Posts filed under “Think Tank”

Jobless Claims

Initial Claims totaled 522k, 31k less than expected and down sharply from 569k last week. Again, the auto sector is depressing the number. In July automakers normally shut down plants but because Chrysler and GM shut plants over the past few months due to their bankruptcies and just restarted them, we aren’t going to see the seasonal July shutdowns, thus the claims data was skewed lower artificially. The other major surprise was the huge drop in Continuing Claims which fell 642k from last week’s record high and at 6.273mm, it’s the lowest since April. As a result, the insured unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 5.2%. According to DJ, a Labor Dept analyst said “this big drop is not necessarily an indication of what is going on economically” due to the layoffs in the auto sector and other manufacturing industries. The data should normalize in a week or two according to the analyst. Thus, be careful extrapolating too much from the data.

Category: MacroNotes

Morning stuff/CIT and China

For just the 2nd time since the credit bubble imploded, the Fed and Treasury said no to another bailout. I fully acknowledge the potential bankruptcy of CIT will be highly disruptive and difficult for small business but score one for American Capitalism as I’m extremely confident that healthy financial institutions will step in and fill…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Intel Throws Party; BAC Founder Appalled

Good Evening: The “Intel Inside” ad campaign received a boost today in the form of an Intel-Inspired equity market celebration. As the whole world watched, Intel exceeded earnings estimates last night, rose in aftermarket trading, and then paced an around the globe rally in stock prices. Setting the bar low and then leaping over it…Read More

Category: Markets, Think Tank

First Appointments to the to Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

It is modeled on the Pecora Commission, a Senate panel that investigated causes of the Great Depression during the 1930s. The Pecora Commission led to major changes in federal law. Speaker and Majority Leader appointed Phil Angelides as chairman of the Commission. Angelides was elected California State Treasurer from 1999 to 2007 House Speaker •…Read More

Category: Markets, Think Tank

CIT is Not the FDIC’s Problem

The team of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and OCC chief John Dugan are trying to paint Sheila Bair and the FDIC as the villains in the CIT situation. CK this missive I just got from one of the members of the working press: “The lobbyists are ready to string Bair up and claim this could…Read More

Category: Credit, Markets, Think Tank

Pick your poison

On the same day Treasury Secretary Geithner said “It is the policy of the US and it will remain the policy of the US to remain committed to a strong dollar” and that it will “remain the principal reserve currency,” the $ index is back below 80 and a close here would be the lowest…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

King Report: Who Pays Taxes?

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Last night Bill O’Reilly, in a segment about ‘connected firms’ profiting from cap & trade, stated
Goldman made $2B in 2008 but PAID NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES!

Long-time readers know that we regularly inveigh against US policy that allows corporations to run two sets of books – one for investors and one for taxes. So when the usual suspects appear to whine that US corporations need tax relief, remember that many US corporations pay little or no income taxes while they report great earnings…How much federal income tax will Goldman pay this year? Where’s Congress?

A few weeks ago we warned that just like the previous two years, BLS seasonal adjustments prevented early spring commodity inflation (rallies) from appearing in PPI in CPI; but in June the seasonal adjustment process would inject the inflation that occurred early. This occurred yesterday with PPI.

Though PPI at 1.8% was double expectations, in reality inflation was not that strong in June. The BLS understated energy and food inflation in the spring and will overstate inflation in June & July.

Press releases noted that energy inflation (+6.6%, gasoline +18.5%) was the reason for the jump in PPI.

Once again we have better than expected retail sales (+0.65% m/m) due to inflation. ‘Core retail sales were 0.26%… Ex-food services, retail sales declined 10.3% y/y…Why won’t the government report ‘core retail sales’ (ex-food & energy) like it does for PPI and CPI?

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Category: Markets, Think Tank

industrial Production

June Industrial Production fell .4% and is the 17th month of decline in the last 18. It was .2% better than expected but May was revised down .1% so overall it was about in line. Capacity Utilization fell to 68% from 68.2% in May but was a touch more than the consensus of 67.9%. It’s…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Economic data

The July NY Fed survey was -.6, above expectations of -5 and up from -9.4 in June. New Orders jumped to +5.9 from -8.2, the first positive reading since Sept ’08 but Backlogs fell 2 points to -12.50. Employment was up a modest one point at -20.8 but it’s the least negative reading since it…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

A nice shift in focus to business from political science

The good thing about earnings season is that it allows us to focus our attention again to company fundamentals and less so on what the government will do to ‘fix things.’ Regardless of whether it was just inventory restocking or signs of a real recovery, Intel’s results being well received has a better feeling to…Read More

Category: MacroNotes