No War, Economy Expanding

Long time readers know I am a fan of Barron’s, and frequently reference
the usually fine Econoday updates of daily economic data. But the NYT’s Floyd Norris points to what can only be described as the single most absurd commentary on Sentiment data you will likely read in your lifetime.

"Consumer confidence is unusually low, at its fifth all time worse reading in 40 years of Conference Board data. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index literally plunged in June, down nearly 8 points to 50.4. The expectations component is at a record low of 41.0, down more than 7 points, with the present situation at 64.5, down nearly 10 points for its worst reading since the early part of the ongoing expansion in 2003. But there is an expansion still underway and this is not a time of war, which makes the results difficult to figure."

Normally at this point in our conversation, I would be railing about whether the economy is expanding, given the negative readings in jobs creation, manufacturing, income, and consumption, and how understated inflation makes GDP look better than it is regardless. 

But considering that this is not a time of war, I must have another explanation. It seems I have fallen thru a tear in the fabric of spacetime into an alternate universe. Back in my universe, where the US is likely in a recession, there is also two wars going on, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. 

This tear in the fabric of spacetime does explain some of the more absurd commentary we have heard over the past few years: That the credit crisis is contained, or the economy was doing well, that real estate has bottomed, etc. We are simultaneous inhabiting two separate universes, one where everything is going swimmingly — and this one.

The disagreements about the state of the economy, the housing debacle, and the credit crisis seem to come about when someone from THAT universe — the one where the economy is expanding and there is no war — accidentally falls into OUR universe — but keeps discussing their universe.

Other than that, I can find no other explanation for the Barron’s Econoday commentary. Can you?




We’ll have more on Sentiment data later today . . .

NOTE: This data is not te same commentary found in Barron’s the weekly financial magazine, but rather, is via Econoday, which feeds some data and commentary to Barron’s.  Its not the sort of thing you can blame Rupert Murdoch for . . .


Are We Too Gloomy?

War? Recession? Not Here
Floyd Norris
June 25, 2008,  3:41 pm

Consumer Confidence  10:00 ET

Barron’s Econoday, June 25, 2008

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Psychology, War/Defense

Doug Dachille & Gary Kaminsky discuss Fed, Rates, and Inflation

Very interesting video from SquawkBox Wednesday morning — I thought Doug Dachille of First Principles Capital Management did a nice job and Gary Kaminsky Neuberger Berman is always solid.


click for Video

This was not Joe Kernan’s finest interview . . . especially later in the interview.

Part II is here:

Category: Commodities, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Video

George Carlin on HBO

Carlin_main_w_interview George Carlin recorded 14 live comedy stand up specials for HBO, over the course of three decades.

HBO will air Carlin’s most recent live comedy special, "It’s Bad for Ya," at 9 p.m. Friday, June 27.

Tonight and tomorrow, HBO2 will air 11 of those earlier shows:

Wednesday, June 25th
8:00pm   George Carlin at USC (1977)
9:00pm   George Carlin Again! (1978)
11:00pm  Carlin at Carnegie (1983)
12:00am  Carlin on Campus (1984)
1:00am  Playin’ with Your Head (1986)

Thursday, June 26th

8:00pm  What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988)
9:00pm  Doin It Again (1990)
10:00pm  Jammin in New York (1992)
11:00pm  Back in Town (1996)
12:05am  You Are All Diseased (1999)
1:00am   It’s Bad For Ya (2008)

Also, this weekend, NBC will be running the very first ever 1975 Saturday Night Live, hosted by none other than George Carlin. Its a must TiVo show.

Those of you who may not be all that familiar with Carlin’s earlier
works should especially catch the 1970′s and 80′s work. Its probably
tame compared to what you are used to today, but Carlin was groundbreaking. Most modern comics owe a huge debt to Carlin.

For those of you without HBO, there’s always the complete set: All My Stuff   



George Carlin (1937 – 2008)

Category: Politics, Psychology, Television, Video

Uh-Oh: I Am On Notice

On Notice


The Stephen Colbert "On Notice Board" Generator via Muckdog

Category: Media, Video

FOMC: Upside Risks to Inflation

Category: Credit, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation

Holy Snikes! New Home Sales Fall 40.3%

Category: Data Analysis, Real Estate

“Appalling” Market Fundamentals, Not Inflation, Is The Problem

Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Psychology

Man with a Tan Needs a Plan

Category: Credit, Legal, Real Estate

False Housing Turnaround Expectations


Category: Real Estate, Video

The Big Picture X 3?

Category: Intellectual Property, Weblogs