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President Obama's re-election odds:
Bottom Line: As we’re now under two weeks away from Election Day this is one of the final three reports I’ll be providing on President Obama’s re-election odds. The numbers this week are the exact same as last Friday. President Obama’s average approval rating is still 49%. A 49% approval rating less than two weeks away for an incumbent President equals a 68% chance of winning re-election historically. The average re-election rate of incumbent Presidents is 65%. This shows that President Obama actually is slightly better positioned than the average President running for re-election. But don’t fret Romney supporters because… (see my next story below)….
Romney vs. Obama Head to Head:
This week’s head to head match-up between Mitt Romney and President Obama shows a few clear pieces of information for our consumption. First by the numbers…
Head to head as I type this, Romney leads Obama 47.9% to 47% in an average of all national polling. This shows the following:
If the election were held today my formula (using historical data with current data) suggests that Mitt Romney would win 51.7 to 48.3. Now for a more realistic picture with 3rd party consideration included. When I model for third party consideration (with Gary Johnson as the most relevant 3rd party challenger) I show the following outcome if the election were held today:
Romney would win the national popular vote by a 50.6 to 47.9 margin (with 1.5% breaking for a 3rd party). What this continues to tell us about this election, is that Romney is running a better than average campaign. With Obama sporting a 68% chance of winning re-election yet Romney showing nearing a 3 point win, it means that Romney has the anti-Obama vote but also has attracted some of the electorate over to his side with his vision.
Layoffs mounting - most announced in 2.5 years:
Bottom Line: Just over a week ago I began to sound the alarm on the labor outlook. It’s not just that we’re not seeing real improvement – it’s that we’re actually at risk of an imminent recession and potential wide-spread layoffs.
I sounded the alarm because of just how poor the earnings season was going and how 90% of companies were lower expectations for the future. Now we have more information that confirms my fears in the labor market.
Planned layoffs are now at the highest rate since the 1st quarter of 2010. This is confirmation of the economy getting worse still; from the already weak growth economy we’ve experienced so far this year. Not to be pessimistic but it’s important not to take your job for granted right now and to make every effort to present value to your employer. Just in case…
Econ 1.1 (or 1.5):
Now here’s the granddaddy of them all… The actual economic growth rate. Throughout the course of 2012 I’ve been dead on in anticipating ever slowing economy (all while the Government and economists have been consistently overly optimistic). Here we go for the 3rd quarter economic outlook…
Coming into the 3rd quarter my estimate for
No model of mine projects any possible economic growth higher than 1.5% for the recently completed quarter. Moreover most models pull me towards the low end of my range (and original estimate of 1.1%). At 1% economic growth we are at imminent risk of a recession and have no chance of creating significant job growth. We shall see what the #’s say…
Update: The initial number is 2.0%. This is above the high end of my range and above economist's estimates. We'll get two revisions to this number before the final 3rd quarter GDP number. I do expect a negative revision to this number but if I'm wrong it's certainly slightly better news. At 2% growth we won't significantly grow jobs and incomes but we have a stable economy rather than one at risk of recession.
Best value in private colleges:
Bottom Line: All week I’ve been railing about the continued cost of higher education rising at an annual rate well above inflation and income growth. With that in mind I present Kiplinger’s report of the best overall values for private college education: