Morning Report: Some good news on inflation

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,09313.50
Oil (WTI)74.910.54
10 year government bond yield 3.54%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 6.44%

Stocks are higher this morning as we put Q1 into the books. Bonds and MBS are flat.

Personal incomes rose 0.3% in February, according to the BEA. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2%.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index – the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation rose 0.3% month-over-month and 5% year-over-year. Excluding food and energy, the core rate 0.3% MOM and 4.6% YOY.

It looks like the spike in the PCE index in January may have been a one-off, or perhaps a some sort of statistical anomaly. It looks like the January numbers on just about every stat were out of step with the previous and subsequent readings. Q1 seasonal adjustments have always been imperfect (there has been a persistent bias in lower Q1 GDP) and that may have played a part in the January readings.

Regardless, the increase in the month-over-month rate seems to be limited to January and we are back in a period of declining month-over-month inflation. The year-over-year numbers are declining as well and will continue to fall especially as we approach the high water mark for 2022 real estate prices in the summer. This is good news as it takes some of the pressure of the Fed to keep raising rates.

The Spring Selling Season is looking like a bust, at least according to data from NAR. Part of the reason is that homes are taking a longer time to sell. Days on market rose to 54 this year compared to 36 a year ago. Higher rates are impacting demand, and if a home is priced right it will move. “Amid fewer new choices on the market and still rising home prices, home shoppers have shown that they are very rate sensitive, only jumping back in the market when rates dip, and so what happens with rates this spring will likely play a strong role in determining whether the housing market bumps along or picks up speed this year,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at

Overall, the competition is lower these days, however this is a function of affordability problems, not due to a balanced market. Median listing prices are still up on a year-over-year basis.

The FDIC is looking to sell Silicon Valley Bank and Signature’s portfolio of underwater MBS are Treasuries. The banks who took parts of these banks had no interest in these bonds as they would have to realize losses on the portfolios. The bond portfolios total about $116 billion.

Consumer sentiment fell in March, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. Both the current situation and expectations numbers fell.

Most notably, the year-ahead inflationary expectations index fell from 4.1% to 3.6%, while the long-term expectations were flat at 2.9%.

“Consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months, dropping about 8% below February but remaining 4% above a year ago. This month’s turmoil in the banking sector had limited impact on consumer sentiment, which was already exhibiting downward momentum prior to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Overall, our data revealed multiple signs that consumers increasingly expect a recession ahead. While sentiment fell across all demographic groups, the declines were sharpest for lower-income, less-educated, and younger consumers, as well as consumers with the top tercile of stock holdings. All five index components declined this month, led by a notably sharp weakening in one-year business conditions.”

63 Responses

  1. JFC, this broad is a nut.

    Still, I worried that the big issues of the world didn’t seem to affect Doug the same way that they affected me. Our political leanings were more or less aligned, and we shared similar dreams for the future, so I didn’t understand how he managed to go about his life without succumbing to the same existential dread and anger that plagued me.

    Look honey, I feel the same way about techno.

    Love this:

    I had obviously lost, but when you spend an hour fighting about a kerosene lantern that isn’t even powered by kerosene, nobody wins.

    See, my losses are the world’s losses.

    Dude, run.

    Unless she’s hawt and sexually uninhibited.


    • Female entitlement is so off the charts these days it belongs in the DSM manual.


      • It is the inevitable consequence of a wealthy society, where technology replaces manual labor and societal organization provides food and protection.

        Female entitlement used to be anchored to how strong and attractive and how good a hunter and fighter the man they were attached to was. No doubt that could lead to some off-the-chart behavior, too.


        • IMO its just media. They spend the most so culture caters to them.

          Everyone is a 10


        • You’re healthy at any size, you goddess!

          At the same time, nobody attacks a public figure more viciously than a bunch of fat white woman who find out a fat celebrity has lost a lot of weight.

          Turns out you’re only actually healthy at any size if that size is “fat”.


        • Even that is situational. Nobody is putting John Candy on the cover of Us and saying that is sexy.


        • It always is. Men only get included for “healthy at any size” when the situation demands it for some reason. Or if it’s a transman. Or a transwoman.

          But correct, it’s mostly women who are “healthy at any size”. Because reasons.

          Also, far fewer men (at least so far) willing to deny biology and science and say being morbidly obese, diabetic, and sedentary is as healthy as being fit, eating right, and exercising.


        • Well, the world has no problem holding men accountable for their actions. Women, on the other hand….


        • That’s not entirely true. Remember this?

          hence the term “Karen”.


        • That is true, but overwhelmingly who is the butt of the joke in a TV ad? the husband or the wife?


    • “so I didn’t understand how he managed to go about his life without succumbing to the same existential dread and anger that plagued me.”

      Clearly he’s on better meds.

      On a more serious note, the sad thing is she’s self aware enough to know she is being crazy here, but can’t stop. The media really is creating mass psychosis vis-a-vis climate change (and other things)

      This to me is the most revealing line in the piece about the utopian mindset:

      “envying his capacity to be content in such a flawed world while also resenting the privilege that allowed him to feel that way.”

      Not being crazy = privilege.


      • People tend to resent it anytime somebody else has their life more together than them. Someone with anger issues will be enraged if you won’t engage with them when they yell at you. They hate it when you are serene. For people like the author, I suspect, “privilege” is just a euphemism for “I hate you for being better than me by my own judgement”.

        Indulging the privilege nonsense will ultimately lead to people being penalized for doing anything to improve themselves, mentally or physically, because any kind of improvement leads to “privilege”.


        • Indulging the privilege nonsense will ultimately lead to people being penalized for doing anything to improve themselves, mentally or physically, because any kind of improvement leads to “privilege”.

          Crabs in a bucket.


    • “Look honey, I feel the same way about techno.”

      Have you watched Kleo on Netflix? There’s a whole sub plot about techno being brought to the Earth by space aliens.


    • “Unless she’s hawt and sexually uninhibited.”

      Typically in this kind of person, even if they are sexually uninhibited, by that point in the relationship they will not be with you, and the guy simply suffers through it in hopes something will get better, but it never does.


  2. Good read:


    • The original:


      • They are a bunch of Frankenstein’s confronting the monster they’ve stitched together, and it hasn’t turned out how they thought. The inevitable conclusion of the path they were vigorously walking down led to where it was always going to, and they are astonished to find the result not what they imagined.


  3. Eating it’s own:


    • I define wokeness as the worldview that one’s lot in life is a function of oppression and privilege and meritocracy is a myth. The existing structure of society must be torn down and rebuilt under the guise of equity, which is equality of result.


      • I think Yang has thought it through more thoroughly than anyone else I’ve read on line with his definition of “Successor Ideology”.


        • I like the criticism section of the Wikipedia entry:

          Sarah Jeong, writing in The Verge, has argued that the term “seems to only muddy the waters since the thing that [critics of the ‘successor ideology’] are concerned about isn’t actually a concrete ideology but an inchoate social force with the hallmarks of religious revival.”

          How else do societal ideologies form? The don’t appear in full maturity from nothing, but evolve over time. And when the “inchoate social force” attempts to deconstruct or destroy all the social and real institutions–or subvert and convert them–from the previous consensus ideology, then how would that inchoate force being any different from a successor ideology?

          Political writer Osita Nwanevu contends that, counter to the narrative that the successor ideology is fundamentally illiberal, it is actually those who are identified with it who are “protecting—indeed expanding—the bounds of liberalism,” while it those who oppose it—whom he calls “reactionaries”—who are “most guilty of the illiberalism they claim has overtaken the American Left.”

          Very meta as this criticism is exactly the kind of subversion-and-absorption, destroying-from-within, newspeak that Yang often addresses.


      • A critique on it from a self described Marxist:

        “Of Course You Know What “Woke” Means
        I’d rather use any other term at this point, but can we get real please?

        Freddie deBoer
        Mar 15

        “Wokeness” centers “the personal is political” at the heart of all politics and treats political action as inherently a matter of personal moral hygiene – woke isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. Correspondingly all of politics can be decomposed down to the right thoughts and right utterances of enlightened people. Persuasion and compromise are contrary to this vision of moral hygiene and thus are deprecated. Correct thoughts are enforced through a system of mutual surveillance, one which takes advantage of the affordances of internet technology to surveil and then punish. Since politics is not a matter of arriving at the least-bad alternative through an adversarial process but rather a matter of understanding and inhabiting an elevated moral station, there are no crises of conscience or necessary evils.”


    • Like

      • It’s not like the woke crowd doesn’t care about interests. They demand representation in elite and cushy jobs, and in positions of power. They couldn’t give two shits about representation in shitty jobs in positions of no power. They would be perfectly content if every garbage man or sewage worker was a straight white male.

        Board member of a fortune 500 company? That’s a whole different issue.


  4. The problem with NPR in a nutshell:

    “A group of executives, including president and CEO John Lansing, presented various financial metrics and updates on the diversity levels at the organization following the layoffs. As of March 24th, for example, NPR had booked $28.9 million in sponsorship revenue for the first quarter, compared to $41 million the year prior. The team highlighted that diversity levels remained roughly consistent before and after the cuts, though trans people in the programming department dropped, going from 2.5% of the workforce to 1.2%.”

    One of those metrics is a bit more relevant than the other.


    • Considering NPR is mostly funded via donation drives and matching donations and ads–I mean, underwriting–I’m not sure focusing on diversity levels is the right strategy.

      If they could be completely government funded, they wouldn’t have to worry about it!


  5. Lol!

    There are no more rules or norms.


  6. Another example of Trump bringing people together.

    Blacks and Jews, reunited. Much like the Jews and Arabs with the Abraham accords.


  7. The education of Ezra continues:


    • They only reason he’s not a right-winger right now is he is selective about doing the math.

      He agrees a more diverse workforce is a more productive workforce—because he agrees. There’s no actual evidence of this . Also he’s citing two things he thinks are good ideas and how good-intentions liberalism is hindering them. But he doesn’t account for any of these programs that are unhindered. Or ever meet their own stated goals. Or actually contribute to the overall well-being of the country.


      • He agrees a more diverse workforce is a more productive workforce—because he agrees.

        The fatal flaw with the left’s “logic” on this issue is that it assumes women are dying to get into construction, and the only reason why there are not a 50 / 50 mix of male and female construction workers is due to the Patriarchy. And if we just mandated that companies in the business of pumping septic tanks offer free childcare the problem would be solved.

        It never dawns on these would-be social engineers that preference and ability matters.


        • Personal anecdote supporting your contention:

          In 2007, my youngest daughter now a pharmacist, graduated UT with honors and a BS in Chemistry. She was offered two very high paying jobs. One was with Raytheon/Uniden or whatever they are called now on a six person team testing the residue inside the stacks of coal fired power plants. The job had travel all over the country, 8-10 days a month in the stacks, 5-6 days in the lab analysis, multiple off days, big salary and huge per diem. There was one woman on the team she was supposed to join – a 26 YO Chem Engineer who begged her to join. She said the guys spent their per diems on steak dinners and beer every night, and shot a lot of pool. She liked it some, but really wished she could just do girl stuff with someone sometimes. My daughter turned the offer down.

          And she was offered a high pay test engineering job on the Houston Ship Channel blowtorching fire retardant materials in a warehouse to see if they would melt and at what temperature, with lab write-ups to follow. She turned that one down saying she wanted to have kids someday and breathing burning chemical fumes daily – even masked most of the time – would be a non-starter.

          Frankly, for the pay and the hours, the travel, the steak dinners, the beer, and the pool games the coal towers sounded fine to me.

          Women are different, in my experience, as well.


      • “I consider it a fact that a more diverse work force is a more productive work force”

        This would actually be what’s called an “opinion” not a fact.

        One that’s called into question by the fact that the current leading semicoductor producers, Taiwan, South Korea or Singapore probably have some of the least diverse work forces around, at least by US progressive standards.


    • … sources close to the investigation

      Amazing how these illegal leaks keep happening but no one ever gets prosecuted for them!


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