Morning Report: FOMC data dump 6/18/15

Markets are higher this morning after the FOMC statement was more dovish than people had feared. Bonds and MBS are flat

The Consumer Price Index rose .4% in May, slightly below expectations. Ex-food and energy, it rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is flat, while the core index is up 1.7%. Inflation remains below the Fed’s target.

Initial Jobless Claims fell to 267,000 last week, another strong number. Real average weekly wages increased 2.3%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 40.9 from 40.1 last week, while the Philly Fed index rose to 15.2 and the Index of Leading Economic Indicators was flat at 0.7%.

The FOMC statement was pretty much non-eventful, as was the press conference. The action was in the projection materials and the revised economic forecasts. As expected, the Fed took down its forecast for 2015 GDP growth to a range of 1.8% – 2.0% versus 2.3% – 2.7%. The Fed has been consistently high in its estimates for GDP growth ever since the crisis. It is almost as if they are trying to shoehorn an post asset bubble economy into a garden-variety Fed-driven recession model. Unemployment was taken up as well, from a range of 5.0%-5.2% to 5.2%-5.3%. We will have to wait until the minutes come out to understand the rationale there. Inflation is still expected to come in around .7%. Overall, the economy is still fragile and the Fed wants to take it slow.

The dot graph lowered the median projection for the Fed Funds rate to .7% from .9% at the March FOMC meeting, and the trajectory of interest rates is expected to be lower.

The CFPB is delaying the deadline for TRID until October, in order to give the industry a little more time. Sounds like the industry lobbied for this extension pretty hard.

We are getting a woman on the $10 bill by 2020. Jack Lew is asking for suggestions. Of course no one will be using cash anymore by 2020 anyway, and you can put whoever you want on the wallpaper on your phone…

40 Responses

  1. Weird dynamic going on in Europe. Greece’s exit will be made more painful (for Greecians) and hence the rest of the EU as a warning to Spain and Italy.

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  2. Michi – yes I’ve been in Virginia the whole time.

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    • Progressive Portland, on the cutting edge of idiotic policy.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/oregon-white-privilege-100K

      Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow school district spends $100,000 each year on a white-privilege conference that teaches its faculty that they’re racist and should therefore blame themselves for student misbehavior. The week-long “Coaching for Educational Equity” conference is mandatory for all administrators (and optional for teachers) in the Portland-area K–12 school district each year, according to the Education Action Group Foundation, a national non-partisan, non-profit education reform organization headquartered in Michigan.

      EAG reports that school-board member Dan Chriestenson recently obtained the conference materials after a long battle with the Oregon Center for Educational Equity, the private nonprofit that presents the conference. “Many white people in Oregon have no idea that our schools and state are immersed in white culture and are uncomfortable and harmful to our students of color, while also reinforcing the dominant nature of white culture in our white students and families,” one of the conference documents explains.

      The manual defines this “white culture” with a list of values, such as “promoting independence, self expression, personal choice, individual thinking and achievement,” because apparently those are strictly “white” concepts and not emphasized in black communities.

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      • I keep hearing the same thing in all the articles I read about the Charelston shooting that happened yesteerday.

        Police Chief Gregory Mullen said he believed the shooting was a hate crime

        I have to ask: Who cares if it was a “hate crime”? Can anyone here come up with any conceivable motivation that would make the killings less evil, less reprehensible, and worthy of less punishment than a motivation that somehow turns it into a “hate crime”?

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        • All murders are hate crimes, at some level, and we didn’t need this category for anything except more prosecutorial discretion. And we didn’t need more of that, either.

          I recall when a black victim was cruelly tortured to death in east Texas at the end of GWB’s gov admin. Some bemoaned that the three culprits were not tried on “hate” crime indictments b/c TX didn’t have the category. GWB wondered aloud how many times over can you get the death penalty? And two of the three got death, the 17 YO got life w/o parole.

          Addendum: In TX, this case would be a serial murder, which is one of the types that automatically invokes the death penalty or life without parole and no lesser punishment.

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        • Mark:

          All murders are hate crimes, at some level, and we didn’t need this category for anything except more prosecutorial discretion. And we didn’t need more of that, either.

          Hear, hear.

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  3. The manual defines this “white culture” with a list of values, such as “promoting independence, self expression, personal choice, individual thinking and achievement,” because apparently those are strictly “white” concepts and not emphasized in black communities.

    you would think those that are most concerned about inequality would start there, but apparently not.

