Hillary’s Approval Rating Plunges to Record Low, Neck and Neck With Trump

Hillary Clinton’s approval rating has plunged in the past few weeks to an all-time low.

56% have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary and only 41% have a favorable opinion.

Among registered voters, 59% hold an unfavorable opinion. That’s neck-and-neck with Trump at 60%.

Approval Ratings

The Washington Post reports A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton hit her stride after the Democratic National Convention, riding to a double-digit lead over Donald Trump in some national and swing-state polls — her highest of the year. As of today, though, Americans’ views of her just hit a record low.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 41 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Clinton, while 56 percent have an unfavorable one. That’s the worst image Clinton has had in her quarter-century in national public life.

Interestingly, Clinton’s numbers appear to have dropped since that early August poll mostly in groups that have been very supportive of her:

  • Her favorable rating among women dropped from 54 percent to just 45 percent.
  • Among Hispanics, it went from 71 percent to 55 percent.
  • Among liberals, it went from 76 percent to 63 percent.

It’s not clear quite what might have caused Clinton to fall further than ever before. It’s likely that she simply got an extended bounce after the Democratic convention that has finally faded. It’s also possible that adverse headlines last week about the Clinton Foundation and thousands of newly discovered emails from the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state reinforced the reasons views of her had been worsening prior to the July conventions.

Clinton is keeping this race competitive with her own personal problems. And right now, the voters who will determine the next president don’t like her much more than they like Trump.

Not Satisfied

Shifting Odds

Nate Silver 2016-08-31

Nate Silver continues his silly projections. Supposedly Trump only had a 10.8% chance of winning on August 14.

Had the election been on August 30, I would have agreed. However, the election is on November 8.

Support for Hillary is dropping fast.

Winding Path

Nate Silver 2016-08-31A

I like that chart. It’s a great representation. And it looks ominous.

But mentally shift Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio to trump’s column. It will not nearly look as bad.

Those states are not totally independent. If one shifts they likely all will shift. And they have been shifting.

In fact, those states shifted enough for Silver to move Trump’s odds from 10.8% to 24.8% in just two weeks!

Silver presumes he knew what was happening (with 89% confidence) on August 14. Was he wrong then, or now, or both.

If you said both you are correct.

Silver’s Model Fatally Flawed

Attempts to project rapidly changing attitudes months in advance is ridiculous.

Silver’s model is fatally flawed for at least two reasons.

  • In the nomination process, Silver never incorporated the role of attitudes.
  • Silver now neglects the factor of time.

The further away from an event, the less confident one “should” be.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Rajoy Loses First Vote, Still No Government in Spain; What’s Next?

Acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy came up six votes short in his attempt to build a coalition government, as expected in this corner.

Rajoy and his People’s Party (PP) worked out an agreement with Ciudadanos (Citizens), but the socialists (PSOE), the radical left Unidos Podemos (United We Can), and small separatist parties refused to go along. The margin was 180 to 170 against, with Rajoy needing 176 votes.

The result is Still No Government in Spain.

Spain’s political crisis deepened yet further on Wednesday when caretaker prime minister Mariano Rajoy failed to win the confidence of parliament in order to form a new government.

The result means that the stalemate which has left the country without a fully-fledged government stretches into a ninth month after general elections in December and June both failed to produce a conclusive result.

The country now faces the real possibility of a third general election in a year, unless Mr Rajoy or another candidate is able to conjure a parliamentary majority by the end of October. If the deadlock is not broken, the next election would fall on the highly inconvenient date of December 25.

The lack of a new government will also mean that a budget for 2017 cannot be passed, displeasing the European Commission, which has demanded fresh cuts to Spain’s public deficit.

PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez said he could not allow a government marked by “corruption, bad economic management and cutbacks” to remain in power. But Mr Sánchez has not outlined any plans for an alternative government after he failed to win a confidence vote in March when Podemos refused to join an agreement between PSOE and Ciudadanos.

What’s Next?

Felipe

I expect king Felipe VI to apply pressure to PSOE and Podemos. In that regard, neither is likely to join a grand coalition. However, Sánchez may agree to abstain.

