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GDP & Consumer Confidence in Crash Mode

GDP & Consumer Confidence in Crash Mode

The impact of Coronavirus is far worse than most can imagine. GDP dropped 32% during the 2nd-quarter which is a new historical record surpassing every recession and the Great Depression of both the 19th and 20th centuries. The epidemiologists cannot be this stupid. The people who have died because of a lack of healthcare during this trumped-up pandemic is serious. Many have been denied healthcare and others have been afraid to even go to the hospital. I myself went to the ER and ended up in a COVID wing for two days and it took two negative tests to get out. Everything has become COVID. In Florida, a young man killed in a motorcycle accident ended up on the death list of COVID. The numbers are being manipulated and the fraud is massive.

As wave two appears with the next flu season, the media has beaten this into such an insane pandemic you would think it was the Black Plague with a 50% mortality rate. The last half of 2020 will get worse. They are using this for political objectives. Any doctor who stands up against this manipulation is attacked and then they roll out a fake study to claim they are wrong. When I was called in as an “expert” to be exploited to create the G5 back in 1985, I saw this was all a joke and so I wrote to President Regan. I was told that I would never be called again because I went out of the committee. I was told to be a good boy, produce studies they tell you the conclusion, and I would make a few million a year. Studies are worthless! Try to find a real one is next to impossible. They all have been paid for to achieve a political objective.

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Brazil Faces Unemployment “Crisis”, As Retail Sales Plunge, Rousseff Blasts “Coup-Mongers”

Brazil Faces Unemployment “Crisis”, As Retail Sales Plunge, Rousseff Blasts “Coup-Mongers”

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff got a rare bit of respite on Tuesday when a Supreme Court justice granted an injunction that delays a lower house vote which could have paved the way for impeachment proceedings.

House speaker Eduardo Cunha has remained defiant, vowing to exercise his “constitutional prerogative” to review impeachment requests.

Of course Cunha has his own set of problems. Allegations of corruption tied to the discovery of Swiss bank accounts have led to calls for his resignation and that, in turn, has Rousseff’s “aides fear[ing] the speaker could try to speed up the impeachment process.” As Reuters notes, if Cunha accepts even one of three impeachment petitions he has on his desk, “a parliamentary commission with representatives of all parties would analyze it and put it to a lower house vote.”

It is essentially a race against time to see if the house ethics committee will force his resignation before he can secure the lower house support to force a Senate impeachment trial.

For her part, Rousseff has accused the opposition of “coup-mongering” following last week’s ruling by the TCU that she cooked the fiscal books. 

Meanwhile, as the intractable political stalemate keeps investors on edge regarding whether the government will be stable enough to enact the reforms needed to plug the budget gap, the economy continues to crumble.

We got a look at retail sales for August today and the picture was not pretty. Core retail sales fell by a larger-than-expected 0.9% month on month and July was revised lower to -1.6%. Broad retail sales fell 2.0% auto sales crashed 5.2%. Annually, core fell by 6.9% broad by 9.6% yoy. Here’s Goldman with the takeaway:

The near-term outlook for private consumption and retail sales remains negative owing to the significant deceleration of credit flows from both private and public banks, high levels of household indebtedness, declining job creation and real wage growth, higher interest rates, higher taxes (including via inflation), higher utility and transportation tariffs, heightened economic and political uncertainty and very depressed (record low) consumer confidence.

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Futures Soar On Hope Central Planners Are Back In Control, China Rollercoaster Ends In The Red

Futures Soar On Hope Central Planners Are Back In Control, China Rollercoaster Ends In The Red

For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw acoordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday’s losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.

As Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow comments, the majority of Asian equity indexes finished with losses but on an upbeat note, helping most European markets to start with modest gains that have increased with the morning, thanks to the aforementioned domestic and global mood stabilization. S&P futures have been positive all day other than a brief dip negative at the worst of the day’s China levels. Chinese equities opened quite weak and were down another 5% before the authorities assured the market that speculation they would withdraw from market supportive measures was misguided. This began a rally of over 6% before a mid-afternoon swoon.

 

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Why the Fed Will Crash the Economy If It Hikes Rates: In Three Charts

Why the Fed Will Crash the Economy If It Hikes Rates: In Three Charts

If you’ve been scratching your head since the middle of last year as consumer confidence surveys depicted an optimistic, eager to spend consumer while other hard economic data was showing a sputtering economy, we’re here to put your mind to rest. You’re not crazy. The U.S. economy is dramatically diverging from where most consumers think it is and we have three charts to prove it.

Most Americans have never heard of the Labor Force Participation Rate. Consumers judge the availability of jobs, or lack of them, by the Unemployment Rate that is fed to them in newspaper headlines and TV sound bites monthly. The Unemployment Rate has been coming down nicely and fueling positive vibes among consumers.

Unfortunately, the Labor Force Participation Rate, which measures the number of people who are either employed or actively looking for a job has been hitting historic low numbers, suggesting far more slack in the labor market than captured by the official Unemployment Rate.

On February 4, Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, told a stunned interviewer at CNBC that he was concerned he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the reliability of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed workers. Clifton’s concerns are essentially based on the fact that consumer confidence and Fed jawboning on when it’s going to hike interest rates to slow down this “strong” U.S. economy before it overheats is about all the U.S. has left in its monetary arsenal.

Clifton had penned an opinion piece on the company’s web site which punctured the rosy spin on the improving jobs market. Clifton wrote:

 

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Anxiety and Interest Rates: How Uncertainty Is Weighing on Us

Anxiety and Interest Rates: How Uncertainty Is Weighing on Us

Anxiety and uncertainty are weighing on individuals even where the overall economy is growing.

Some of this angst is the fallout from advances in information technology. The Internet, ubiquitous computing, robotics, 3-D printers and the like are wonderful advances, yet they may also be personal threats: For some, the technologies may eliminate our jobs or potential future jobs, or make them less lucrative. For others, they may bring new riches.

Even people with moderately high incomes have reason to be uncertain. Some college professors, tenured or not, might lose their jobs in the face ofmassive open online courses, while others prosper from them. Lawyers might find less demand for services that can be supplanted by computerized legal research tools. News and entertainment media have already faced huge technology-related job losses.

Such fears are not measured by the usual consumer confidence indexes. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since 2004 in January. But this index, and others like it, look ahead only into the short term and report about perceived aggregate conditions rather than individual risks.

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The American Consumer Calls The Top – The Automatic Earth

The American Consumer Calls The Top – The Automatic Earth.

Hey! Who said economics can’t be fun?! How is it not absolutely brilliant that in the face of a collapsing shale oil industry – or at least, for the moment, of its financing model -, and the worst week for the Dow since 2011, the Thomson Reuters/UofMichigan consumer sentiment index shows American consumers are more optimistic than they’ve been in 8 years, and that “more consumers volunteered good news than bad news than in any month since 1984″? 1984! How does one trump that as a contrarian signal? And that I don’t mean to sound funny: that is serious.

Of course it says something too about US media and their incessant messages about how well everything is going and how we’ve passed that corner the recovery was always just around, and what a boon the falling oil prices will be to spending over the holidays, and even if sales instead fell over Thanksgiving; surely that’s only because people were saving up their newly found extravaganza for the Christmas season. And obviously the Fed-sponsored distortions of all asset prices on the planet, homes, stocks, you name it, have a lot to do with stoking that optimism as well.

But the feat stands on its own two feet just as much. Americans are not just behind the curve, they positively confirm a top has been reached. If ever you needed a sign, here it is: “Their expectations run quite counter to recent price data.” That’s from Jason Lange for Reuters, but before he gets around to that, check out what some of the experts he cites have to say:

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