Morning Report – Job openings the highest since 2001 9/9/14

Stocks are flat on no real news. Bonds continue their post-ECB retreat.

Consumer credit increased 9.7% year over year in July, according to the Fed. Note this does not include mortgages. Revolving debt increased 7.4%, while non-revolving debt increased 10.6%.

Job openings remained steady at 4.7 million in July, which is the highest level since 2001. So why does the labor market stink? People don’t have the skills employers demand.

Small business optimism increased by .4 in August to reach 96.1, the second highest reading since October 2007. Expectations are still glum, however as the majority of small business owners think conditions will be worse in six months. NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.02 workers (basically flat), however it was the eleventh positive month in a row. Earnings trends improved 1 point to -17. This statistic shows the stark contrast between the big S&P 500 names (which have a lot of international exposure) versus Main Street Small Business. Reading the report, you wouldn’t guess the S&P 500 is at record highs.

Consumers continue to temper their expectations for home price appreciation, according to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. Consumers expect an average 12 month appreciation of 2.1% going forward. 42% of respondents thing house prices will increase, 45% expect them to stay the same, and 9% expect them to fall. 23% said their household income was significantly higher than it was a year ago (a drop from 28% last month), while 15% said their income was significantly lower than it was a year ago (an increase from 12% last month). So regardless of what the consumer sentiment surveys say, things are not necessarily getting better for the average homeowner.

Mohammed El-Arian explains what is going on with US yields vis a vis European yields. Yields could rise in US Treasuries as f/x rates adjust to persistent European economic weakness.

The Fed is contemplating capital requirements that will be even tougher than Basel. At the margin, this would mean less mortgage lending by the big banks like Wells and JP Morgan.

7 Responses

  1. For Mark.

    Nice pieces on the UT scandal and how Wallace Hall has been ass-raped for exposing corruption and cronyism.

    And how the Texas media won’t cover it because it was Rick Perry’s initiative.


    • Thanks, George. An entirely different spin, I agree, and one I would have wanted the press to have explored, because I love UT, not because I trust Perry.

      It is plausible that some of the press was motivated by animus to Perry, especially in Austin. But I find that hard to accept about the DaMN, or the Austin bureau writers from the staunchly Republican papers like the Lubbock Avalanche, etc.

      Motivation may be irrelevant to the real story – which is that Hall’s version never got a fair airing in any newspaper with an Austin bureau, AFAIK. I certainly had never heard this laid out except in terms of the “800k documents” and the “million $$$”.

      Back when Mark Yudof was Dean there was no political Mickey Mouse with LS admissions. Also under Page Keeton. GWB was not admitted, because his LSAT just wasn’t good enough. My understanding, not necessarily true, is that he was somewhere around 81st percentile, when 91st was the cutoff with allowances down to 88th for unusual cases, usually veterans, sometimes furriners with English as a second language. Sometime after 1991, the Lege started pressuring the School more on account of “buddies”. So I know that part of Hall’s version rings true, and I think was minimized by the press. Perhaps the Austin bureau writers were more concerned about pissing off their sources in the Lege then they were in trying to ferret the story. That makes more sense than their supposed antipathy to Perry, at a nuts and bolts level.

      Thanks again.


  2. I love identity politics.


  3. Nice look at the economic costs of the ExIm bank.


  4. More “Non-Scandal” news.

    Also a look at our single-payer future, when limited resources meet Positive Rights.


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