Abstention would allow a minority government to form, but such a government  would not be very stable.

Should Felipe’s pressure fail, new elections become a near certainty.

In theory, PSOE, Podemos, and Ciudadanos could form a coalition, but Podemos is open to a Catalonia separatist referendum and Ciudadanos would never approve that platform.

Expect Resolution Soon

We will likely have a resolution within a week. By resolution, I mean we will know the final result: Minority government by abstention or new elections.

There is one additional possibility: Rajoy steps down. The price of a grand coalition with PSOE could conceivably be Rajoy stepping aside.

If new elections are in the cards, I suspect political forces will find a way to not have them on Christmas.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Cheaper Taxi Fares Coming Up: Ten Miles, Five Bucks!

Here’s welcome news for city travelers but not for central banks such as the Fed, damn insistent on price inflation.

Alphabet’s carpooling program in San Francisco offers rides at amazingly cheap rates of 54 cents a mile, and that’s with a driver.

Google Ride Sharing

Please consider Google Takes on Uber With New Ride-Share Service.

Google is moving onto Uber Technologies Inc.’s turf with its own ride-sharing service in San Francisco that would help commuters inexpensively join carpools, said a person familiar with the matter, jumping into a booming but fiercely competitive market.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., began a pilot program around its California headquarters in May that enables several thousand area workers at specific firms to use the Waze app to connect with fellow commuters. It plans to open the program to all San Francisco-area Waze users this fall, the person said, with hopes of expanding the service if successful. Waze, which Google acquired in 2013, offers real-time driving directions based on information from other drivers.

Unlike Uber and its crosstown San Francisco rival Lyft Inc., which each largely operate as on-demand taxi businesses, Waze wants to connect riders with drivers who are already headed in the same direction. The company has said it aims to make fares low enough to discourage drivers from operating as taxi drivers. Waze’s current pilot charges riders at most 54 cents a mile—less than most Uber and Lyft rides—and, for now, Google doesn’t take a fee.

Google and Uber were once allies—Google invested $258 million in Uber in 2013—but more recently have become rivals in some areas. Alphabet executive David Drummond said on Monday that he resigned from Uber’s board because of rising competition between the pair. Uber, which has long used Google’s mapping software for its ride-hailing service, recently began developing its own maps.

The two also are racing to develop driverless cars. Google has led the way with such technology, founding a project in 2009 that has now amassed more than 1.8 million miles of autonomous driving with its test cars. Uber earlier this month bought Ottomotto LLC, a six-month-old driverless-truck startup founded by Google veterans. Uber said it plans to start testing robotic taxis in Pittsburgh over the next several weeks, beating Google to a commercial test of self-driving technology.

Like Uber and Lyft, Waze’s drivers aren’t employees of the company, the person said. Unlike Uber, Google doesn’t plan to vet drivers for a Waze service, instead relying on user reviews to weed out problem drivers, the person said.

Waze, which operates as its own unit within Google, boasts 65 million active users, many of whom alert other users to police or traffic accidents—a hallmark of the app.

Driverless Waze

Waze will  be driverless by 2022 if not before.

Millions of long haul truck jobs will vanish in the 2022-2024 time frame, at the latest. The demand for owning a car will collapse shortly thereafter (2026-2028), if not simultaneously.

This is not a prediction that household ownership of private cars will vanish. Rather, it’s a prediction that car ownership in urban areas declines 25% or more in the 2026-2028 time frame, then continues to sink over the years.

I may very well be way behind the curve.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Aero Industry Update: Waiting For Axe to Fall at Honeywell and Boeing



Here’s an “Aero Industry Update” from a contact who works at Honeywell. His past comments have proven to be accurate. He now waits for the axe to fall due to cancelled orders and lack of demand.

Honeywell Employee writes ….

Hi Mish,

I am still waiting for the ax to fall at Honeywell in US. Reduction in force (RIF) has already hit the company’s sites in Mexico and Europe and US contractors are gone, but US RIF is on hold until Sept 13 at earliest because of WARN Act 60 day notice.

