
- Broken Promises and Broken Systems
- Here's How BLS Data Proves QE Has Had Zero Effect As Jobs Growth Plods Along
- Chinese Become World's Biggest Tourism Spenders
- Falling Into Intuitive Traps
- Investing.com Technical Analysis 19 September 2013
- JP Morgan: Chicken Feed
- Poverty Continues to Grow in 2012
- Infographic of the Day: A Village in Orbit - Inside NASA's Space Colony Concepts
- U.S. Newsroom Employment Down to 30-Year Low
- Stock Market Crash 2013: Four Factors Investors Need to Watch
- Markets Close Mixed on Low Volume, Investors Cautious
- What We Read Today 19 September 2013
- Median Income Improves Marginally in 2012
- Averages Melt Off Morning Highs, Markets Flat And Unattractive
- September 2013 Philly Fed Business Outlook Dramatically Improves
- Rebels vs. Radicals: Infighting Erupts As US Intervention In Syria Halts
- August 2013 Existing Home Sales Soft But Remains In Strong Growth Trend Lines
- Party Is Over, Move Along, Nothing To See Here
- 14 September 2013 Unemployment Claims 4 Week Average Continued Improvement
- Stratfor: What to Expect After Germany's Elections
- Can China Lead Emerging Markets Out of "The Valley"?
- Housing Smoke and Mirrors (16) - 'Name That Tune'
- Yet More Mischief from Cheap Money (Part 379)
- Bill Gates is Still America's Richest Man By Far
- Is The Traditional Office Going The Way Of The Dinosaur?
- Infographic of the Day: The U.S. Government's Misadventures And Mishandling Of Spending
- France: Ask, Don't Tell
- Fear at the Fed and the Magazine Cover Indicator
- The Music Industry is First to Arrive in the Digital Age
- Is the Sell Signal Still Valid?
- Keynesian Fed's Stick Heads Up Orifice And Markets Rise
- What We Read Today 18 September 2013
- 18 September 2013 FOMC Meeting Statement: NO TAPER
- Markets Head South As Fed Taper Decision Looms
- 'Follow The Money': NSA Spies On VISA Customers, SWIFT Transactions
- Markets Open Flat As Investors Await Fed's Decision
- Where the Hot Jobs Will Be in 2018 to 2025
- Nonfinancial Leverage NFCI Deterioration Continues w/e 13 September 2013
- Residential Building Sector Growth Soft in August 2013
- The GOP Is Dead; Long Live the GOP!
- Tesla Plans to Offer Self-Driving Cars in 3 Years
- Macau Makes 10x More Revenue Than Vegas Per Visitor
- France and the 3% Question
- Investing.com: Technical Analysis 17 September 2013
- New Data Base Compares Finances for Cities
- More Evidence of Economic Pickup in August 2013 Sea Container Counts
- Infographic of the Day: Inside Gas Giant Neptune
- The Liberal Side of Larry Summers
- LTE Boosts Mobile Data Consumption
- Market Bets on Light Stimulus Taper
- Deadweight Loss Re-defined
- What We Read Today 17 September 2013
- Harmful Effects Of the Large And Growing USA Debt
- Markets Relatively Quiet Ahead Of The Fed Meeting
- Gold Gone? Germany Baffled As Fed Bars Access To Bullion
- Markets Open Up Pausing At Yesterday's Highs
- August 2013 CPI Inflation Moderates
- Stratfor: Strategy, Ideology and the Close of the Syrian Crisis
- QE Did Not Drive Down Long-Term Rates
- Germany is the World's No. 1 Automobile Exporter By Far
- Insider Trading 13 September 2013: Bill Gates Again a Big Seller of Microsoft
- The Cyprus Crisis through the Lens of Bank Investors
- Infographic of the Day: Gun Crimes Plummet Even As Gun Sales Rise
- CDS Primer from JP Morgan
- Week Ending 16 September 2013: 3.9 Cent Gasoline Price Decline
- Barry Ritholtz, Josh Brown Form New Firm
- Twitter Doubles Revenue in 2013
- The Best Energy Investments Right Now
- New Boeing 747-8 Undergoes Extreme Testing
- Prometheus: Stock Market Enters Important Intermediate-term Cycle
- August 2013 Industrial Production Improves
- September 2013 Empire State Survey Again Down Insignificantly But Shows Expansion
- Investors: What Does Summers Withdrawal Mean for You?
- Paradigm Shift
- Food Inflation During Last 48 Years
- Strong Retail Sales: Another Reason For Fed To Taper
- Cashing In Your Golden Insurance
- Spain - The Recession May Be Ending But The Crisis Continues
- More Russian Dash Cam Video
- The Week Ahead: Will Bernanke Change Course?
- India Surprise: The Bubble Burst
- Trefis: Highlights Week Ending 13 September 2013
- Cheesy Solution To Stop Car Crashes In Wisconsin
- Health Care Cost Slowing - Blame It on Obamacare
- Apple Has a Neckline Problem
- A Question for the U.S.
- Preliminary September 2013 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Has Downside Surprise
- Fracking Explained: Opportunity Or Danger
- Sunset on the Summer Gold Rally
- Prometheus: Gold Breaks Below Short-term Uptrend Support
- Three Space Station Crewmembers Land Safely After 166-Day Mission
- Quelle Surprise! The French Are Quite Happy!
- William Black: Wealth for Fraudsters and Economic Ruin for Households
- Help Kickstart World War III!
- Democratic Socialism
- Fly The Friendly Skies Of Afghanistan
- WMD: Meth vs Chemical Weapons
- Forward Guidance - Who Are You Going to Believe, the Fed or Your Lying Eyes?
- Russian Dash Cam Video
- Inside Scoop: The Next Fed Chairman
- Malala Yousafzai Announces Malala Fund to Support Girls' Access to Education
- Pre-paid Strike: Arab States Ready To Pick Up US Tab For Syria Attack
- The Leveraged Buyout of America
- Beware Spyware: Wikileaks Exposes Surveillance Industry Trackers
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.