Morning Report: Inflation is flat

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3138 3.1
Oil (WTI) 39.84 0.21
10 year government bond yield 0.60%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.12%

 

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.

 

Inflation at the wholesale level remains well below the Fed’s target. The Producer Price Index fell 0.2% MOM and fell 0.8% YOY. Ex food and energy, the index was flat. Suffice it to say, the Fed is deeply concerned about this, and this opens the window for further measures to support the economy.

 

The Trump Administration is looking at another stimulus bill, which would extend unemployment benefits and permit another round of direct payments to individuals. House Democrats want something more sweeping, so we’ll see what actually gets hammered out.

 

Landlords in Manhattan are being forced to slash rent as vacancies increase. The Escape From New York has put a total of 10,000 apartments on the market, which is an 85% increase from a year ago. The official vacancy rate is 3.7%, however in some buildings it is much higher.

 

Redfin announced that over half of all transactions were competitive in June. “Bidding wars continue to be fueled by historically low mortgage rates and fewer homes up for sale than almost any time in the last two decades,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “It’s like a game of musical chairs where only the best bidders get a seat. Both renters and move-up buyers who have held onto their jobs are vying for the small number of single-family homes on the market as they realize they need more space for their families.”

42 Responses

  1. Another entertaining read from Taibbi:

    “If it’s Not “Cancel Culture,” What Kind of Culture is it?
    Another long week in the all-stick, no-carrot revolution

    Matt Taibbi”

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/if-its-not-cancel-culture-what-kind

    I think he overly romanticizes the 1960’s though.

    Like

  2. @conservativehypehouse

    This video wins today! Credit: @goodmorningliberty #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #featureme posted @violet_magic_sin

    ♬ original sound – conservativehypehouse

    This was funny. Social Justice Warriors cartoon theme song thing.

    Like

  3. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/publications/blt/2020/02/small-business-reorg/

    Joe –

    I am surprised that I have not read about many bars and restaurants using this.

    I did not know about this change until I read a WSJ article.

    This makes CH 11 a realistic option for a small biz in a COVID hole, doesn’t it? Have you written about this here? I apologize for not having read it, if you did.

    Like

    • I have not. To be honest, I was unaware of this as we hadn’t typically done any Chapter 11’s at all but are reconsidering that in light of COVID. Thank you for the heads up.

      Like

  4. And it’s all bullshit:

    “U.S. officials say intel on Russian bounties was less than conclusive. That misses the big picture.

    The initial New York Times story about the intelligence on Russian bounties characterized it as a “finding” of the intelligence community, but subsequent reporting has painted a more nuanced picture. U.S. officials tell NBC News the CIA has concluded with “moderate confidence” that there was such a bounty program, a term of art that means analysts find it plausible but less than certain. The National Security Agency — the Pentagon’s digital spying arm — has said it could not corroborate the intelligence reporting from detainees, officials say.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/u-s-officials-say-intel-russian-bounties-was-less-conclusive-n1233199

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three retired generals who served in the chain of command over the war in Afghanistan told NBC News they saw indications Russia was supplying weapons, money, supplies and, on occasion, even transport to Taliban fighters as far back as 2016.

      How’d this make it past the editors?

      Like

  5. Thus far (heavily rounded) ratio of parents preferring virtual to traditional school have been about 5:1 … so the majority is definitely wanting to got virtual in our district. So far.

    Like

    • I was not expecting that. I know you’ve mentioned the demographics of your school district but I’ve forgotten them, can you mention them again?

      Like

      • Majority African-American, then Hispanic, then Arabic/Indian, then White (or White before Arabic/Indian, because one of the school districts that broke off was a dick about it, so didn’t get their three major schools), then Asian, then Native America or Pacific Islander or Inuit. But majority African American by a pretty wide margin. 95k students are in the main district, while we also have about 16k students (who wouldn’t be part of this survey, technically) in the charter schools.

        Like

    • Just got off of an interesting meeting where the same issue came up indirectly. There are a significant number of students who won’t be coming back to campus because their parents don’t want them to. Most (this is anecdotal) of them are out of state students whose parents work in healthcare or are otherwise on the frontlines of the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you done any surveys? This number is the product of deliberate surveys–I imagine many of them would go ahead and send their kids to school voluntarily if that was the edict. They are just sharing their preference.