The axe will happen by the end of quarter. There’s lots of pressure coming from OEMs who are seeing big drop in demand from airline customers. Boeing is freezing prices so margins are getting pinched. Airbus customers are delaying deliveries because orders are not coming in. Bizjets orders are off too. The biggest weakness is from China, Brazil and Canada. Trouble is across entire the industry.

There’s lots of layoff rumors, particularly with old hands near retirement who volunteered for RIF. Employees now play games with layoff severance package and pensions, pushing some to pull trigger and retire now rather than wait for a package in September.

The games have caused management delays with internal work reorganizations. Employee reviews ask all engineers to confirm if they are willing to relocate to other sites. Lower level managers not in the loop on future plans.

There are rumors of two week unpaid furlough in November for remaining employees. Nonproduction employees had a one week furlough last December and just had another unpaid week in July.

Honeywell Employee

Mike “Mish” Shedlock



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  1. The media won’t ever say the “R” word in an election years.

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Do You Believe There is Food Price Deflation? Mish vs. Consensus

Here’s the question of the day: Do you believe there is food price deflation?

The reason I ask is the Wall Street Journal reports Food Price Deflation Cheers Consumers, Hurts Farmers, Grocers and Restaurants.

The U.S. is on track this year to post the longest stretch of falling food prices in more than 50 years, a streak that is cheering shoppers at the checkout line but putting a financial strain on farmers and grocery stores.

The trend is being fueled by an excess supply of dairy products, meat, grains and other staples and less demand for many of those same products from China and elsewhere due to the strong dollar. Lower energy costs for transportation and refrigeration also are contributing to sagging food prices, say economists.

“Deflation is a godsend for consumers,” said Bob Goldin, vice chairman of food consultancy Technomic Inc.

Nationwide, the price of a gallon of whole milk on average was down 11% to $3.06 in July over a year ago; the price of a dozen large eggs fell 40% to $1.55 in the same period.

The price of food at home is down 1.6% on a seasonally unadjusted basis in the 12 months through July, says the BLS.

Stephanie Hegre, a 46-year-old nanny in Thousand Oaks, Calif., has noticed a drop of about 10% in her weekly food shopping bill. Her 16-year-old twin daughters go through a lot of milk, meat and bread, adding up to an average weekly grocery bill of about $200.

“I feel it has dropped by $20 a week which, when you’re on a budget, is noticeable,” said Ms. Hegre, who has been stockpiling staples in case prices increase. “We freeze bread and buy two weeks’ worth of bacon at a time,” she said.

The glut is so severe in some places that dairy farmers have been dumping millions of pounds of excess milk onto fields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just bought $20 million worth of cheese in response to hard-hit dairy farmers’ requests. The cheese was given to food banks and others through USDA nutrition-assistance programs

Today’s Question

The Freezer

Freezing 2 week’s worth of bacon is nothing. I freeze six months of bacon, chicken, pork chops, and even more of some items.

Moreover, bacon is no bargain at all. A decent sale price is two 16-ounce packages for $5. I have not seen that for a long time.

Yet, prices are indeed coming down. The problem is, prices are not down to where they used to be.

Beef is a prime example. The sale price for rib-eye steaks used to be $4.99. That held true for at least 10 years. Heck, I could occasionally (but rarely) get beef tenderloin at that price.

Now, rib-eye steaks on sale are $7.99 a pound.

Pork remains a general bargain. Center cut pork chops were roughly $2.49 a pound on sale for 15 years. Yes, sometimes they were cheaper. But sometimes the sale price was $2.79 or $2.99.

On sale, you can still get $2.49. Sometimes you need to buy a roast and have it cut (or cut it yourself). So … cut it yourself!

Curiously, I have seen boneless roasts at a cheaper price than bone-in. It pays to know and understand what you are getting.

Bacon seems outrageous. And you better be careful. I now see 12 ounce packages regularly.

Overall, led by beef, sales prices are indeed lower. But sales prices just are not what they used to be.

Most foods properly wrapped will last at least six months. I grew up this way. That’s how my parents shopped.

My advice: Get a bigger freezer! My food cost increases have been minimal despite huge increases in non-sale prices.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Critical Thinking in Short Supply? What About Short Demand?

A survey by the Wall Street Journal shows  ‘Soft Skills’ Like Critical Thinking in Short Supply.

The sought-after soft skills most in demand are communication, organization, teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability.

The job market’s most sought-after skills can be tough to spot on a résumé.

Companies across the U.S. say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem-solve and get along with co-workers.

A recent LinkedIn survey of 291 hiring managers found 58% say the lack of soft skills among job candidates is limiting their company’s productivity.

In a Wall Street Journal survey of nearly 900 executives last year, 92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. But 89% said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes. Many say it’s a problem spanning age groups and experience levels.

A LinkedIn analysis of its member profiles found soft skills are most prevalent among workers in the service sector, including restaurant, consumer-services, professional-training and retail industries.

To determine the most sought-after soft skills, LinkedIn analyzed those listed on the profiles of members who applied for two or more jobs and changed jobs between June 2014 and June 2015. The ability to communicate trumped all else, followed by organization, capacity for teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability.

At Two Bostons, a small chain of pet boutiques outside Chicago, owner AdreAnne Tesene conducts at least three rounds of interviews before she hires someone.

For higher-level positions, she invites job candidates and their significant others out to dinner with the rest of the management team, “so we can see how they treat their family.” She also has her employees fill out an evaluation of a new co-worker after 90 days.

Ms. Tesene, who opened her first store 11 years ago, said she sees fewer candidates who can hold a conversation, want to interact with people and are eager to excel.

Dare to Be Different?

Outside of communication and punctuality, I wonder how many companies really want what they say. Large technology firms like Google and Apple do. So might small startups.

What about banks?

For most bank positions, the last thing banks want is for someone to think for themselves. There are rules for everything.

Group Think

Critical thinking was 5th on the list. How many companies really want just that? One way to find out is to express opinions different that the one your boss has.

Want to work on a government sponsored global warming project? If so, you better not have be open to the idea that man-made global warming is a theory and not a fact.

Want to replace Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen when they retire? If so, you better think just like them.

When your job depends on believing idiocy, you believe idiocy. You won’t get hired in the first place if you don’t.

Regardless of what they say, most companies really want punctual robots, not creative thinkers.

No one will care if robots are “socially savvy” as long as they do not make blatantly obvious mistakes.

What About Unions?

Public unions are the worst of all.

Union leaders expect union members to be paid on the basis of how long they have been on the job, not how well they do the job.

Not even communication skills matter, once someone is hired in the first place.

Short Supply or Lack of Demand?

If critical thinking is in short supply, it’s for one reason only: Lack of genuine demand.

Unions permeate the “thinking not necessary” culture, so do something for nothing beliefs at the Fed. So does Obama, and so do Democrats in general with counterproductive government handouts.

In general, critical thinking is so unwanted. It’s fully functional robots that are truly in short supply.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Declines 0.1%, Econoday Concludes No Bubble

On the basis of a measly 0.1% decline in the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index, Bloomberg Econoday concludes speculation isn’t a risk.

Why do I read keep reading Econoday? Entertainment value.

Highlights

Add Case-Shiller to the list of home-price data that are slipping. The 20-city adjusted index fell 0.1 percent in data for June for the third straight negative score. Year-on-year appreciation also continues to slip, down 2 tenths to 5.1 percent for the slowest rate since August last year. This rate peaked in January at 5.7 percent and, though still respectable, has been sliding since.

Nine of the 20 cities show declines in the latest month with weakness centered in the Midwest and Northeast where Chicago is down on the month and up only 3.3 percent year-on-year with New York also down on the month and up only 2.1 percent on the year. Portland, at 12.6 percent on the year, and Seattle at 11.0 percent are stretching their lead over others in the West with California cities slowing to the mid-single digits.

The slowing has its positive side for California where prior gains were raising talk of a possible bubble. But over speculation doesn’t seem to be a risk right now as prices for existing homes ease.