    I know the left goes ape-shit whenever you suggest their MO is to use dependency as their political base, but, you see shit like that and it just underscores that strategy…

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    • The manual defines this “white culture” with a list of values, such as “promoting independence, self expression, personal choice, individual thinking and achievement,”

      Marxist bullshit. Surely now that it has been exposed it will be jettisoned?

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      • Mark:

        Marxist bullshit. Surely now that it has been exposed it will be jettisoned?

        I rate it more likely that designer of the program ends up working for Obama’s department of education.

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  4. @jnc4p: Thanks! I’ve been reading a series of books set in and around Charlottesville and Richmond, and those characters have politics much like yours. It explains a lot!

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  5. “Michigoose, on June 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm said: Edit Comment

    @jnc4p: Thanks! I’ve been reading a series of books set in and around Charlottesville and Richmond, and those characters have politics much like yours. It explains a lot!”

    Not really. I’m as much of an outlier here as libertarians are nationally.

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  6. Libertarians are always outliers. They tend to be more principled than partisan. When they go mainstream the tend to end up being Republicans with a capital ‘P’.

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  7. Gotta admit this fascinates me.

    Not going to be popular on Activist Black Twitter.

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  8. Mark: “All murders are hate crimes”

    All murders are crimes! Whether or not they were done with love or greed or hate (and how a crime based on stereotypical prejudice could be worse than one intended to incapacitate someone in order to steal money or inherit wealth early or whatever could be worse on any side of the political spectrum, I’m not sure). Did he kill the person? Was it in self defense? That feels like it ought to be the end of it, to me.

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  9. @troll: “Obama makes it clear he views the Charleston shooting, or intends to speak about it, more as a gun-control issue than one about race.”

    Seems to me most things about race are about riling up the base and creating hate against the hateful other (“you don’t want them bigots and crackers runnin’ the country, do you?”) so useful when it comes to campaigning or fund raising or creating distractions, but when it comes to accomplish progressive or left/liberal goals, new policy and legislation is a lot more important than getting an “oh yeah!” from the identity politics chorus. Thus I think it would make sense that the Obama administration would focus on gun control in these sorts of things, or crafting new taxes when talking about poverty, than on racial incitement. I certainly don’t think a successful politician has anything to gain from focusing on race, where as a lower-tier politician eager to get face time on Sunday shows has everything to gain from it.

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  10. @scottc1: “I have to ask: Who cares if it was a “hate crime”? Can anyone here come up with any conceivable motivation that would make the killings less evil, less reprehensible, and worthy of less punishment than a motivation that somehow turns it into a “hate crime”?”

    He could have been motivated to call attention to the massive wealth disparity in the country. That would have made it better. Or, perhaps, to illustrate why we need stronger gun control laws.

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  11. Kevin,

    I take your point and point to all the successfully passed gun control legislation passed in the aftermath of Newtown.

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  12. “Who cares if it was a “hate crime”? Can anyone here come up with any conceivable motivation that would make the killings less evil, less reprehensible, and worthy of less punishment than a motivation that somehow turns it into a “hate crime”?”

    it gets to america’s original sin.

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  13. McWing

    Kevin,

    I take your point and point to all the successfully passed gun control legislation passed in the aftermath of Newtown.

    That was funny! 🙂 A little sad, but funny, as so many things tend to be.

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  14. @troll: “I take your point and point to all the successfully passed gun control legislation passed in the aftermath of Newtown.”

    I made no assertions as to how well the strategy would work. 😉

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  15. Obama’s a smart guy and presumably can learn from his mistakes. I’m guessing his “aides” are not serving him well if this is his approach.

    Which says a lot about Obama, ultimately.

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  16. If lefties think us Right wingers are the Klan in civilian clothes, why would citing the Pope as a AGW advocate be thought of a influential to us?

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  17. Like

  18. More on the Reason subpoena for commenters information. Is there a gag order? Is that further abuse of power?

    http://popehat.com/2015/06/18/did-the-department-of-justice-get-a-gag-order-silencing-reason-about-the-grand-jury-subpoena/

    Bad apple or systemic?

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  19. “Obama’s a smart guy and presumably can learn from his mistakes.”

    The second observation doesn’t automatically follow from the first.

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  20. Meh, I’ve seen gayer.

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  21. The yard must be really bad if the media won’t show pictures of it.

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  22. I think there is a row of rainbow colored Piss Christs.

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  23. That would make sense

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  24. I’m betting it is a hoax.

    You are probably correct. This sort of thing won’t happen in urban progressive areas like Baltimore or the East Village etc…

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    • Brent:

      This sort of thing won’t happen in urban progressive areas like Baltimore or the East Village etc…

      Yup. The letter sounds to me like a sophomoric liberal caricature of what Christians think and say.

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  25. She raised almost 30 grand off of that letter… nice scam…

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  26. I have to ask: Who cares if it was a “hate crime”? Can anyone here come up with any conceivable motivation that would make the killings less evil, less reprehensible, and worthy of less punishment than a motivation that somehow turns it into a “hate crime”?

    Along these lines, burning a cross on a lawn should evidently be prosecuted as an illegal fire.

    BB

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    • Along these lines, burning a cross on a lawn should evidently be prosecuted as an illegal fire.

      Under the right circumstances, many more charges are possible, and under some circumstances, there should be no charges at all.

      There really is a problem with having a category of crimes based on an emotional state, as opposed to the mental states of intent, or recklessness, or wilful and wanton disregard of public safety or property or life, or the like. It does make a difference if bad conduct is accidental – then it isn’t criminal. But if it is intentional or reckless, then it is criminal absent a justification excuse and it certainly doesn’t matter if the perp hates the victim. Now, with murder, we have defined degrees in such a way that “malice aforethought” usually is the highest degree of intent. Evidence of that is the pre-planning of the murder, not the state of emotional hatred.

      On one hand, burning a cross on one’s own property is like burning a flag on one’s own property, provided it doesn’t violate a local fire ordinance.

      Setting up a protest near a funeral is tasteless, but if it does not interfere with the funeral, it is probably lawful.

      On the other hand, burning a cross outside a black person’s home or a predominantly black church or school or a synagogue or mosque is easily prosecuted as symbolic speech plus threatening action: a serious threat. If the jury is fair, it will punish appropriately – obviously, this last is true about all crimes.

      Burning a cross [or a flag] on someone else’s land is typically a criminal trespass, and can be wanton disregard of public safety, as well.

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    • FB:

      Along these lines, burning a cross on a lawn should evidently be prosecuted as an illegal fire.

      If indeed it was an illegal fire, sure. It presumably could be prosecuted as other things as well…trespassing, threats, etc. Acts, not thoughts, should be illegal.

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  27. Considering motivation is not unique to hate crimes. Motivation is a significant factor in differentiating first degree murder from second degree murder. Not to mention manslaughter from involuntary manslaughter. Is it only for hate crimes that motivation troubles you?

    I am surprised, Mark, that you did not note the historical reason for such designations. In particular, the refusal by local officials to prosecute murder (or refusal by local juries to convict). I should note that I have violation of civil rights prosecutions in mind. I do agree that such cases are rife with potential for multiple prosecutions of the same crime.

    BB

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    • The only actual reason for the designation “hate crimes” is that it enables prosecutors to have an extra tool for plea bargaining and even more significantly, an open door to bring in prior character evidence during the trial rather than on sentencing.

      If we are just using the phrase loosely, in the context of journalism, to mean a crime that was obviously motivated by racial or religious animus, that is an entirely different matter.

      In the courtroom, however, civil rights crimes were prosecuted successfully without resort to the “hate” tag, which in the statutory context offers nothing of substance to the proceeding.

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      • One more point: under either the fed or TX bifurcated system of trial I have no problem with proving up “hate” at sentencing, where it cannot be used to influence the jury on guilt or innocence of the underlying crime. That is how it is done whether we call it “hate” or not.

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  28. I think you quickly went to the heart of the matter. I view the designation of a hate crime (an amplifying factor, no?) as proportionate. The threat is to an entire community, say, darker hued individuals who dare move into neighborhoods where their type is not welcome. That is an impact far beyond a specific threat to an individual, say, after a bar fight.

    In a parallel note, the force of mandatory minimums has taken enormous discretion from judges and given it to prosecutors. One can force a plea to a lesser charge (even if the charged individual may, in fact, be innocent) with the threat of life destroying consequences.

    BB

    Like

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