Moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) has privately said he won't support more than $1.5 trillion of the Democrats' $3.5 trillion economic blueprint, and he'll support as little as $1 trillion of it, according to Axios.
Given Democrats' razor-thin 50-50 Senate (with VP Kamala Harris being the tie-breaker), Manchin has the power to effectively block the legislation if no Republicans cross the aisle - and his line in the sand would mean a hard ceiling for Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda which includes a laundry list of progressive priorities, including universal preschool and free community college.
More via Axios:
- Manchin also has committed to paying for any new spending with new revenue, which will limit the ultimate size of any final package.
- This amount would be on top of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal passed by the Senate and awaiting House action.
Between the lines: Underlying Manchin’s concerns with Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget proposal, which originated in Sen. Bernie Sanders' budget committee, are deep and substantive differences over the size and scope of specific programs.
- Manchin has voiced concerns about Biden’s plan to spend $400 billion for home caregivers.
- He's also talking about means testing on other key proposals, including extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit, which provides up to an additional $300 per child per month, free community college, universal preschool and child care tax credits.
- And he’s skeptical that so-called dynamic scoring — which Democrats embraced as a way to offset some costs of hard infrastructure spending — can be applied to “human” or “soft” infrastructure proposals.
- For years, Republicans have relied on dynamic scoring to argue that tax cuts can pay for themselves in the long run, by growing the economy and therefore increasing revenues.
Committees in the House and Senate have until September 15, next Wednesday, to finalize specific legislation outlining how to spend the $3.5 trillion, while raising $1.5 trillion in new revenue from higher taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, as well as tax enforcement activities.
Last week, however, Manchin threw the process into disarray after arguing for a "strategic pause" in a WSJ Op-Ed, citing inflation and the need to leave a buffer to respond to future Covid-19 pandemic needs if the virus ramps up again.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), meanwhile, has promised centrist Democrats a vote on a separate $1.2 trillion ($550 billion in new spending) bill, which progressive Democrats say they'll vote down unless the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint.
President Biden doesn't seem to think Joe Manchin will be a problem, saying at the White House Tuesday evening that "Joe at the end has always been there," adding "He's always been with me. I think we can work something out. I look forward to speaking with him."
The White House is reportedly still optimistic that a deal can be reached.
"Sanders wanted a large number and Manchin wants a smaller number and we’re going to work this process to try to reach common ground," once source told Axios. "There is a wide spectrum of opinions in the Democratic caucuses, and plenty of negotiation will take place. But we will continue to get this done, finding common ground."
All Eyes On Inventory
You’ve heard of the virtuous circle in the economy. Risk taking leads to spending/investment/hiring, which then leads to more spending/investment/hiring….
You’ve heard of the virtuous circle in the economy. Risk taking leads to spending/investment/hiring, which then leads to more spending/investment/hiring. Recovery, in other words.
In the old days of the 20th century, quite a lot of the circle was rounded out by the inventory cycle. Both recession and recovery would depend upon how much additional product floated up and down the supply chain. Deflation, too.
On the contraction side, demand might fall off a bit for whatever reason(s), retailers getting stuck with a small inventory overhang. If they think it more than temporary, or don’t have the internal cash to finance it, the retail level scales back pushing inventory to wholesalers who then cut orders from producers.
Serious enough, producers begin to cut back their own activities, maybe to the point of forgoing new hires, perhaps laying off some workers already employed. Whatever necessary to equalize reduced order flow with cost structure and input utility.
When those layoffs hit, almost certainly it cuts further into demand (unemployed workers are far more careful and constrained consumers), more inventory stuck at retailers and wholesalers, then even fewer orders for producers who must sharpen their payroll axe all over again. This vicious cycle is what used to make up the balance of any recession.
But what if inventory first accumulates for other reasons?
It may be a different look to the cycle, though not necessarily an entirely different outcome. Suppose retailers (outside of automobiles) grow concerned about supply availability or shipping times. They might naturally react by boosting their current order flow if only to increase their chances some product makes it through the clogged shipping channels.