Case-Shiller City Indexes

case shiller 10 index 2016-08

Case-Shiller 20-City Price Changes

case shiller 10 index 2016-08A

I’m sure glad to discover there’s no speculation and no bubble in California.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Swiss Central Bank Holds $129 Billion in Equities, Owns More Public Shares of Facebook Than Zuckerberg

The Swiss central bank is now the eighth largest investor in publicly traded shares of Facebook following the Swiss Central Bank Buying Spree.

Facebook

Switzerland’s central bank now owns more publicly-traded shares in Facebook than Mark Zuckerberg, part of a mushrooming stock portfolio that is likely to grow yet further.

The tech giant’s founder and CEO has other ways to control his company: Zuckerberg holds most of his stake in a different class of stock. Nevertheless this example illustrates how the Swiss National Bank has become a multi-billion-dollar equity investor due to its campaign to hold down the Swiss franc.

It is now the world’s eighth-biggest public investor, data from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum show. While most analysts think the strategy is sound, this does expose the SNB to stock market risks that the likes of the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve avoid.

“The SNB is in a bit of a corner, they have acquired a lot of foreign currency as part of their efforts to weaken the franc and they have to invest it somewhere,” said Alessandro Bee, an economist at UBS. “The bond market is drying up and so they are going increasingly for equities.”

The SNB’s balance sheet is now proportionately the biggest of any leading central bank. On top of that, its stock portfolio has risen at roughly twice the rate of the overall balance sheet as it diversifies its holdings.

In the last 12 months the SNB’s equity holdings have surged 41 percent to around 127 billion francs, according to Reuters calculations. Part of this is due to stocks increasing in value despite losses in recent months, as well as new purchases.

The SNB has also diversified across stock markets. The United States is its favoured location, with its holdings on Wall Street jumping to nearly $62 billion at the end of June from $38.6 billion a year earlier, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The SNB has increased its stakes in all of its top 10 U.S. holdings this year, while many big institutional investors have been reducing much of theirs. For example the SNB’s stake in Apple increased by 1.07 million shares in the second quarter, while Invesco sold 9.53 million shares and Fidelity sold 9.23 million in the iPhone maker, according to SEC filings.

FRANCS FROM THIN AIR

The SNB does not comment on the details of its strategy, but says it does not pick stocks, investing instead in companies according to their weight in various indices.

“The SNB creates Swiss francs out of thin Alpine air,” said James Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, a U.S. financial markets journal.

“Sound Strategy”

  • “It’s a diversification strategy for them and it is harder to find investment opportunities,” said Alexander Koch, head of macroeconomics at Bank Raiffeisen in Zurich. “With the ultra-low interest rates environment currently there is a very high risk that the prices of bonds can fluctuate more than equities.”
  • “It makes sense for the SNB to do this, and I could imagine them to increase the amount of shares they hold in the future even further,” said Koch. “They could even go up to 50 percent of their holdings.”
  • Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, head of investment strategy at Credit Suisse, said that the risks attached to the SNB’s investment portfolio were “absolutely manageable”. Diversifying its holdings was more important than any temporary setbacks in global equities, she added.

Supposedly buying shares of corporations makes perfect sense. And the risks are manageable.

Amazing.

If the central bank really wants to weaken the Franc and cause inflation, I can help. I will even give the bank a money back guarantee.

This is all I ask: Give me $129 billion and I promise to waste $128 billion of it, quickly. If that fails to do the trick, then I request $129 billion per month, until I succeed.

For my humanitarian efforts, all I want is a one time payment of $1 billion in gold at today’s prices. Should my plan not deliver the desired inflation within two years, I would gladly refund my $1 billion fee.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

French Economy Minister Resigns to “Regain Freedom”; His Political Party “En March”

The presidential campaign in France is now in full swing. All that’s missing is the presidential announcement of Emmanuel Macron, the French minister who resigned today to “regain freedom”.

He seeks to distance himself from French president Francois Hollande whose ratings are in the gutter.

Macron announced a new political party in April “En Marche” (On the Move). The party is neither left nor right.

On Tuesday Mr Macron informed his staff that he would step down from his ministerial role to “regain my freedom” and to focus on building a “transformation plan” for France.

Battling a socialist rebellion in parliament against a package of liberalising laws that included an extension of Sunday trading hours, he became the symbol of a modern left, embracing reforms.

