Morning Report: The Fed begins to catch up with the markets

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 2898.25 3.5
Eurostoxx index 387.47 0.4
Oil (WTI) 64.02 -0.59
10 year government bond yield 2.49%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.14%

 

Stocks are higher after the UK and the EU agreed to kick the can down the road on Brexit. Bonds and MBS are flat.

 

The FOMC minutes didn’t reveal much new information. They did move closer to what the markets have been saying all along: that the Fed is done with rate hikes: “A majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year.” That said, the Fed Funds futures are handicapping a more than 50% chance for a rate cut this year, so there still is a disconnect. The FOMC also seemed eager to end the balance sheet reduction exercise, concerned that allowing it to fall further risks pushing up the overnight borrowing rate by creating a reserves shortage.

 

The CEOs of the biggest banks appeared before the House yesterday and it was basically a political posturing event. Democrats complained about diversity, deregualation and student loans. Republicans talked about Brexit and politically targeting industries by cutting them off (firearms). Aside from creating clips for donor emails, the whole dog and pony show was contained nothing of use for investors and professionals.

 

The Producer Price index increased 0.3% in March, which is up 2.9% YOY. Declining energy prices were offset by increasing final demand inflation.

 

Initial Jobless Claims were again below 200,000, falling to 196,000. These are extraordinary numbers, the like we haven’t seen in half a century.

 

 

82 Responses

  1. Betsy DeVos decides it is easier to just not enforce obama-era diktats than to battle leftist judges.

    oh well, obama didn’t enforce immigration laws…

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/despite-court-rulings-devos-leaves-obama-era-rules-unenforced-11554983022?mod=hp_listb_pos2

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So Trump DoJ is extraditing Assange.

    This makes Trump the worst Russian asset ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that will never even dawn on them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • it’s just a feint. all part of the conspiracy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • PL is a sight to behold again. They would all ditch New York Times Co. v. United States and prosecute Ellsberg if his leaks had lead to Trump.

      Like

      • all because it was revealed that the D establishment wanted the D establishment candidate to get the nomination?

        and that the MSM and DNC coordinate messaging?

        those two things surprised exactly nobody.

        Liked by 1 person

      • principals not principles

        Like

      • Haven’t been to Plumline in forever. So went today. OMG.

        But then in 2016, Assange and the group seem to have essentially decided that, for whatever reason (loathing of Hillary Clinton, probably), they would cooperate with the Russian government in a joint effort to help get Trump elected president of the United States.

        They just completely embrace their fictional narrative that frankly rivals birtherism (which they’d happily acknowledge was crazy, and most of them are not quite 9/11 truthers, but can’t see this vast Manchurian conspiracy to elect Trump, the Russian mole, is nuts).

        The vast majority of commenters are all for hanging Assange–many of them based on his supposed Trump support than for the actual crime he’s being extradited on–is amazing. Also the alleged sexual assault is also brought up, even though, again, not what he’s being extradited for.

        I also find the general hostility towards Manning and Snowden to be interesting.

        Gotta love this headline: At fundraiser, Trump reveals reelection strategy: Cruelty, lies, hate

        Democracy dies in darkness. Lord, the narcissism and utter absence of empathy.

        Like

        • I like Greg’s previous article on the topic: Greg Sargent: Trump’s emerging reelection strategy: Double down on failure and lies

          Every time I go to Plumline, I think I’ll change my vote from “symbolic vote for 3rd party” to “vote for Trump, cuz the left really, really, really wants me to”.

          Like

  3. Avenatti is a bigger scumbag than even I thought:

    “Prosecutors allege Avenatti would “lull the client to prevent the client from discovering” his activities. He would tell them payments hadn’t been made yet, or were in installments instead of a lump sum.

    One of the clients is a paraplegic man who was granted a $4 million settlement payment from Los Angeles County in January 2015. Avenatti allegedly had the money deposited into a trust for the client he controlled but did not disclose that the payment had been made. He paid his client in installments of about $1,000 to $1,900 over more than three years, totaling $124,000, and told the client that payments to assisted living facilities where he lived were “advances” of the settlement. Because of Avenatti’s activity, the client couldn’t buy a house he wanted, and he lost Social Security benefits because Avenatti failed to respond for him.

