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Friday, June 27, 2014

Economic Relevance - I've been Right and what do I get for it?

GDP decline - The Economy shrunk by 2.9% 
U.S. Economy Shrinks by Most in Five Years - Final Revision for First-Quarter GDP Shows 2.9% Contraction - Wall Street Journal - Jonathan House

Hound Notes: 2 months ago they said it was .1% growth, a month ago it was revised to down 1%, and today they revised the first quarter number down 2.9%. We are in a techincal recession that is truly a Depression. We never recovered from the 2007 bust. The only growth has come from money printing. The people at the top of the food chain received that money

Consumer Spending trending downward
Consumer Spending Fell Well Short of Expectations in May - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS through the New York Times - JUNE 26, 2014 - American consumers increased their spending only modestly in May, a disappointment to economists who said the weaker-than-expected gain would most likely mean a lesser economic rebound in the April-June quarter than many had envisioned.                              Spending rose just 0.2 percent last month after no gain in April, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The two months followed a robust spending surge of 0.8 percent in March.                            Income rose a solid 0.4 percent in May after a 0.3 percent increase in April.                              Last month’s 0.2 percent gain in spending was just half the increase that analysts had been expecting.                       Some said that unless June brought a big increase, spending may not provide as much support to the economy in the second half of the year as they had been forecasting.

False (Interest Rate) Recovery
Interest Rates are set to rise - Bullard Predicts Fed Rate Increase in First Quarter of 2015 - Bloomberg - Steve Matthews and Jeff Kearns - Jun 26, 2014 -Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the central bank will raise interest rates starting in the first quarter of 2015, sooner than most of his colleagues think, as unemployment falls and inflation quickens.                                Asked about his forecast for the timing of the first interest-rate increase since 2006, he said: “I’ve left mine at the end of the first quarter of next year.”                     “The Fed (FDTR) is closer to its goal than many people appreciate,” Bullard said today in an interview with Fox Business Network. “We’re really pretty close to normal.”                          The Federal Open Market Committee is debating how long to keep the benchmark interest rate near zero after completing a bond-purchase program that’s set to end late this year. The committee repeated on June 18 that it expects the rate to remain near zero for a “considerable time” after the purchases end.                                 U.S. stocks fell after a report showed consumer spending grew less than forecast and extended declines following Bullard’s comments. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.4 percent to 1,951.10 at 11:41 a.m. in New York. The 10-year Treasury yield fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 2.52 percent.                              Mergers and Acquisitions are ar heights not seen since the 2007 crash

Home ownership trending down 
Obstacles abound for first-time homebuyers - Herald Tribune (Sarasota , Florida) - Josh Salman - June 16, 2014 - First-time buyers have accounted for fewer home purchases this year than any other time since the depth of the Great Recession in 2008, the result of new mortgage regulations that make it tougher for borrowers to qualify, higher home prices and swelling student-loan debt.                              If sustained, some analysts fear the decline could hamper so-called “move-up” buyers for decades to come and stymie the long-term health of the region's housing market.                         “A first-time homebuyer could have purchased a $100,000 home a few years ago," said Mickey Schweitzer, a 14-year Coldwell Banker veteran who specializes in first-time buyers. “Today that same house is $150,000, and they don't qualify for the loan. On top of that, there's a bunch of cash offers they have to compete with.”

U.S. citizens are in sad shape
Obesity Is Undercounted in Children, Study Finds - Common measure may miss up to 25% of young people - Wall Street Journal - June 23, 2014 - Childhood obesity might be a bigger problem than we thought. A new study finds that the commonly used body-mass-index measure may fail to identify as many as 25% of children, age 4 to 18 years, who have excess body fat. The meta-analysis, scheduled for publication online in the journal Pediatric Obesity on Tuesday, reviewed 37 separate studies involving a combined 53,521 participants.                                          "BMI is not capturing everybody who needs to be labeled as obese," said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, director of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who headed the study with Asma Javed, a pediatric endocrinology fellow.                         Measuring body-mass index is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to screen for obesity among large groups of people, such as children in a school setting. A problem is that BMI, a calculation based on a person's height and weight, isn't well suited to children because their height and weight don't proportionally increase as they grow, said Ruth Loos, a professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who wasn't involved with the Mayo study.

Shocking Facts Behind Obesity - Huffington Post - - From the CDC, the term obesity is a label for a range of weight that is greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The World Health Organization's definition for obesity is a medical condition in which abnormal or excessive fat accumulation has occurred to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health. Regardless of the source, all reputable definitions of obesity include the warning that it can lead to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.
Unfortunately, many people who are labeled obese, especially outside of a medical setting, develop a negative experience of self. This is partly due to the way that modern society has twisted the definition of obesity. People often associate the term with personal traits such as being lazy, sloppy, unintelligent, and none of these terms are, of course, in the medical definition. They are also completely unfair and unjust assumptions that lead to a diminished experience of self for those to whom the label is applied. I think that is why, in the graphic below, which was compiled from survey data, up to one-third of the respondents could not identify the first two test examples as obese, and why 10 percent of people who meet the medical definition of obese do not consider themselves to be.
 Center for Disease Control - On Obesity

Economic Relevance - the Middle Class Squeeze - May 30, 2014

Economic Relevance - Retail Deathtrap -  May 27, 2014

Economic Relevance - Inflation in commodities + Deflation in property = the Great Reset - May 23, 2014

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