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No Surprise
Published : October 21st, 2011
941 words - Reading time : 2 - 3 minutes
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Wall Street:

 

"US Doing Better Than People Think: Goldman's O'Neill" (CNBC)

 

Goldman Sachs Asset Management Chairman Jim O'Neill thinks the U.S. is doing a lot better than people realize.

 

"There is such an ingrained negative mood internally in the U.S. about itself," he told CNBC Thursday. "People now seem to be convinced that Europe is going to drag the U.S. down. That might happen, but there is a strong likelihood that it won’t."

 

The U.S. "has coped pretty well with Japan going 20 years without any growth. So why does Europe having problems definitely mean the U.S. goes back into serious trouble?"

 

The U.S. is "doing a lot better than the mood appears to be. There seems to be this mood around an inevitability about the next course or we’re back in recession or close to it. I don’t really buy that," O'Neill said, adding he sees "no momentum for a recession."

 

Main Street:

 

"Consumers Most Negative on U.S. Economy Outlook Since Recession" (Bloomberg)

 

Consumer confidence in the U.S. economic outlook slumped in October to the lowest level since the recession, highlighting the challenges facing the biggest part of the economy.

 

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge dropped to minus 45, the worst reading since February 2009. The weekly measure of current conditions was minus 48.4 for the period ended Oct. 16, up from minus 50.8 the prior week that was close to a record low.

 

...

 

The report “is indicative of the sour mood of the American public,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. They now “expect economic conditions to deteriorate regardless of the recent increase in economic activity.”

 

"Americans Grow More Negative About Their Personal Finances" (Gallup)

 

Nearly half say their financial situation is "getting worse," similar to early 2008

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nearly one in four U.S. adults (22%) now rate their personal financial situation as "poor." This is up slightly from the 16% to 19% range seen during and after the official U.S. recession, and is the highest percentage since Gallup began asking this question in 2001.

 

"Most Americans Concerned about Double-Dip Recession" (Dairy Herd Network)

 

The economic signals continue to be mixed, but regardless of what you choose to believe, most Americans believe that the United States will slip into a second recession. They also look for more home foreclosures to come on to the scene, according to an IBOPE Zogby Interactive Poll.

 

In a recent survey, 95 percent of likely U.S. voters expressed their economic pessimism, saying they are very or somewhat concerned that the U.S. economy is slipping into another recession. As for home foreclosures, 89% are similarly concerned that those will increase in the next two years, Zogby reports.

 

"Poll: Americans Worried About Borrowing for Housing" (Newsmax.com)

 

Most Americans are still worried about the possibility of a double-dip recession and are refusing to borrow, whether for housing or even a few extra dollars to help them get by, according to a new Allstate-National Journal poll.
 
The survey of 1,000 adults taken September 28 through October 2 found that Americans are increasingly concerned about personal debt and taking on new interest payments, and view borrowing as an obstacle to achieving the “American Dream” rather than something that might help improve their lives over time.
 
For example, 56 percent of those surveyed said borrowing now in a down economy would only encourage people to spend beyond their means, and only one in eight said they had actually borrowed money just to get by.

 

"AP-GfK Poll: Hope Weak for Economy, Obama Remedies" (Associated Press)

 

WASHINGTON — A new AP-GfK poll shows that the dark funk that appeared to settle over the country this summer has eased slightly, but the American public remains gloomy about the economy and more than half say President Barack Obama does not inspire confidence in a recovery.

 

The pessimism is not a good sign for the nation's recovery hopes and presents a more urgent challenge for Obama as he mounts his re-election bid.

 

Fewer than a quarter of those surveyed say they think the economy worsened in the past month. That's down sharply from the nearly half who felt that way in August. Only 41 percent say the government can do much to create jobs, and less than 40 percent say the main elements of Obama's jobs proposal would increase employment significantly.

 

Under the circumstances, no one should be surprised by this:

 

"Poll: Most Americans Support Occupy Wall Street" (The Atlantic)

 

National Journal's latest survey shows broad support for the protest movement and Democrats' plan to make the rich pay more

 

At a time when protests have erupted across the country over a growing inequality of wealth and Congress is considering measures to impose a surtax on those earning more than $1 million annually, the public seems to be in a populist mood--one that's tempered by skepticism about Washington's ability to do anything about the grim economy.

 

A new survey shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the self-styled Occupy Wall Street protests that not only have disrupted life in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington and cities and towns across the U.S. and in other nations. Some 59 percent of adults either completely agree or mostly agree with the protesters, while 31 percent mostly disagree or completely disagree; 10 percent of those surveyed didn't know or refused to answer.

 

What's more, many people are paying attention to the rallies. Almost two-thirds of respondents--65 percent--said they've heard "a lot" or "some" about the rallies, while 35 percent have said they've heard or seen "not too much" or "nothing at all" about the demonstrations.

 

Michael J. Panzner 

 

 

 

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Michael J. Panzner

Michael J. Panzner is a 25-year veteran of the global stock, bond, and currency markets and the author of Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes, published by Kaplan Publishing.
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