October 29, 2015

CNBC Rates Grade Level of GOP Candidates’ Speech Patterns; Childish Moderators Not Taken Into Account

It would appear that CNBC isn’t going to take the criticism of its debate panelists’ awful conduct last night lying down.

In what appears to be an all too predictable immature response to the dressing-downs several Republican presidential candidates administered to certain of their moderators as a result of their juvenile behavior and insulting questions — particularly John Harwood and Carl Quintillana — the network has rushed out an outside firm’s ratings of the top ten GOP candidates’ speech patterns during the first three debates, with an obvious undertone: Ignore these candidates; they’re just a bunch of dummies.


3Q15 Gross Domestic Product (102915): An Annualized 1.5 Percent; Health Care Is Almost One-Third of It

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:16 am


  • Yahoo’s Economic Calendar has an annualized 2.9 percent per Briefing.com (!) and 1.6 percent for “markets.”
  • The Associated Press yesterday claimed that FactSet’s consensus was 1.7 percent.
  • Reuters has 1.6 percent, and says that “GDP could print slightly higher after data on Wednesday showed a smaller-than-expected goods trade deficit in September.”

With lousy production-related data for many months, one would think that if there’s going to be a surprise, it would be to the downside. But this metric, despite what it’s supposed to represent, is dependent largely on consumer spending, which, while also not impressive, hasn’t been trending downward. So it’s really a crapshoot.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent text release with tables):

Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.9 percent.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Real GDP increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, after increasing 3.9 percent in the second. The deceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, in PCE, in state and local government spending, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports.

I’ll have the graphic with the components up shortly.

UPDATE: Here are the components —


The inventory change isn’t as large as the -2 points many forecasters predicted, meaning that everything is that much weaker.

This isn’t “consumer saves the day” material.

UPDATE 2: Zero Hedge

… The component breakdown reveals that virtually every component of GDP was weaker, starting with Personal Consumption expenditures which dropped from 3.6% to 3.2%, missing expectations of 3.3% as a result PCE contributed 2.19% to the bottom line GDP number, down from 2.42% last quarter. Once again the biggest contributor to spending growth was healthcare expenses.

Fixed investment – something the Fed was bullishly touting in its statement yesterday, also tumbled and added just 0.47% to GDP down from 0.83%.

… recall that during the financial crisis, Inventories subtracted a whopping $718 billion from GDP over 8 consecutive quarters. At some point, that same liquidation cycle which can only be delayed so long, will take place once again.

The liquidation cycle is likely to continue, though at a slower pace, because the cost of holding inventories involves very little in the way of interest expense on borrowed funds. Nevertheless, stuff that isn’t moving either has to be off-loaded at fire-sale prices or obsoleted, and inventory-to-sales ratios are far too high.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102915)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Pope Francis to youth — the Bible can change your life. Now read it!

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 23, 2015 / 06:03 am

The Bible is so dangerous that some Christians risk persecution to have one. But for Pope Francis, its life-changing role in daily life is important too.

“The Bible is not meant to be placed on a shelf, but to be in your hands, to read often – every day, both on your own and together with others,” he wrote in the prologue to a Bible for youth in Germany.

He encouraged young people to read the Bible together the way they play sports or go shopping together.

“Why not read the Bible together as well – two, three, or four of you? In nature, in the woods, on the beach, at night in the glow of a few candles … you will have a great experience!”

“Read with attention! Do not stay on the surface as if reading a comic book! Never just skim the Word of God!” he exhorted, according to a translation by the news site Aleteia.

The Pope encouraged young people to ask what God says to them through the Bible.

“Has he touched me in the depths of my longing? What should I do?” he encouraged them to ask. “Only in this way can the force of the Word of God unfold. Only in this way can it change our lives, making them great and beautiful.”

The Pope’s comments come in the prologue to the German edition of the YouCat Bible. The youth Bible is from the makers of the YouCat catechism for youth.

The new Bible edition includes the text of the Bible packaged in a modern layout with a storyline, line drawings, and color photographs accompanied by explanations and quotations.

The YouCat Bible was proved popular at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Fifteen publishers from countries including the U.S., Poland, and Argentina signed agreements to publish the Bible. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP Reporter: It’s ‘Media’s Job’ to Act As CNBC Panel Did in GOP Debate

Wednesday night, an Associated Press reporter told us that it’s the press’s job to ask “tough, impertinent” questions like the ones moderators at Wednesday night’s CNBC-hosted Republican debate were asking.

Ken Dilanian, who is apparently the AP’s Intelligence Writer — seriously — really needs to consult a dictionary before he makes such a complete fool of himself. Here is what Dilanian tweeted at 10:32 p.m.:


Two Weeks After Correcting Himself, CNBC’s Harwood Lies About Rubio’s Tax Plan — Again

The competition for the worst moderator moment of Wednesday night’s GOP debate is fierce. John Harwood’s rephrasing of an old and discredited charge that Marco Rubio’s tax plan disproportionately benefits the top 1 percent has to be in the running.

That’s especially true because Harwood himself had to back away from a similar contention two weeks ago, yet still brought up the same issue with a similar dishonest assumption Wednesday night. After Rubio challenged it and pointed out that Harwood previously had to correct himself concerning his plan, Harwood still denied it (bolds are mine throughout this post):