Morning Report – Economists are taking up their numbers for 2014 GDP 2/18/14

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1835.2 0.2 0.01%
Eurostoxx Index 3115.1 -3.8 -0.12%
Oil (WTI) 101.4 1.1 1.09%
LIBOR 0.235 -0.001 -0.23%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 80.08 -0.053 -0.07%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.73% -0.01%
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 105.8 0.0
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 104.2 0.1
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.33
Markets are flat coming off a 3 day weekend. Bonds and MBS are up small. The Empire Manufacturing Survey came in lower than expected. We also have a big merger in the pharma space with Forest Labs buying UK-based Actavis.
We should get the FOMC minutes this week, but judging by the way the market behaved after the FOMC decision, it should be a yawner. Plus, we just had Janet Yellen in front of Congress last week so I can’t really imagine much coming out of the minutes that wasn’t already addressed there.
This week will have some interesting housing-related data, but nothing much that should move markets or create rate volatility. We have inflation numbers this week, but the Fed isn’t really concerned about inflation these days. On Thursday, we get housing starts and building permits, and on Friday existing home sales and leading economic indicators.
The Philly Fed has put out a projection of economic forecasts based on a survey of professional economists. 2014 GDP forecasts have been taken up from 2.6% to 2.8% and unemployment has been taken down from 7% to 6.5%. They are forecasting a 5.5% to 6% increase in home prices for 2014.

60 Responses

  1. I am putting this response to Geanie’s response to me on this new thread from Friday’s. (Surely that sentence gets the prize for the day’s worst.)

    That was a compressed version of the argument I have made here and at PL to many of these folks at much greater length.

    Hmm, so since traditional marriages have existed WITHOUT all the things that make a marriage successful, perhaps that’s why the divorce rate of heterosexuals is over 50%.

    No, that is roughly backward.

    The point I was making is this: the argument that “marriage” should include SSM is that male/female is not essential to marriage. The argument goes that marriage is just [fill in the blank–love, commitment, exclusivity, a contract, shared finances, etc.] between two people, and none of this has to do with male/female difference. Child-bearing, they say, is irrelevant because not all married couples have children. Likewise, SSM advocates say it can’t open the door to plural marriage, because marriage has to be limited to two people.

    This is all terrible reasoning. The reality is that every characteristic and definition SSM advocates ascribe to “marriage” to justify their position can easily be shown not to be essential to marriage as it has existed. The one universal is that marriage has until just these past few years, always been a male/female relationship. And I challenge you to refute that claim.

    Seems to me that all marriages actually need those things to be successful and long lasting.

    That’s a reasonable position and probably true, but it misses the point. My argument is a response to the SSM argument that marriage should be defined by its least common denominator, with everything else stripped away as nonessential. If that is the argument, then male/female undeniably is that least common denominator.

    Also, there have been very few LGBT couples that have made “marriage” commitments to each other, whether legal or not, who have divorced.

    SSM has only existed for a relative moment.

    Which also means you are incorrect with “marriage has never existed without male-female complementarity”. Seems you may want to either research, or, change the wordings of your statements.

    No, again, it has only existed (as a legal fiction) for a relative moment. The movement to redefine marriage is still in progress. Until a few radicals started pounding the table for it a few years ago, the idea was self-evidently ludicrous to 99%.

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    • QB… while legally it is only recent has nothing to do with the fact that gay/lesbian couples have been hiding their lifelong commitment to one another for hundreds, even thousands of years… but due to fear have stayed hidden. Just because you don’t want to actually look at the long term existence of such “marriages” doesn’t make the facts disappear.

      While so many believe SSM couples, or even just being a gay/lesbian, is a rare, not-normal “condition”, now that it is becoming easier to come out of the closet, eventually we will have a much larger percentage of the population classified as gay/lesbian. Perhaps once all come out of the closet, many of you will be surprised at the number. Some statisticians have the percentage sitting close to 20%.

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  2. Some have it sitting at 1-2%. But if it’s less than 50% it becomes not the norm. Something that is not the norm is not normal, right?

    Do you conflate abnormal, or “not normal” as bad? I don’t necessary unless it is bad. Homosexuality, while not normal is not bad.

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    • So basing whether something is normal or not at a break of 50%, then one can only assume that pretty much all of us are NOT normal as there are many things about a human being that can fall into that.

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  3. QB… you said “The one universal is that marriage has until just these past few years, always been a male/female relationship. And I challenge you to refute that claim.” I won’t refute that claim as it’s true. That, however, does not mean that the relationship “standards” can’t change. And it certainly does not justify trying to legally force others to behave in a way that you want them to behave, or, deny them legal rights. And I challenge you to “let live with equal rights”.

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  4. Oh I meant to end that with “live and let live with equal rights”. stupid neck.

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  5. This only further proves the governments ability to accurately predict the effects of climate 25, 50 or even 100 years from now.

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  6. Like

  7. “CBO projects that raising minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would reduce employment by 500,000”

    At least Elmendorf isn’t claiming it would create jobs or something… That’s a start..

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  8. Brent, just an FYI, not that it really matters.

    We also have a big merger in the pharma space with Forest Labs buying UK-based Actavis.

    My husband and I have owned Actavis since it was Watson Pharm and started here locally. We bought it at under $30. Actavis is actually buying Forest Labs according to what I read on my Schwab page.

    Irish drug maker Actavis says it has agreed to buy U.S. rival Forest Laboratories for $25 billion, which includes a 25 percent premium for Forest shareholders. The deal is a cash-and-stock proposal that would create a company with annual revenue of $15 billion that would be 35 percent owned by Forest shareholders.

    We made a lot of money today…………..lol

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  9. There’s another half million people who won’t be able to get on the subsidized job gravy train.

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  10. “would reduce employment by 500,000”

    they’re free to pursue their passions.

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    • We had our son’s first communion party there back around 1998 at the Cheesecake Factory. They had a really gorgeous two story Border’s right at the front entrance. Parking was always a little dicey, which may have contributed to it’s downfall. In some ways it was perhaps a bit too toney, even for (North) Bethesda.

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  11. That, however, does not mean that the relationship “standards” can’t change.

    That statement is meaningless. Anything could happen. My argument was that the essence of marriage has always been the male/female relationship. No matter what happens tomorrow, that is the fact, and it defeats the argument for SSM as merely a recognition of the “true” definition of marriage.

    And it certainly does not justify trying to legally force others to behave in a way that you want them to behave, or, deny them legal rights. And I challenge you to “let live with equal rights”.

    I’m not the one forcing anyone to behave as I want. It is the gay-rights movement that is incrementally compelling the rest of us to behave as they want. Homosexuals can do whatever they want “in their own bedrooms” as far as I am concerned. But don’t expect me to treat them as married. They have equal rights. To the extent that freedom to marry is a right at all, they have the same right the rest of us do. They simply aren’t interested in marriage. They put it differently, claiming that homosexuality is part of their identity. It really doesn’t matter. Marriage is between men and women; if you aren’t attracted to the opposite sex, and that is your identity, you marriage simply isn’t for you.

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  12. QB… while legally it is only recent has nothing to do with the fact that gay/lesbian couples have been hiding their lifelong commitment to one another for hundreds, even thousands of years… but due to fear have stayed hidden. Just because you don’t want to actually look at the long term existence of such “marriages” doesn’t make the facts disappear.

    This supports my argument. Such relationships have never been recognized as marriages.

    While so many believe SSM couples, or even just being a gay/lesbian, is a rare, not-normal “condition”, now that it is becoming easier to come out of the closet, eventually we will have a much larger percentage of the population classified as gay/lesbian. Perhaps once all come out of the closet, many of you will be surprised at the number. Some statisticians have the percentage sitting close to 20%

    That statistic is ridiculous.

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  13. Who is Hack Sargent writing to with his daily immigration post?

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/02/18/on-immigration-republicans-and-conservatives-are-all-alone/

    It’s fascinating to think about who his target audience here is and if he thinks each post he writes is fresh.

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  14. If Greg wants immigration reform. make an offer. Path to citizenship is toxic to the GOP base. if you want it, offer up something equally toxic to the Dem base. that’s how this works.

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  15. LMS, you’re right… my bad… Congrats on the nice premium..

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  16. local news!

    The Reston Town Center has become a bit of a model for the new type of shopping mall. Guess the full-enclosed one has fallen out of favor..

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  17. @quarterback: “Some statisticians have the percentage sitting close to 20%

    That statistic is ridiculous.”

    Not if you count girls making out with each other on Girls Gone Wild videos.

    I’d guess 10%. I think 20% is crazy high. That would involve a lot of beards.

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    • I listen to Dan Savage’s podcast and he says most research is pointing at 3.5% of the population being pure gay and lesbian. He had a researcher on his show who used non-traditional data gathering methods and came to a 5% number. His conclusion would suggest there are still a lot of closeted gays and lesbians particularly in conservative areas of the country. One of the stats this guy tracked for his research was the number of Google searches for “Is my husband gay?” by state. The popularity of the search correlates well with voting for Romney.

      That leaves the bisexual population completely uncounted. If you look at sexuality as a distributed curve (although obviously not the typical bell curve) rather than some sort of either/or matrix, it stands to reason there are a lot more bisexuals than gays and lesbians. Perhaps as many as double. Most bisexuals are closeted as there is little need to be open about it and it is very easy to pass as straight, particularly if through inertia one ends up in an opposite sex pairing.

      Even at the very low end of estimates, there would easily be 10-20 million gay or lesbian people in America.

      Like

  18. @Brent:

    “The Reston Town Center has become a bit of a model for the new type of shopping mall. Guess the full-enclosed one has fallen out of favor..”

    Enclosed malls are da bomb. Developers are just cheap.

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  19. If it doesn’t have an Orange Julius, it ain’t a mall…

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  20. If it doesn’t have an Orange Julius, it ain’t a mall…

    Oh Gawd, I used to love Orange Julius! Are they still around? There used to be one on Balboa Beach Blvd right off the beach. We’d spend the day at the beach and then go there afterwards……………….nothing ever tasted better than that!

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  21. No chance it is 10% or even 5 or 3.5. Please.

    Dan Savage???

    Like

    • Here is the NYT article:

      At least 5 percent of American men, I estimate, are predominantly attracted to men, and millions of gay men still live, to some degree, in the closet. Gay men are half as likely as straight men to acknowledge their sexuality on social networks. More than one quarter of gay men hide their sexuality from anonymous surveys.
      {snip}
      For comparison, about 3.6 percent of American men tell anonymous surveys they are attracted to men and a tenth of gay men say that they do not tell most of the important people in their lives. In states where the stigma against homosexuality remains strong, many more gay men are in the closet than are out.

      3.8% is the floor for the numbers of LBGT people in America. In that survey, about half are bisexual.

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  22. “it stands to reason there are a lot more bisexuals than gays and lesbians”

    That would actually depend on the shape of the curve.

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  23. I just saw Nancy Pelosi’s new attempt to ascribe Obamacare to the Founders’s vision.

    “To go to back to our founders once again, they sacrificed it all for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This law, the affordable care act, is about a healthier life, the liberty to pursue your happiness. That is solid policy, and the mandate is central to that.”

    Stunning. The Founders sacrificed for the Obama mandate?

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  24. The Williams Institute. Nuff said.

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  25. “We made a lot of money today…………..lol”

    Congrats lmsinca. On this board at least, you won’t be vilified for posting that you did well.

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  26. 3.8 to 5% sounds right to me. I don’t really think that undermines you argument QB, in that most public institutions aren’t redefined based on 3.8 – 5% of the population vs 96.2 – 95% of the population.

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  27. It’s not like there weren’t doctors around in the 18th century. They were sought out. So, if the Founders thought healthcare was a right to be provided by the government they would have included it.

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  28. @Troll: Well, things change. Remember, in the context of the time, there was some debate as to whether the federal government should provide for any kind of army. So the idea that the government ought to be providing for medical care (or food, or unemployment) would have been considered insane.

    Curious as to how the minimum wage would have gone over. Not well, I predict.

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  29. @quarterback: “No chance it is 10% or even 5 or 3.5.”

    I’m just saying, I’d believe it. Might not be the case, but I’d believe it.

    Like

  30. The Constitution provides a mechanism for altering called Amendments.

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    • McWing:

      The Constitution provides a mechanism for altering called Amendments.

      The D’s have discovered a new mechanism: appoint liberals to the Supreme Court.

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  31. I don’t think it undermines any argument, either, but I don’t buy 3.5-5% any day of the week. Those are figures from advocates. 10% was ridiculous, and everyone knew it, so backing off from that was responsible. But I think they are still doubling it.

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  32. JNC, funny! I’m not quitting my day job yet anyway.

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  33. I forget, why was Joe the Plumber vilified by the activist left? What did he do that brought out their wrath and have state officials illegally rummaging through his confidential records?

    Obviously there are crimes worthy of such action, I just forgot which ones he committed and was duly convicted of?

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  34. More Republican War on Women.

    Sigh.

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  35. @Troll: he questioned Obama about wealth redistribution. He was easily dismissable as a Republican crank but instead Obama supporters took it upon themselves to attempt to destroy him. Including the press. Obama answered the question honestly. The press and some ” grass roots” folks acted abominably.

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  36. @TROLL: The difference is, Joe Baca’s sexism may be chided, but nobody will suggest its emblematic of Democratic sexism or something inherently anti- woman about liberalism. Which is one huge goddamned double standard, if you ask me.

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  37. Wow.

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  38. Wow.

    Tax increases have consequences

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  39. According to a new study there is “no correlation between the number of parrots and a child’s success later in life.”

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  40. What matters is not the number of parrots, but the quality of the parrot-child relationship.” The study further noted that nearly 2 million American children are now being raised in households with two same-sex parrots.

    Well, at least there are two of them!

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  41. @yellojkt: “There is every reason to believe that the Recovery Act boosted GDP and employment while it was in effect relative to what would have happened without it.” … says Krugman.

    So how do we explain boosted GDP in an era before Recovery Acts? Not that I think it is impossible, but it seems to transparently assume causation that simply cannot be known (thus, essentially it’s like an article of religious faith—in himself, mostly). There isn’t a control group. So any belief that the stimulus hurt or helped is arguably on faith (like tax cuts or tax hikes, they happen in a broader context of changes and without a control group, so claims about their results will always be disputable).

    “The political harm came mainly from the fact that the ARRA was too small and too short-lived to do the job”

    Isn’t this kind of the cliche for every policy that doesn’t perform miracles (under the assumption that More of What I Like Is Always Better and There Are No Diminishing Marginal Returns In My Ideology): it just wasn’t enough. Communism would have worked if only they had tried harder! The economy would have boomed after the Bush tax cuts if only they had been bigger and lasted longer! Social Security would be fixed now if only Bush’s SS Reform had passed. Etc.

    Strong stimulus would make economic growth increasingly more dependent on government stimulus, thus making is more dependent on ever expanding deficits. Which would probably have some kind of economic consequence at some point, don’t we think?

    “Alas, I wasn’t wrong.”

    Krugman: “Sadly, I have giant cock. And am so handsome that it hurts to gaze upon me directly. These are my burdens to bear.”

    In truth, they are all wrong. What the economy needs was more cowbell. But we didn’t get more cowbell. And so, the economy suffers. Just as I predicted.

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  42. Hey, NoVA–I think I parked in your spot last week when I went down to DC to visit a friend! Parking structure on K Street near the Capital Hilton?

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  43. (And, no, that is not a misspelling.)

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  44. That’s about 4 blocks from my office.

    Like

  45. I was wondering. Thought about you as I was parking.

    Like

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