Investors who make money in the market credit their personal brilliance; those who lose money blame the market. These are the same people on different days.
Take Two, They're Small: The May jobs report claimed there were 175,000 jobs added – more than half of them in service jobs in retail, restaurants, hotels, home health-care, temporary-help placements and summer jobs in amusement parks- all paying below-average wages. Manufacturing jobs fell for the fourth month in a row. There were 7.9 million people working part-time in May for economic reasons. Positions paying $13.83 an hour or less make up 58 % of new jobs during the 'recovery'. In the first quarter of 2013, average hourly wages in the US experienced their largest drop since 2009. Even though real GDP growth is 15.4% below the trend of past recoveries, Wall Street saw this all this as pure gravy, pushing the Dow up over 200 points.
A Rose By Any Other Name: Obama assures the nation that “nobody is listening to your phone calls.” That's the computer's name, 'Nobody'. He also claims to have found “the right balance between security and privacy.” Which well could be little of one and none of the other. National Intelligence Director James Clapper insists that “NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails”. Nope. Not pruriently, either. Just save 'em for later, in case...
Easy Way Out: Turkish PM Erdogan insists that the protests “end immediately” and assures all that “No power but Allah can stop Turkey's rise." The old 'God's on our side' claim.
Plastic: Usually an increase in consumer credit is a sign of a strengthening economy, but 94% of April's increase in consumer debt was not revolving credit (running up the credit card on discretionary items) but was on cars and diplomas - $10.4 billion. It is hard to tell which is more harmful to any putative recovery - paying for a car for 5 years or being saddled with an undischargeable student loan for ever.
Alone Again: Even though the US government keeps 12,400 of its citizens in solitary confinement, locked in tiny cells 23 hours a day, it has not assessed the impact this long-term isolation is having on the inmates. Ignorance is bliss.
Strippers: The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate passed a budget bill with an amendment that essentially defunds Planned Parenthood, prohibits public hospitals from having patient transfer agreements with abortion clinics (which must have such agreements) and strip doctors who work at an abortion clinic from having rights to practice at public hospitals. Are there coat-hanger franchises still available in Ohio?
Wider Is Better: China has signed a $40 billion contract with Nicaragua giving it a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal. Bully.
Now You Sieze It: A precious metals broker with 20 years experience reports that there is an ongoing miss-match between the serial numbers and weights listed on client accounts and the actual metals when delivered. This might suggest to the skeptical that the metals listed as being in client accounts are not really there and that when a request for production is made the broker-dealers have to scurry about finding plausible replacements. (Remember back when Morgan Stanley got busted for charging storage fees on non-existent bullion?) This particular broker suspects that “most of the metals have been removed from the US...” but what's he know?
Porn O'Graph: Another Octopus.
The Parting Shot:
Lanceleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata