US Producer Price Index down 0.5% in Feb vs. up 0.3% expected
U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in February on weak trade margins, pointing to muted inflation pressures that could argue against an anticipated June interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
The Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index for final demand fell 0.5 percent after dropping 0.8 percent in January. It was the fourth straight monthly decline in the PPI.
…again. Perhaps the gobbledygook coming out of corporate gives one an idea of WHY they’re tanking.
“Creating consistently relevant and satisfying customer experiences have been hallmarks of McDonald’s business and historic success,” the company said in a statement.
“However, consumer needs and preferences have changed, and McDonald’s current performance reflects the urgent need to evolve with today’s consumers, reset strategic priorities and restore business momentum. The goal going forward is to be a true destination of choice around the world and reassert McDonald’s as a modern, progressive burger company.”
Perhaps if they went back to BURGERS as their focus, life wouldn’t be treating them so harshly?
Just a thought.
The assertion perturbs a couple CNBC anchors.
…now that’s it’s going to be in a paper cup. YEE-OUCH!
— Fox News Politics (@foxnewspolitics) January 9, 2015
Our hero will veto it anyway.
BREAKING: Nebraska Supreme Court tosses Keystone pipeline lawsuit, says plaintiffs don't have standing.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 9, 2015
…the “EJECT!” button?
Russia risks Soviet-style collapse as rouble defence fails
Russia has lost control of its economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after “shock and awe” action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the rouble.
“The situation is critical,” said the central bank’s vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. “What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago.”
…Michal Dybula, from BNP Paribas, said the rouble’s plunge risks setting off a systemic bank run. “A large-scale run on deposits, once under way, would make capital controls pretty much unavoidable,” he said, adding that the authorities may start by forcing state-controlled companies to sell foreign assets and repatriate funds.
In Washington, the White House said it had no intention of easing pressure on Russia to halt the freefall. “It is president Vladimir Putin’s decision to make. The aim is to sharpen the choice that he faces,” it said.
President Barack Obama will not veto a law passed by Congress imposing a raft of new sanctions against Russia, even though he warned previously that it goes too far for European leaders and risks splitting the trans-Atlantic front. The measures include $350m of military assistance to Ukraine, and authorize Mr Obama to impose curbs on energy companies investing in Russia, as well as to prohibit credit to Gazprom.
…After years of bluster and suggestions by Mr Putin that the US is a paper tiger, the Kremlin is now coming face to face with the cataclysmic consequences of what it has done by invading Ukraine and changing Europe’s borders by force. By the same token, Washington needs to move with care since it would be a geostrategic miscalculation of the first order to push a nuclear-armed Russia too far into a corner, or to perpetuatue a cycle of grievance.
Anthony Peters, from SwissInvest, said Russia’s leaders had misled their own people and have until now been in denial about the crisis engulfing them. “Not since Soviet times have we seen such steadfast refusal by the Kremlin to acknowledge the presence of severe political and economic problems while sacrificing the people in the name of orthodoxy. The Russian people are legendarily stoic in the face of hardships but beware if, and when, their patience runs out,” he said.
The rouble crash has doubled the cost of servicing nearly $700bn of external debt owed by Russian banks, companies and state bodies, mostly in dollars. They must repay $30bn this month and a further $100bn next year. Oil giant Rosneft has requested $49bn of state aid to weather the crisis.
I have complete confidence that our Super Geniuses in DC will manage to engender the worst possible outcome.
That’s the Gift they have.
These are dangerous times, and we are ruled by petulant children.
If you’ve got a few minutes read this to get an update on how things are going with Germany’s drive to generate only Green EcoPower.
Here’s a hint: not well.
When the Scots were all ready to use that Sweet Sweet North Sea oil money to finance their independent dreams in September, Brent crude was at $96 per barrel.
Right now it’s $64.00
Much like Russia, Norway is hosed
The governor of Norway’s central bank says western Europe’s biggest oil producer is facing a major economic slowdown as crude prices continue to plunge.
“Our job now is that we need to prevent a severe downturn in the economy,” Oeystein Olsen said today in an interview after a press conference in Oslo. “Overall, that is presently the major concern of the board. That explains why we have reduced the rate.”
