Trump warns may terminate NAFTA treaty
E-sports are set to rival traditional sports in terms of winnings
Majority of steel used in new patrol vessels from Sweden -
Demand is surging for goods made in the euro area
Is TripAdvisor laying the groundwork for a deal?
Watch: Taliban claims new deadly bombing in Afghanistan after Trump unveiled strategy
Amazing! Nearly 140 countries could be powered entirely by #renewables by 2050
Law Enforcement Pulls Thousands of Subscribers Call Records Each Year: #SouthAfrica
Watch: Saudi police arrest teenage boy for dancing to the ‘Macarena’ on street
Can you match the US president to their word chart? @RLukeDuBois
U.S. diplomats in Cuba suffered traumatic brain injury after sonic attack: report
The U.S. is weighing new Venezuela sanctions that may hit bonds, sources say
Quant firm AQR Capital Management seeks SEC approval to sell ETFs
Cryptocurrencies arent currencies, and theyre not stocks either
Ex-Google engineer James Damore hires civil rights lawyer Harmeet Dhillon
Revealing from @Brad_Setser on China’s pivot not just away from exports but from imports
GOLD SURVEY: Where is #Gold Headed Next Week? VOTE NOW! |
WATCH LIVE: State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert briefs the media.
Can Boomers and millennials learn to get along at work?
Ryan on Trump attacking his own party: He thinks that strategy works for him
Govt drafts flurry of bills to bolster positive narrative
These 2 Charts Reinforce Worry Me $ $
Warren Buffett Bill Gates – University of Washington
With Dialogues Cut Short, Teacher Strike in Peru Drags On
Hong Kong hit by Southeast Chinas worst storm in five years #TyphoonHato
Israeli archaeologists uncover rare 1,500-year-old mosaic
Black German MP sues Facebook users over racist comments
Skyrmions: the weird particles that are becoming harder to overlook
Business is betting on a future beyond Trump
Delinquencies: Consumer, CI, Agricultural
No.
Graph of US PMI manufacturing and services by @zerohedge
British banks set to close record 762 branches this year
China alliance urges separating politics, economics in Belt and Road investment
These earrings go with any fall wardrobe
Despite hundreds of years of breeding, racehorses may still be getting faster:
Suspects Caught Smuggling U.S.$150 000 Million Worth of Heroin: #SouthAfrica
Code Conduit Podcast: Virtual Reality Avatars Spark Real Legal Issues
We just interviewed this nun and she DID NOT DISAPPOINT
Harvard Study Confirms: #ExxonKnew and Misled Public About #Climate Threat for Decades
Barcelona to conduct full security review
Trumps Israel ambassador: His Charlottesville response wasnt fine
Court takes next step in Menendez corruption trial
Too cynical, or spot on?
Europe is in the driving seat of global bond markets as its mfg PMI races ahead: $TLT $IEF
Real Estate Delinquencies: Residential, Commercial, Farmland
Trump assails the media in angry defense of Charlottesville response
US Travel Alert Threatens Mexican Tourism Industry, Includes Cancun
This is What Kilimani Mums Think of Rapper Collos Tall Wife: #Kenya
Macron says #EU labor rules betray principles
This is as formal as it gets when Chinas Ministry of State Security seizes a foreign journalists computer.
#ChartBrief no.136 - A flash signal for bonds $MACRO $BONDS
The Fed and Wage Growth in one picture. #fed #yellen @JessesCafe @KatiePavlich @Heritage
Major leap towards molecular level data storage with 100 times todays storage density
One of bitcoin’s big winners is raising $100 million for a crypto fund
Rabbis cancel annual call with president over Trumps Charlottesville comments
Is free speech absolutism a good thing?
Cuba incidents caused brain injury, nerve damage to diplomats: CBS News
Well at least this Robert Lee thing as is far as this stupidity can possibly... Im done.
Chart of the Day: New Homes Sales Falter—-At Levels Still Below Those First Hit In 1963!
JUST IN: Trump calls for unity one day after divisive rally in Phoenix