    Meanwhile, prosecutors say, Avenatti transferred the money to other accounts, including personal ones.”

    https://www.vox.com/2019/4/11/18306437/michael-avenatti-indictment-clients-press-conference

    Like

  4. JNC — remind me later and i’ll give you some more thoughts on provider cost controls.

    Like

    • Reminded.

      Like

    • the real way to get at this — other than just setting prices — is to shift and share the risk and drive a population health. Yes our prices are higher than other countries. but a fee-for-service system does nothing to address chronic disease and (buzzword alert) social determinants of health. but, if you hold providers accountable for the health of their patient popultion, you can get to real change. you risk adjust, etc.

      but basically it works like this.
      you should spend X to care for these 20,000 patients
      spend X+ and you owe the payer (medicare) a check
      spend less than X, you get a cut of the savings.

      how do you do this. lots of creative things that will never be covered under fee-for-service. like sending a handyman to patient’s house to tack down the carpet so it isn’t a fall hazard. i just prevented a hip replacement.

      these are only possible with insurers and providers taking on risk.

      or, you can just play whack-a-mole with the various fee schedules and cut prices here and there, set caps here and there. but, life finds a way to bill the most lucrative option.

      Like

  5. Ben Bradlee and Kathrine Graham would be ashamed of the Post editorial board today.

    “Julian Assange is not a free-press hero. And he is long overdue for personal accountability.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/julian-assange-is-not-a-free-press-hero-and-he-is-long-overdue-for-personal-accountability/2019/04/11/90f901ba-5c86-11e9-842d-7d3ed7eb3957_story.html

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Planet of the Apes time.

    “Scientists added human brain genes to monkeys. Yes, it’s as scary as it sounds.
    Some are calling the Chinese experiment “an ethical nightmare.”

    By Sigal Samuel
    Apr 12, 2019, 7:50am EDT ”

    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/12/18306867/china-genetics-monkey-brain-intelligence

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do not create a being that can’t have a meaningful life in any context.

      How meaningful was life for your average human being living a short and brutish life in the Middle Paleolithic? How meaningful were the lives of most human intelligences before written language and agriculture and so on?

      Like

    • In an email, she called Su’s experiment “an ethical nightmare,” writing: “More of the genetically altered monkeys — six — died than lived, so right off the bat we see that the procedure is often lethal.

      Gotta wonder how she feels about abortion, given that killing monkeys via procedures done to embryos is an ethical nightmare.

      Like

    • The costs are terribly high and the benefits to humanity approach zero

      How were the costs and benefits assessed? Seriously, the statement answers a question that can’t be answered because the parameters cannot truly be set (or at least commonly agreed upon), and there is no telling what the benefits and detriments to humanity might be from such experimentation 100 years down the road.

      Like

  7. Good read:

    “With Craig Indictment, Mueller Probe Sends Ripples Through the Swamp
    A former Clinton and Obama attorney was charged under Foreign Agents law for work done with convicted Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort on behalf of Ukraine.

    By Seth Hettena
    April 12, 2019”

    https://newrepublic.com/article/153563/greg-craig-mueller-indictment-skadden-swamp

    Like

  8. Ran across this at Ace:

    https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/04/11/julian-assanges-arrest-happened-because-ecuador-abandoned-socialism/

    Which is interesting that I haven’t heard as the reason in the MSM, perhaps because they don’t want the hoipoloi pulling on that particular thread and getting confused.

    But it also makes me wonder why more folks in power in what are basically dictatorships don’t fake being a good comrade in order to come into power, and then liberalize the heck out of it. I guess I’m just surprised we don’t see more of this: people posing as good socialists or communists until they get power, even though they know the radical leftism of the country is killing it, then assuming power and turning into George Washington.

    Like

    • jnc (from Jacobin):

      With the Julian Assange indictment, the Trump administration is launching its boldest attack on press freedom yet.

      What a bunch of horseshit, to play this up as a “Trump” attack on press freedom. Assange has been under investigation and threat of indictment since 2010.

      Just because the First Amendment protects publishing material, the official concluded, “doesn’t give reporters license to do anything they want to get that information.”

      Does Jacobin disagree with that assessment? Do you?

      Like

      • No, but I don’t think it’s relevant either as I don’t believe Assange crossed the in line into illegal activity in a manner that’s different from the Post or the NYT.

        Daniel Ellsberg is exactly right that it’s legally indistinguishable from what he did with the Pentagon Papers.

        And yes, this is being driven by Trump, or more precisely Pompeo. They are charging Assange on things that the Obama White House declined to go after him on. Jacobin, et. al. are right that this is much more significant than the stupid spats with Jim Acosta over his White House Pass that progressives have been arguing are censorship.

        Like

        • or more precisely Pompeo. They are charging Assange on things that the Obama White House declined to go after him on

          Not defending the administration here but Obama certainly would have charged Assange if the Ecuadorians had expelled him while he was still POTUS.

          Like

        • I don’t know if Obama would have, but I do know there are a lot of ground-level lefties who feel like Assange should go to jail. That much is obvious.

          I think there is gray area here. Certainly, I don’t think this is cut-and-dried and should definitely go one way or the other. But he’s been charged and will presumably get his day in court. Reading about his entitlement (allegedly) as a guest of the Ecuadorian embassy, he’s kind of been asking to be expelled, because he’s kind of a dick.

          Like

        • jnc:

          No, but I don’t think it’s relevant either as I don’t believe Assange crossed the in line into illegal activity in a manner that’s different from the Post or the NYT.

          If the NYT or the Post are hacking into, or soliciting others to hack into, computers in order to steal information, perhaps they too should be prosecuted for doing so. Stealing something (or conspiring to have something stolen) is not the same thing as publishing something that has been stolen.

          Daniel Ellsberg is exactly right that it’s legally indistinguishable from what he did with the Pentagon Papers.

          And Ellsberg was indicted, charged, and put on trial.

          They are charging Assange on things that the Obama White House declined to go after him on.

          As McWing points out, Obama didn’t have a chance to go after him, because he holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy and was beyond Obama’s reach.

          You can think that Assange shouldn’t be prosecuted without thinking that this is some new assault on the press unique to Trump. It isn’t.

          Like

        • “soliciting others”

          This is the murky line. The NYT and the Washington Post absolutely asked Ellsberg to provide them with more documents.

          “And Ellsberg was indicted, charged, and put on trial.”

          So was Manning. That’s the analogy, Manning = Ellsberg, WikiLeaks and Assange equate to the publishers. The NYT won at the Supreme Court.

          “You can think that Assange shouldn’t be prosecuted without thinking that this is some new assault on the press unique to Trump. It isn’t.”

          It’s not, but it hasn’t been tried since Nixon.

          Like

        • jnc:

          This is the murky line.

          It’s not at all murky with regard to Assange. That is precisely what Wikileaks does and exists to do…it steals, or it solicits others to steal, secret information, and it then publishes it.

          The NYT and the Washington Post absolutely asked Ellsberg to provide them with more documents.

          Sure, but they asked for more of what he already had. They didn’t solicit him to break into government offices and steal more documents. Ellsburg made copies of the papers in 1969, and then shopped them to the NYT in 1971. Unlike Assange, there is no argument that can be made that can implicate the NYT or the WaPo in the original theft of the documents.

          So was Manning. That’s the analogy, Manning = Ellsberg, WikiLeaks and Assange equate to the publishers.

          And if I recall correctly, you objected to his prosecution, too. In fact I seem to remember you thought he should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. So it isn’t really the case that you make a distinction between those who steal information and those who merely publish it. You seem to think it is perfectly fine, if not commendable, to steal classified documents.

          It’s not, but it hasn’t been tried since Nixon.

          Had there been a document dump on the order of the Pentagon Papers prior to the Manning/Assange affair?

          Like

        • I think the argument is that Assange “isn’t a publisher”, in a lot of ways, so may be free of that immunity. If they grant he is a journalist/news publisher then it will be hard to make the argument that his “conniving” with Manning to get secret information is that different from the Pentagon Papers.

          If they argue that he’s not a journalist, I think that’s a tough argument to make.

          Like

        • KW:

          I think the argument is that Assange “isn’t a publisher”, in a lot of ways…

          I think the argument is that Assange is more than just a publisher. Which he plainly is.

          Like

        • “That is precisely what Wikileaks does and exists to do…it steals, or it solicits others to steal, secret information, and it then publishes it.”

          No, it 99.99999% publishes what others have given it. That Assange got cute on a couple of online chat sessions doesn’t change that. I’m confident that the Washington Post and NYT have crossed the “solicitation” line too. The evidence they’ve presented so far is pretty thin.

          “So it isn’t really the case that you make a distinction between those who steal information and those who merely publish it. You seem to think it is perfectly fine, if not commendable, to steal classified documents.”

          I do make the distinction, I’d just think it’s justified in both cases in the particular example here.

          I don’t remember the Nobel Peace Prize comments, but Manning revealed a bunch of lying by the US government and arguably war crimes. I have no problem with that.

          [Are you possibly conflating Manning & Snowden here?]

          The US routinely over-classifies items to spare itself embarrassment and accountability, not because of actual potential harm caused by their release.

          Like

        • jnc:

          No, it 99.99999% publishes what others have given it.

          Perhaps, but 99.9999% of what it publishes is stolen secrets. Its entire raison d’etre is to obtain and make public stolen secrets. Pornhub may only publish porn that others have given it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in the porn business.

          I’m confident that the Washington Post and NYT have crossed the “solicitation” line too.

          And they should be prosecuted when they do.

          I do make the distinction, I’d just think it’s justified in both cases in the particular example here.

          Fair enough.

          I don’t remember the Nobel Peace Prize comments…

          https://all-things-in-moderation.com/2013/08/05/morning-report-slow-data-week/#comment-44814

          [Are you possibly conflating Manning & Snowden here?]

          Well, the article you linked mentions both Snowden and Manning, so it is possible you thought it was a great idea for one, and a horrible idea for the other.

          The US routinely over-classifies items to spare itself embarrassment and accountability, not because of actual potential harm caused by their release.

          I agree. But I don’t know why anyone would trust Assange to be remotely concerned about distinguishing between the two things.

          Like

    • For example,

      Deejay Lyn April 12 · 12:37:37 PM
      Like raising taxes on residents of Blue States, the way he’s approaching this feels like he’s declared war on us.

      12

      wordene Deejay Lyn April 12 · 12:55:18 PM
      The battlefield is November 3rd, 2020 (Election Day).

      6

      carolr51 Deejay Lyn April 12 · 12:57:48 PM
      And my state responded by going even bluer. So f him

      Like

      • Delicious!

        blacksteel Deejay Lyn April 12 · 01:09:09 PM
        How about Blue states withholding federal taxes from the moocher ass Red States? For real they’ve long wanted to secede so let them. I can send my hard earned money someplace else.

        Like

        • “Moocher” states with all their federal parkland? They really want the red states selling off all their federal lands and opening them up for drilling?

          These folks don’t think things through. Also, the tolls we could put on the blue stayers wanting to use our interstates. Crossing over? Pay the fee!

          Like

      • This one will surely convince those goddamn racists!

        KMQ1 April 12 · 12:41:49 PM
        I’ll keep saying it over and over… the GOP owns this brand. All the way down ballot to the dog catchers and city council members. If you run for office under the GOP brand then you are advocating this type of activity. No, don’t tell me that this is national, you go to a local GOP meeting… which is part of the state GOP… which is part of the national GOP Trump party. If there is no dissension in any of those down ballot positions then you are a member of the party of Trump. I’m tired of the hand wringing without action. It’s weak. You have a voice, use it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raising taxes is like declaring war? Interesting assertion.

        Like

    • Trump should dump a migrant caravan on Ted Lieu’s front lawn.

      Like

    • Someone gets it that the media coverage and responses are implicitly accepting Trump’s framing of the proposal as punishment for those cities.

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-to-resist-validating-president-trumps-view-of-sanctuary-cities

      He’s baited everyone again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • At the same time, the idea that an influx of moneyless and low-skill immigrants would put a lot of stress on communities. It’s a reasonable assumption, and the press struggling to talk about it in a way that makes a huge wave of immigrants a neutral or positive thing is its own effort at framing. The story seems like an argument that the press needs to find a way to wrest the narrative away from Trump and frame the issue the way they want to. Good luck to them.

        Like

      • “But this is the very point of a sanctuary city! Immigrants, regardless of status, are safe in them. Bring them here! They are welcome.”

        Media trying to order politicians around, without any thought to their political careers. Like anybody wants to give their political opponent that sound bite.

        Like

  9. Take that, bigots!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Exactly!

    Like

  11. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still a put out that no one even commented on the Jay Cutler unclogging mike duct tweet that I linked too yesterday.

    Like

  12. It’s the same right-wing climate of hate that led an avowed communist to kill JFK.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2019/04/12/trump-posts-video-rep-omar-9-11/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t believe Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, ad Beto O’Rourke are all calling for the assassination of a sitting US president. Appalling.

