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These Numbers Could Push the Fed to Do Something Stupid

The Daily Treasury Statement data for the end of August showed some improvement in total tax collections, including a slight uptick in withholding taxes and an even bigger increase in excise taxes.

The numbers suggest that an early summer slowdown has ended. After the expected downward revisions in June and July jobs data, the August uptick in jobs was not a fluke. And the excise tax data suggests strong retail sales.

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So, not an altogether bad summer – if you happen to be a politician or government taxman. But what about for investors?

Well surprise, surprise, surprise! Good news is bad news, which is what we’ve been talking about here all along.

Good economic news, as presaged by the uptick in tax receipts, will encourage the Fed to keep tightening.

And tighten it shall, in two ways: Most importantly (and most destructively), it will drain more money from the banking system. Secondarily, it will continue to rubber-stamp tightening money markets by raising the federal-funds rate.

And that, as I have been shaking my fist at the sky about for months, is really bearish.

The stuff has not hit the fan yet, but it is coming…

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish LiquidityTrader.com, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 

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