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Get On Your High Horse - By Charles Payne

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"And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."

In a rebuke to the notion that all Islam is radical or built on a foundation of evil conquest, President Obama threw Christianity, Europeans and America under the bus.

It is not the first time, but it wasn't as veiled as normal and in fact it points to what the next two years are shaping up to be.

The verbal hits to success, to achievement, and to the ideas that made America great will become louder and more direct. Economic ideas with no hope of passing will be more to push an ideology from the world's biggest soapbox.

As the economy gradually improves, which it is designed to do no matter who is in office, there continues to be an emptiness to it all. It's the result of an unrelenting attack that says you are a bad person if you have too much, can afford to send your children to college, want to make a lot of money and think America is the greatest nation in the world.

If you want to see this economy take off...more Americans need to get on their high horse.

The Economy

For a long time, I have scratched my head at the message of free falling yields as either a harbinger of our economy, or just the most attractive place for large pools of money to hang out.

But, if America has escaped the "deflation scare," then are we now waiting for the "inflation scare"?

Remember the goal of the Federal Reserve is pump up the volume...get inflation out there, and while it sounds harsh, who doesn't like it when their paycheck inflates, their 401K inflates and the value of their home inflates?

The problem is that not enough people own stocks or homes or receive paychecks, so there is a long way to go to illicit a wealth effect.

But there is inflation, and it is not recognized by the government which says we'll be below 2% for the rest of the year (see CPI chart).

In the meantime, any mother can invite the government to breakfast to show them what inflation looks like...

  • Coffee +40%
  • Eggs +33%
  • Margarine +39%
  • Sugar +12%
  • Bacon +65%
  • Toast -1%

Toast is down, but everyone in the house is on the Atkin's diet anyway.

Yes, wages are finally improving, which was inevitable, though with a couple of caveats. Some minimum wage increases took effect, and December was a surprising decline.

From here on out, wages will have to impress the market and economic data will have to be better-than-expected, even if it means the Fed might move sooner rather than later.

Today's Session

Equity futures were under pressure all morning long, largely from more saber rattling in Greece which is edging toward the absurd. Apparently, the Greeks are saying there should be reparations for the atrocities committed by the Nazis and it's ready to play hardball on its hundreds of billions of Euros in debt.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is taking an early victory lap, saying 2015 will see global demand increase. The new estimate is 29.2 million barrels a day, +430,000 from a month earlier, but non-OPEC supply will drop significantly to 850,000- that's 420,000 less than the month ago estimate. That number reflects swift action by American shale producers- the goal of Saudi Arabia the entire time.

The market is listlessly looking for a spark while it digest that jobs report which should have helped major indices break key resistance, but was thwarted by the shenanigans in Greece.

Below are some of the major companies that reported this morning.





Revenue ($M)

EPS Guidance

EPS Consensus







FY15 1.94







FY15 3.49







FY15 3.15







FY15 1.27






Q1 (1.05)-(0.95)

Q1 (0.64)