Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Morning Journal -- More details on Ryan's budget


Economics

This Week’s Data


The International Council of Shopping Centers reported weekly sales of major retailers fell 0.5% versus the prior week but rose 2.7% versus the comparable period last year: Redbook Research reported month to date retail chain stores sales rose 0.5% versus the similar time frame a month ago and 3.8% on a year over year basis.

The January Case Shiller home price index fell 3.8% on a year over year basis.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/03/case-shiller-house-prices-fall-to-new.html

The March Conference Board’s index of consumer sentiment came in at 70.2 versus expectations of 70.9 and February’s reading of 70.8.
http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Conference-Board-Consumer-Confidence-Index.php

The February Richmond Fed’s manufacturing survey was reported at 7 versus estimates of 18.

Weekly mortgage applications fell 2.7% though purchase applications rose 3.3%.

February durable goods orders were up 2.2% versus forecasts of up 3.2%; ex transportation, they were up 1.6% in line with expectations.

Other

A different kind of gold standard (medium):
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2012/03/27/ben_bernankes_shocking_gold_standard_ignorance_99586.html

The latest inflation stat as computed by the Billion Price Project at MIT (short):
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/03/bpp-mit-annual-inflation-lowest-in-two.html

Art Cashin on the impact of seasonal adjustments on employment data (short):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/art-cashin-whether-or-not-its-weather

A different perspective on recent employment data (short):
http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/guest/AI-120327-Keep-the-Champagne-Corked.php

Politics

Domestic


A little detail on Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. Bear in mind in reading this that the numbers used are based on the static scoring by the CBO; that is, there is no credit given for faster economic growth (and therefore higher tax receipts). Whether or not you believe in dynamic/static scoring will determine how seriously you take these numbers. (medium):
http://www.nysun.com/national/ryan-budget-may-be-best-gop-can-produce-but-it/87760/

Madison on Obamacare (medium):
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294484/madison-s-last-stand-rich-lowry

Another government boondoggle (short):
http://michellemalkin.com/2012/03/26/harry-reids-pet-bullet-train-project-on-verge-of-securing-4-9-billion-government-loan/

The problem with income disparity (medium):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-chart-decade

International

Update on Europe (medium):
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/03/europe-holds-back-the-fire-for-now.html

Steve Cook received his education in investments from Harvard, where he earned an MBA, New York University, where he did post graduate work in economics and financial analysis and the CFA Institute, where he earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1973. His 40 years of investment experience includes institutional portfolio management at Scudder, Stevens and Clark and Bear Stearns. Steve's goal at Strategic Stock Investments is to help other investors build wealth and benefit from the investing lessons he learned the hard way.