        Some wouldn’t, but we have a whole truancy department to deal with them and eventually parents would get arrested if their minor student remained truant, for whatever reason.

        But we understand the importance of taking the temperature of the district. And I expect the state will be coming up with some guidance as to how to treat attendance. This will be interesting, as state funding is directly tied to the amount of time the student is in a seat in a building. Will they be funding at the same level for online attendance?

        Good lord knows in the interim, they should.

        The expenses of suddenly moving to brick-and-mortar to online are outrageous. And we . . . you know, big government bureaucracy, complicate purchasing process, left-hand unaware of right-hands action . . . we spend way more money than we should, IMO. So such a radical transformation is going to be orders-of-magnitude more expensive for us than a district with 5 schools, for example.

        Like

        • They’ve done formal surveys (in which the questions were sadly lacking, IMHO) of the faculty, staff, and students. The students (who they surveyed first, because they’re idiots) OF COURSE initially said that they wanted to be back on campus in the fall. Then, when the rules being put in place started coming out about masking, no groups larger than 10, housing restrictions, etc., they started backpedaling. And now we’re hearing more and more from parents saying “no way in hell.”

          I still have yet to have my questions answered about whether or not protocols are in place to trigger a shutdown. I’m definitely persona non grata–I’ve been kicked off of two town halls with the university president so far for asking about cleaning and testing protocols.

          Like

        • Good lord knows in the interim, they should.

          Yes. And yes about it costing more. We’re looking at needing to provide ~25% of our student population with either laptops or WiFi (or both).

          Like

  6. FWIW, it seems that the only cohort that wants students on campus in the fall is administration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mich:

      FWIW, it seems that the only cohort that wants students on campus in the fall is administration.

      Seems odd that the students themselves don’t want to be back. At Georgetown off-campus housing is at a premium now, as most students have been barred from living on campus, and so there is a rush to get houses/apartments in the surrounding neighborhood for the fall semester. So much so that Georgetown is actively discouraging students from trying to get off-campus housing by threatening them with future restrictions if they do. From what I can tell from my daughter’s experience, most of the students really do want to be back on campus.

      Like

      • Wait till what being on-campus will really mean to sink in. Masks, no gatherings >10 people, social distancing in both living and learning settings. . .

        Not that I really believe that they’re going to do that, or that campuses have the wherewithal to enforce them. Hence why I’m sure everything’s going to shut back down by Halloween.

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        • Mich:

          Wait till what being on-campus will really mean to sink in.

          Well, to be fair, being “on campus” isn’t so much the attraction as is being around their classmates. On campus restrictions will simply be avoided by doing what students do, but doing it off-campus. So if/when they shut back down, it won’t make much difference to those students who are living off-campus and taking virtual classes already.

          BTW, I suspect one of the big reasons schools like G’town are opening campus for classes is because international students will lose their US visas if classes are strictly on-line. Given that international students are one of the few demographics on campus that are paying full sticker price, they will be reluctant to go 100% virtual in order to avoid losing full tuition-paying international students.

          Like

        • BTW, I suspect one of the big reasons schools like G’town are opening campus for classes is because international students will lose their US visas if classes are strictly on-line. Given that international students are one of the few demographics on campus that are paying full sticker price, they will be reluctant to go 100% virtual in order to avoid losing full tuition-paying international students.

          Oh, the faculty whinging over this must be extraordinary!

          Like

        • This Twitter thread by the Mayor of Portland just boggles the mind.

          Like

        • “BTW, I suspect one of the big reasons schools like G’town are opening campus for classes is because international students will lose their US visas if classes are strictly on-line. Given that international students are one of the few demographics on campus that are paying full sticker price, they will be reluctant to go 100% virtual in order to avoid losing full tuition-paying international students.”

          There are proposals being floated at local colleges to have a single credit per semester in person class just for those students to maintain compliance with the rules.

          Like

        • its a pro forma session.
          gavel in, suggest the absence of a quorum, gavel out.

          Like

  7. The Superintendent of our district was on CNN!

    “We’re going to follow the science”.

    Like

    • In Tennessee????????