…Oil prices have plunged 44 percent from a June high, the worst decline since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Norges Bank estimates oil investments will decline by 15 percent next year, with the risk of “spillover” effects on the rest of the economy and rising unemployment.
Norway depends on the oil industry for almost a quarter of its economic output and has built an $860 billion wealth fund from its offshore revenue.
I laugh every time I see a Prius.
And I wish I had bought that bigger SUV…
…I’m starting to think this President really, REALLY doesn’t LIKE most of us.
Obamacare offers firms $3,000 incentive to hire illegals over native-born workers
Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.
President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
If you can get to work through the “understandably angry and resentful” sweet Michael Brown protesters blocking every traffic orifice in the name of that martyred man-child in YOUR city, check it out.
I can’t WAIT to see what the Poison Pen President does next to his chattel milling about in the amber waves of grain.
…“Hmmmm. Schmaybe it’s just not the economy/ObamaCare closing this factory…” Two interesting sentences jumped out at me amid the tale of woe…
400 out of work as Hostess shutters Schiller Park plant again
Workers at Hostess Brands’ Schiller Park bakery were blindsided by news Wednesday that the company plans to close the plant where the iconic Twinkie snack cake was invented more than 84 years ago.
“When we heard the news, it was shocking to us as well as our membership there,” said Donald Woods, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 1. “They were working like 12 hours, six days a week, and they were looking for this plant to be a part of their future.”
Hostess said Wednesday it expects to close the plant in October “to enhance its production and distribution capabilities and efficiencies.”
About 400 employees will be affected by the closing. Roughly 85 workers are employed on a contingent basis at the plant, which also makes Sno Balls and Ho Hos.
“The employees feel devastated because in May of this year the workers there voted to rejoin the [union],” Woods said. ”We were in the process of negotiating a contract with the group.”
Twinkies and other Hostess snack cakes returned to store shelves in July 2013 after the former Hostess company filed bankruptcy during a battle with its union workers.
…The Schiller Park bakery is the company’s last remaining bakery in Illinois. Two other bakeries operated in the state closed in 2012…
To steal a phrase, “Do you see what I see?”
Sounds more like unions and the well-known business friendliness of Illinois causing them to LEAVE to enhance to company’s “efficiencies”.
Get ready for the “It’s not Obama’s fault really it was the weather” excuses to fly fast and furious
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter by the most since the depths of the last recession as consumer spending cooled.
Gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, more than forecast and the worst reading since the same three months in 2009, after a previously reported 1 percent drop, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. It marked the biggest downward revision from the agency’s second GDP estimate since records began in 1976, owed primarily to a slowdown in health care spending.
Total suckage on everything he touches.
The revision reflected a drop in spending tied to health care services. The Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated that major provisions of President Obama’s signature health care law would boost outlays. A quarterly services survey released this month showed the assumptions were too optimistic. Outlays for health spending actually dropped in the first quarter, subtracting 0.16 percentage point from GDP. The Commerce Department previously estimated those outlays added 1 percentage point to GDP.
I would suggest to the editors that when you predict a policy will increase spending and it actually causes it to drop you are not “too optimistic” but in fact what we in the real world call “dead wrong.”
My name is Bonds, Fake Bonds
Two smartly-dressed men armed with forged bond certificates worth trillions of euros have been caught while trying to talk their way into the Vatican’s bank, in a spectacularly bungled fraud scheme.
The middle aged men, an American and a Dutch citizen of Malaysian origin, arrived at the main gate of the Vatican on the morning of March 11, telling Swiss guards they had an appointment at the bank, which has been dogged by scandals over the years.
When bank staff said they had no record of an appointment, the two men said cardinals were expecting them – arousing the suspicions of Vatican police, who called in colleagues from Italy’s tax police.
“When we arrived, the Vatican police had opened the men’s briefcase to find bond certificates valued in US and Hong Kong dollars, as well as euros, worth €3 trillion,” said Lt Col Davide Cardia, a tax police official.
… “We noticed the grammar of the English used on the certificates was full of mistakes – it looked like they had been written using Google Translate,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “Searching their hotel room we found the seals used to forge the bond certificates.”
Since the men were stopped before carrying out a fraud, they were released under Italian law and have now likely left Italy, said Lt. Col. Cardia.
I guess the Italians consider forged bonds worth trillions to be mere literature until one actually deposits them.
And then they’ll shout “squirrel!” and try Amanda Knox again.
Talk about your old man wandering off the proverbial porch…
Warren Buffett: Supposed Increase in Extreme Weather ‘Hasn’t Been True So Far’
Any climate alarmist will tell you that climate change is increasing extreme weather events, but liberal billionaire Warren Buffett easily destroyed that argument.
…Buffett said the supposed increase in extreme weather “hasn’t been true so far, Joe. We always think it’s cold. We always think it’s cold in Omaha. But, it was cold in Omaha 50 years ago.”
…Specifically, Buffett rejected claims that hurricanes have increased due to climate change, citing his experience in hurricane insurance. He said “we’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the United States in the last five years.”
He added “If you are writing hurricane insurance, it has been all profit.“
…In that same interview, Buffett rejected two other liberal talking points. He expressed concern over an increased minimum wage, agreeing with the Congressional Budget Office that wage hikes would kill jobs. He also expressed support for the Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “useful.”
It is a thing of BEAUTY.
— tree hugging sister (@treehuggingsis) February 26, 2014
IN 1960, THE REVOLUTIONARY REGIME IN CUBA ILLEGALLY CONFISCATED ALL THE BACARDI COMPANY’S CUBAN ASSETS WITHOUT COMPENSATION AND FORCED THEM OUT OF THE COUNTRY. THE BACARDIS LOST THEIR BUSINESS AND THEIR HOME, BUT AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN, NOT THEIR SPIRIT. THEY SIMPLY STARTED OVER SOMEWHERE ELSE.
— tree hugging sister (@treehuggingsis) January 27, 2014
So I call Comcast yesterday because our modem is rather antiquated and can’t provide the bandwidth that Comcast is charging me for. Their website gives a list of recommended modems and a very convenient link to order one directly from Amazon. Very smart and efficient.
Anywho, I picked out one and before I clicked “order” I called the 800 number for Comcast to double check that it would work and the installation woul be seamless. There was the usual delay as I was routed to the call center in Bangalore and then that little extra delay that tells you that you are now talking to someone wearing a headset sitting in a room with three hundred other such folks, and then this nice fellow says, in accented English that checks off every box on the Official Stereotype Indian English Form, “Hello, thank you for calling Comcast. My name is Larry, how can I help you?”
So now companies are giving these folks fake Gringo names.
What a hoot.
My goodness, there will be no love for the Associated Press when the Administration goes through this story
The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push
November 12, 2013 7:18 AM ET
By By DINA CAPPIELLO and MATT APUZZO
CORYDON, Iowa (AP) – The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.
Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”
But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.
As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.
Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama’s watch.
Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.
All of these subsidies and mandates (and a hell of a lot else, frankly) need to be eliminated and stripped out of that ungodly abomination that the the Farm Bill.
The corrupt alliance between the hyper-regulatory state and agribusiness must be pared back.
I think this Fed-created bubble in equities, combined with their destruction of saver’s income, has the potential to be a disaster of epic proportions.
And it all has been done with the explicit guidance and blessings of most especially the White House but also Congress.
Via ZeroHedge, who wants to bet that these same programmers were hired to set up the Obamacare Exchanges?
This is probably the most painful bug report I’ve ever read, describing in glorious technicolor the steps leading to Knight Capital’s $460m trading loss due to a software bug that struck late last year, effectively bankrupting the company.
The tale has all the hallmarks of technical debt in a huge, unmaintained, bitrotten codebase (the bug itself due to code that hadn’t been used for almost 9 years), and a really poor, undisciplined dev-ops story.
It sure sounds like the folks at HHS put in the same level of care during the beta phase, too.
But of course the real difference is that the company paid for its sloppiness, whereas we are the ones who will continue to pay for our government’s incompetence.
The percent of people able to work who actually are continues to decline…
I guess there must be some “glitches” in this latest Recovery Summer.
Kinda like his signature legislation and damn near everything out of his pie-hole ~ a big, fat fraud.
At the White House: Obamacare success stories that aren’t
President Obama invited a number of people to stand behind him as he delivered his speech on the state of Obamacare at the White House Monday morning. One of them, Janice Baker, a small business owner from Delaware, introduced the president, and Obama spoke of Baker and the others gathered there as people who have benefited from Obamacare. But after reading the White House-provided descriptions of each of those behind the president, it’s clear the administration was stretching to present people who, beyond supporting Obamacare, have actually gained from it in any tangible way.
For example, a Pennsylvania man named Malik Hassan was in the group, and this is the White House description of his situation, in full:
“Malik Hassan works at a restaurant in Philadelphia. Hassan, who does not receive coverage through his employer, is looking forward to enrolling for health coverage this fall. He recently used Healthcare.gov. to process his application and is waiting for the options for potential plans in Philadelphia.“
So, Hassan is employed, not covered, and has not yet succeeded in finding coverage through Obamacare. That is, in the White House’s estimation, an Obamacare success story.
Then there is Nathaniel Hojnacki, who recently finished his schooling. Here is the White House description of his situation, again in full:
“Nathaniel Hojnacki recently received his Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University SAIS and is in an employment situation without benefits. Hojnacki recognizes the importance of coverage and is planning to enroll after he explores his coverage options on the DC exchange.“
So, Hojnacki has a job, does not have coverage, and is planning to explore finding coverage through Obamacare. Another success story.
Then there is LaJuanna Russell, of Virginia. Here is the White House description of her situation, in its entirety:
“LaJuanna Russell is the owner of Business Management Associates, a consulting company in Alexandria, Virginia. Russell says she is proud to offer her employees health insurance but that it can be difficult for a small business. Russell believes that the ACA provides stability for her and her employees and is exploring what new coverage options will be available to her company under the exchanges.“
So, Russell owns a business, has employees, and believes Obamacare might help her in the future. Another success story.
There’s a couple out of the 13 folks profiled who have been “helped”, but “success“?
For SIXHUNNERTANDTHURDYFOURMILLIONSDOLLARS and counting?
No kidding. When you’ve got the HuffPo screaming “WTFO?!?!?!“, you’ve got yourself a quagmire.
Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans
More than two weeks into the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website created by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law still isn’t working right.
…And anyone who isn’t able to get coverage because of the exchanges’ problems could confront the prospect of tax penalties through no fault of their own.
For Obama and the Democrats who’ve stood behind Obamacare during four years of relentless attacks from Republicans — including a face-off that led to a 16-day government shutdown and a threat of U.S. default —
failure of this magnitude would discredit a core premise of this presidency, that government can do big things to improve Americans’ lives.
…Under these circumstances, the lion’s share of the people who do whatever is necessary to sign up through HealthCare.gov are likely to be the sickest and most expensive to cover because they have the greatest need, Laszewski said. That would make the pool of people covered very costly, causing health insurers to lose money and likely rethink whether they want to participate in the exchanges, he said. “The fundamental threat to Obamacare is we don’t get enough healthy people in the pool to keep the rates reasonable, and they are in grave danger of that problem,” he said.
If these problems persist longer — weeks, months, a whole year — the entire Obamacare project falls apart, Laszewski said:
“It’s a holy shit moment.”
If You Weren’t Sure That the ObamaCare Exchanges Were a Government (Vice GOP Intransigence) Induced Disaster Before…
….you can rest assured NOW.
Tech experts: Health exchange site needs total overhaul
WASHINGTON — The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY.
The site could be perfect, but if the systems from which it draws data are not up to speed, it doesn’t matter, said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace, a cloud computer service provider.
“It is a core problem in the sense of it’s fundamental to this thing actually working, but it’s not necessarily a problem that the people who wrote HealthCare.gov can get to,” Engates said.
“Even if they had a perfect system, it still won’t work.“
That’s the rubber stamp of a federal project FER SURE: designed and built-in obsolescence.
For a BAZILLION dollars.