April 22, 2009

Smart Money E-mails Soften News of Monday’s, Wednesday’s Market Declines

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:15 pm

I get a daily e-mail from SmartMoney.com, usually within an hour or two after the stock markets’ closing bell.

While its descriptions of daily trading have usually been in sync with reality, in two of the past three days days they have whitewashed pretty dour news.

Here’s how Monday’s capsule of the markets’ results read:

SmartMoney042009headline

You might be surprised to learn how big Smart Money thought a mere “dip” was:

DowNasdaqClose042009

I’d say falling within a whisker of 2% below 8000 is more than just a mere “dip.” It was more accurately described in this e-mail I received from CNN, of all places, just after the close:

CNNemail042009headline

Any thoughts that Smart Money’s poor reporting might have been a one-off situation were dispelled when Wednesday’s e-mail arrived:

SmartMoney042209headline

The problem is, the “fizzle” did far more than “erase all gains.” It turned the gains into an over 1% loss on the Dow:

DowNasdaqClose042209

What gives here?

This bears watching. While the financial press has exhibited its fair share of anti-capitalist bias over the years, it has more often than not played the daily reports from the floors of the exchanges pretty straight. If that changes significantly and consistently, New Media audits of what really happened each day in the markets may be in order.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

When Will the Press Catch On to Uncle Sam’s Collections Meltdown?

Almost a year ago, I was posting on what I called the “Supply-Side Stunner” (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).

In April 2008, the US Treasury collected an all-time record $407.3 billion ($403.75 billion after subtracting the first $3.35 billion wave of stimulus checks, which really should have been treated as outlays, that went out just before month-end). It was an indication that, as I said at the time, “many (entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and investors) are thinking, in the face of relentless media harping to the contrary, that 2008 will be at least as profitable (as 2007).”

This year, it’s shaping up to be the “Bailout Year Bummer.” Uncle Sam’s fiscal year began on October 1 of last year, mere days before Congress passed the legislation that has come to be known as TARP, and a bit more than three months after Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid promised to starve the economy of energy and punitively tax its highest producers, creating what I have since called the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.

Through March, federal receipts were running 14% behind the previous year. Each month during the fiscal year has trailed the previous year, and degree of the difference has steadily increased.

Now look at what we’re facing in April:

USreceipts1008thru0409

My estimate of April’s final result is almost 40% lower than April 2008, and further ratchets down the trend of collections decay that goes back to last summer. The receipts shortfall is far more than one would expect from an economy that shrank only 1.74% in the final half of last year (without annualization, the economy shrank 0.125% in the third quarter, and 1.614% in the fourth). It is also probably far greater than the White House and the Congressional Budget Office are anticipating.

Here is where things stand as of the April 21 Daily Treasury Statement, which was just released at 4:00 p.m. today, and how it compares to April 22 of last year (a Tuesday-to-Tuesday comparison during a month is more meaningful in the context of how cash comes in within different categories):

DTScompared042209v042108

It would appear that getting to $250 billion by month-end might be a stretch.

So when does the receipts crater become news?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Coverage of Arrest in Cincy-Area Quadruple Murders Finally Uses the ‘I-Word’; Hate Crime Impliers Owe An Apology

Enquirer0409and1207on4Murders.jpgA grisly late 2007 quadruple-murder case in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville has apparently been solved with the arrest of Santiago Moreno.

Moreno apparently brutally stabbed his four other apartment mates with near-surgical precision.

It is horrible that these men died. It is great news that the monster who did it has apparently been caught.

What is hard to understand is why after nearly 1-1/2 years, it’s finally okay to use a certain “I-word” to describe the victims’ immigration status that was almost never used when the original stories broke:

  • Three different stories at WLW-T Channel 5′s news site in December 2007 (Dec. 17; Dec. 19; Dec. 28) don’t use the word.
  • A January 11, 2008 report from Cox News (“Immigrants came to Ohio to support families”) from the victims’ home city of El Zacaton, Mexico, used the politically correct alternative term “undocumented workers” twice, but not in direct reference to the victims.
  • Cincinnati Enquirer stories I found from December 21 and December 28, 2007, didn’t use the word or its alternative.
  • In a December 21, 2007 Associated Press story (“Robbery seen as slayings’ motive”), E. Eduardo Castillo called them “undocumented immigrants” in his second paragraph.

This makes it very odd indeed that in his story this morning about Moreno’s arrest, the AP’s Terry Kinney broke out the “I-word,” and quickly to boot (bold is mine):

A man was in custody in Mexico on Wednesday in the December 2007 killings of four Mexican construction workers who were beaten and methodically stabbed in the heart at the Ohio apartment they shared, the FBI said.

FBI spokesman Mike Brooks identified the suspect as Santiago Moreno, 34, a Mexican citizen who was arrested Monday. Exactly where in Mexico he was arrested was not immediately available.

