Morning Report – Meet Jonathon Gruber 11/14/14

Stocks are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

Retail Sales came in strong during October, rising .3% (up.6% ex autos and gas). Retail Sales have been volatile lately, but this is certainly good news for the retailers.

Mortgage Delinquencies fell to 5.85% in the third quarter and foreclosures fell to 2.39%.

The University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index rose to 89.4 from 86.9 last month. This is mainly due to the drop in gasoline prices, which is what these consumer confidence indices really reflect.

Import Prices fell 1.3% as the energy prices fell. The dollar rally has affected commodity prices in general, which does give the Fed room to maneuver if they want to maintain low rates.

The drop in energy prices is spurring M&A activity in the oil patch. Halliburton and Baker Hughes are in talks regarding a deal.

It is good to be Bill Gross. He got a bonus of $290 million last year. Mohammed El Arian got $230 million.

Obama has a new thorn in his side – a MIT economist named Jonathon Gruber who made some candid comments on the Administration’s thinking during the health care debate. Specifically, they relied on obfuscation and the general “stupidity” of the American voter to get it through. He also confessed that the “bending the cost curve” part of obamacare was simply a way to market the law to the American People and the law never intended to do that. Obamacare has never been all that popular to begin with, and this adds fuel to the fire. Given the rocky start between Republicans and Obama after the election, the politics could be interesting if the SC rules the law says what the law says and states that didn’t set up exchanges are ineligible for Medicaid subsidies. Note that Republicans truly dominate at the state levels.

4 Responses

  1. Frist. Heh.

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  2. Still trying to pretend they don’t know him:

    ““I just heard about this,” Obama said at a new conference, after wrapping up two days of meetings with world leaders here at the G-20 Summit. “The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed his opinion that I completely disagree with — it is no reflection on the actual process that was run.””

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/obama-dismisses-renewed-criticism-of-health-care-law/2014/11/16/78ecd912-6d65-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html

    He sure was paid a lot for never working with their staff then. Brings this paraphrase to mind:

    “Truly I tell you, this very week, before the pundit crows on the Sunday shows, you will disown me three times.”

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  3. Is anybody reading, who favored the law now persuaded to advocate repeal?

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