Posts filed under “Think Tank”

U of Michigan Confidence

With the week beginning with a much better than expected May Conference
Board consumer confidence # led by the future expectations component,
followed by Wednesday’s 2 point drop in the weekly ABC poll, today’s
final May U of Michigan confidence # was a touch better than expected at
68.7 and up from the preliminary reading of 67.9 and up from 65.1 in
April. It’s at the highest level since Sept ’08 but the breakdown
between current conditions and the outlook was mixed and somewhat
similar to the Conference Board # in that the ‘outlook’ felt better than
‘today’ did. While both components rose from the preliminary reading of
a few weeks ago, final current conditions fell from April BUT the
outlook rose to the highest level since Oct ’07.

Category: MacroNotes

Ben Frankenstein and his hunchbacks

In response to the sharp selloff in US Treasuries and MBS over the past week two weeks, Ben Frankenstein and his hunch back assistants, I mean Ben Bernanke and the Fed, are doing some PR to tell the world that their grand experiment of asset purchases is not going awry but is a reflection of…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Q1 GDP revision

Q1 GDP was revised to a decline of 5.7%, an improvement from the initial reading of -6.1% but a touch weaker than the forecast of -5.5%. A downward revision to personal consumption to 1.5% from 2% was offset by a slightly less than expected drop in gross private investment, exports and a less of a…Read More

Category: Economy, MacroNotes

Even Minsky Would be Shocked at This “Moment”

Good Evening: U.S. stocks rose today, as some well spun economic data and an upward reversal in Treasury securities combined to support the major averages. Though durable goods orders and jobless claims came in “better than expected”, the news behind the headlines was less than reassuring. And though it didn’t seem to affect the bank…Read More

Category: Markets, Think Tank

New Home Sales

April New Home Sales, a measure of contract signings for the purchase of new homes, totaled 352k annualized, 8k less than expected and March was revised down by 5k to 351k. However, months supply fell to 10.1 from 10.6 and it’s the lowest inventory relative to sales since Feb ’08. The absolute # of homes…Read More

Category: MacroNotes


Initial Claims totaled 623k, 5k less than expected but last week was revised up by 5k to 636k, so a push. Continuing Claims continued higher and rose to a new record coming in 43k more than estimated. The claims data continues to be influenced by the goings on in the auto sector both in terms…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Equity returns/REAL vs NOMINAL

With the possibility of inflation finally on many investor radar screens and certainly in the context of the current era of quantitative easing, looking at the current equity rally in terms of inflation is an important perspective in determining what was real and what was inflation induced. At 900 in the S&P 500, we’ve seen…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Meet the new regulator, Mr. Market

A new regulator has come to Washington, DC to oversee the Fed and the political class to make sure they abide by certain constraints. His name is Mr. Market (thank you legendary investor Ben Graham for the metaphor) and he is finally speaking up and has a very large presence. As with many govt actions…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Rising Interest Rates Finally Start to Matter

Good Evening: After months of seeing equities get most of the headlines, the Treasury market has elbowed its way back into the spotlight during the past week or so. Today this attention reached a fever pitch, as yet another steep drop in long dated government bond prices finally started to impact not only the wire…Read More

Category: Markets, Think Tank

German Subprime Meltdown?? Interview With Achim Dübel

Foreign observers of Germany might be tempted to believe that the largest nation in the EU avoided the worst aspects of the crisis through a combination of prudent financial regulation and good old fashioned conservatism. But such a view is very far from the truth. In fact, Germany faces an financial crisis in its private and state sector banks that, relative to the size of that nation’s economy, could be every bit as serious as the US crisis.

Category: Think Tank