White House Hits New Nadir: 29% Approval

Far be it from me to understand politics — that’s why we stick to our knitting and focus on markets — but I gotta wonder what this datapoint means (via the WSJ’s Washington Wire):

"President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January. Approval ratings for Congress overall also sank, and now stand at 18%.

Roughly one-quarter of U.S. adults say “things in the country are going in the right direction,” while 69% say “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” This has been the trend since January, when 33% said the nation was heading in the right direction. Iraq remains a key concern for the general public, as 28% of Americans said they consider Iraq to be one of the top two most important issues the government should address, up from 23% in April. The immigration debate also prompted 16% of Americans to consider it a top issue, down from 19% last month, but still sharply higher from 4% in March.

The Harris poll comes two days after a downbeat assessement of Bush in a New York Times/CBS News poll. The Times, in analyzing the results, said “Americans have a bleaker view of the country’s direction than at any time in more than two decades.”

We know that historically, there is very little correlation between Presidential approval ratings and longer term market performance.

I’m watching this data purely from a market psychology and consumer sentiment perspective . . .

UPDATE: May 12, 2006 10:19 am

Here’s a recent table from the NYT; Congress is looking pretty ugly also . . .

click for larger graphic   

Nyt_poll_chart_lg2

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Source:
Bush Dips Into the 20s
WSJ’s Washington Wire
May 11, 2006, 9:12 pm

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2006/05/11/bushs-approval-ratings/

Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet
ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE
NYT, May 10, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/10/washington/10poll.html

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Early this morning, I caught a few minutes of Stephen Moore’s Supply Side arguments on CNBC re Tax Cuts.

Rather than discuss what some have called Economic’s biggest mistake, and what the Chairman of President Bush Council of Economic Advisors Greg Mankiw described in the third edition of his book Principles of Economics textbook as the work of
"charlatans and cranks," I thought I would simply debunk his Capital Gains Tax Cut argument as increasing treasury receipts:

Moore is arguing that since tax reciepts went up after the Capital Gains Taxes were cut in 2003, it should therefore get all the credit. I would respond simply by going to the charts, and pointing out that THE ABSENCE OF CAPITAL GAINS FROM 2000-20003 is the primary reason.

This first chart shows the pre-tax cut period of October 2000 to March 2003; Gee, anyone want to hazard a guess for why Capital Gains Taxes paid were so low after the Nasdaq dropped 78%?

How about NO CAPITAL GAINS = NO CAPITAL GAINS TAXES!

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 Nasdaq 2000-03

200003_nazz

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The second chart shows what happened after the War began in March ’03. Note that the Nasdaq selloff was very similar in depth to the initial 1929 crash.

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Nasdaq 2003-06

2003_06_nazz

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Gee, when markets rally, people pay more Capital Gains! Go figure . . .

(And this is before we even mention increased Housing sales due to half century low interest rates and the potential capital gains taxes there) 

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