In April this year, Mr Macron created his own political party, En Marche! (On the move), which he said was neither on the right nor on the left — a move widely seen as a springboard for a presidential bid. In July, he held his party’s first rally in Paris, coming within an inch from announcing his candidacy.

France has now switched into full presidential campaign mode. The centre-right will nominate its presidential candidate in open primary elections in November, in a race likely to pit Nicolas Sarkozy, the former leader, against Alain Juppé, a former conservative prime minister.

The primary contest is expected to produce the next French head of state, given the record unpopularity of Mr Hollande and the strength of the far-right National Front (FN) in recent local elections. French political analysts expect Marine Le Pen, the FN leader, to reach the second ballot next year — and then be defeated by whoever she then faces.

Last week, socialist firebrand Arnaud Montebourg announced he would run, saying the president had betrayed the ideals of the left with pro-business laws. Mr Montebourg, Mr Macron’s predecessor at the economy ministry, has not yet said whether he intends to participate in socialist primary elections that could take place early next year.

Shape of the Election

  • National Front: Marine le Pen
  • Socialists: Hollande, Montebourg, Jean-Luc Melenchon
  • En March: Macron
  • Center Right: Sarkozy, Juppé

Macron will take votes away from the socialists and possibly from the center right.

A list of Recent Polls suggests the only person Le Pen could beat in round two is Francois Hollande. But Hollande will not make it to round two.

The most recent Poll by BVA is skewed because it does not include Macron.

French Voter Intentions

French Voter Intentions

French Voter Intentions2

The leaders of each party will square off for round one of the elections.

Right now it appears it will be Juppé, Macron, Le Pen, and some guaranteed-to-lose socialist candidate on the left. Those party leaders will square off in round one.

It’s a near-certainty no party will get 50% so the final two parties will square off in round two.

Le Pen is likely to make it to round two. And if Macron takes votes away from the center right, Le Pen might even win round one, but she would then be a heavy favorite to lose in round two.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Rajoy Six Votes Short: Another Election In Spain Coming Up?

The 2015 Spanish national elections ended in a deadlock with no one able to form a majority. A second round of elections was held on June 26. Voter turnout was a lowest in history 66.5%.

Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) was expected to lose seats. Instead PP picked up seats, but still not enough to for a majority except in a three-way coalition or scenarios involving abstentions.

Rajoy makes his case before Parliament today.

Bloomberg reports Rajoy Seeks Support to Avert Spain’s Third Election in a Year.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will ask the Spanish Parliament to back him for a second term on Tuesday, as he seeks to end an eight-month political impasse.

Rajoy has secured support from the liberals of Ciudadanos and a lone nationalist lawmaker from the Canary Islands, giving him 170 votes in the 350-seat chamber. But with all the other party leaders opposed to Rajoy’s candidacy, the incumbent is set for defeat unless the grandees within the Socialist Party can persuade its leader, Pedro Sanchez, to back down at the last minute. Rajoy needs a majority to get through when the debate concludes on Wednesday. If he loses, a plurality will suffice at a second ballot on Friday.

If he fails this week, he has another two months to rustle up the votes before King Felipe has to call a third election.

“The important thing in this occasion is that the countdown is being triggered,” said Antonio Barroso, a London-based political analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London. “It’s unlikely that Rajoy manages to win the vote.”

Electoral Math

Spain Electoral Math

Rajoy will have a chance to form a government. If he fails, the socialists (PSOE) will have a chance, then Podemos (United We Can).  It’s not accurate to say Rajoy has two months to pull this together.

Rajoy could step down, and that would make a “grand coalition” more likely, but politicians seldom step aside.

Even if Rajoy somehow manages to pull together a 3-way coalition, it’s not likely to be stable.

If Rajoy fails, the most likely outcome is new elections. No other coalitions seem possible.

In a sense, there may be no winning position for anyone. Brussels will be breathing down the neck of whoever wins, demanding more tax hikes and spending cuts, exactly the opposite of what PSOE and Podemos want.

It is conceivable PSOE abstains, letting Rajoy have his hollow victory.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock