Credit check

Still uninspired.

Hard to imagine meaningful GDP growth with these charts and federal deficit spending as low as it is:







Here’s an interesting chart:
And this:

Posted in Credit |

is the drop in oil price a positive or negative?

So most every mainstream analyst has called the drop in crude prices a ‘massive unambiguous positive’ for the US economy. Seems stocks don’t agree…



Posted in Equities, Oil |

household net worth

This just came out.

Net worth is largely a function of prices of stocks and houses:


Posted in Uncategorized |

claims, retail sales, prices, inventories

If sales are going to fall off it will be after the layoffs and capital expenditure cuts from the fall in crude prices take place:


Jobless Claims

Jobless claims data are low but still are still trending higher than a month ago in comparisons that do not point to further improvement for the monthly employment report. Initial claims did fall 3,000 in the December 6 week to 294,000 but the 4-week average, up slightly to 299,250, is still about 15,000 higher than in early November.

Continuing claims tell the same story, up a steep 142,000 to 2.514 million in lagging data for the November 29 week. This is the highest level since mid August. The 4-week average, up 28,000 to 2.386 million, is also up about 15,000 vs the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured workers ticked higher for the first time since late August, up 1 tenth to 1.9 percent.

Retail Sales
Retail sales in November came in strong despite lower gasoline prices. Retail sales in November posted a 0.7 percent boost after rebounding 0.5 percent in October Market expectations were for 0.4 percent rise for November. Autos jumped a notable 1.7 percent after gaining 0.8 percent in October. Excluding autos, sales increased 0.5 percent after rising 0.4 percent in October. Forecasts were for a 0.1 percent boost.

Gasoline station sales fell on lower prices. Sales declined 0.8 percent after a 1.3 percent drop in October. Excluding both autos and gasoline sales advanced 0.6 percent in November after a 0.7 percent rise the prior month. The median market forecast was for 0.5 percent.

Within the core strength was broad based, led by building materials & garden equipment (up 1.4 percent); clothing & accessories (up 1.2 percent); and nonstore retailers (up 1.0 percent).

Today’s retail sales report is favorable for fourth quarter GDP in the personal consumption component. Currently, the consumer sector is leading the recovery with confidence and spending up.

Import and Export Prices
Cross-border price pressures are nowhere to be found in the import & export price report where import prices dropped 1.5 percent in November, the 5th straight drop and the steepest since June 2012, and export prices fell 1.0 percent for the 4th straight drop and matching the steepest drop since June 2012. The year-on-year rate for import prices is at minus 2.3, the steepest negative reading since April 2013, with export prices at minus 1.9, the steepest since October 2013.

And it’s not just oil-related prices that are falling. Excluding petroleum, import prices fell 0.3 percent in the month for a 4th straight drop and the steepest since April this year while export prices, excluding both food and fuels for this reading, fell 0.5 percent for a third straight drop. The year-on-year reading for ex-petroleum import prices is at only plus 0.1 percent with ex-food & ex-fuel export prices at minus 0.4 percent.

A look at finished goods shows extended declines for nearly all readings. Prices of imported motor vehicles are down 0.1 percent in the month for a 1.0 percent year-on-year decline while prices of exported consumer goods are down 0.3 percent for both the monthly and year-on-year comparisons.

The strong dollar is an important factor that is keeping import prices down, but it’s more than the dollar as evidenced by the export side of the data. Falling oil prices are having a spillover effect throughout the global price picture. Today’s data point to very soft readings for tomorrow’s producer price report and they won’t be lifting expectations for Wednesday’s consumer price report.

Business Inventories
Total business inventories rose slightly in October, up 0.2 percent, but show no significant change relative to business sales which slipped 0.1 percent. The stock-to-sales ratio is unchanged for a 3rd straight month at 1.30.

Posted in Employment, GDP, Inflation |

Mosler RT interview part 2

Posted in Comodities, MMT |

Article on tax receipts, labor markets

Good quick read and charts on tax receipts, ‘labor markets’ etc.

A Matter, It Seems, Of Faith

By Jeffrey P. Snider

Posted in Deficit, Employment |

Fed’s mysterious labor market index lower

Seems no one knows quite what it is…

Labor Market Conditions Index
The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index showed softening labor market conditions in November. The index pulls together 19 different labor market indicators. The November index posted at 2.9 versus a revised 3.9 for October. The November number is the lowest since January 2014 and suggests that the Fed will maintain loose monetary policy into 2015. The Fed only occasionally publishes details of the index since it is not an official indicator release but instead a research department number.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Oil futures show spot shortage, not surplus, Cuts, PCR on jobs

When there is a surplus of physical supply the nearby contracts trade at lower prices, with prices going higher as you go further out to discount storage charges. That is, with a physical glut of supply the storage facilities fill up and the price of storage goes up.

Likewise, when spot is in short supply, it trades higher than the out months, indicating refiners are willing to pay more to get what they immediately need.

Also note that buyers of futures are matched by sellers who are either getting outright short, or are buying spot and selling futures due to a favorable spread called the ‘carry’ that rewards them for taking delivery and redelivering in the future at the higher price. So again, the wide ‘contango’ as its called, with futures higher than spot, is the evidence of a spot surplus of supply. This contango can be over $1/month, depending on the size of the surplus.

So the markets are telling us price is going down without any sign of a surplus of actual output, as further confirmed by Saudi output figures posted previously.

It all comes down to the supplier of last resort, the Saudis, setting the price, also as previously described.



Cuts happening fast!!!

Oil giant BP is accelerating plans to cut hundreds of jobs within its back-office departments – many of them based in the UK and US.

Dec 7 (BBC) — The company, which has been downsizing since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, said it had long planned the cuts, but is speeding up the process due to falling oil prices.

Crude prices have fallen by almost 40% this year, reducing oil firms’ margins.

BP employs almost 84,000 people worldwide, and some 15,000 in the UK.

In the US, the firm employs 20,000 people, many of whom are based in Texas.

“The fall in oil prices has added to the importance of making the organisation more efficient,” a BP spokesman told the BBC, “and the right size for the smaller portfolio we now have”.

Earlier on Sunday, The Sunday Times newspaper quoted BP’s finance director, Brian Gilvary, as saying “headcounts are starting to come down across all our activities”.

He added that the cuts would apply to “essentially the layers above operations”.

Posted in Comodities |

Putin’s folly

So seems, fortunately, like most all of today’s elite, he’s down a bit on horsepower…


Posted in Uncategorized |

Putin buying gold in size?

If this is true Putin is even dumber or more subject to special interest influence than I thought.

Someone please tell me if it isn’t!


Posted in Comodities |