#ThisWeek MacShane: ‘We can leave the EU but not the single market’
The NS Leader: History is not written in stone
Israel wants Russia and the U.S. to know it can wreck a Syria deal
Edmunds: Good deals for car shoppers on Labor Day weekend
How the far-right’s big moment in #Vancouver turned into a fiasco
No Arson in Knysna Fires, Afriforum Report Finds: #SouthAfrica
South Korea holds drills to prepare for potential attack by neighbouring North Korea
Market Backslides on Trump Talk
New Home Sales: July a bit dippy
Ghana, South Africa Combine Efforts in Radio Telescope Project #Ghana #SouthAfrica
Global warming is threatening Alaskas prized wedding flower, @hannahh writes.
Right of reply: Bell Pottinger threatens BizNews over Hitler video story
GOP on the brink of open warfare with itself
McCain bashes Trump for not having a plan for cybersecurity
Unlocking Deep Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Could Schulz win? German poll offers Merkel challenger hope
This German magazine isnt holding anything back
USA for UNHCR’s The Hive | Talks at Google
Snaps lead IPO underwriter lowers its price target — again $SNAP
30% of tourism businesses in Africa are run by women. New #UNCTADAfrica Report: @UNCTAD
SP 600 vs SP 500
Evicted Farmers Launch Legal Action Against Zimbabwe #Zimbabwe
Loser! In 2020 @realDonaldTrump vs. @SenSanders Match-Up, Bernie Beats Donald Bigly
Cubans Who Took Refuge on Florida Lighthouse to Find New Home in Australia
Brazils Lula says party may field someone else in 2018
NEW POLL: Ex-judge holds 18-point lead over Trump-backed candidate in Alabama Senate runoff
NEW PODCAST: Democracy Nows Amy Goodman on Trumps intensifying war on the free press
This s--- is hard.
Carson may have broken federal law at Trump rally:
#Серебренников
RT @LPtravelnews: Learn more about how to travel the world sustainably
Trump’s aides urge him to keep DREAMers as he deports their parents
good afternoon
Even NBC News Noted DNC’s ‘Struggles to Cash in on Anti-Trump Fervor’
Its been almost 10 years since #Zinc has looked this interesting.
BAE says unfazed by Franco-German fighter project, sees future role #Brexit50
Business Insider: Banking thrives on innovation
See NASAs gallery of breathtaking photos from the Great American Eclipse.
South Africas Former Uganda Ambassador Guilty of Hate Speech #SouthAfrica #Uganda
Terror attacks in Catalonia, Spain put spotlight on Morocco:
Dozens missing as boat sinks in Brazils Xingu River
Inspirational vandalism, theme parks, and the man who swam to Hong Kong — #photography —
Turkey accuses German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of copying racism and the far-right
ISIS video shows American boy warning Trump: The battle will end in your lands
Herbalife has a plan that could squeeze hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman
Trump’s billionaire donors miss out on post-election stock gains
What to Make of This Rare Fear Gauge Jump: #stocks #stockmarket #elliottwave
Claims of Reform in China’s Organ Transplant System Not to be Trusted, Expert Says
The coincidental geometry of a total solar eclipse
Honestly, its the Get Inspired sticker that really does it for me.
Seventy-Two Years Later, Japan Remembers the End of a Devastating War
Mexico-US Salary Gap: Workers Earn Nine Times Less South of Border
Charlottesville white nationalist leader predicts more violence
Catholic nun rebukes Paul Ryan for giving an appalling answer to her question on health care
Back up, you creep... and 10 less obvious things you should never say at work:
Not sure whether to read my latest article? Heres what people are saying about it
Crown Heights tells true story of two mens fight for justice
Report: Incidents at embassy left diplomats in Cuba with brain injury and nerve damage
Nature, red in tooth and claw. @RichardDawkins on @bigthinkagain w/@jgots
Comey to lead a lecture series at historically black college:
Trump plans to meet scandal-hit Malaysian leader in September
WATCH: Fox News forced to end live segment after man holds up Fox Lies sign
Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs.
House Speaker Ryan says U.S. government shutdown unnecessary
New-home sales skid to 7-month low in July
A few Comments on July New Home Sales
Melonee Wise to Deliver RoboBusiness Closing Keynote - Robotics Trends
$BABA
20 things you didnt know about your back:
Mexico and Canada dismiss Trumps threats to scrap NAFTA trade pact. More here:
Trump thinks clean coal is when workers mine coal and then actually ‘clean it’
Sheriff Joe Apraio: Ill stand with Trump pardon or no pardon
Chart: The euro hit an 8-year high against the British pound -
Save the day with this tiny titanium keychain bottle opener
“The virtues that lead us to have a good life can only be developed by living in freedom.”
German magazine cover shows Trump doing Nazi salute, which is illegal in Germany
Whole Foods shareholders approve sale to Amazon:
ICYMI: Watch President Trumps remarks at the American Legion National Convention
Madison Avenues Amazon problem $AMZN
7 reasons to be alarmed by record-setting levels of CO2
Chinese driver leaves her car blocking the way. She comes back to find this
A look at the effects of wildfires around the globe
Your UTI keeps coming back because we use too many antibiotics
Im sorry, I dont know how to process this information.
Well, kinda ... there was that one time it was a kind of Union of European Countries
After refraining at Arizona rally, Trump goes after Jeff Flake by name on Twitter
$150 billion, again...
Harvey Reorganizes in Gulf, Heads Toward Texas
#ThisWeek Scottish, Welsh government heads aim to stop ‘blatant power grab’ after Brexit
U.S. cuts to Egypt aid a ‘half-hearted’ measure of restoring rights
Actor Danny Glover joins Airbnb as adviser
Trump defectors: Enough with the gimmicky resignation letters.
Up to 800 Dead in Flooding Across India, Bangladesh and Nepal
Ryan: We dont need a government shutdown to fund the border wall
Ticking time bombs on the bottom of the North and Baltic Sea
Samsung stakes its reputation on the new Note 8
Liberian Politician Says Trump Comparison A Compliment: #Liberia
The hashtag is ten; I wish it was dead, says @ameliargh
Libor vs Net Interest Income
So ... recreate the EU Single Market for financial services, basically
CUNA Asks CFPB To Reconsider Prepaid Card Rules |
Guess whos back? Back again. @chamath is ready to dish
Rabbis Pull Out of Call With Trump in Wake of Charlottesville
University of Missouri says white supremacists are recruiting on campus
Whole Foods shareholders approve plan for Amazon to take over the grocery chain
You can sign up for the #PlatformCoop #Mastodon instance at ! #gocoop #coops #coop
Im a math teacher...
As #Taser safety came under scrutiny, the company changed its language about risks:
#DonaldTrump hit by fresh resignation
Airstrike near Sanaa in Yemen kills 35
George Weahs Running Mate Clarifies Absence From Campaign Launch: #Liberia
For those in #Harveys path: How to prepare for a hurricane
The F-22 Raptors replacement is starting to take shape
After Charlottesville, UVA grapples with its complicated history, writes @karavoght
NASA Sees Tropical Depression #Harveys rebirth in the Gulf of Mexico.
Remember That Time We Were Worried About Ben Carson Being HUD Secretary? We Were Right.
Indecisive Netflix Trader
SQL vs. NoSQL- What You Need to Know #sql #nosql #datascience
Venezuela Attorney General Breaks Silence over Maduro Corruption
This map shows what $100 is really worth in your state
Scarborough: Trump’s rally speech was a “disaster” for the country
Updated: Your best photos of the 2017 total #solareclipse (
National environmental health website quietly changes language about climate change
Effect of the crisis was to shrink global flow of bonds and other types of debt securities
Snarling up America: the epic CSX rail freight logistics disaster of the summer of 2017
Microsoft wins lawsuit against Russian attackers who hacked DNC
WikiLeakss CIA hacking trove doesnt live up to the hype
Full Show: Surveillance (08/22) @LarryKorb @macrocredit @flacqua @davidgura
Lil axolotl!
Heres Justin Trudeau made out of butter. What a time to be alive!
@amnesty @Twitter And a little shoutout to the hashtag I find most moving of all: #RefugeesWelcome
#ICYMI: Most #GOP Voters Say #Trump Will Never Make the #MSM Happy...
Abu Sayyaf beheads ex-Philippines Army officer
Trump science official quits, sneaks secret impeachment message into resignation letter
Sinotrans to acquire logistics assets of China Merchants
50 Blocks To SegWit: Why Bitcoins Coming Upgrade Is a Blockchain Game-Changer
WATCH: Charlottesville covers Robert E. Lee statue that was the focus of deadly rally
Serebrennikovs arrest is another step in the erosion of Russias cultural freedom
NASA About to Test a Nuclear Fission Reactor for Powering Its Mars Colony:
Joker origin movie reportedly in the works
Sunset over Friedrichshafen!
Only Wed but weekly reversal looking good, above the 50 $TSLA
Exclusive: Mexico studies supplying Petrocaribe oil if Venezuela govt falls - sources
23 August 1991 - People step on the head of a statue of Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, founder of the KGB.
360° tour of the Forbidden City exhibition in Monaco
Why Germans give their kids paper cones on the first day of school
me, trying to explain to my daughters why we wont have a cat... (via @newyorker)
High altitude balloon-drone combo
Bob Mueller is using a classic prosecution playbook, despite red line warnings from Trump
Flake: Im focused on my day job, but will keep challenging Trump when I think hes wrong
Cheap sports cars under $10,000
Israel Wants Seat at Table as Powers Seek End to Syria War
If he went beyond 1.30min he might actually have to address his own administration.
(US) New Home Sales biggest annual drop since June 2014 - @zerohedge
The Eiffel Tower at twilight, 1932. Photograph by George Brassai.
Thousands of visitors participate in International Lighthouse Weekend in #Greece #ilhw2017
Valerie Plame Wilson wants to buy Twitter to kick Trump off
Immigrants don’t make up a majority of workers in any U.S. industry
These stunningly accurate balloon animals are a dose of Good Internet
Can Anyone Stop Trump From Launching Nuclear Weapons?
Royal Bank of Canada CEO says more measures may be needed to cool the housing market
How the remote Western resort of Jackson Hole became a go-to gathering for central bankers
Rising Wave of Child Bombers in Nigeria Worrisome - Unicef #Nigeria
UN Wants Full, Equal Opportunities for African Slave Descents: #Nigeria
China: Sales Managers’ Index suggests consistent levels of economic growth. #SMI
Phoenix mayor: Trumps Arizona speech did nothing to unite this country
How do women who arent Taylor Swift pursue justice in sexual assault cases?
Threats Of Government Shutdown Cools Markets
How poverty is killing Kenyas children with cancer
Pope due to visit Myanmar, Bangladesh, before Christmas: source
Dems vow to oppose border wall after Trump’s government shutdown threat:
#Croatias 10 most jaw-dropping beaches by @PeterDragNZ
Offshore Wind Taking Cleveland Back to the Future
Oregon pushes back as Sessions hints at crackdown on legal weed
Health is accounting for a greater share of personal spending.
Do you know the difference between a Storm Surge Warning and Watch? Visit for more tips.
#ThisWeek Merkel hits out at predecessor in Russia row before election
How does Mario define resilient? @ecb
Announcing Opendime v3
jamie kirchick doesnt think nazis are nazis, but he does think bernie sanders is a nazi.
Trump administration warns Russian company could be a mole for the Kremlin
#Gold vs SP500: Long-Term Buy Signal Triggered on Gold - via @BMGBullion
State Department science envoy @dan_kammen resigns with hidden message to Trump
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ defends free speech for all views
2:00PM Water Cooler 8/23/2017
Rage Against the Machine (1999)
WATCH LIVE: Trump speaks at American Legion convention the day after fiery Arizona rally


Mike Shedlock

Mike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He operates the blog MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis and believes in the Austrian School of economics.


Fantasyland Reality Check: Fed’s Beige Book Makes Absurd Claims in at Least 3 Places

4 months ago




The Fed’s Beige Book, a summary of economic activity in 12 Fed regions, claims modest wage increases broadened, manufacturing expanded, and light vehicle sales strengthened.

Let’s investigate those claims in detail, emphasis mine, then do a reality check on those ideas.

Overall Economic Activity

Economic activity increased in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts between mid-February and the end of March, with the pace of expansion equally split between modest and moderate. In addition, the pickup was evident to varying degrees across economic sectors. Manufacturing continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace, although growth in freight shipments slowed slightly. Consumer spending varied as reports of stronger light vehicle sales were accompanied by somewhat softer readings in non-auto retail spending.

Employment and Wages

Employment expanded across the nation and increases ranged from modest to moderate during this period. Labor markets remained tight, and employers in most Districts had more difficulty filling low-skilled positions, although labor demand was stronger for higher skilled workers. Modest wage increases broadened, and reports noted bigger increases for workers with skills that are in short supply.

Prices

On balance, prices rose modestly since the previous report. Input prices generally increased at a modest rate and outpaced gains in selling prices, which rose only slightly.

Manufacturing Expansion?

The curious thing about these numbers is the Beige Book and Industrial Production reports both come from the Fed!

Stregthening Light Vehicle Sales?

On April 3, I reported March Auto Sales Final Numbers: Down 5.7%, Two-Year Low; Don’t Worry, It’s Just a Plateau!

Also on April 3, I reported Auto Inventories Highest Since July 2009: Concerns Mount, Ford Vehicle Sales Decline 7.2%, GM Up 1.6%

Somewhat Softer Readings in Non-Auto Retail Spending?

The fact of the matter is Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline, Revisions Even Worse. Here is a snip from Econoday.

Highlights

First-quarter consumer spending is in trouble. Retail sales fell 0.2 percent in March which is under the Econoday consensus for no change. Importantly, February sales are revised sharply lower, to minus 0.3 percent vs an initial gain of 0.1 percent.

Vehicle sales round out the quarter with a 3rd straight sharp decline at minus 1.2 percent. Sales at gasoline stations, due to lower prices, fell 1.0 percent. But when excluding both vehicles and gasoline, sales could only manage — despite sky-high consumer confidence — a second straight 0.1 percent increase.

Other areas of weakness include sporting goods which fell 0.8 percent and furniture stores which were down 0.3 percent. And two special areas of weakness are restaurants which fell 0.6 percent for a second straight decline and building materials which fell 1.5 percent.

Modest Wage Increases Broadened?

That claim is arguably true on the surface, but if one factors in price inflation, wage growth is nonexistent since August of 1971.

Flashback 1971

1971 is an interesting year, at least for me. That’s when I graduated from Schlarman High School in Danville, Illinois.

Tuition at the university of Illinois for a degree in Civil Engineering was $250 a semester. It’s now $17,628 a year, $8814 per semester.

I helped finance my way through college working at grocery stores and playing poker against farmers in Perrysville and Cayuga Indiana. $100 was a huge win. I did not always win, but I usually did.

Taking into consideration losses (I was never willing to lose more than $20), I suspect I averaged $40 in the plus column per session. At the then going average wage of $3.66, $40 was about 11 hours of normal work.  At the fast food wage of $1.70 per hour that was about 23 hours of work.

Thank the Fed!

Many of you don’t believe the stated inflation rate. I don’t either. But it is especially wrong for those attempting to put themselves through school and those who wish to buy a new home.

The Fed and government meddling via student loan programs and affordable housing programs have crucified students and home buyers via an explicit policy of inflation, the Fed clearly does not know how to measure.

As a side note, this is likely one of the most ridiculous Beige Book assessments in history.

Economic Challenge to Keynesians

Of all the widely believed but patently false economic beliefs is the absurd notion that falling consumer prices are bad for the economy and something must be done about them.

I have commented on this many times and have been vindicated not only by sound economic theory but also by actual historical examples.

My article Deflation Bonanza! (And the Fool’s Mission to Stop It) has a good synopsis.

And my Challenge to Keynesians “Prove Rising Prices Provide an Overall Economic Benefit” has gone unanswered.

There is no answer because history and logic both show that concerns over consumer price deflation are seriously misplaced.

The BIS did a study and found routine deflation was not any problem at all.

Deflation may actually boost output. Lower prices increase real incomes and wealth. And they may also make export goods more competitive,” stated the BIS study.

It’s asset bubble deflation that is damaging.

And in central banks’ seriously misguided attempts to fight routine consumer price deflation, central bankers create very destructive asset bubbles that eventually collapse.

When those bubble burst, and they will, it will trigger debt deflation, which is what central banks ought to fear.

For a discussion of the BIS study, please see Historical Perspective on CPI Deflations: How Damaging are They?

Lower Prices Increase Real Incomes!

Read that line over and over and over again until it sinks in.

The Fed does not want lower prices. Banks and the already wealthy are the beneficiaries.

Many Students and new home buyers have been made debt slaves in the process.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock