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  • Recent Stats Indicate U.S. Economic Recovery Was an Illusion [View article]
    "No organization in the world does more, or accomplish its aims as effectively (I didn't say efficently) as the U.S. Federal Government."

    Is one of the "aims" to misrepresent the state of the economy. They are doing that very effectively. World class actually.
    Feb 25 01:53 PM | 51 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recent Stats Indicate U.S. Economic Recovery Was an Illusion [View article]
    Why are employment numbers falling? Why are tax receipts falling?
    Feb 25 01:38 PM | 39 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Banning Derivatives and Other Such Foolishness [View article]
    "There are a surprising number of people in the world today who believe derivatives are nothing more than gambling instruments ..."

    Well they are a negative sum game when you take into account transaction costs (zero sum game otherwise) so that fits the definition of gambling.

    A negative sum game is not a problem if you are using derivatives for risk management (hedging), however increasingly financial institutions view derivatives as revenue sources and profit centers -- that is where the problem lies.
    Nov 16 11:31 AM | 35 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cue the Panic [View article]
    I got laid off this week. Our company was hiring (expanding to ~500 people) right through 2009 and didn't really notice the recession. Things started turning south in 2010 and staff have been cut since April. A large proportion of our revenues were derived indirectly from the States. Starting 2010 we noticed cutbacks in spending by our customers due to similar constraints in States spending. This isn't going to improve for the remainder of the year and given the outlook for States, 2011 doesn't look any better.
    Aug 20 07:33 AM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Container Traffic Signals U.S. Economic Growth [View article]
    As an economist you know that if imports exceed exports then this has a negative effect on GDP growth, right?, by definition.

    So what definition of GDP do you use down there on the beach?

    Having said that, I appreciate your continued efforts to turn SA into Comedy Central.
    Aug 13 05:20 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Jobs Report: Confusing, Convoluted [View article]
    fine. here is a comparison between seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted:
    The Bureau of Labor and Statistics have released the latest unemployment data this morning. In order to determine how the magnitude of the seasonal adjustments I've looked at both Table A-13.Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted, and Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted.

    Seasonally adjusted the unemployment rate is 9.7% compared with 7.7% in January 2009. Non seasonally adjusted the unemployment rate is 10.6% compared with 8.5% in January 2009. It appears that the January seasonal adjusting adds approximately two million to the numbers employed and deducts approximately one million from the number unemployed. While I understand the need for seasonal adjusting to get a handle on overall trends, the fact remains that those who are seasonally adjusted away still claim unemployment insurance, still reduce their consumption, and still potentially move closer to defaulting on mortgages. They are real people.

    Table A15 shows the U6 unemployment number: unemployed plus under employed. Non seasonally adjusted this number has now risen to 18% compared to a seasonally adjusted 16.5%.

    The number of people not in the labor force was little changed from December 09 to January but 3 million people have been defined as being no longer in the labor force since January 2009. This represents another 2% that could potentially re-enter the workforce should economic conditions improve. When you had those 2% to 7.4% underemployed it looks like a long road back to low unemployment.
    Feb 5 05:17 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Price Bottom Still Holding [View article]
    At the risk of sounding like I'm defending the pundit, him being a multi millionaire, if that is the case, is irrelevant.

    The reason his articles are worthless is that they demonstrate a lack of research (and lack of thought). If he is a multi millionaire with time on his hands and a hobby blog, then you'd actually expect some sound analysis. Instead we get a regular rotation of his favorite charts and a paragraph touting that the chart points to a V shaped recovery. It stopped being funny a long time ago.

    SA tell me his rapid increase in followers is because new SA'ers are assigned (for want of a better word) authors based on their interests. If you are new to SA, and have been made a follower of this guy, and are reading this, then my advice is to read people like John Lounsbury and Steve Hansen if you want to get a proper handle on the economy.
    Jan 26 05:32 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market: Spooked Today, But Panic Attack Is Likely Temporary [View article]
    "When the market suddenly gets scared, my first reaction is to check the status of the market-based indicators of economic fundamentals to see if anything has changed."

    So why are commodity prices pretty much your standard "go to"? Its becoming comical.

    Commodity prices are currently decoupled from underlying economic activity. See recent announcements from companies that actually make commodities for confirmation (not that there is any shortage of confirmation in supply and demand data for anyone who seeks more than a price chart as a basis of analysis).

    "The Baltic shipping index is 50% above its average for the past year"

    So is everything else because all metrics essentially fell off a cliff. Are you implying something about the level of world trade?
    Oct 30 05:08 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's No 'W' in New Year [View article]
    On Dec 27 09:05 AM apppro wrote:

    > Got to tell ya Steve: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH with your negativity! You
    > do write these long and overly complicated blogs that show a great
    > deal of thought and research, but again I must say:
    > ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did anyone force you to read this article? If you regard Steve's assessment as negativity that implies you have a more upbeat interpretation of the data. Why not share your interpretation and rebut Steve's viewpoint rather than cry about it.

    As for the article being long and over complicated, if you want short and simple you need to watch CNBC. Personally I prefer to be informed with complicated analysis of complicated problems.
    Dec 27 10:32 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Railroads, Copper Are Saying About the U.S. Economy [View article]
    Copper consumption in the USA has been declining since 2000:

    China's copper stockpiling was pretty smart because most of their purchases were at the lower end, leaving mostly speculators to the market from $2.30 onwards. Note that Shanghai stockpiles have risen all year. Copper is being stored over there, not used.
    Jan 22 01:49 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Policy Failure [View article]
    "No, Obama's real problem is that he does not understand economics."

    that was obvious in the campaign, but then again name a president who has understood economics. The problem of Obamas making was who he chose to guide economic policy. Geitner, Summers ... could we be in worse hands?
    Aug 12 12:09 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • July Payroll Report Marks 3 Years of Job Losses [View article]
    Hours worked are up because overtime is up! One million people less in the workforce than one year ago how can that be good? Their work is being done by the remaining employed people working overtime. What are the chances of those jobs returning?
    Aug 6 11:06 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Bank Perfect Trading Quarters: The Real Story [View article]
    actually I think the banks are being opportunistic rather than capitalist. If the banks were truly capitalist they would have folded rather than got bailed out. In proper capitalism businesses fail.

    privatizing profits and socializing losses is simply opportunistic, or alternatively parasitic.
    May 13 09:12 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is China Really in a Bubble? [View article]
    Bit if a straw man argument. People like Chanos, Faber etc. who claim China is in a bubble are specifically referring to a housing and construction bubble. e.g. Faber said on Bloomberg only the other day that it is a housing bubble not an equity bubble.
    Apr 23 10:25 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite cries that letting the Bush tax cuts die would kill any recovery, few dare utter an uncomfortable reality, according to Gregg Easterbrook: Taxes should rise for everyone, not just for the rich. Americans think they're clobbered by onerous taxes, but U.S. taxes are relatively low compared to the rest of the world, and federal income taxes have fallen dramatically.  [View news story]

    "I believe it comes from the fact that we don't punish our people for being succesful (to the same high level) like they do."

    You're referring to the olden days. Note that currently we do not punish people for failure either e.g. wall street. Could the knowledge that there is no down side be an added incentive for people to strive to a certain level??
    Jul 29 07:28 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment