GM Misses Sales Expectations, Blames Weather; Ends Year With Most Ever December "Channels Stuffed"

Moments ago, GM, now fully non-government backstopped (and perhaps because of), reported adjusted US vehicle sales of 230,157, a decline of 6.3% from the 245,733 cars delivered a year earlier, on expectations of a 1.5% increase in sales. As Kurt McNeil, VP of US sales, announced ““December started a little slow but sales were stronger later in the month, especially in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We didn’t make any big changes to our ‘go-to-market’ strategy during the month, which is to offer competitive incentives and market aggressively, and we are carrying good momentum heading into January.” GM also was quick to put blame on wintry weather in December – fear not though, they won’t be the last. It was unclear just how substantial GM’s incentives were in a month in which below margin inventory liquidation was the name of the game for all retailers: we expect to learn soon.

Still, despite the weak December, GM did report a 7.3% increase in total 2013 sales, which rose from 2.6 million to 2.786 million sales, although judging by the weak end of year performance, many prospective buyers may have tapped out their government-funded car loans, which as we reported a month ago, represented together with student loans some 99% of all loan issuance in the past year!

The full breakdown of GM’s December car sales can be seen below: of note – the surge in Corvette sales, which GM said had its best December sales since 2006. Perhaps less exciting was the 9.2% Y/Y drop in Volt sales. Are Americans losing their fascination with electric cars?

But perhaps the most interest datapoint in today’s release, and one which may explain why GM’s sales missed, was that the car’s near record channel stuffing, which as we reported last month had soared in the past three months at a record pace, and was just shy of its all time high, saw a modest decline from 780K to 748K. Still, the latter number was still the highest ever December GM dealer inventory for the month of December in the restructured company’s history. It would appears even dealers can’t take any more, which also means to expect significant weaknesses in the various January manufacturing diffusion indexes and hard data points.

Source: GM


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/HksKF1MHO9w/story01.htm Tyler Durden

GM Misses Sales Expectations, Blames Weather; Ends Year With Most Ever December “Channels Stuffed”

Moments ago, GM, now fully non-government backstopped (and perhaps because of), reported adjusted US vehicle sales of 230,157, a decline of 6.3% from the 245,733 cars delivered a year earlier, on expectations of a 1.5% increase in sales. As Kurt McNeil, VP of US sales, announced ““December started a little slow but sales were stronger later in the month, especially in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We didn’t make any big changes to our ‘go-to-market’ strategy during the month, which is to offer competitive incentives and market aggressively, and we are carrying good momentum heading into January.” GM also was quick to put blame on wintry weather in December – fear not though, they won’t be the last. It was unclear just how substantial GM’s incentives were in a month in which below margin inventory liquidation was the name of the game for all retailers: we expect to learn soon.

Still, despite the weak December, GM did report a 7.3% increase in total 2013 sales, which rose from 2.6 million to 2.786 million sales, although judging by the weak end of year performance, many prospective buyers may have tapped out their government-funded car loans, which as we reported a month ago, represented together with student loans some 99% of all loan issuance in the past year!

The full breakdown of GM’s December car sales can be seen below: of note – the surge in Corvette sales, which GM said had its best December sales since 2006. Perhaps less exciting was the 9.2% Y/Y drop in Volt sales. Are Americans losing their fascination with electric cars?

But perhaps the most interest datapoint in today’s release, and one which may explain why GM’s sales missed, was that the car’s near record channel stuffing, which as we reported last month had soared in the past three months at a record pace, and was just shy of its all time high, saw a modest decline from 780K to 748K. Still, the latter number was still the highest ever December GM dealer inventory for the month of December in the restructured company’s history. It would appears even dealers can’t take any more, which also means to expect significant weaknesses in the various January manufacturing diffusion indexes and hard data points.

Source: GM


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/HksKF1MHO9w/story01.htm Tyler Durden

French President Hollande Needs A Friend

Having just completed his 75% millionaires tax and seen at the center of a what is likely to be a confiscatory “wealth tax” across Europe, Volkskrant shows that it is not just French President Hollande’s people that see him as the least popular ever, but the world’s leaders also…as no one will shake his hand…

 

h/t: WaPo


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/JcM60w8RLXM/story01.htm Tyler Durden

"Mayor Caligula, Your Horse is on Line One": Welcome to Bill De Blasio's NYC

I’ve got
a new column
up at The Daily Beast. It’s about the policy
agenda of newly sworn-in Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, whose
first agenda item is to…shut down Central Park horse-carriage
rides.

Here’s the start of the col:

If historians debate whether Caligula’s apocryphal attempt to
make his horse a consul of Rome signified serious mental
illness or was just the emperor’s idea of a joke, contemporary New
Yorkers should have no doubt that their new mayor, Bill de Blasio,
is nuttier than a squirrel’s turd.

Upon taking office, de Blasio has made it his
absolute highest priority “to quickly and aggressively move to make
horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York
City.” Seemingly paraphrasing Richard Crenna’s Col. Trautman in the
first Rambo movie, he flatly told a pre-inauguration press
conference, “It’s over.” A hundred-plus years of tradition and a
hundred-plus jobs (for humans) gone, just like that, because de
Blasio believes that horse-drawn carriages “are not humane.” In
their place will be “electric, vintage-replica
tourist-friendly vehicles that provide jobs for current
drivers.”

And New Yorkers thought that the days of bizarre, Mad King
Ludwig of Bavaria-style edicts had finally ended when three-term
Mayor Mike Bloomberg finally left City Hall. Among many other
things, Bloomberg even banned food donations to homeless
shelters because bureaucrats couldn’t verify the gifts’ salt
content. What is it that perpetually outdated columnist Cindy Adams
likes to say? “Only in New York, kids, only in New York.”


Read the whole thing.

Watch “The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies
in 2 Minutes”:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/mayor-caligula-your-horse-is-on-line-one
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“Mayor Caligula, Your Horse is on Line One”: Welcome to Bill De Blasio’s NYC

I’ve got
a new column
up at The Daily Beast. It’s about the policy
agenda of newly sworn-in Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, whose
first agenda item is to…shut down Central Park horse-carriage
rides.

Here’s the start of the col:

If historians debate whether Caligula’s apocryphal attempt to
make his horse a consul of Rome signified serious mental
illness or was just the emperor’s idea of a joke, contemporary New
Yorkers should have no doubt that their new mayor, Bill de Blasio,
is nuttier than a squirrel’s turd.

Upon taking office, de Blasio has made it his
absolute highest priority “to quickly and aggressively move to make
horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York
City.” Seemingly paraphrasing Richard Crenna’s Col. Trautman in the
first Rambo movie, he flatly told a pre-inauguration press
conference, “It’s over.” A hundred-plus years of tradition and a
hundred-plus jobs (for humans) gone, just like that, because de
Blasio believes that horse-drawn carriages “are not humane.” In
their place will be “electric, vintage-replica
tourist-friendly vehicles that provide jobs for current
drivers.”

And New Yorkers thought that the days of bizarre, Mad King
Ludwig of Bavaria-style edicts had finally ended when three-term
Mayor Mike Bloomberg finally left City Hall. Among many other
things, Bloomberg even banned food donations to homeless
shelters because bureaucrats couldn’t verify the gifts’ salt
content. What is it that perpetually outdated columnist Cindy Adams
likes to say? “Only in New York, kids, only in New York.”


Read the whole thing.

Watch “The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies
in 2 Minutes”:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/mayor-caligula-your-horse-is-on-line-one
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Repeat After Me, David Brooks: Repealing Prohibition Is Not the Same As Endorsing the Previously Prohibited Activity

Sometimes this is my favorite cover. |||New York Times columnist David Brooks has a

piece out
about pot in which he confesses that, “For a little
while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana,” but
“then we all sort of moved away from it.” Not a particularly
unique
progression
, that; even if it does contradict generations’
worth of taxpayer-financed
propaganda
about the
dangers of even one puff
.

Brooks concludes his tour of youthful experimentation not by
knocking on wood that his life wasn’t needlessly truncated
by incarceration
, but by musing on where such activity should
fall on the encouragement/discouragement scale:  “I don’t have
any problem with somebody who gets high from time to time,” he
writes, “but I guess, on the whole, I think being stoned is not a
particularly uplifting form of pleasure and should be discouraged
more than encouraged.”

I wouldn’t have any problem with that, if people like Brooks
limited their discouragement to the marketplace of public debate.
Instead, they too often advocate using force to deter individuals
from making potentially suboptimal personal choices, and otherwise
mis-idenify government as a giant sanctioning machine. As
demonstrated by this remarkable sentence:

We now have a couple states — Colorado and Washington — that
have gone into the business of effectively encouraging drug
use.

Gawker’s John Cook did the best
job
of highlighting the absurdity and wrong-headedness of that
sentence:

We now have a couple states that have gone into the business of
effectively encouraging David Brooks.

"subtly tip the scale" |||The absence of prohibition is not the presence of
government sanction. There are a countless number of perfectly
legal activities I may find personally abhorrent—giving money to a
major-party politician, driving at the speed limit in the fast
lane, rooting for the Boston Red Sox—but keeping them legally
permissible is not a case of my values being trampled by
the state. If anything, the opposite is true: The more government
uses laws to shape behavior, the more it is likely to
offend your core values
, whatever they may be.

Brooks, as is his
wont
, closes his column with a flourish of
see-no-government-evil authoritarianism:

Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we
want our laws to nurture? What sort of individuals and behaviors do
our governments want to encourage? I’d say that in healthy
societies government wants to subtly tip the scale to favor
temperate, prudent, self-governing citizenship. In those societies,
government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying
the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like
being stoned.

In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing
individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in
which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want
to be.

The Drug War is to “subtly tip[ping] the scale” as a firing
squad is to gentle discouragement. “Healthy societies” don’t throw
millions of people into human meat lockers to satisfy the moral
urges of social engineers. It is “a bit harder to be the sort of
person most of us want to be” after you go to jail for engaging in
the same recreational activity as a teenage David Brooks. The
“moral ecology” got a whole better on Jan. 1, and will get better
still when people stop using the criminal code as a laboratory
experiment on their fellow human beings.

Bonus video: Here’s the great Penn Jillette talking about legal
pot Monday night on The
Independents
:

 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/repeat-after-me-david-brooks-repealing-p
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No Waking From Draghi's Monetary Nightmare: Eurozone Credit Creation Tumbles To New All Time Low

One of our favorite themes in the past year has been watching Mario “Whatever it takes” Draghi reel powerless before the relentless contraction in Eurozone credit. Most recently, in November we reported that “when the ECB announced a “surprising” rate cut, 67 out of 70 economists who never saw it coming, were shocked. We were not. As we observed ten days prior, Europe had just seen the latest month of record low private sector loan growth in history. Or rather contraction. Back than we said that “one of our favorite series of posts describing the “Walking Dead” monetary zombie-infested continent that is Europe is the one showing the abysmal state Europe’s credit creation machinery, operated by none other than the Bank of Italy’s, Goldman’s ECB’s Mario Draghi, finds itself in.”

We concluded: “we now fully expect a very unclear Draghi, plagued by monetary zombie dreams, to do everything in his power, even though as SocGen notes, he really has no power in this case, to show he has not lost control and start with a rate cut in the November ECB meeting (eventually proceeding to a full-blown QE) in order to boost loan creation.” Less than two weeks later he did just that. The problem, as the ECB reported today, is that not only did M3 decline once more, to 1.4% or the slowest pace in over 2 years and well below the ECB’s 4.5% reference growth value, but more importantly lending to companies and households shrank 2.1% in October – the biggest drop on record! Draghi’s monetary zombies are winning.”

* * *

Fast forward to today, when the ECB just announced the latest set of undead monetary statistics for November. To nobody’s surprise, even though M3 posted the tiniest of possible annual increases, rising from 1.4% to 1.5% (3% below the ECB’s 4.5% reference value which it considers consistent with its price stability mandate), loan creation to the private sector declined once again, this time dumping to -2.3% from a revised -2.2%. As the WSJ reports what we have said for the past year, “The deepening decline increases pressure on the central bank to embark on further measures to stimulate lending, analysts said.”

By the numbers: in November lending to households declined by 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) reversing the €3 billion increase in October, while lending to firms fell by €13 billion, following a €15 billion drop in the previous month. Loans to firms were down by 3.9% on the year.

And visually:

What does it mean for the future of ECB actions? The ECB, citing the chief economist at IHS Global Insight in London said that “he expects the ECB to stand pat at its next meeting on Jan. 9, he thinks it will take more action early in 2014, “most likely” as another longer-term loan. It is “highly possible” that a future loan would be “tailored specifically toward bank lending.”

Or, looking at the way the EUR is dumping this morning, the ECB may once again shock everyone and do much more than this action, which is already conventionally accepted, and not only take rates even lower but potentially engage in the first case of full blown QE. After all, following three failed SMP sterilizations, it is not as if even the ECB is pretending to be “sterilizing” its previous episode of QE.

Goldman’s assessment:

While activity data in the Euro area have stabilised, we expect bank lending to the corporate sector to remain weak, reflecting a weak recovery, heightened credit risk aversion on the part of peripheral banks and continued balance sheet adjustment in the financial and non-financial sectors. The ECB’s Asset Quality Review (AQR), based on banks’ balance sheet as of end-December, might have contributed to weak bank lending in recent months.

That…or the cold winter weather of course. Cause there is always something to explain away central planning failure.

Finally those looking for the culprits for Europe’s lending freeze, look no further than Italy…

… and, of course, a “recovering” Spain:

Source: ECB


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/-_rtA-C7RxE/story01.htm Tyler Durden

No Waking From Draghi’s Monetary Nightmare: Eurozone Credit Creation Tumbles To New All Time Low

One of our favorite themes in the past year has been watching Mario “Whatever it takes” Draghi reel powerless before the relentless contraction in Eurozone credit. Most recently, in November we reported that “when the ECB announced a “surprising” rate cut, 67 out of 70 economists who never saw it coming, were shocked. We were not. As we observed ten days prior, Europe had just seen the latest month of record low private sector loan growth in history. Or rather contraction. Back than we said that “one of our favorite series of posts describing the “Walking Dead” monetary zombie-infested continent that is Europe is the one showing the abysmal state Europe’s credit creation machinery, operated by none other than the Bank of Italy’s, Goldman’s ECB’s Mario Draghi, finds itself in.”

We concluded: “we now fully expect a very unclear Draghi, plagued by monetary zombie dreams, to do everything in his power, even though as SocGen notes, he really has no power in this case, to show he has not lost control and start with a rate cut in the November ECB meeting (eventually proceeding to a full-blown QE) in order to boost loan creation.” Less than two weeks later he did just that. The problem, as the ECB reported today, is that not only did M3 decline once more, to 1.4% or the slowest pace in over 2 years and well below the ECB’s 4.5% reference growth value, but more importantly lending to companies and households shrank 2.1% in October – the biggest drop on record! Draghi’s monetary zombies are winning.”

* * *

Fast forward to today, when the ECB just announced the latest set of undead monetary statistics for November. To nobody’s surprise, even though M3 posted the tiniest of possible annual increases, rising from 1.4% to 1.5% (3% below the ECB’s 4.5% reference value which it considers consistent with its price stability mandate), loan creation to the private sector declined once again, this time dumping to -2.3% from a revised -2.2%. As the WSJ reports what we have said for the past year, “The deepening decline increases pressure on the central bank to embark on further measures to stimulate lending, analysts said.”

By the numbers: in November lending to households declined by 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) reversing the €3 billion increase in October, while lending to firms fell by €13 billion, following a €15 billion drop in the previous month. Loans to firms were down by 3.9% on the year.

And visually:

What does it mean for the future of ECB actions? The ECB, citing the chief economist at IHS Global Insight in London said that “he expects the ECB to stand pat at its next meeting on Jan. 9, he thinks it will take more action early in 2014, “most likely” as another longer-term loan. It is “highly possible” that a future loan would be “tailored specifically toward bank lending.”

Or, looking at the way the EUR is dumping this morning, the ECB may once again shock everyone and do much more than this action, which is already conventionally accepted, and not only take rates even lower but potentially engage in the first case of full blown QE. After all, following three failed SMP sterilizations, it is not as if even the ECB is pretending to be “sterilizing” its previous episode of QE.

Goldman’s assessment:

While activity data in the Euro area have stabilised, we expect bank lending to the corporate sector to remain weak, reflecting a weak recovery, heightened credit risk aversion on the part of peripheral banks and continued balance sheet adjustment in the financial and non-financial sectors. The ECB’s Asset Quality Review (AQR), based on banks’ balance sheet as of end-December, might have contributed to weak bank lending in recent months.

That…or the cold winter weather of course. Cause there is always something to explain away central planning failure.

Finally those looking for the culprits for Europe’s lending freeze, look no further than Italy…

… and, of course, a “recovering” Spain:

Source: ECB


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/-_rtA-C7RxE/story01.htm Tyler Durden

JPMorgan Reveals That Stocks Are More Expensive Now Than At Their 2007 Peak

As we warned was likely to happen back in February of 2013 (given the typical trajectory of earnings expectations through a year), JP Morgan has confirmed that the S&P 500 is now more expensive on a forward P/E basis than it was at its peak in October 2007. So, despite the self-referential bias of each and every talking head asset-gatherer on mainstream media's denial, stocks do not offer value here… no matter how many TINAs or BTFATHs you hear…

 

At 15.4x NTM earnings, the S&P 500 is now 0.2x turns more expensive than at its peak in October 2007

 

Furthermore, on a Price-to-Book, Price-to-Cash-Flow, and Price-to-Sales basis, the S&P 500 is also well above its average valuation levels…

 

Still think we can grow into more multiple expansion… then you better hope for an unprecedented rise in confidence…

 

So, are stocks cheap?

Source: JPMorgan


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/JXBGv_TH_ho/story01.htm Tyler Durden

A.M. Links: Republicans Want to Improve Obamacare Website Security, NSA Reportedly Trying to Develop Quantum Computer, Deaths From Lightning Strikes at Record Low

  • don't blame global warmingThe House of Representatives
    will
    consider
    legislation trying to make the Obamacare website more
    secure and requiring users be notified of data breaches, according
    to a memo to Republicans from Eric Cantor.
  • The NSA has
    reportedly
    been spending about $80 million a year to develop a
    quantum computer that would help it to crack encryptions.
  • A majority of Americans
    think
    the US will remain on a downward spiral through
    2050.
  • More than 200 Phish fans were
    arrested
    , mostly for drug possession, while the band performed
    at Madison Square Garden in New York City over the New Year’s
    holiday.
  • A physician from Louisiana is
    suing
    a police chief in Texas who was sleeping with his wife as
    well as other officials, alleging police harassment came along with
    the cuckolding.
  • A poll shows 71 percent of respondents
    believing
    the Washington Redskins don’t need to change their
    name; the number is 90 percent for Republicans and 59 percent for
    Democrats.
  • Only 23 people
    died
    from lightning strikes in the US in 2013, a record low.
    The record high was in 1943, when 432 people were struck and killed
    by lightning.
  • The conservative media watchdog group Newsbusters
    found
    that on network morning and evening newscasts, only one
    of 41 stories on the stranded Antarctic ship mentioned it was on a
    climate change mission.

Follow Reason and Reason 24/7 on
Twitter, and like us on Facebook.
  You
can also get the top stories mailed to
you—
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up here.
 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/am-links-republicans-want-to-improve-oba
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