Morning Report – Bad news in the energy patch could be good news for housing… 2/12/15

Markets are higher this morning on news of a cease-fire in Ukraine. Bonds and MBS are up.

Greek bonds are rallying with bonds globally. Unusual, as a rally in Greek debt has been triggering the risk-on trade lately.

Retail Sales disappointed in January. The headline number fell .8%, however falling gas prices were a big contributor (gas is measured in dollars, not gallons). However, the control group, which strips out volatile segments like autos, gas, and building materials only rose .1%, versus Street expectations of .4%. The strength appears to be in autos and food service. Bad weather in the Northeast may have played a role in the number, however.

Business Inventories rose .1% and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to 44.3.

Initial Jobless Claims rose to 304k last week. This is going to be a number to watch – falling energy prices are triggering layoffs in the energy patch. Interestingly, part of the reason why labor has been so tight in construction was due to workers moving from the construction sector to the energy sector after the housing bust. As energy prices fall and construction begins to ramp up, this could be good news for the housing sector and especially the homebuilders. The builders have been frustrated by an inability to find skilled labor, and a reversal of the migration from construction to the energy sector should help them.

Julian Castro appeared before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday. His prepared remarks are here. He was there to defend the cut in mortgage insurance and to rah-rah everything the Administration has done to get housing (and the economy) moving. It was basically a defense of an activist government role in the housing market.

25 Responses

  1. only one Pinocchio. when citing a figure that’s more aligned with a war zone where rape is used as a weapon.

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  2. I can see the one Pinocchio for Obama, given that his cite reflects the actual conclusions of the report. He didn’t make it up or misrepresent it. The real problem is with the report itself.

    This caught my eye too:

    “Please remember that even if someone uses alcohol or drugs, what happens to them is not their fault.”

    Apply that logic to drunk driving.

    Like

  3. Good Jamelle Bouie piece on Jon Stewart:

    “The emblematic Stewart posture isn’t a joke or a witticism, it’s a sneer—or if we’re feeling kind, a gentle barb—coupled with a protest: I’m just a comedian.

    And for a generation of young liberals, his chief influence has been to make outrage, cynicism, and condescension the language of the left.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/02/jon_stewart_stepping_down_from_the_daily_show_he_was_bad_for_liberals.html

    Like

  4. Only if you’re a broad.

    Like

  5. stop it you misogynist baggers you…

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  6. I’m of the opinion that false statistics actually undermine action in dealing with violence against women.

    The methodology reminds me of how the Harvard report on bankruptcy causes that Elizabeth Warren worked on conflated any bankruptcy that had medical debt to a bankruptcy that was caused by that debt. And this from the supposed “science” based side in American politics. In both cases, the goal is to get to a number that can generate a headline, by any methodology necessary.

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  7. “The real problem is with the report itself.”

    True. but it doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

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  8. Bouncing on the bottom.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102419900

    Why, it’s almost as if Reinhart and Rogoff were correct.

    http://scholar.harvard.edu/rogoff/publications/growth-time-debt

    Unexpectedly!

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  9. “novahockey, on February 12, 2015 at 11:21 am said:

    “The real problem is with the report itself.”

    True. but it doesn’t even pass the laugh test.”

    If Obama had said “According to the CDC report, …” I don’t think that even one Pinocchio could have been justified as a “fact checking matter”. That doesn’t mean you can’t rebut him on the merits but within the limited scope of media fact checking, it passes muster.

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  10. “Bernie Sanders: Greece Is In “Midst Of Depression,” Needs Fed Bailout Before Democracy Fails”

    That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s saying that the Fed helped the ECB and therefore it’s on the ECB to help Greece.

    There’s lots to criticize about Sanders, but he is not calling for the US Federal Reserve to bail out Greece.

    Like

  11. Speaking of Sanders, hard to argue with this:

    “Once again, this war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort…

    I want to make sure that our young men and women are not fighting a never-ending war in the region, not getting killed. I want to make sure the leaders of the effort are in fact Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan and the UAE. I want the Muslim nations to take the lead. I want their troops to be on the ground. I want them to be aggressive. I want them to be spending the money necessary to defeat ISIS. I want us to be in a supportive role but not leading the effort.”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/11/bernie_sanders_this_war_is_a_battle_for_the_soul_of_islam_and_it_should_be_muslim_countries_sending_troops.html

    Like

  12. ” That doesn’t mean you can’t rebut him on the merits but within the limited scope of media fact checking, it passes muster.”

    So what I told you was true… from a certain point of view

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  13. ” this war is a battle for the soul of Islam”

    why that’s controversial escapes me.

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  14. I missed that one.

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  15. Rand Paul channels NoVA:

    ““Those who jumped all over me on this need to stand up and say what they’re for. If they asked the president, are you for a new federal law holding people down and vaccinating them? He’s not. And neither is anybody else who gave me a lot of grief over this,” he said.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/02/12/rand-paul-on-vaccines-do-you-want-to-be-shushed/?tid=hpModule_ba0d4c2a-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394&hpid=z10

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  16. Shame he took a few punches before coming back with that.

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    • Random observations.

      The apparent list of 300 misfits the Lege and Powers conspired together to get admitted at UT is a disgrace that is not excused by the political expediency, but made all the worse for it.

      A drunken rape victim is not analogous to a drunken driver – the perp in the first case is the rapist but the perp in the second case is the driver. Drunken victim does not equate to drunken perp.

      And going through customs stretches timelines in airports to screw with your schedule, no matter how carefully you plan.

      The state has an interest in the emotional well being of several groups of its citizens. Off hand, each level of gummint has an interest in the emotional well being of its hires and of its employees. The federal gummint has assumed an interest in its veterans’ emotional well being in a quasi-contractual sort of way that most of us support. Perhaps there are other instances.

      I really like John Stewart.

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      • Mark:

        A drunken rape victim is not analogous to a drunken driver

        I think the point is that being drunk does not absolve a women of the choices she makes any more than it does for a drunk driver. Contrary to the claim made, it is entirely possible that being drunk does make it her fault for what happens to her, if being drunk caused her to consent to something that she wouldn’t have consented to while sober.

        The state has an interest in the emotional well being of several groups of its citizens.

        Neither of your two examples are relevant counters to my claim that the government has no natural or unavoidable interest in the emotional well-being of citizens in general. With regard to government employees, the government as an employer has an interest in the emotional well-being of its employees. That is quite a different thing from the government as government having an interest in the emotional well-being of citizens. With regard to veterans, as you suggest the obligation is somewhat contractual, and also limited to their emotional well-being as it relates to their time as members of the military. For example, while the government may have an obligation to treat an instance of PTSD, the government has no such obligation to validate the emotional desires of a veteran for homosexual sex, a desire presumably unrelated to his service in the military.

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        • Neither of your two examples are relevant counters to my claim that the government has no natural or unavoidable interest in the emotional well-being of citizens in general.

          No counter was intended.

          Like

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