As that increased order flow unrelated to demand continues to move back through the supply chain, it probably would only make the transportation issues that much worse. It’s already a mess, and because it’s already a mess the entire supply chain tries to stuff more goods through it rather than less, rather than giving the system some time and space to work out enough kinks.
This, of course, would probably convince retailers to do it all over again, ordering even more they don’t need now or in the near future, now more desperate to try and raise their chances of receiving anything. More trouble for the shippers and so on.
Having intentionally over-ordered, and then over-ordered again (and again?), this time what happens when the logistics get more sorted out and then deliveries rather than trickle through come pouring out? This is the cyclical question for early 2022, not the unemployment rate.
Some companies have said they are ready, and have confidently declared how they will be able to manage holding such excessive levels of product. Maybe they can. But what happens to orders down at the lower reaches? Having received all this extra inventory, retailers and wholesalers aren’t going to keep double and triple ordering.
Before even getting to demand considerations, the orders are going to drop and producers are going to become less busy. The inventory glut having been forwarded up to the retail level, maybe wholesale, it will have to be worked down over time.
This is where demand comes into it. If demand stays as robust as some might currently assume, it might not take that much time to normalize inventory, then get past the whole issue and imbalance with nothing much lost.
And if demand isn’t as good, then we’re right back into the 20th century again.
The way the supply bottlenecks of 2021 have worked out, there is going to be an inventory overhang at some point. When it does come about and how bad it will be, that’s really the demand question. There seems to be quite a bit of optimism about it, to the point of complacency while corporate CEO’s bark in the media instead about all the massive inflation they plan on throwing your way.
Inflation today (therefore not inflation) but potentially too many goods tomorrow. However the inventory cycle manifests, the one thing each would have in common is its trough – disinflationary at the least.
Manufacturing PMI’s, for what it’s worth, remain elevated as if the upward segment of that unusual cycle remains relatively intact (note: ISM for September won’t be released for another week). With ships still stacking up on the US West Coast, this makes sense. Regardless of current levels of demand, these supply problems would only feed the imbalance for another month.
IHS Markit’s manufacturing index retreated again for the flash September 2021 estimate, but it remains above 60 therefore still in the post-2008 stratosphere. At 60.5 in the latest update, it is down, though, for the second month in a row since hitting the high of 63.4 back in July. And the index was 62.6 back in May, meaning it’s been four months treading.
It is the services side which has materially declined, leading many to assume it must be due to delta COVID if goods flow is largely uninterrupted at the same time. Markit’s services PMI dropped to 54.4 in September from 55.1 in August, while its employment component fell back to just 50.
This meant the composite, accounting for both manufacturing and services, declined to a very similar 54.5. Using this measure as a guide for possible GDP in Q3, that’s working down to a very disappointing 3% or less which might otherwise raise suspicions when it comes to the sustainability of demand.
If this more serious setback really is pandemic-related, then thinking it a temporary one might keep up the order flow as well as the logistical nightmare. Then the artificial inventory cycle gets even more artificial.
It could very well be that manufacturing remains high because of inventory and not because current potential weakness is only about delta.
Should it turn out to be unrelated, or only somewhat attributable to renewed disease measures, then inventory stops being a pesky annoyance of shipping bottlenecks and potentially starts being more like its old self. While that wouldn’t necessarily mean recession in early 2022, even a substantial downturn (chances would have it globally synchronized) having yet fully recovered from the last two would be enough trouble.
This Has To Be A Mistake
This Has To Be A Mistake
While we were digging through the data for today’s household net worth report we stumbled upon something that seem…
While we were digging through the data for today's household net worth report we stumbled upon something that seem beyond ridiculous: the ratio of Household Net Worth to Disposable Net Income. At 786% in the latest quarter, the chart at first appears to be a mistake but we triple checked it, and... well, here it is.
The latest, all-time high print is an increase from 698% in Q1 and also represents the biggest quarterly increase in history!
This number is so ridiculous, it is almost 50% higher than the long-term average of 540%. More importantly, it means that the total net worth number we reported earlier today, which in Q2 hit a record high of $142 trillion, is massively inflated on the back of what is obviously the biggest asset bubble on record.
