Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Some quick thoughts...

First as we predicted, and as almost every government report is nowadays... the first version of GDP was "better than expected" and "pleasing to the market" - helping to gun it upward.  Then 30, 60 days later the data is quietly revised downward. 

Tuesday - revised GDP, I would assume it gets revised down because "by chance" almost every economic report we've seen the past year has been "better than expected" and then when no one pays attention, revised down 30 to 60 days later. Shhh, just a secret between you and I.... don't tell the lemmings.

How come is it so rare for the government's data manipulation collection to undershoot the first time around , and then to see increases it 30, 60 days later?  Rather than it almost always being vice versa?  Rhetorical question - don't bother to answer.

So if you do believe a $14 Trillion economy can be measured with any accuracy within 45-60 days (those of you who work at multi billion companies, in the accounting department, can get up off the floor after laughing) we "grew" 2.8% (down from 3.5%) on GDP.  Now, let's jog our memories shall we?  Of that 3.5% original figure even the bulls acknowledged that 1.6% of it was Cash for Clunkers.  Another 0.6%-ish was Cash for Cul de Sacs.  That's about 2.2% combined, but we were told the "dynamic" (Fed supported) US economy grew 1.3% on its own!  But now as the revisions have lost 0.7%, what is left in the real economy?  Without getting into the concept that inflation is being under reported (thus over stating GDP) - you can see how poor the economy is even with unprecedented government support.  Even worse, when in the past the biggest GDP gains happened immediately after the most horrific swoons this time we have a limp "bounce".  And this was the worst we've had since the 1930s... yet that's all we get?  I mean we spent a few trillions - we expect better than this.

Just imagine how bad the consumption factor in GDP would be if all these millions of Americans who are living "rent free!" as non paying home "owners" didn't have all that extra disposable income to go shopping.  So this inflated figure (revised downward of course) simply reinforces what we see in natural gas, rail traffic, Walmart data, et al.  The US economy has stabilized, with the aid of countless US treasure stolen from future generations, at quite morbound levels.  But I do have good news - the money we are stealing from grandkids and great grandkids has finally sparked bidding wars in the low end of the housing market in places like Las Vegas.  Ben Bernanke must be beaming.... but full success won't be achieved until Ben prints enough to allow 24 year olds (without jobs) to bid up $600K homes in Cali.  So he is still hard at work 'for you'.


As for the stock market, we are in the middle of the 3rd week of "stalled".  Other than the "lack of volume" chip bears have nothing on their side. Rather than pulling back, this type of churning over key support levels is bullish.  For now S&P 1111ish has been the ceiling but, until proven otherwise, the market is simply biding its time to make an assault on that figure so we can begin the next breakout.

As for the underlying action we have our speculative spots, but the 3% dip in Shanghai overnight took out some of the steam in the "nonsense stocks" that typically rally this week.  But never fear our memories are short and if blessed a Fed official will say something about "extending easy money until 2042" and we can rally tomorrow.

I can find almost no blogger or trader on established financial website betting against this market in a meaningful way. While there are "intellectual" bears (hand raised) there is a dearth of "positioned" bears; it has just been too painful on the account.

Outside of that, there is nothing to do here as our IQ's slowly fade to black... nothing matters to the world of speculation other than that US dollar.  Stare at it with a blank stare on your face - because that's what all of Wall Street has been reduced to.  It has become numbing in its ability to erode all critical thinking. Another victory for Sir Bubblicious Bernanke.

In summary: government data continues to be a joke as it has for a decade but only so much more painfully obvious now as the tide is out; the body of the victim is completely immersed in morphine which we call "green shoots"; bidding wars are breaking out in the sub $150K range in Las Vegas thanks to your grandchildren, and any level of IQ over 20 in the stock market is penalized.  Gobble, gobble.

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