Morning Report: More good news on inflation

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,24030.50
Oil (WTI)93.491.53
10 year government bond yield 2.76%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.35%

Stocks are higher this morning after some more good news on inflation. Bonds and MBS are up.

The producer price index declined 0.5% in July. Yes, declined. The decrease was driven by lower energy prices. Final demand (or in other words, what producers get for their goods / services) fell 1.8%. 80% of this decline was attributable to falling gasoline prices. On a year-over-year basis, final demand rose 9.8%. Both numbers were below expectations.

Final demand ex-food and energy rose 0.2% MOM and 7.6% YOY. Again, both numbers were below Street expectations. While we are seeing relief from energy prices, food is still elevated, rising 1% in July.

Between the CPI yesterday and the PPI today, we have finally had some good news on inflation. This has mainly been driven by falling energy prices. Wages are still rising, and that will ultimately put a floor under how much lower inflation can go.

We had some Fed-Speak yesterday with Neel Kashkari and Charles Evans, both of whom reiterated the Fed’s commitment to decreasing inflation. And don’t forget, real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates are still highly negative. That said, stocks like the news and the front end of the yield curve continues to fall.

The labor market remains strong, with initial jobless claims coming in at 262k. This is a bit more than the prior week, however claims in the mid 200s is considered historically very low.

The latest reading from the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now Index is 2.2% in Q3. This is being driven by a big increase in the expected pace of consumption from 1.8% to 2.7%. We will get a read on consumption when we get the back-to-school shopping numbers in September. BTS is generally a good read on the holiday shopping season.

87 Responses

    • I suspect it will backfire by drawing more attention to what they are trying to suppress.


    • I can’t imagine this plays well (or seems innocent) to anyone right of center or any independents. Lot of people to write off to cater to the base. Again. And ignore all the voters who might vote for someone else.

      I think Twitter thinks they are doing the Democrats a favor but I don’t think they are.


    • lol, they did issue a subpoena and some documents were returned. Apparently though, the Trump team held a few top secrets one back…………..I suppose that’s cool to you guys here. I can’t believe the comments here lately.


      • The President decides whats top secret and what’s not. There can be no crime re classified documents and POTUS.


        • There is no provable crime. He may not have declassified the materials by waving his hands over them and saying the magic words but it’s not provable. If he says he declassified it all there’s no way to contradict him. If all those documents are from before he ceased being president, there is no crime.


        • Him having them in an area that would otherwise be forbidden if classified would imply that he declassified them, that’s how it works. The POTUS’s power to declassify things any way or any how is absolute.


      • lms:

        Apparently though, the Trump team held a few top secrets one back…………..I suppose that’s cool to you guys here.

        You just don’t get it. The problem is not the notion that Trump might have done something wrong. The problem is the obvious double standard applied to him.


        • The problem is also that the president can declassify anything and if adjudicated in court there is no way anything document-related wins a conviction—-and if it did any loving president is going to get a closer look. Clinton, Dubya, Obama? I don’t see how this can go anywhere.


      • Can you imagine the left if Trump had sent the FBI to search Saint Barack’s house over the same issue?


      • You’d have to be more specific. What comments can you not believe? And why couldn’t you believe them? Aside of from Mark we’re a bunch of right wingers, libertarians and anarchists!


  1. Garland talking. Refusing to provide any details or transparency, other than to confirm that he approved the raid. He seems more concerned about defending the “integrity” of the DOJ and FBI than in justifying what happened.


    • He’s just trying to keep his job after the midterms is all.


    • Not true Scott! Interestingly enough, since Trump, as a citizen, is presumed innocent the DOJ/FBI exercised a very quiet search…………it was Trump who tried to capitalize on it. I have to think that Garland is trying to stay above the political fray while at the same time supporting his FBI/DOJ men and women. I can’t help but remember when Barr did Trump’s bidding. Not sure that’s the right way to use power.

      I guess since Trump thinks he’s still President he believes he’s entitled to hold on to Top Secret Documents……………..scary thought here!


      • LMS, him literally having them and thinking, these documents are no longer classified, makes it so. If Biden reclassified them he’s still allowed to have them as he has a legacy too secret clearance. So I ask again, how can a subpoena be issued for something that is not a crime?


      • lms:

        Not true Scott!

        What’s not true?

        I can’t help but remember when Barr did Trump’s bidding.

        Such as?

        I guess since Trump thinks he’s still President he believes he’s entitled to hold on to Top Secret Documents……………..scary thought here!

        But not so scary when Obama did it, right?

        Besides which, how do you know the documents he has are “Top Secret”? What do you even know about the ordinary process of Presidents taking documents when leaving the White House? Do you even care?


        • They all take tons of documents. Both because they don’t want them becoming public in their lifetime (especially with the other party becomes president) but also because they have presidential libraries to think of.


      • It was never going to be a quiet search. That’s like saying they were just going to set of a quiet atom bomb. It is not and was never possible for that to be quiet—Trump only being the first reason among many.

        If this was not done intentionally to elevate Trump’s profile and consolidate Republican support around him ahead of his announcing a run (which—while I obviously don’t know this to be true—I can see the Trump camp being mostly or partially behind the raid, so beneficial it is to him and such little benefit it offers to the Democrats) … if this was not intentionally done for Trump’s political benefit then it was grossly incompetent. Everybody needs to be fired level of incompetence.

        If anyone believed this could be done quietly, low-profile … they are too naive or too incompetent to have the job they have.


        • That’s why I wrote earlier that I think Trump’s the mole.


        • I think that what I was replying to. Someone in his organization is playing the mole, with his approval, and I’m not sure there’s only a mole. Someone in the FBI could be in on it, assuring Wray or Garland or something that the goods are there and the raid is a really good idea and it will make the base happy so they will get off Garland’s back …

          But I feel (to be clear, I do not know) that Trump had a major influence on the decision to raid Mar-a-Largo. With inside help or by playing 4D chess but this isn’t something that “just happened” to him.


  2. I’m betting that when they release the warrant it will still have parts sealed. Ultimately though it’s a win/win for Trump in that if it’s low level allegations then it looks political and vindictive. If it’s a dramatic allegation(s), on par with the Russia Hoax, it looks absurd and ridiculous and therefore political and vindictive. If it’s about so called confidential or top secret stuff then it blows up again as the President gets to decide what’s secret and what’s not. Further, POTUS gets to decide how they declassify things so if he took it with him then that by definition means he declassified it so there literally can be no crime. If Biden reclassified stuff when he was sworn in we’re back to political and vindictive.

    If it’s NARA stuff Obama’s sitting on millions of things, why no raid?

    Trump cannot lose being both a victim/Martyr and simultaneously the aggressor by stating publicly that he was “raided” and using that exact framing.

    Plus, not having representation observing the Feds it’s a great argument for planting evidence.

    I told this would entertaining as hell! Just wait until the trial and guilty verdict!!


    • Plus, not having representation observing the Feds it’s a great argument for planting evidence.

      Garland claimed that the warrant was given to Trumps lawyer on the premises, implying that the raid was observed. But he did not state that outright. And from what I understand the lawyer claims otherwise.

      Would love to see the security footage of the raid.


      • I’m sure it’s being edited with a soundtrack added. Of course, it could be that the Feds turned them off (I’m sure there’s a security room and I’m sure they know exactly where it is.) or that Trump’s team did turn them off to be cooperative. He was fully cooperative with Mueller other than being smart enough not to sit down for a perjury trap,er, interview.

        The whole thing is just AWESOME and Trump’s seizing of the narrative is breathtaking. You don’t often get the highest levels of government on the defensive.


      • I’m beginning to think you guys just believe the lies at this point!


        • What’s ultimately funny is that I’m pretty sure nobody here voted for Trump. (Scott might have in ‘20) but you’re accusing us of believing lies without actually telling us what lies we are believing. So I’m asking you, what lies are we believing?


        • I voted for Drumpf in 2020. Not in 2016. Will vote against him in the primaries if that’s an option when the time comes.


        • lms:

          I’m beginning to think you guys just believe the lies at this point!

          What lies?


        • I was hoping for more specificity myself. I only fully believe things I know to be true. If something I believe is demonstrably a lie I’d like to know so I can correct my understanding.


        • What lies versus empiric, verifiable truth do we believe? I believe verifiable, empiric truth. Every time.

          Not what people feel must be true. Not what our benevolent expert class assures me is true (so don’t do your own research! That’s bad!) But I believe what is verifiably true. People who have a record of lying to us (and the government does: you think WMDs in Iraq was a story because a Republican was president? Think it’s a coincidence so many of the people who pimped the imminent danger of Saddam Hussein are now at The Lincoln Project and writing The Bulwark?) … people with a history of lying to me need to be audited. Their assertions must be sandboxed and inspected forensically.

          That said: Trump lies constantly. I don’t trust much of anything he says about anything but I do trust the evidence of my eyes.


        • emotion vs. logic.


      • I wonder how much time the FBI spent going through Melania’s lingerie drawer.


  3. It wouldn’t shock me if Trump’s the mole! This has done wonders for his re-election. I bet donations are out of this world!


  4. Goddamn!

    Before we speak about things we were not present for. I was the Black woman that was attacked and degraded publicly by this man who used his white-adjacent privilege to over power me and weaponize his formerly incarcerated status to claim victimhood. This is absolutely offensive.

    Some serious intersectional shit going on – prayers to those involved and I hope the hierarchy gets sorted ASAP!


  5. Yep.


  6. Lol! “Shall not be used to increase the share”

    In my letter today, I again affirmed that any additional resources—including any new personnel or auditors that are hired—shall not be used to increase the share of small businesses or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited, relative to historical levels.


  7. Good read:

    “Democrats Don’t Trust ‘the Police,’ but They Do Trust the FBI, Provided It Is Targeting Donald Trump

    As the response to the Mar-a-Lago raid illustrates, Republicans are inconsistent in the other direction.

    Jacob Sullum | 8.11.2022 4:50 PM”


  8. I guess we know who filled out the affidavit.

    “A former senior FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who was found guilty of forgery in the Trump-Russia probe has been restored to “good standing” status by the District of Columbia Bar Association despite not fully completing his probation sentence.”


  9. Lol! I forget about this one.


  10. Why you make me hit you baby?


  11. Lol!


    • Yeah, pull this leg, it plays Jingle Bells.


    • Sure. Narrative. Being reckless or declassifying valuable nuclear stuff is impeachable but he’s not president—and it still wouldn’t be a crime.

      And conducting the raid to find evidence for yet another post-presidency impeachment doesn’t sound like it’s within the DOJs remit.


      • Good article by Andy McCarthy at NR…(and to lms, if you can bear reading something from outside the NeverTrump universe, remember, both McCarthy and NR are huge Trump critics.)

        Tough to pick out the best parts, so read the whole thing, but here are just 2 of his 7 points.

        4. If a search warrant was supposedly required because of the highly classified nature of what was at issue, then why now?This supposed emergency did not just happen. It was the same emergency when the DOJ first learned about the situation in early 2022, and it was the same emergency when the DOJ met with Trump in June 2022 — and apparently didn’t demand the return of the highly classified materials. What suddenly made it an emergency now? Garland didn’t say.

        5. On the other hand, if you believe, as I do, that what the DOJ is really interested in is making a Capitol riot case against Trump, then the timing makes perfect sense.

        In June, as the high-profile House January 6 committee began its summer docudrama series, the Democratic base had a meltdown over whether Garland was committed to the holy grail of indicting Trump. Suddenly, DOJ ratcheted up activity. In late June, totally unnecessary search warrants were theatrically executed for the communications devices of two lawyers key to the January 6 “stop the steal” campaign, Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman — 18 months after the fact. Grand-jury subpoenas were then issued to former vice president Mike Pence’s advisers. Last week, more grand-jury subpoenas were issued to the two top lawyers in Trump’s White House counsels’ office. Then, just a day after the Mar-a-Lago search, the FBI executed a search warrant on a member of Congress, Representative Scott Perry (R., Pa.), as he walked on the street on vacation with his family. All of these evidence-gathering initiatives are patently aimed at building a case that Trump and his underlings conspired to defraud the government and obstruct Congress’s counting of state-certified electoral votes . . . or at least to assure the Democratic base that Garland is really, really trying to build that case.

        Do you really think the search at Trump’s Florida estate, which happened smack in the middle of all this very publicly ratcheted-up investigative activity centering on January 6, has nothing to do with January 6? When the main guy they’re trying to make the January 6 case on is Trump? Really?


        • The reflexive NeverTrump parts are hilarious though, so it’s an entertaining read all the way around.


        • McWing:

          The reflexive NeverTrump parts are hilarious though, so it’s an entertaining read all the way around.

          Agreed. It is one of the reasons I actually trust his legal analysis. He has the typical NR disdain for Trump, but he seems to be able to set it aside when looking at the facts in a legal context.

          His biggest problem, in my view, has been his naive trust in the good faith and proper motivations of his ex-colleagues in the DOJ/FBI. I think the whole Russia Collusion hoax may have put a dent in that trust (read his book Ball of Collusion), but it still comes out once in a while.


        • Scott, I read the part you posted here and all I can say is that I disagree that the timing is suspicious. I think he’s making the claims prematurely without knowing all the facts. Either way we’ll see how this all plays out and unfortunately we may never know exactly why the timing worked out in this way.

          BTW, I do actually read opinions that differ from my own, I just don’t share those here because the rest of you are already in that camp and persuading any of you that you’re wrong is a futile cause.

          Have a great weekend guys!


        • LMS, how many times have you been proven wrong here?


        • lms:

          Scott, I read the part you posted here…

          Too much effort to click thru to read the whole thing?

          BTW…just to let you know, it is really bad form to randomly accuse people of believing “lies”, and then completely ignore them when they ask you what lies you are talking about. It’s really bullshit, if you ask me.


        • Why do we have to persuade each other that the other is wrong?

          We could just share our thinking on the issues. Not everything had to be a contest of wills!


    • It can never be that Trump just did a bad thing. It always has to be the worst thing possible.


      • This is a very common thing, I’ve found. It’s not just Trump. It’s political criticism of every stripe for some people (no one here, naturally) … we have a hyperbole bias. People can’t just be wrong or have made a mistake, they have to be evil and intent on destroying the world.

        Politicians can’t just be advancing terrible and destructive policies because they believe in them or just don’t care, they have to be criminals and evil and probably the dumbest human beings ever while also evil masterminds.


  12. LOL, between you Scott, McWing, and Brent’s comments I guess I’m persona non grata…………………Lies are lies and I guess you think I’ve done that so I’ll see you guys on the other side of TrumpWorld! It’s been fun!


    • And honestly JNC4P, who I respect as a generally more moderate voice here…………yes what Trump, or possibly someone close to him, has done is really bad. Hanging on to super secret documents that could jeopardize the security of the US is kind of a big deal.


    • lms:

      LOL, between you Scott, McWing, and Brent’s comments I guess I’m persona non grata

      No, you are not persona non grata. But your lack of common courtesy, accusing us of believing “lies” but then refusing to even respond much less substantiate it when we ask you what “lies” you are talking bout, is, as I said, bullshit.


        • BTW, I could give you a list of Trump’s lies but I don’t think you guys here would accept them so that’s why I hesitate listing them. Generally though, the biggest one is that he won the election. Everything after sort of falls forward from that big one.

          If I’m wrong and you actually think he lost the election then feel free to agree with me! I’ll gladly take back my assertion.

          If you believe that he didn’t take top secret documents to Mar A Lago and it’s all a HOAX then feel free to agree with that too.

          He’s been lying his entire life and I guess if you don’t get caught it doesn’t matter?

          I apologize if I lumped any of you in with agreeing. Sorry, I’m not a big fan of liars!


        • If I’m wrong and you actually think he lost the election then feel free to agree with me! I’ll gladly take back my assertion.

          He isn’t President, is he?

          Regarding the alleged top secret document canard, I’ve put up a 1/2 dozen comments relaying my thinking on that. I’ll attach a link to a piece I had earlier.

          Finally Lms, I agree Trump lies all the time, and has his whole life. He’s a human being and a salesman, two situations I’m deeply familiar with. Are you asserting that he’s the only politician that lies? Or are you asserting that he lies more than other? Because the first assertion would be absurd and the second debatable. My answer to a lying politician is what Milton Friedman asserted:

          I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or it they try, they will shortly be out of office.

          We live in a fallen world and politicians are the most fallen and people that should never be looked up to or even admired. To me it boils down to be repulsed by someone’s desire to control someone else.


        • lms:

          BTW, I could give you a list of Trump’s lies…

          I just want to know what lies you think we believe.

          Generally though, the biggest one is that he won the election.

          Clearly he didn’t win…if he did we wouldn’t be strapped to this demented disaster sitting the White House right now. However, there were undeniably lots of problems with the 2020 election, both legal and non-legal. If you are interested in a reasoned discussion about the faults and problems with the 2020 election, and how those illegitimately aided Biden in his victory, I’m happy to have that discussion. But my guess is you have no interest in that.

          If you believe that he didn’t take top secret documents to Mar A Lago…

          I literally have no idea what he took with him to Mar A Lago. And frankly neither do you.

          Sorry, I’m not a big fan of liars!

          Untrue. You were a pretty big fan of Obama, as I recall.


        • If a person is a fan of any politician, they are a fan of a liar. It’s an important part of the job description.


        • Trump lies all the time. He’s an inveterate liar. I don’t think anyone here denies that. I certainly don’t.

          I get the feeling sometimes you kind of want us to like or respect Trump way more than any of us actually do.


        • Also I should say: Trump lost the election. In this case I don’t think I just think he lost the election. I feel I know he lost the election.

          That doesn’t mean there wasn’t an unusual amount of sketchy shit going on with this election. Democrats want to pretend they don’t say elections are stolen all the time, but they do. Or that every Republican president since Eisenhower is illegitimate. Dubya stole the election twice. Trump was accused of stealing the election by all sorts of people from November 2016 until today.

          Democrats concerned he might win in 2020 were pre-accusing him of stealing the election. In part because we don’t like to believe we could lose in a fair fight. In part because every national election has some sketchy stuff going on.

          You remember how someone with money invested in Diebold supported Bush and so the election machines were rigged against Kerry? I remember!

          But you can believe two distinct a true things: that Trump lost the election, that Not Trump won, and that a lot of sketchy and questionable stuff went on around the 2020 election and calling it “the most secure election ever” was not confidence inspiring.

          But Trump lost the election.

          I’m sure he took sensitive information with him (as had probably every president since Washington) and the legal case against that is weak and will not stand up in court—at least not at SCOTUS.

          I also believe the execution of all this demonstrates outrageous ineptitude on the part of the FBI and the DOJ. Doesn’t mean it’s a hoax although I wouldn’t be surprised to find Trump is somehow behind this, that this sort of “rally the troops” moment was something he’s been angling for.


  13. Just as an aside I saw this comment from Brent yesterday and thought maybe I’m in the wrong place here. Not a helpful welcome to alternative views. I sometimes think you guys want me here so you have someone to beat up on, not in the literal sense, and other times I think you just enjoy bringing me to my knees…………..either way, this is not helpful. It’s an election year and there is a lot going on that I have an opinion on but if you don’t want to hear it just let me know now! I’d rather not waste my time.

    emotion vs. logic.

    BTW Brent I do appreciate all the “better” news regarding the economy. I do read your post everyday!


    • I want everybody. People have a hard time disagreeing agreeably. I feel like that’s kind of a universal.

      I don’t think this is a wrong place for anybody but the reality is it’s not a lot of fun to be the one person who thinks one way in a group where everybody else thinks the other direction. When there’s 5 righties and 4 lefties you’ll get people who chime in and say, “yeah you’re right!”

      And that makes it feel less like you are being ganged-up on.

      When you are the one blue person amongst a group of red people, it’s hard not to feel like you’re being ganged up on. It’s a human dynamic. Might be better if Mark was here more often, he’s such a centrist.

      Anyway: I love you, think you’re awesome, we don’t have to agree on everything or a anything for that to be true. I also love everybody else here.

      That’s just how I roll.


      • KW:

        …but the reality is it’s not a lot of fun to be the one person who thinks one way in a group where everybody else thinks the other direction.

        In all seriousness, it is for me. I quite liked being at the Plumline, where the vast majority of people disagreed with me. It challenges me to really think through my positions and forces me to really sharpen my arguments and consider things I hadn’t thought of myself. I definitely learn things that I probably wouldn’t have in an echo chamber. Granted, it is nice to have some reinforcement from other people, but I honestly don’t think I need it or look for it. Even here, the discussion topic that I am probably most animated about is the one where, I am pretty sure, I am the only person who thinks as I do, ie abortion.

        I will grant you, maybe that is strange.

        I think it is also possible that there is a male/female dynamic going on here. I am no psychologist and maybe it is total BS, but I have been told more than once (and it seems correct in my experience) that as a generality when women have some problem that they talk to you about, they are not looking for you to provide a solution or an analysis but instead are looking to have their feelings about it validated. When my wife complains about what some friend of hers has done, I am supposed to say “Yeah, that really sucks”, not say “Well why don’t you just do X next time” or “I’m pretty sure she meant it in this way rather than the way you imagine”. Even though the latter is my instinct, and is exactly what I would want, ie advice, if I complained about some problem.

        It seems to me that when lms expresses the feeling that Trump is absolutely the worst person in the world and must be guilty of innumerable crimes, she isn’t looking for an analysis of why that is or is not the case. She just wants us to validate her feelings and say “Yeah, he really sucks.” And then she gets put off when we don’t.

        If that is the case, I am happy to say up front…

        lms, yeah Trump really sucks. But I also need to add that the double standard treatment he gets from the corporate media and the abuse of power that has been engaged in by people in authority in order to try to destroy him sucks even more, and in my mind is a far greater danger to both me and the nation than is Trump’s suckiness. In this I am one with someone whose opinions you used to take quite seriously…

        I am not and never will be a Donald Trump supporter. If and when he runs for president, I’ll go through the long list of reasons I have for feeling that way. But as a journalist it’s become impossible to believe that the endless investigations of Trump over the last six years have become anything but a permanent feature of his political opposition. That truth begins with the Trump-Russia scandal, which we now know was a hoax pursued as a real crime by a compromised police apparatus, after being concocted by Democrats. One of the officials involved in that mess was kind enough last night to tweet his “opinion” on the Mar-a-Lago raid…

        …When Marc Elias — the former top attorney to the Hillary Clinton campaign, who oversaw another lawyer indicted for lying about his role in concocting Trump-Russia stories — tells us outright that the “bombshell” angle now is that the charge in question could result in Trump’s automatic disqualification from the 2024 elections, we should sit up and listen. It was already straight out of the Papa Doc/Mobutu playbook when Joe Biden was quoted in the New York Times saying he wanted his Attorney General Merrick Garland to hurry up and prosecute Trump, but using federal cops to disqualify the current poll leader of your opposition on a records technicality is pure fingernail-factory politics, I’m guessing scarier to many observers than the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

        I think it should be scarier to every observer.


        • On Plumline there were at least a few other righties. Even then, the constant barrage of “obviously the left is right about everything” got exhausting for me.

          It also depends on the quality of the thinking for me. People making substantial and largely fact-based arguments are more valuable than “you’re a racist for disagreeing with me” crowd.

          For me, when I’ve been that situation, it felt to me like everything I said had to be uniquely policed because my opinions were “triggering”. I did not find that useful or enjoyable so I left.

          In my experience women present problems they want solutions to and problems that they will get very angry if you offer a solution to it exactly the same way. Ben Shapiro said on one of his shows that he just asks his wife now: is this a problem you want solved or just a problem you just want to talk about?


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