The bodies of the four illegal immigrants he is accused of killing were found in their apartment in suburban Sharonville after they had not reported to work for several days.

Hmm. Why did these men only become “illegal” once their murders had been solved?

Separately, the case was used by subtle and not-so-subtle race-baiters as an opportunity to beat up on the larger community, as these paragraphs from the December 21, 2007 Enquirer story illustrate:

An organization of immigrants in Southwest Ohio on Thursday expressed its concern and sadness over the homicides.

“We are saddened, worried and disturbed by these murders,” said Sylvia Castellanos, a representative of Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Dignity.

“It is with much suffering that we leave our families and come to the United States looking for a better future,” said Castellanos. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of these men. The immigrant community at large is very concerned. There is both fear and sadness.”

Sister Alice Gerdeman of Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center noted how no one missed the men.

“This tragic act of violence is a call to the entire community to evaluate its attitude toward immigrants. How sad it is that people can be dead for days and no one misses them.”

Those concerns were also echoed by the Rev. Paula Jackson of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Mount Auburn.

“These murders touch all of us, whether we are immigrants or were born in this country. No one is safe or secure in a society until we all are, especially those who are most vulnerable. Besides praying for the families who are bearing such an unthinkable loss, we must work to ensure that all lives are valued, regardless of race, language or immigration status.”

Strangely, that Enquirer article, appearing on the same day as Castillo’s AP report flagged robbery as the probable motive, claimed that robbery was “an unlikely motive.”

Today’s Enquirer report by Eileen Kelley says that the murders “sent fear through the Latino community and put the local Police Department and Mexican consulate into overdrive.” She also broke the “I-word” ice, reporting that during the investigation, the details of which had to be kept from the public, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters had to put up with accusations that “the crimes were not important because the men were Mexican and they were illegal.”

With Moreno’s arrest, I’m sure that Ms. Castellanos, Sister Gerdeman, the Rev. Jackson, and the Mexican consulate will publicly congratulate Deters for his time-consuming persistence (“Deters gave a binder, about the size of Greater Cincinnati’s Yellow and White Pages combined, to Mexican authorities”), and express their regret for implying that the larger community’s supposed hostility towards the Hispanic community or illegal immigrants had anything to do with these horrible deaths.

Yeah, right.

P.S. Do you think anyone will ever get around to asking officials at ABC Precision Masonry, where the men worked, a couple of them apparently for two or more years, how they either got onto the payroll, or were able to be sent 1099s?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (042209, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:32 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

Perils of De Facto Nationalization, from Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal — “He (Obama) wants Chrysler’s secured lenders to give up their right to nearly full recovery in a bankruptcy in return for 15 cents on the dollar. They’d be crazy to do so, of course, except that these banks also happen to be beholden to the administration for TARP money.” So there’s at least one explanation for why the administration doesn’t want to to give TARP money back. The GM-Chrysler mess looks more and more like an example of Mussolini’s self-contradicting definition of “fascism” in action — “The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.” Substitute “shareholders” for “individual” in Mussolini’s encyclopedia entry, and you’re basically there. In GM’s and Chrysler’s case, I believe that April’s sales results are likely to show that everyone is fighting over table scraps. If April was looking up compared to previous months, I think that news would have leaked by now.

This small portion of a larger spreadsheet from the Congressional Budget Office, which shows the White House’s and CBO’s fiscal 2009 deficit estimates, is worth re-presenting –

PrezAndCBOdeficitEstimates0309

POR Economy architects Pelosi, Obama, and Reid, who hijacked economic expectations and crushed them beginning in June of last year, mostly own this. I’m still looking for their promise to make sure that fiscal 2009′s deficit would be $1.667 trillion, $1.845 trillion, or almost $2 trillion (where I’m estimating it will all end) in any of their statements during last year’s election campaigns. Funny, I’m not finding anything. If there really is nothing, it deligitimizes any claim that what the administration is doing is carrying out the voters’ wishes.

While on the topic, since it’s Earth Day, I thought it would be a good idea to show an earthly development that is really unsustainable –

CBOvWhiteHouseDeficitEsts0309

I’m still looking for Team Obama’s promise to run deficits averaging almost a trillion dollars a year as far as the eye can see during last year’s presidential campaign. Funny, I’m not finding anything. If there really is nothing, it deligitimizes any claim that what the administration is doing is carrying out the voters’ wishes.

Andrea Tantaros has the same-sex “marriage” question of the day — “Why is it acceptable for Obama and Biden to (oppose it) but not a conservative female?” Answer: The elite know that Obama and Biden, to the extent they have made such statements, don’t really mean it.

Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano told Larry King this past weekend that “crossing the border is not crime per se.” She is, of course, wrong (HT Michelle Malkin). Glenn Reynolds’s sardonic line that “the country is in the very best of hands” comes to mind.