Morning Report – The Week Ahead 3/24/14

Vital Statistics:


Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1861.9 4.9 0.26%
Eurostoxx Index 3080.6 -15.9 -0.51%
Oil (WTI) 100.2 0.7 0.69%
LIBOR 0.235 0.002 0.97%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 80.26 0.154 0.19%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.78% 0.03%
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.8 -0.2
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.7 -0.1
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.39


Markets are higher this morning after some good manufacturing data out of Europe and the US. Bonds and MBS are down.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rebounded in February to a better-than-expected.14 after a downward-revised -.45 in January. The Markit US Manufacturing PMI came in light.
We have quite a bit of data this week, with the FHFA Home Price Index, Case-Shiller, and new home sales. On Wed, we get durable goods, Thursday, we get GDP and Personal Income / Spending.
Small cap stocks are back to bubble valuations.

39 Responses

  1. The quotes around reporter are apropos.

    But WAPO is not left wing?


  2. No, it’s just that the truth has a left wing bias.


  3. just got by return back from the accountant. extra Medicare tax! woo!


  4. I always thought she was a pretty good reporter based on pieces like this:

    However it looks like she was reassigned based on a conflict of interest issue recently.


  5. Aren’t we supposed to call you a liar now? Because no Obamacare taxes and even if there are it’s because it’s better than the status quo was prior to Obamacare when literally millions died on the street daily.

    But mainly anything had is a lie by lying liars.


  6. Question for our Progressives, should the WAPO “reporter” have revealed her conflicts of interest?


  7. No, i think the way this works is that based on that little bit of data, you extrapolate my income, declare me an oligarch and torch my house.

    just, you know, get the good booze out first. it would be a shame that it go to waste.


  8. I have been incredibly busy with work and then on vacation for a week, so I missed a lot, but I did happen to catch John Fricking Reporting for Duty Kerry’s powerful statement about Putin, along the lines of, “This is the 21st Century. Military aggression is … well, it’s just not done any more.”

    Has there ever been a moment when an official made his country more of a laughingstock?


  9. I don’t think Kasich is a front runner, but I do think R Presidential aspirants that expanded Medicaid (Christie, Walker) are going to have some problems in the Primaries.


  10. Well, he is French looking.


  11. Interesting note on the rule of thumb that apparently is used for the minimum wage.


  12. No one doubts this, right?


  13. I can’t decide who’s funnier,Ed Schultz or his callers.


  14. Interesting analogy:

    “Presidents tend to think of autocrats like Mr. Putin as fellow statesmen, said Dennis Blair, Mr. Obama’s first director of national intelligence. “They should think of dictators like they think of domestic politicians of the other party,” he said, “opponents who smile on occasion when it suits their purposes, and cooperate when it is to their advantage, but who are at heart trying to push the U.S. out of power, will kneecap the United States if they get the chance and will only go along if the U.S. has more power than they.””


  15. Exactly, Republicans are NOTORIOUS for pushing the US out of power.

    Does this D-Bag really believe that about domestic political opposition?

    Progressives, do you believe that?


  16. Aletheia101
    Actually, the people who think the status quo, for-profit system is workable or sustainable are the folks who believe in unicorns.

    True Single Payer would save all of us hundreds of billions a year.

    1:57 PM EDT
    how do you propose to ration care?

    2:01 PM EDT [Edited]
    There’s no need to ration it. Single Payer is far more efficient than our current system, which rations care based on ability to pay.

    Which is why 44,000 American die each year for lack of insurance, and more than a million go bankrupt over medical expenses.

    Single Payer would end that. You don’t have that problem in places like France, the Scandinavian countries, Canada, etc.

    2:05 PM EDT
    There are only so many “health care units” available in a given day. How are you doing to divide the pie? It doesn’t need to be is ridiculous.


  17. It’s really not that inconsistent with Aletheia’s other arguments from a Marxist standpoint.

    I’m surprised that “we all would together via true democracy” wasn’t offered as an answer as to who would make the decisions.


  18. What does Altheia say is the appropriate action towards the uncooperative?


  19. The premise is rejected. Under true democracy/communism, everyone comes to a voluntary consensus.

    Coercion is what the “fake” version of communism, more accurately called “state capitalism” by the true believers practiced in the USSR, etc.


    • jnc:

      The topic is rejected on principle. Under true democracy/communism, everyone comes to a voluntary consensus.

      It’s almost as though she is a space alien with literally no experience with human beings whatsoever.


  20. What does it say when you point out that *you* would not cooperate? Meaning does it ever provide an example of 100% cooperation on a large scale?


  21. It’s almost as though she is a space alien with literally no experience with human beings whatsoever.

    That is possibly the most logical explanation for how she comes up with some of her ideas that I’ve seen.


    • I have known people who smoked lots of dope daily who had this certainty of the collective experience, ‘Goose.


  22. It’s not unique to her. It’s classic Marxist New Man theory. Brave New World and all that.


  23. Aletheia just recites Marx for Dummies. S/he lives under the delusion that profits are costs added to the price of everything, and if you just eliminate profit, i.e., eliminate private business, everything would be affordable to everyone in abundance. It’s really just that stupid. Explaining why this is wrong is pointless, because s/he lacks even rudimentary logical capacity.

    On the coercsion/consensus point, s/he is only a little less sophisticated than bernie, who forever prattles about how expropriating the rich and taking income and property is how “the people choose to govern themselves.” they just assume problems of dissent, liberty, and rights away. More sophisticated Marxists would tell us these ideas are temporary manifestations of oppressive social structures. But our friends at PL are intellectual invalids.


  24. QB is exactly right.


  25. The most recent amusing aspect is the contradiction between how public services are to be valued vs private purchases.

    Private goods are only as valuable as the raw materials and labor that went into producing them. Any profit is illegitimate as is valuing them based on what the “market” price is.

    Public services by contrast aren’t valued based on what they actually cost to produce divided by the number of taxpayers but rather what it would cost you as an individual to completely self provision or pay for a substitute yourself.


  26. For you Nova:

    “A Brief History of Evil Finger-Tenting
    By Mike Pesca ”

    “Finger-tenting is thus the mustache-twirling of our time.”


  27. QB is exactly right.

    Clearly, I should quit now.

    The most recent amusing aspect is the contradiction between how public services are to be valued vs private purchases.

    Great insight. I am struggling to conceptualize how exactly they value public services. It is almost as though they place infinite value on them, since it is an article of faith that private initiative can’t do at all what government can do, in any sphere. When flying their Keynesian flag, they have implicit faith in a magical multiplier for any money government spends.


    • I was with you all the way until you confused Marx with Keynes. Multiplier analysis actually is pretty much dependent on a capitalist system. I cannot imagine how it would work or how Keynes thought it would work if it were not that money passes through several private hands in a time period we choose to measure. One real shortcoming of Keynes approach today is that deficit spending tends to flow out of the USA and not flow back.

      But as to Alatheia’s selective use of the labor theory of value and denial of capital inputs and innovation, her Marxist view of a static rather than a dynamic environment, and her insistence on defining her terms in absolutes that are contradictory to each other, yep – I’m wit ya.


  28. I didn’t confuse Marx and Keynes. I said, “when flying their Keynesian flag.” Multiplier analysis has a number of applications in free market economics. But folks like them–or cef or any number of other PL lefties–operate on a belief that all government spending, every single dollar spent on anything (oh, expect “spent” on lower taxes) is sprinkled with multiplier magic and produces net GDP gain, makes everyone better off, etc.

    In reality, the empirical evidence for any positive multiplier for government spending is at best negligible. People at PL have faith that it is at least 3 or 3x for every dollar spent. It is a fairy tale.


  29. The multiplier for tax cuts is higher than spending increases, though things get funky around the zero bound.


    • The multiplier for tax cuts is higher than spending increases, though things get funky around the zero bound.

      It also seems likely to me that after a government runs deficits in good years and bad the effect of larger deficits on the economy is attenuated. It also seems to me that the theory as I learned it was predicated on deficits – less revenue than spending – to be achieved through either tax cuts or spending increases, not on spending increases, as such. But even then, in the 60s, there was the notion that not all deficits were multipliers. The RWR idea of the EITC was considered a big multiplier possibility because it went to people who would spend it in the local economy. The Investment Tax Credit was considered a big possibility for the same reason, but I suspect that buying new office equipment has less of a multiplier effect than buying new Caterpillars, all monitors being built in Asia while all backhoes are built in Peoria. I assume there are recent studies on this sort of thing, and that what works as a multiplier is actually known.

      Thanks for the link, Brent. It makes a good case for the tax cut multiplier, in general, but I would still guess that not all tax cuts are created equal, wrt multiplier effects.

      The author’s caveats about effects in a sluggish economy being possibly different than results in a robust economy I also think are worth noting.


  30. Uh, I was told there’d be no math.


  31. Uh, I was told there’d be no math.

    Want to join me over here in the jock corner? Iced tea? Coffee?


  32. For your Harry Reid files:

    “Harry Reid accuses GOP of helping Russia annex Crimea as Ukraine aid deal clears procedural hurdle

    By Ed O’Keefe
    March 24 at 6:24 pm”


  33. Reid’s blaming Ukraine on Rs was so predictable I didn’t even bother to verbalize my prediction.

    I mean, this is all so easy now. No satire or parody of Dems is possible; it is all current or soon-to-be reality.


  34. Why does he credit his political opponent with more power than his side could muster? Doesn’t make sense.


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