      Like

    • When the left and especially the Democrats don’t “get it” about what’s problematic about this stuff and just double down … it’s like they want to lose. I think they took the wrong lesson from 2018. And I’m fine with that.

      Like

    • I think Crenshaw has it right:

      “Just so we are clear on basic notions of reality: When someone calls out a public official for things they said, it is not endangering their life or inciting violence. Claiming otherwise is just an attempt to silence your critics.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • This seems self evident to me. People are calling Trump a white nationalist and the first white supremacist president, amongst other things–and none of them are the president, but they are certainly using their platforms and public personas to do so. Republicans are compared to Nazis on a regular basis, or otherwise called out for being awful.

        I’m not sure how anybody but the most Kool-Aid-swilling true believers can listen to people call Trump and Republicans racists and Nazis and argue they represent the greatest source of both terrorism in America and pose an existential threat to humanity (climate change generally being cited in that argument) and then complain that someone saying that “they don’t care about 9/11 or are trivializing it” is just beyond the pale.

        Heard a story on it today on NPR. Noted that absence of any discussion of the fact that Omar was wrong about why and when CAIR was created (and, oddly, avoided mentioning care, instead referring to it only as a “Muslim Civil Rights group”).

        If Trump got it wrong–and he seems to get things wrong when speaking with much frequency, so it should be much less novel with him than with others–they would have said it. It would have been worked into the story. 100% guaranteed.

        Omar got it wrong and it–along with the actual name of CAIR–is not mentioned in a 5 minute piece on the climate of fear people create when showing pictures of the “thing that some people did” back on 9/11.

        Given that her entire reason for bringing up 9/11 was to be 100% wrong about the origination of CAIR as an organization . . . not sure why they didn’t mention that on NPR. I mean, you know, facts, journalism . . . etc.

        Meh. When everybody’s a racist, then no one is.

        Like

      • jnc:

        I think Crenshaw has it right:

        Agreed. Attempting to silence critics is the general approach to criticism of the progressive left.

        Like

  13. I have liberalish, big government tendencies in some areas. I could imagine myself voting for some Democrats in some situations (and have, at the non-presidential level). I liked Obama, though I did not vote for him.

    I could, in theory, be a swing voter. Yet many of the left seem to only want people inside their bubble:

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/media-matters-to-dem-candidates-avoid-fox-news-to-save-earth/

    Fox News is trying to entice Democratic presidential candidates to participate in town halls on the network, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) is scheduled to do on April 15. Though Sanders has explained his reasoning for wanting to do a town hall on Fox, there are plenty of good reasons why other candidates should think carefully about whether they want to partner with the network.

    Obama also did a Fox boycott, but then later recanted and sat down with Bill O’Rielly. I dunno, it just seems a bad idea to advise: only talk to true believers! Hate to tell them, but heretics also vote.

    Like

  14. It seems to me that if this is the evidence for obstruction, then the Mueller report will be a complete exoneration.

    Rather, the special counsel’s team differed about whether they could show that Trump had criminal intent as he took various actions that seemed designed to shut down the investigation, from firing James Comey as FBI director to ordering Mueller’s dismissal, only to stand down when his White House counsel threatened to quit, according to The New York Times. NBC News has not confirmed that report.

    This report says there’s more that hasn’t been made public.

    The official who has spoken to members of Mueller’s team said they described the evidence on obstruction as compelling and said it includes more information than has been made public.

    If it involves Trump desiring to shut down the collusion investigation, for which Mueller says there was none, and Trump claims that the investigation is hurting people, for example, because they have to hire lawyers and spend money, how is that obstruction? Would a rational person think so? If that’s what they have it seems to me Trump wins the PR battle as well.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/mueller-s-report-russia-trump-be-made-public-thursday-n994571

    Like

    • Trumpistas and LoverTrumpers are not going to be convinced no matter what is in the report and no matter how the media tries to spin it. I think a lot of fence-sitters an swing-voters and actual squishes are going to–many to most of them–find the Russia narrative completely uncompelling, much like Taibbi and Greenwald, and feel similarly about any charges of obstruction related to the amazingly ongoing narrative of Russia’s meddling in our election (why they don’t reference the Soviets having Democratic congress critters on their actual payroll back in the day just mystifies me . . . but probably because, in addition to them being Democrats at the time, they could not hope to find that level of Russian involvement in the US government on either side today).

      Like

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