Monday, November 29, 2010

The trucks won't load themselves 11.29.2010 morning links

I'm headed to work here are your mornings links/weekend/turkey digesting recap...
quote for the day:
He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.  --Douglas Adams
UN condemns killing of aid worker in Mindanao
Asian Stocks, Commodities Gain on Ireland Aid; Dollar Near Two-Month High - Bloomberg
Ireland Wins $113 Billion Aid; Germany Drops Threat on Bonds - Bloomberg
Analysis: Wikileaks - Not damaging, vindicating
Winning the Class War - 
Experts question whether patients will use performance data use performance data to choose their care Analysis
Quantitative easing the renminbi and China
"Starve the Beast" a crackpot theory
Should the Fed be stripped of its employment mandate? Or stripped of power?
Town may seize factory from owner
The two biggest lies of George W. Bush
What the Republicans really want
We need more health care reform
Economics and Economic Justice (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Market Failure Cannot Be Resolved Without Regulation | Angry Bear
Paul Ryan, Arpit Gupta on Monetary Policy « Rortybomb

The recent improvement in economic news

Calculated Risk gives a run down of recent improvements in the economy:
• The October employment report showed a gain of 151,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, the most since April ex-Census. Expectations are for a similar gain in November, although probably not enough jobs added to push down the unemployment rate.

• The BEA estimated real GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in Q3. This is still sluggish, but an improvement from the 1.7% growth rate in Q2.

• The Personal Income and Outlays report for October indicated incomes grew at a 0.5% rate (month-to-month), and it appears PCE has grown at about a 3% annualized rate over the last three months. The personal saving rate was 5.7% in October, and although I expect the rate to increase a little more - it appears a majority of the adjustment is behind us (a rising saving rate is a drag on personal consumption).

• The 4-week average of initial weekly unemployment claims has declined to 436,000 last week from over 480,000 at the end of August. The weekly reading was 407,000 last week; the lowest since July 2008.

• Most regional manufacturing surveys, with the exception of the NY Fed survey (empire state), has shown a pickup in manufacturing. This suggests the manufacturing sector is still improving (the ISM manufacturing index for November will be released on Wednesday).

Trucking and rail traffic improved in October, although the Ceridian diesel fuel index was weak.

• The Architecture Billings Index (a leading indicator for commercial real estate) is near flat - suggesting investment in commercial structures such as hotels, offices and malls will stop contracting next year. (addition by subtraction!)

• Even small business optimism has improved slightly.

Most of the reasons for the recent slowdown are still with us - less stimulus spending, the end of the inventory adjustment, problems in Europe and a slowdown in China, and cutbacks at the state and local level - but it appears Residential investment (RI) has bottomed and will most likely add to GDP growth in 2011. I believe the RI drag is now behind us, and RI is usually the best leading indicator for the economy.

The data is still mixed and fits with my general view of a sluggish and choppy recovery (my view since the spring of 2009). Although I don't see a sharp increase in growth, I think the pace of recovery will probably pick up a little bit in 2011, and I'll take the over on the consensus view of 2.5% GDP growth in 2011. My guess is 3%+ GDP growth in 2011 - still not a strong recovery given the amount of slack in the economy, but an improvement over 2010.

Unfortunately there probably will not be enough growth to significantly reduce the unemployment rate in 2011.

Treasury 30-Year Returns as Market Bellwether as Fed Policy Propels Trade

For the first time since the 1990s the U.S. 30-year Treasury bond is becoming the benchmark for the world’s biggest debt investors.

The Federal Reserve’s plan to buy $600 billion of U.S. government debt will focus about 86 percent of its purchases in notes due in 2.5 years to 10 years, leaving the so-called long bond as the security that most closely reflects market expectations for inflation. Since the Fed’s Nov. 3 announcement, the 30-year yield rose 0.28 percentage point, suggesting growing investor confidence in the central bank’s efforts to avoid deflation as the economy expands.

“The 30-year, with minimal Fed involvement, will become the bellwether issue for the bond market’s outlook on the economy and inflation,” said Gary Pollack, who helps oversee $12 billion as head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank AG’s Private Wealth Management unit in New York.

Trading in Treasuries due in 11 years and more tripled since July, compared with a 60 percent jump for all maturities, according to Fed data. Volume reached $65.7 billion in the week ended Nov. 10 among the 18 primary dealers that trade with the central bank, the largest amount since at least 2001.

The rise in 30-year yields to a six-month high of 4.42 percent on Nov. 15 shows traders expect Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will head off deflation, which can stall recoveries by curtailing spending and investment, said Rohit Garg, an interest-rate strategist in New York at BNP Paribas SA.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The trucks won't load themselves...11.23.2010

I'm headed to work.  Here are your morning reads...
Venezuela bans Chavez image use
"People like myself should be paying a lot more in taxes," says Warren Buffett
Two GA House Democrats finally decide to make the GOP switch | Political Insider
The Social Security Trust Fund — Crooked Timber
Health insurers must spend more on medical care, new rules say 
Georgia Borrows $454 M To Cover Jobless Benefits 
Why Democrats Lost for Complete Idiots | Ian Welsh
Financial Crisis in the U.S.--Hundreds Should Go to Jail
President Bush and Warren Buffett on the Financial Crisis
War Crimes Should Be Punished even when committed by Americans
Beyond Understanding -
What the Secret Donors Want -
Vow to Repeal Health Care Holds Little Promise -
Positive and Negative Liberty (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Barbara Bush to Palin: Stay in Alaska -
Insurers Gave U.S. Chamber $86 Million Used to Oppose Obama's Health Law - Bloomberg
Macro and Other Market Musings: Further Evidence of An Excess Money Demand Problem
Macro and Other Market Musings: A Defection from the "Open Letter to Bernanke"
Being a good mother

Monday, November 22, 2010

just a thought on TSA body searches

Descriptions from those who felt that TSA unwarranted body searches were invasive have included words like "demeaned" "harassed" "humiliated" "violated"... can't help but note that white america is getting a taste of what urban black males have had to deal with for generations.  Maybe Fox news commentators won't be so snooty next time the ACLU puts out a report on police harassment of blacks/latinos?
Somehow I doubt it though...

The trucks won't load themselves... 11.22.2010

I'm headed to work here are your morning reads...
Ireland Faces `Outsized' Problem, Seeks EU, IMF Bailout - Bloomberg
NYTimes: Bernanke Presses China on Imbalances, Echoing Obama
NYTimes: Obama Forces Showdown With G.O.P. on Arms Pact
Record U.S. Exports Reflect Midwest Boom With 3.7% Unemployment - Bloomberg
W.P. Accuses People in Washington of Doing Drugs: The Fed and Fiscal Policy
If China is Worried About Losing Jobs Why Is Its Central Bank Raising Reserve Requirements?