The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 6

The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence reached a fresh seven-year high this month as Americans are increasingly optimistic about the economy in general and the job market in particular. The group’s confidence index rose from a downwardly revised 90.3 in July to a new recovery high of 92.4 this month as the present situation component jumped 6.7 points to 94.6. The expectations component dipped 1.0 point to 90.9.

Earlier, two reports indicated slowing momentum in the nation’s housing market as the Case Shiller Home Price Index showed declining year-over-year gains, down from 9.3 percent to 8.1 percent, and the FHFA reported price gains dropped from 5.5 percent to 5.1 percent.

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Tuesday Morning Links

The S&P500 tops 2,000. Should you care? – MarketWatch
What to Expect Next in Iraq and Syria? – New Yorker
Islamic State Captures Syrian Air Force Base – Vice News
The Islamic State: Can it govern? – Economist
Israel Destroys 2 Gaza High-Rises in Escalation – AP
Putin in Minsk for bilateral talks with Ukraine’s Poroshenko – RT News
Why U.S. conservatives love Russia’s Vladimir Putin – Washington Post
Ukraine moves another step closer to default – Fitch – RT News
Why Burger King wants to become a Canadian citizen – Washington Post
Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People – Foreign Affairs
Iowa farmers to see record corn crop – Daily Iowan
Stick a Fork in Your Newspaper – Bloomberg
The Challenge – Reformed Broker

Global stocks lower, US economic data awaited – AP
Geopolitical pressure could return as S&P reaches for 2,000 – CNBC
Surging U.S. Stocks Echo Dot-Com Rally With Cheaper P/E – Bloomberg
Don’t lose faith, the Dow uptrend is intact – CNBC
This is the chart that stock bulls don’t want you to see – MarketWatch
Treasury Two-Year Notes Yield Most Versus Germany’s Since 2007 – Bloomberg
Gold up around 1 pct as dollar rally pauses; U.S. data eyed – Reuters
Shanghai Silver Warehouse Stocks Fall 24% In One Week – SRSrocco Report
Is Asian gold demand really slipping so much? – Mineweb
Commodity Index Turns Negative On The Year – Kitco
Copper on the Rise – Barron’s

Mimicking the airlines, hotels get fee-happy – AP
What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat? – macroblog
6 things you should know about the U.S. economy – CBS News
Eurozone opens doors to QE as Germany and France stumble – Telegraph
German Exports to Russia May Shrink by One Quarter This Year – Ria Novosti
BOJ to stay bullish on prices even as it cuts Japan GDP estimate – Reuters
Hollande Replaces Cabinet as EU Austerity Rebellion Stirs – Bloomberg
German anti-euro party set for gains in eastern votes – Reuters
China’s falling real-estate prices trigger protests, clashes – MarketWatch
The  Mortgage Crisis is About to Flare Up Again – New Republic
No, Professor Cochrane, The Fed Is Not Getting It Right – Forbes
The Fed Is Not As Powerful As We Think – Slate


Too Low for Too Long, Round 2

Based on the results of this survey as reported at the Wall Street Journal Economics blog and depicted below, large numbers of U.S. economists are prepping their 2015 (maybe 2016) “I told you so” commentaries as they relate to the Federal Reserve’s handling of interest rates.

I’m not sure if this is round two or three (i.e., I wasn’t really paying attention back in the early-1990s when Greenspan held rates pretty low for a few years) but, either way, it’s kind of disconcerting to see a plethora of economists (who, by the way, are not known for being the sharpest tools in the shed as far as predicting the future) already thinking the Fed is making the same mistake (one that they’ve never acknowledged) once again.

Monday Morning Links

Milestone watch: 2000 on S&P 500 – USA Today
Draghi Pushes ECB Closer to QE as Deflation Risks Rise – Bloomberg
Pressure builds within Fed to signal new policy course – Reuters
More Economists See Fed Policy As Too Loose – WSJ
Fed’s Lockhart not convinced economy ready to lift off – MarketWatch
Janet Yellen’s Fed is more revolutionary than Ben Bernanke’s ever was – Quartz
Broken Links: The Growing Gap Between Wall Street and Main Street – Hussman Funds
Retirees’ Social Security checks garnished for student loans – CNN/Money
Government Dependency In U.S. Nears The Tipping Point – IBD
The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats – Politico
Look to ‘The Simpsons’ for economics lesson – Boston Globe
Piketty’s Errors Mirror Marx’s, Paper Finds – WSJ
Reflexivity, Bubbles and Profits – Prudent Bear
Krugman’s Kryptonite – NY Sun

Global stocks mostly up on stimulus outlook – AP
Yield-Starved Investors Take Bigger Risks – WSJ
You are your portfolio’s worst enemy – MarketWatch
The Decline and Fall of Fund Managers – WSJ
Hey, America — Do you believe in (market) magic? – MarketWatch
Treasuries Rise as European Rally Boosts Relative Value Appeal – Bloomberg
Gold near 2-month low on stronger dollar, interest rate expectations – Reuters
China’s Hong Kong gold imports drop – fifth month in a row – Mineweb
Gold Is the Money of Kings, Debt the Money of Slaves – FSO
Why The Gold Price Is Trendless – GoldSilverWorlds

Unemployed take their case to Fed officials at Jackson Hole – Reuters
Nobel-winning economists challenge conventional thinking on recovery – Guardian
Kuroda Douses Japan Stimulus Expectations – WSJ
French PM Manuel Valls cabinet falls amid economy row – BBC
China’s Embrace of Markets Is Responsible for Its Growth – Caixin Online
German business-confidence weaker than expected – MarketWatch
Here’s How Your Laptop Is Manufactured in China – WSJ
Chin policy change kills Coastal California housing market – OC Housing News
Central bankers struggling to say no to easy-money policies – Australian
What did quantitative easing accomplish? – Econbrowser
The Jackson Hole Snoozefest – Alhambra Partners
Nightmare of debt deflation stalks Europe – FT

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