Morning Report – Box Scores for 2014 1/2/15

Markets are higher on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat.
Box scores for 2014:
12/31/2014 12/31/2014       Change
S&P 500 1848 2059 11.42%
US 10 year yield 3.03% 2.17% -0.86%
Crude Oil $98.54 $52.37 -46.85%
US Dollar Index 80.035 90.269 12.79%
Case-Shiller 165.9 173.4 4.52%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.54% 3.99% -0.55%
Federal Reserve Bank Total Assets ($ trillions) 4.03 4.49 11.41%
Clearly the biggest surprise of the year was the drop in interest rates and oil.
Pending Home Sales ticked up .8% in November, according to NAR. They are up 1.7% year over year.
The ISM Manufacturing Index fell from 58.7 to 55.5 in December, while prices paid fell from 44.5 to 38.5.
Construction Spending fell .3% in November.
Happy New Year to all, and may the Fed stick the landing.

34 Responses

  1. Brent,
    Thanks for the box scores. I don’t remember them from before, but it is good to compare snapshots once in a while. The congruence between the percentage increases of Fed Reserve assets and the S&P500 is an interesting coincidence.

    Also, why are the vital statistics not showing up at ATiM? Or is that just my browser?

    Like

  2. No, for some reason the formatting was messing them up, so i stopped doing it.

    Like

    • California doing its best to demonstrate the benefits of traditional federalism…imagine if the whole nation had to operate under CA’s labor laws?

      Dictating the temperature which employers must maintain in their bathrooms is absurd enough, but the geniuses in the CA legislature have apparently actually taken steps to make poor people less employable. By passing a law aimed at publicly naming any employer which employs people who are also on public assistance, ostensibly shaming them for not paying enough, the legislature has provided employers with the incentive to avoid hiring anyone who is, and might remain, on public assistance. The mind boggles.

      Like

    • McWing (from the link):

      This would usually be the point where I state for the record that I believe very strongly that all women are human beings. Problem is, I’ve just conceived a sudden suspicion that one of them is actually a Vogon spy in a skin suit.

      Great line.

      Like

  3. Yeah. Shorter Feminists, Alpha Males Rule, Beta Males Drool.

    Like

  4. @ScottC: “By passing a law aimed at publicly naming any employer which employs people who are also on public assistance, ostensibly shaming them for not paying enough, the legislature has provided employers with the incentive to avoid hiring anyone who is, and might remain, on public assistance. The mind boggles.”

    When any group attains too much power and becomes too insular (and, certainly, in leftwing enclaves like the California government(s) this is quite likely the case) they always seems be to lose touch with reality to a point that every initiative actively works against their ostensible goals. Such unbalanced systems always seem to begin to eat themselves. But politicians in general and the left in particular seem immune to the basic economic concept of incentives, so I suppose such things are sadly predictable.

    How many years out are the laws that punish employers for employing the currently unemployed because such activity implies something negative about being unemployed, thus the very act of hiring someone is somehow a discriminatory activity?

    Like

    • Kevin:

      How many years out are the laws that punish employers for employing the currently unemployed because such activity implies something negative about being unemployed, thus the very act of hiring someone is somehow a discriminatory activity?

      In all seriousness, what I expect next from CA is a law making it illegal to discriminate in employment against those who receive public assistance. (In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if such a law already exists.) This would result in the impossible situation in which an employer is condemned both for employing and not employing people on public assistance. Progressive thinking is truly Kafkaesque.

      This was from the reasoning for the name and shame law:

      Employers that pay low wages and offer no benefits shift the costs of doing business onto taxpayers.

      Complete and utter nonsense.

      Like

  5. @McWing: From the link: “As Bertrand Russell wrote of his own adolescence: “I was put off from suicide only by the desire to learn more mathematics.””

    Bertrand Russell was a deeply flawed human being (and quite the ladies man) but that’s an awesome quote.

    I get tired of the “structural discrimination” argument. It basically says that every evil the oppressed group commits (as individuals) is okay or not a big deal because it’s not structural or institutional. For some reason, what members of a “privileged group” do, as individuals, is a big frickin’ problem, because they are members of the group, making their bad behaviors part of “structural discrimination”, but all the bile and hatred that comes from individuals (who also identify with large and contemporarily powerful groups, but whatever) is okay or a non-issue or non-existent despite obviously happening because it’s “not structural” because it wasn’t a part of majority cultural normals 100 or 1000 years ago.

    But our present experience of life happens today, tomorrow. It happened last week and last year, not a century ago. So the argument that someones bad behavior is fine because it’s not part of institutional discrimination doesn’t seem very convincing to me.

    There’s also something else about the argument of privilege. We see it constantly: privilege is mostly invisible to the privileged. Anyone who has ever raised a teenager as witnessed that. And that’s effectively the argument of feminists and other victim classes: white males don’t see how privileged they are, we must show them. The problem is, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It could well be the case that most victim classes enjoy a great deal of privilege, that non-members can see but that is effectively invisible to them. Nobody thinks about their privilege because it’s just there; it’s the base line they operate from. And while we can see the privileges that others enjoy that we do not, it often does not seem to occur to us that we enjoy similar privileges that others can see, but that are invisible to us.

    Which all is ultimately to say spending one’s emotional and physical energy on productive pursuits rather than on bitterness and resentment might not just serve the white male patriarchy, but might serve everybody. The man-o-sphere and modern feminism both seem to me to waste time, mostly, gnawing on the same bitter bone.

    Like

  6. @McWing: Also from the article: “Talking about “entitled nerds” is the Hot New Internet Feminism thing these days. Here’s The Entitlement And Misogyny Of Nerd Culture. Here’s Sex, Nerds, Entitlement, and Rape. Here’s Is Nerd Culture Filled With Entitled Crybabies? There’s On Male Entitlement: Geeks, Creeps, and Sex.”

    Nerds generally equal what? Smart, socially awkward or socially outcast folks (men and women). Or the former friends of the feminist movement. When the guys who used to be the sensitive, enlightened men smart enough to be feminists themselves are now a hated group by contemporary feminists because they are no longer riding the feminist bandwagon . . . I dunno, that seems to suggest something to me about contemporary feminism. The problems used to be the neanderthals and the dumb jocks, but now it’s the smart guys, too? Those who should be soul-mates because they’ve experienced being social ostracized? And what’s with the feminist atheist-shaming? That’s weird.

    Like

  7. Kevin, I think it’s baser than that. As I wrote, and the article reinforces, Feminist ranking reflects that of the wider society: Alpha males and/or physical attractiveness is given much greater leeway and consideration. Beta males and/or the physically unattractive are forever the acceptable victims of derision. Feminists can’t/won’t escape hypergamy so will always favor the Strong Horse.

    Like

  8. I’ll add to the above that it also highlights the need preference for the Strong Horse as well.

    Like

  9. @McWing: “Feminists can’t/won’t escape hypergamy so will always favor the Strong Horse.”

    Well, that, too, obviously. But it’s definitely “can’t”. You don’t get away from instincts in mating any more than you get away from the need to defecate because you believe your political awareness has elevated you beyond such base needs. 😉

    Like

    • Brent, thanks for another year of insights.

      Kev, I enjoyed your comments on blaming others and measuring against others. Among our acquaintances we often hear the measuring: he was just promoted over me; she has all the luck; my portfolio soared past yours; she couldn’t have been that great a mother, her son is an alcoholic; can you believe his daughter got admitted to Stanford? In my own extended family: I hate it that my sister will always make more money than I do; how could my no good ex husband have a fiancee before I am even dating again?

      To me, this is all of a pattern and usually pretty tiresome stuff. Find what you want to do with your life, do it, and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t bitch about it. This works for me. Save complaining for cancer and Alzheimers. Don’t measure your self esteem by others, because by definition, if you do, then you have no self esteem at all.

      Yes, I have just spent nearly two weeks with family…

      Like

  10. They really should have disinvited him.

    “Obama to highlight economic policies in aggressive push toward State of the Union
    By David Nakamura
    January 3 at 1:00 PM”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/01/03/obama-to-highlight-economic-policies-in-aggressive-push-toward-state-of-the-union/

    “Obama Plans 3-Day Tour to Preview State of the Union
    By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
    JAN. 3, 2015”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/us/politics/in-a-switch-obama-will-offer-a-state-of-the-union-preview-during-a-3-day-tour-.html?_r=0

    Like

  11. So, his message will be that gridlock and pretend-austerity worked, right?

    Like

  12. A thousand times yes!

    * [new] I’ve had that somethings bothering me feeling (6+ / 0-)
    but I’m not sure why for a long time now. I’m hoping Krugman can figure it out soon so I can do what I can to avoid some of the damage. He has warned about deflation and the Saudis keeping up oil production to hurt the Russians and Iranians is understandable but if it and austerity start a deflation spiral it could get real ugly fast.

    Just doing what I can with what I got. – Burt Gummer

    by Mrcynical on Sun Jan 04, 2015 at 02:40:33 PM PST

    Help us Oh-Krugman-Wan, you’re our only hope!

    Like

  13. We wuz robbed.

    Like

  14. George, what did you mean by “mindblowing”?

    Like

  15. “but they are hampered by potholes and crumbling infrastructure, troubled public school systems, growing inequality and housing unaffordability, and entrenched poor populations, all of which mean higher public costs and higher tax burdens.”

    Like

  16. “But that is exactly the mantra of the growing ranks of red state politicos. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a likely 2016 G.O.P. presidential candidate, has taken to bragging that his state’s low-frills development strategy provides a model for the nation as a whole. But fracking and sprawling your way to growth aren’t a sustainable national economic strategy.”

    Like

  17. “The allure of cheap growth has handed the red states a distinct political advantage. Their economic system may be outmoded and obsolete, but it is strong enough to blight the future.

    Like

  18. “As long as the highly gerrymandered red states can keep on delivering the economic goods to their voters, concerted federal action on transportation, infrastructure, sustainability, education, a rational immigration policy and a strengthened social safety net will remain out of reach.</b"

    Like

  19. How can an intelligent mind not be blown?

    Like

  20. Agreed. I almost wrote a diatribe against the northeast view of Texas after we had family from there visiting.

    Like

    • Mark:

      ..the northeast view of Texas

      It’s definitely not this northeasterner’s view. Are your relatives liberals?

      Like

  21. Are my relatives liberals?

    One of my recently visiting inlaws is an Englishman. Liberal + Snob.

    Like

    • Mark:

      One of my recently visiting inlaws is an Englishman. Liberal + Snob.

      I definitely know the type. When I lived in the UK, I knew plenty of people whose contempt for Texas, the dreaded home of Bush, was only slightly more elevated than their contempt for the US in general.

      Like

  22. The nub of the argument in the NYT piece is simply a call for more redistribution:

    “The idea that the red states can enjoy the benefits provided by the blue states without helping to pay for them (and while poaching their industries with the promise of low taxes and regulations) is as irresponsible and destructive of our national future as it is hypocritical.”

    Of course, the author could always advocate for repealing those existing federal transfers that drive “red state welfare” but he doesn’t.

    Also, the irony is lost here:

    “But fracking and sprawling your way to growth aren’t a sustainable national economic strategy.”

    Neither is perpetually starting social media web companies that cash out via IPO’s but don’t actually ever turn a profit or staying in college for 12 plus years as a perpetual student.

    I’ll take the red state model of producing something in the physical world as being more of an actual “wealth” creator than the “knowledge economy”.

    Like

  23. Yes, they read the Guardian…

    Like

Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: