Morning Report – Disappointing Manufacturing Data 11/17/14

Stocks are lower this morning as Japan has fallen back into recession. Bonds and MBS are up.

Some disappointing manufacturing data this morning: Industrial production fell .1% in October, and capacity utilization fell from 79.2% to 78.9%. September’s numbers were all revised lower. The November Empire Manufacturing Index came in light as well, at 10.16.

We have some important data this week, with the manufacturing data just released, housing starts on Wed, and also the FOMC minutes. The minutes have the most potential to affect the bond markets. Those will be released Wed afternoon.

More M&A activity, with Halliburton buying Baker Hughes in a $34 billion deal, and Actavis buying Allergan in a $60 billion deal.

Housing affordability dipped slightly in the third quarter, according to the NAHB. Money quote from NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe: “Even with nationwide home prices reaching their highest level since the end of 2007, affordability still remains fairly high by historical standards, Rising employment and incomes, interest rates that remain near historically low levels, and pent-up demand should contribute to positive momentum heading into next year.”

Freddie Mac is forecasting mid single-digit home price appreciation next year and a 2.9% 10 year bond / 4.6% 30 year mortgage.

Another Gruber video is out, and it explains about how the “Cadillac Tax” was sold as a tax on only the top of the line medical plans, but it is in actuality a scheme to make all employee benefits taxable. John Kerry was given credit for this piece of newspeak genius. The idea is that the cadillac tax line of demarcation will be indexed to CPI, which is much lower than medical inflation. If medical inflation continues to outpace the CPI, eventually everyone will be subject to it. Of course employers are nominally the ones paying, but those taxes will be passed on to employees. The left has always been eager to tax employee benefits, and obamacare basically put that into law. Get used to the idea of paying taxes on your health care plan. The spin out of the Obama administration: “Who is this Gruber guy? Nobody knows him.” As the Supreme Court reviews the subsidy issue, the last thing the Administration needs is some guy from their side connecting the dots on how misdirection and newspeak was used to sell a massive government program that has never been all that popular in the first place.

38 Responses

    • Stop the feminist bullying.

      Feminist bullies are so invested in the false idea that women are oppressed that they’re giving all women a bad reputation. Women, contrary to the image perpetuated by feminist bullies, are not weak. We are strong. We can handle all sorts of things and do so every day. We live full lives with complex and meaningful relationships and we have many professional and personal accomplishments. Women and girls are able to navigate life quite well, thank you very much, and it’s actually easier when women aren’t constantly talking about how supposedly oppressed we are. We’re not. I mean, sure, everyone in life has troubles. None of those troubles, for the vast majority of women, include “seeing a dude wear a shirt while discussing how he just landed a spaceship on a literal freaking comet.”

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  1. Scott, I vehemently disagree. Women are not strong. Find me a legitimate example of one.

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  2. Do progressives share that view?

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    • McWing:

      Do progressives share that view?

      Almost certainly not. But progressives are wrong about most things. No reason to think this isn’t one of them.

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  3. Women are plenty strong. I’m married to one.

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  4. “Not buying it.”

    Just because you are stronger than all women doesn’t mean there aren’t strong women, only that you are the strongest man alive. 😉

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  5. ““Even with nationwide home prices reaching their highest level since the end of 2007, affordability still remains fairly high by historical standards, Rising employment and incomes, interest rates that remain near historically low levels, and pent-up demand should contribute to positive momentum heading into next year.””

    Assuming nothing falls through, I’ve just sold my house and bought another (close on Dec 15th). When we put our house on the market 6 years ago, we got 2 showings in 6 months. This time we got 22 showings in 3 weeks. Two offers, first one got cold feet. We bought the house we bought just days after it went on the market. And about 4 other houses we wanted to look at had contracts on them before we could get out to see them.

    That being said, I don’t understand the banks and the short sells. They aren’t selling them. They list them, there is a price, and you can give them an offer that is the price of the house, and they sit on their hands and do nothing while sometimes very nice properties just rot. We went to see a short sell or two, just out of curiosity, and these were expensive frickin’ houses that the banks now own, and basically won’t sell, while no maintenance is done and the power is shut off so everything is rusting and rotting. They apparently send someone out to cut the grass, but that’s it. That really makes no sense. I liked the look of some of the short sells, and if I was in the mood to do a little more remodeling and fixer-upping than I am, and I would have wanted to get one, but I was told repeatedly the bank will just sit on your offer and do nothing until they can sell to someone without an agent, or at auction. They’d rather just sit on the property as it rots than pay a 3% commission. Bizarre.

    This will be my first home in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association. That should be interesting!

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  6. No, I’m saying,sincerely, that there are no strong women.

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    • McWing:

      No, I’m saying,sincerely, that there are no strong women.

      Strong in what sense? Was Maggie not strong? What about Golda Meir? Ayn Rand? Joan of Arc?

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  7. “That being said, I don’t understand the banks and the short sells. They aren’t selling them. They list them, there is a price, and you can give them an offer that is the price of the house, and they sit on their hands and do nothing while sometimes very nice properties just rot”

    Usually that is due to a pissing contest between the first and second lienholder. In a short sale, the bank thinks the HELOC should be worthless, but they need the 2nd lienholder’s okay to do the sale and they aren;t going to take zero.

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  8. “No, I’m saying,sincerely, that there are no strong women.”

    I am married to one

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  9. What’s strong about having men do your bidding?

    Look, I’m married too, I understand what has to be said versus what we know to be true.

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    • McWing:

      What’s strong about having men do your bidding?

      Getting them to do it, of course. Who was a stronger leader, Jimmy Carter or Margaret Thatcher?

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  10. Neither. Jimmy Carter is and was supremely, Obamacare level incompetent. The UK, then and now has virtually zero international power. They barely defeated Argentina. Argentina! I venture the UK couldn’t even that today. Further,what was the ratio of men to women in her administration? I mean she grew up in the upper middle class for Christsakes! She was a token.

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  11. Look, a massive government infrastructure needs to exist to allow women to even approach men in access to and the wielding of power. That its existence is required in proof that women are not strong. Any “strength” women have comes only when men subordinate themselves at gunpoint.

    I know it’s not PC to say. The existence of The Patriarchy from time and memorial is evidence of women’s lack of strength.

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    • McWing:

      You can’t move from the general to the particular. To argue that women as a class are not as strong as men as a class (whatever one means by “strong”) is not to argue that no women are as strong as any men. Your original challenge was to name “one” strong woman. To claim that Margaret Thatcher was a strong national leader is not to claim that women as a class make stronger (or even as strong) leaders than men. I think it would be hard to seriously claim that Thatcher was not a strong national leader, and impossible to seriously claim that she wasn’t a stronger leader than Carter.

      As for this:

      Look, a massive government infrastructure needs to exist to allow women to even approach men in access to and the wielding of power. That its existence is required in proof that women are not strong.

      That may be true with regard to women as a class, but Margaret Thatcher was first selected to run as a Conservative in 1950, she first got elected as an MoP in 1959, was promoted to the front bench in 1961, became shadow spokesperson for the Treasury in 1966, a member of the Cabinet in 1970, took over leadership of the party in 1974, and got elected Prime Minister in 1979. So what special “infrastructure” was in existence in the UK between 1950 and 1979 without which Maggie would not have risen within the Conservative Party during that time?

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  12. You make me laugh, McWing.

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  13. Scott, I should have been more clear. Some women can be strong but women as a group Are not and never will be strong, that is indisputable.

    Re Thatcher, in what way was she a strong national leader? Because she was re-elected? Obama was re-elected, is he a strong leader? Did Thatcher not require support, complete support in fact from men who were in the majority of elected MoP’s? And if she did not have the support of elected male MoP’s she would have had zero power? Her “strength” rested in the hands of men. How is that strength as rational people understand it? Further, what international strength did the UK have in those days?

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    • McWing:

      Re Thatcher, in what way was she a strong national leader? Because she was re-elected?

      No, nothing quite so mundane.

      I don’t think there is some objective formula for measuring the strength of a given person’s leadership. Leadership involves many abstract notions like getting people to believe in you, to believe in and execute your plans, to look to you for direction, to inspire confidence in others even against conventional wisdom or in trying/difficult circumstances. How do you go about doing these things? There isn’t some check list. It is just what strong leaders are intuitively capable of doing. It is what Maggie did in the UK. It’s what Carter couldn’t do in the US.

      And if she did not have the support of elected male MoP’s she would have had zero power?

      Sure, but that is just a comment on how democracy works, not on one’s strength as a leader. Nor does it have anything to do with the sex of either the leader or the supporters.

      Her “strength” rested in the hands of men.

      No, her strength rested on the ability to get those men to support her, or to “do her bidding” as you suggested earlier. Your ‘infrastructure” comment suggests to me that you think a woman needs some kind of special considerations as a woman in order to rise to positions of leadership. Certainly that can happen, but that doesn’t mean that it necessarily has happened in a given instance. That is why I asked you what kind of “infrastructure” existed to aid Maggie in her rise to prime Minister. Because I don’t think any such thing existed. If anything she rose to prominence in the Conservative party during a time not only when no such special considerations for her sex existed, but almost certainly when special obstacles for her sex did.

      Further, what international strength did the UK have in those days?

      The UK as an international player has been a declining power ever since the Nazis invaded France. Maggie’s strength as a leader derives largely from her actions on domestic, not foreign policy. Although I would say that her handling of the Falklands, while certainly not in the same class as Churchill, were also a sign of her strength as a leader.

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  14. Sure, but that is just a comment on how democracy works, not on one’s strength as a leader. Nor does it have anything to do with the sex of either the leader or the supporters.

    You cannot divorce the traditionally subordinate role of women just because democracy works by having people support you. She would not be in a position to be elected without the forbearance of men. A ship does not float outside the presence of water and women cannot participate in a democracy without the forbearance of men.

    No, her strength rested on the ability to get those men to support her, or to “do her bidding” as you suggested earlier. Your ‘infrastructure” comment suggests to me that you think a woman needs some kind of special considerations as a woman in order to rise to positions of leadership.

    It’s not a matter of what I think she needs, it’s a fact that special consideration is required for her to rise to a position of leadership. In the Patriarchy, she needs that consideration even to run for office and be elected. Any ability she may have possessed to persuade people to follow her is pure speculation. She could be articulate and the party leaders (male) might have thought she would be a softer front for some of the union reforms that were enacted. The fact that my speculation is not unreasonable is reason enough to realize that any strength she may have possessed came at the willing subordination of the men in the party. I would think that if she did persuade any of her male party compatriots, her ability to be heard by them probably came, initially anyway from pure chivalry, in that it would have been rude to interrupt a lady while she was talking and that gentlemen should be solicitous of women.

    Your impassioned defense of Thatcher is noble and reinforces humanities paternalism, I choose not to reinforce it though I do acknowledge it. Her “leadership skills” are absolutely subject to doubt and therefore reinforces the notion that any strength even an individual woman possesses comes at the willing allowance of males. How can that be considered real strength?

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    • McWing:

      Well, it sounds like what you are saying is that as a result of 1) the superior physical strength of men as a class and 2) the roles that women have been traditionally relegated to in history, the equality which women as a class now enjoy in society has come essentially because men have allowed it. If that is your point, then sure, I agree with you. If men as a class wanted to band together and subjugate women, eliminating them from participation in the politics of the nation, then yes they almost certainly could do it.

      But all that does is reduce the concept of “strength” to pure physical power, which is not the notion of strength that was referred to in the link that started this thread, and prompted your challenge to name one strong woman.

      Like

  15. Not quite. But feel free to keep thinking that, Scott.

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    • Mich:

      Not quite.

      Did you read the article?

      But feel free to keep thinking that, Scott.

      Thanks!

      Like

      • How much does it really cost to provide a college education?

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393063/tuition-showdown-kevin-d-williamson

        Under one set of assumptions, undergraduate students already are paying in tuition and fees 127 percent of the cost of educating them; under a different set, they are paying 191 percent of the cost of educating them. The university, on the other hand, estimates that tuition costs less than half the cost of undergraduate education.

        In large part, this comes down to what counts as undergraduate instruction. Professor Schwartz points out: “The accounting habits of research universities obscure the fact that professors are hired to perform research as well as teaching and simply record the totality of their academic-year salaries as expenditures for ‘Instruction.’ The phrase ‘Departmental Research’ is used to cover that deceptive practice.”

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    • McWing:

      Micro-aggressions,

      I read about this for the first time this morning. What insanity will the aggrieved left come up with next?

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  16. Trigger warnings.

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  17. “Micro-aggressions, motherfuckers!”

    Lord, the human race is doomed.

    “Elon University in North Carolina banned the word “freshman” from its website and student orientation, claiming it’s sexist and suggests that the young women might make good rape victims.”

    Repeat. Doomed.

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  18. Did you read the article?

    Yep.

    And, for the record, I have no problem with the word “freshman” (or “chairman” as well as a lot of “man” words). How it implies that women would be good rape victims is absolutely beyond me.

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    • I suppose a “statistical analysis” would show that no one who identified as a freshwoman had been accused of rape on campus. We attend college to learn to reason on this abstract level.

      We need an @irony@ font.

      Like

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