      *faints*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the approach of all our state’s big districts. We may be the *most* urban, but Davidson County (Nashville) and Knox County (Knoxville, natch) are very large and very urban. My expectation is the big public schools and universities will be shifting to very-to-mostly-to-completely online. Even our smaller suburban districts (from the big splintering, after the big merging, in which we all collectively wasted millions of dollars so various people could exercise their egos, instead of spending that money on students) … even they are looking at various methods of online delivery, with alternating schedules to keep classrooms social distanced. And I’m betting the results of their surveys won’t be much different from ours.

        Like

        • You know I was joshing you. Other than your politicians, you have some very practical people in your state.

          *smooch*

          Like

    • KW:

      “We’re going to follow the science”.

      Great…yet another politician too cowardly to take responsibility for his own judgments.

      Like

      • Also technically I wouldn’t call it “following the science” but following the “popular reporting of simulated news product”.

        Like

        • KW:

          Also technically I wouldn’t call it “following the science” but following the “popular reporting of simulated news product”.

          That’s a good point, especially given that a whole lot of “the science” is ignored by the media and, hence, the policy-making politicians, if it doesn’t help with the desired narrative.

          Like

        • Speaking of following the science:

          https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/14/stanford-doctor-anyone-who-prioritizes-children-would-reopen-the-schools/

          The statements come as a rebuke to recent claims from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about restarting the country’s education system. “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of coronavirus,” Pelosi stated in a recent interview on CNN. “They (Republicans) ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen.”

          The speaker couldn’t be further from the mark on the science, Atlas said. “That’s just completely wrong and contrary to all the science,” he began. “And when I say all ‘the science,’ I mean science from all over the world… The risk to children for significant illness is ‘far less than from seasonal flu,’ according to JAMA Pediatrics.”

          Like

  8. TDS # 1,423,342,764

    “The Traditional Interpretation of the Pardon Power Is Wrong

    Properly understood, the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence is unconstitutional.
    9:14 AM ET

    Corey Brettschneider
    Professor of political science at Brown University

    Jeffrey K. Tulis
    Professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/traditional-interpretation-pardon-power-wrong/614083/

    Like

    • jnc:

      The Traditional Interpretation of the Pardon Power Is Wrong

      Let me guess…because Trump!

      Like

      • How did you know?

        Apparently, because Stone could have at some point in the future be called upon to testify against Trump in a potential future impeachment proceeding, it is deemed that Stone himself was “impeached” by being convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

        Presumably this would also apply to any unpaid parking tickets that Stone owes as well.

        Like

  9. “This Twitter thread by the Mayor of Portland just boggles the mind.”

    Watch the video. It was clearly excessive force. There’s been several incidents of protest/riots where non-lethal force would be justified.

    This incident wasn’t one of them.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/07/police-shoot-portland-protester-in-head-with-impact-weapon-causing-severe-injuries.html

    DHS gratuitously shot him in the head because they could, for entertainment value.

    Having said that, I may be missing your main point which is that the mayor is a weak, incompetent fool who is making the situation worse, and it’s pathetic that he’s acting like there’s nothing that can be done about the violent protests in his Twitter thread.

    I fully agree that his passivity has contributed more to the out of control situation than any rhetoric by Trump. But that doesn’t mitigate DHS accountability for their own actions in this instance.

    Like

  10. jnc posted this link a few years ago. I think it is even more relevant to today.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-confederate-monuments-represent-reconciliation/

    Like

    • I forgot that.

      I think it’s still correct, but it’s only from the perspective of northern and southern white people reconciling. Which was done at the expense of black people. The call to take down the Confederate monuments reflects, in part, adding them to the decision making over the issue.

      Ripping down Miguel de Cervantes and Grant is pure woke white Twitter.

      With regards to this:

      “Those who are trying to bring statues down are so are so obsessed with moral rightness that they forget that part of being good is loving your enemies rather than hating them. ”

      I don’t think they forgot it. They reject the argument.

      Like

      • jnc:

        I don’t think they forgot it. They reject the argument.

        Yeah, I think you are right. They definitely reject the Judeo/Christian values that are the foundation of US culture. It’s another reason I see this whole movement as a Cultural Revolution.

        Like

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