Morning Report – Wages and confidence improving slowly 4/17/15

Stocks are lower this morning after Chinese shares got roughed up overnight. Bonds and MBS are down small.

Inflation remains well contained and below the Fed’s target. Consumer Prices rose .2% in March. On a year over year basis, they were down .1%. Ex food and energy, they were up 1.8%. Real weekly earnings were up 2.2%. The wage inflation number is encouraging, as wage growth is the last piece of the puzzle.

Consumer Sentiment rose, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. Current conditions and expectations both increased.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators improved slightly in in March, to 0.2% from a downward-revised 0.1% in February.

The NAHB is pushing Congress to pass the Mortgage Choice Act, which makes some modifications to the definitions of points and fees in order for a mortgage to be considered a qualified mortgage. They believe credit is too tight, and the regulatory agencies are part of the reason why. Interesting given the lousy housing starts number this week.

20 Responses

  1. Kevin’s slacking off. Frist!

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  2. Sceond.

    Looks like another voice at the mouthpiece for Big Progressive Pay Your Fair Share Government owes back taxes as well.

    http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/irs-files-k-tax-lien-against-harris-perry-husband/article_7e39a096-e3c9-11e4-9c3a-2feeea1356be.html

    This IMO is like Republicans who talk about morals while cheating on their spouse.

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  3. “We were aware that we would continue to need to work to pay off the 2013 debt,” she said in the email.

    Harris-Perry said the couple had an official payment plan with the IRS. She said she had not had any recent conversations with the IRS and doubted that she could reach the IRS Wednesday, the deadline for millions of Americans to file their income tax returns.

    They were working on paying it off. But to your larger point my question would be “have you never heard of accountants?”

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  4. Well, if she is going to get up on her high horse and exhort people to “pay their fair share” she ought to at least pay her own taxes.

    This is like Jimmy Swaggart stuff…

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  5. Wow!

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  6. wow. that is mind boggling…

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  7. This is going to be a real problem for progressives:

    “Why Americans Don’t Want to Soak the Rich

    APRIL 17, 2015
    By NEIL IRWIN ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/upshot/why-americans-dont-want-to-soak-the-rich.html?_r=0

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  8. Obama is caving to Iran, again. The deal goes from bad to worse.

    “Obama Urges ‘Creative’ Talks to Bridge Divide With Iran on Sanctions
    By PETER BAKER and RICK GLADSTONE
    APRIL 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday directed his diplomats to use “creative negotiations” to bridge a sharp divide with Iran over the fate of sanctions if it agrees to curb its nuclear program, signaling flexibility in hopes of keeping a tentative agreement from unraveling.

    Iranian leaders have insisted in recent days that the punishing sanctions be lifted as soon as a written accord is signed, a position that the country’s foreign minister reinforced on Friday. Mr. Obama did not repeat past American assertions that sanctions would be removed only in phases as Tehran follows through on obligations to scale back its nuclear facilities.

    Instead, Mr. Obama suggested that negotiators seek a solution that would seem “more acceptable” to Iran’s political constituencies, while preserving leverage to force the government to abide by the deal. Rather than the timing and structure of sanctions relief, he said his priority was creating a system for reimposing the punitive measures if Iran is caught cheating.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/us/politics/obama-praises-congress-on-iran-and-trade-but-chides-senate-gop-over-nominee.html?_r=0

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  9. I am slacking off, Goose. Writing the second volume of my cliche-ridden high-fantasy novel so as to be able to revise the first novel with the second novel done, and that takes time. Have at least three books I want to get finished and self- publish before I die! Just a personal goal. Then there’s the work I get paid for, what a pain in the ass that is. Then there’s my daughter and her sociopathic ex-boyfriend–that drama has been dragged on for months, because she can’t tell the difference between love and the exaltations of her ovaries. But I will be frist again one day. The ancient times of the fristian Kings is not yet passed!

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  10. As I always say, if it weren’t for all these customers I could get a hell of a lot of work done.

    Do your novels contain heaving bosoms?

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  11. @McWing: “Do your novels contain heaving bosoms?”

    While I don’t think I use that specific term at any point, the answer to that would be yes. What is high fantasy without tight bodices and bosoms threatening to burst out of them? Like ripe fruits, heavy with juice and waiting to be picked. Plus magic.

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  12. @jnc4p: “Yet in American politics in recent years, it has manifested itself in a narrow, partisan debate over whether the top marginal income tax rate should be 35 percent or 39.6 percent.”

    One might argue that taking almost .40¢ of every dollar earned is already “soaking the rich”. Although, frankly, that rate also soaks the upper-middle class. And anyone who is self-employed that makes any money at all, or filing their business taxes on their personal return.

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  13. @mcwing: “Follow-through please.”

    Don’t hold your breath. Business is almost always for more and more burdensome regulations, when such regulations limit competitors from entering the marketplace. Love the scenes from the Aviator where PanAm is trying to convince the government to give PanAm a monopoly on air travel, for the security of the nation.

    Pretty much all unduly burdensome monopolies require government coercion to maintain. Natural monopolies exist only in expensive niches where the market cannot support multiple providers. Usually, even then, it’s just a matter of time before some innovation allows the monopoly to be broken.

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    • Quick FYI…thought you all might like to know. My mom finally passed away last week. As some of you know, she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years, and while her physical body hadn’t given up, we had really lost her a couple of years ago. So the end came with much relief for everyone.

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      • While your loss has been continuing, now that it is a closed matter you may be able to more clearly remember her before mind faded, and I hope that is a good memory to keep.

        Is your father alive and well?

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        • Thanks Mark. Yes, he is doing well.

          I told him the hard part for him was already over. Most of the time when someone dies, the real difficulty comes in trying to figure out how to carry on and fill the void after the funeral is over and everyone else goes back to normal, every day life. But he already had to do that over the last several years, as the disease slowly took her away from him. So while the funeral service was difficult, now he just returns to the same life he’s been used to living for quite a while already.

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  14. Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I have an acquaintance dealing with a parent with advance Alzheimer’s. It’s a very depressing harrowing disease.

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