Morning Report: Inflation hits the highest level since the early 80s.

Vital Statistics:

 LastChange
S&P futures4,45545.2
Oil (WTI)97.853.59
10 year government bond yield 2.72%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.22%

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up for once.

Inflation at the consumer level rose 8.5% in March as energy prices soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gasoline prices accounted for about half of the increase in the index. Food prices rose 10%, which was the largest increase in over 40 years. You can see from the graph below that we are back at levels not seen since the early 80s.

If you strip out food and energy, prices rose 6.5%. Note that the recent uptick in housing prices will begin to filter in as well, although it generally takes about 12-18 months for the numbers to reflect the increases.

Home prices rose 20% YOY in February, according to CoreLogic. “New listings have not kept up with the large number of families looking to buy, leading to homes selling quickly and often above list price. This imbalance between an insufficient number of owners looking to sell relative to buyers searching for a home has led to the record appreciation of the past 12 months. Higher prices and mortgage rates erode buyer affordability and should dampen demand in coming months, leading to the moderation in price growth in our forecast.”

Small business optimism fell again in March, and it looks like small business is generally in a dour mood. Inflation has overtaken labor quality as the number 1 problem. A net 31% of business owners cited inflation as their biggest problem, which was the highest reading since 1981. Expectations about the future (in other words business conditions in the next six months) hit a net negative 49%, which is a low for this index which goes back almost 50 years. The expectations index is being drive by fears that the Fed, which is behind the curve, will cause a recession.

17 Responses

  1. Apparently global warming is a secondary priority to inflation.

    “Biden to announce plan to ease gas prices as inflationary pressures persist
    The EPA plans to issue a national, emergency waiver to allow use of blended biofuels over the summer hours after report is expected to show inflation keeps surging

    By Jeff Stein and Evan Halper
    Today at 5:00 a.m. EDT”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/04/12/white-house-economics-inflation/

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  2. NYT continues their focus groups:

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    • I can only imagine the comments: Incel!!!!

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      • You can literally feel the derision and stupefaction in this line,

        they seemed aware that their views are out of step with modern culture and will offend some but still felt their views were obviously correct.

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        • One of the guys touched on the leverage that the left has: I have four kids and have to make a living.

          It took my wife forever to get that is the reason why men don’t push back against the current social engineering.

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        • They also did focus group with women and figured out that one of the effects of MeToo was to make men avoid women at work functions.

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        • Man, there is some raging insecurity there. Another interesting thing is how vulnerable all of them are to perceived pressure to conform to societal norms. Maybe because everybody was younger than me (I’m fitty-six). Not one mention of student loan debt was also interesting as was the discussion re pay. When I tend to look at it from a perspective of is this pay worth it? Is this enough for me or can I get more out of them? I do not spend any time wondering if women got more than me, or even any time wondering if men got more than me. I also acknowledge that others deserve more because they’re better, or proved their perceived worth better than I did. I think everybody that commented on pay just assumed that men make more for the same worm, period. No discussion over women often leaving the work force for child rearing and then returning after x number of years. Also, no mention that to by hyper successful one must sacrifice personal desires, like family time. CEO’s and senior level managers I’ve met are all workaholics. Most have been divorced at least once and essentially spend much less time with their families. From a male perspective, it’s a known-known. Finally, there was a supper rigid idea of what good mother consists of and it seemed all of the women were comparing themselves to that standard.

          Ok, last “finally” – I was amused by the universal perception that marriages in the US are uniquely unbalanced. As if all other societies did not have the problems these broads perceive that we have.

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  3. Robert Reich goes full Orwell. Freedom is Slavery.

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    • He is such a hack.

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      • They can’t stand the idea of no gatekeepers, that regular people may have more influence than them or that the “wrong thinking” people may get a hearing.

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        • It threatens the left’s long march through the institutions.

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        • He reminds me of Mr. Burns. “Smithers, if the Springfield Ministry of Culture doesn’t vet everything posted on social media, every Johnny Lunchbox will be spouting off whatever nonsense comes across his transom.”

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    • Or full retard.

      That’s like saying support for free and fair elections and freedom of speech is every dictator’s dream. He’s staking out a self-evidently idiotic position.

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  4. Of course that’s the goal of returning to the moon:

    “On March 28th, Joe Biden released his fiscal year 2023 budget, which despite eyebrow-raising changes — in particular, a 10% increase in defense spending — generated few headlines. One of the few items the press did cover was this passage:

    The Budget provides $7.5 billion, $1.1 billion above the 2021 enacted level, for Artemis lunar exploration. Artemis would return American astronauts to the Moon as early as 2025, land the first woman and person of color on the Moon…

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-great-billionaire-space-caper

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    • I’m surprised the left hasn’t memory-holed “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” yet

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