It also means that if one were to strip away the asset bubble, and net worth was purely a reasonable function of disposable income, then total net worth worth be haircut by 31%, or some $43 trillion, which incidentally, is equivalent to the net worth of the top 1% of US society...
... and which as we showed earlier today is a record 32% of total household net worth.
As an aside, the fact that the top 1% have gained $10 trillion in wealth since the covid pandemic outbreak, is probably just a coincidence, and yet...
Covid has been the best thing ever to happen to the wealthy and powerful. No wonder they don’t want it to end— Hipster (@Hipster_Trader) September 23, 2021
As for the chart which clearly has to be a mistake, we are sad to report that it isn't, and as politicians of both the Democrat and Republican party pretend to fight for the common man, all they are doing is enabling and accelerating the greatest wealth transfer in the world but not for nothing: they too want to be in the top 1%.
“Culture As An Asset”
#CKStrong Stunning. Hedge funds hoovering up trading cards as an “alternative to equities” with the same passion Brooks Robinson hoovered up ground…
Stunning. Hedge funds hoovering up trading cards as an “alternative to equities” with the same passion Brooks Robinson hoovered up ground balls.
This is usually a sign of the endgame for markets, i.e,, the precursor to a bear market. Think the “Great Beanie Baby Bubble” of 1999.
In general, there are two types of assets,
- They can be rare—gold bars, diamonds, houses on Victoria Peak, bottles of 1982 Pétrus, Van Gogh paintings, stamps, beanie babies, or baseball cards or
- They can generate cash flows over time – GaveKal
Creating An Illusion Of Scarcity
Scarcity relative to the money stock is what its all about now, folks.
It probably won’t be long before the Fed has to bailout the baseball card market, no?
Full disclosure, I do own a Mike Trout rookie card.
Given the extreme valuations of all most all asset classes, coupled with the massive amount of money in the global financial system, markets are now really stretching, looking for, and actually attempting to create scarcity as a useful delusion to justify, rationalize, and drive speculation.
Maybe I will start collecting poop as an “anthropological asset,” put it the blockchain and super charge the price ramp by snapping a few pictures of each sample, converting them to NFTs to load up to the internet.
Then again, maybe all this is signaling the start of a big, big inflation cycle and the markets are looking to get out of cash and protect their purchasing power. But that’s too rational.
Can you believe what markets have become, folks? It is hard to see clearly when everybody is making money.
gold inflation markets fed bubble
PVC Prices Hit Record High As Homebuilding Costs Soar
FOMC Signals Taper “Soon”, Shows Rate-Hike In 2022
Looking for the Next Big Crypto to Explode in 2021? Try These 5 Coins
Inflation Still Appears To Be Peaking, But For How Long?
60% Polled Expect Federal Reserve to Taper Bond Purchases Starting December
Rabobank: We’re In A Charlton Heston Movie, But Which One?
Three Key Takeaways From The Fed Meeting
Escobar: Eurasia Takes Shape, Part 1 – How The SCO Just Flipped The World Order
When Will “Transitory Inflation” Overstay Its Welcome?
China Syndrome? Is Evergrande A Symptom Of Deeper Malaise
Precious Metals17 hours ago
Rusoro Mining Stock Jumps After Venezuela Drops Its Appeal of US$1.62B Award
Base Metals17 hours ago
Top 20 Investors Speak on Uranium’s Returned Aura
Energy & Critical Metals16 hours ago
Cameco Signs MOU to Supply Uranium for SMR’s Built by GE Hitachi, Synthos Green Energy and GEH SMR
Precious Metals13 hours ago
Palladium One Shares Jump 10.26% After Reporting Drill Results 112 metres of 2.08% PdEq at LK, Finland
Energy & Critical Metals19 hours ago
MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy unveil lithium-carbon battery technology with ultra-fast recharging
Energy & Critical Metals11 hours ago
Uranium Rally Signals New Generation of Nuclear Energy Acceptance
Energy & Critical Metals21 hours ago
Lyten introduces next generation Lithium-Sulfur battery for EVs; 3X energy density of Li-ion
Energy & Critical Metals18 hours ago
Today’s Biggest Pre-Market Stock Movers: 10 Top Gainers and Losers on Thursday