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The economy and stock market still have some friends, such as Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius, who...

The economy and stock market still have some friends, such as Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius, who believes the U.S. is "years away" from the next recession. "The unemployment rate is still 9%, we're nowhere close to a really tight labor market that usually predicates a recession, so I think we're still be in a recovery for a few years." That's one way of looking at it; here's another.
Comments (91)
  • "who believes the U.S. is "years away" from the next recession."


    Don't we have to have a recovery before we have a recession?
    17 May 2011, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • Did the last depression even end?
    17 May 2011, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • State of Texas reported today revenue over budget of $1.2B


    This is not consistent with recession or depression - in any case weren't you geniuses all falling over yourselves to buy silver to protect against deflation. What happened to that idea?


    I know the tendency is to ignore the data that does not support the narrative.


    Yes recovery is slow - but it is steady. Economy is adding jobs and we are in expansion now. this is the start of a long cycle. but don't believe Hatzius - what does he know? And don't believe me - my credibility is destroyed now that I am a top 50 commenter stud boy


    17 May 2011, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • Revenue over budget for what period of time?
    And how large is the budget shortfall in the great state of Texas over the last couple of years?
    17 May 2011, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • I would say Jan is whistling past the graveyard as the problem with leverage is still in the early innings. And is sobering if one really stands back and look at it in its entirety.


    In 2008 we had a financial crisis as excess leverage and bad credit just about took down our banking system. Consumers were also highly leveraged. That leverage drove a lot of growth in our economy. Since then consumers have deleveraged as well as many corporations. Now too many people think that leverage is in the rear view mirror.


    But in fact government has leveraged up to levels that are shocking and now the Fed is monetizing the debt. The debt at the government level has drove demand into the economy and growth but they are now hitting their peak borrowing capacity at current rates and they cannot keep driving the economy infinitely with debt. In fact they need to cut because the debt burden is becoming counterproductive and debt at the government level is the most unproductive capital in any economy.


    The private economy has not grown much in the past 3 years when you take out government spending. That means if government has to cut back because they have no choice then will the private economy pick up the slack? I am doubtful because we are living through a period of glorifying government and villifying business and the public to private cooperation is as bad as I have ever seen it. We don't have people in government now that know how to move the levers of business and they look at business as a place they can go for riches to fund their goals or use as a whipping boy. In addition the tax debates have business sitting on their hands and just looking to cut costs.


    The result is a quiet private sector with high unemployment of 9% which is likely underestimated by a long shot and a noisy and highly leveraged public sector with record employment.


    Government spending has been boosting GDP which makes us look like we are not in a recession but it is not sustainable.
    17 May 2011, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • I know it is hard for a Moose but just Google it - see below. You know. 10 seconds of research is worth about 1000 positive thumbs from group think morons.


    If you look you will see this is not an isolated event. Makes those Munis look better doesn't it? Does this smell like recession to you? And consider - with Q1 labor market badly impacted by local and state government - if that bleeding stops than +300k job growth is just around the corner.


    Keep focusing on the housing market. I am sure it is the most important indicator.


    AUSTIN (KXAN) - The state's struggling budget just got a boost Tuesday, as Texas Comptroller Susan Combs projected a general revenue increase of $1.2 billion for 2012-2013.


    “We are updating the revenue estimate after reviewing numerous economic indicators and yesterday’s franchise tax filing deadline,” Combs said.


    The increase includes the following:


    Sales tax - $1 billion - HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE??????
    Motor vehicle tax - $100 million - HOW??????????????
    Oil production - $400 million


    $300 million of the oil revenue is already dedicated for the Rainy Day Fund and will likely not go toward the next budget cycle. The rest will go to general revenue, which is leading lawmakers to wonder how the change will affect the fiscal matters legislation aimed at pumping billions of non-tax revenue back into the budget.
    17 May 2011, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • I agree, folks need to google stuff before posting comments, that's what I just did and it took me all of 10 minutes to find out that Texas was short 6.6 billion dollars for this past years budget, and gov. perry filled the gap by taking fed stimulus money! Then he turned around and started ripping the fed govt for all their pork barrel projects etc (the same old song and dance from the spend and spend right). They have a rainy day fund in texas also, built since 1988 with tax revs collected from oil and mineral production, which they have made easier for state legislatures to tap into as they expect another shortfall for 2011-2012.
    17 May 2011, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • Right on target!
    17 May 2011, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • California revenues are also above expectations as well...



    revenues for the blue states are especially dependent in high income tax payers. In this recession, high incomes fell disproportionately, and are now recovering.

    17 May 2011, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • You must have missed Browns budget. Ca. is in a sad state of affairs and its getting worse by the day.
    17 May 2011, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • Keynesian economics explains why, during a recession, government spending has supported the economy. The same conversation about too much government spending follows every recession, and after every recession the economy has emerged stronger. Businesses will begin to spend more to grow revenues, seeing as much of the increased profitability has been to cost cuts. The economy takes time to heal, just as the bubble took years to fill.
    17 May 2011, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mike


    You are cherry picking Keynsian economics.


    Keynsian economics also assumed that the government would not take on tremondous debt during periods of growth and thereby they would keep the powder dry for a recession. We entered this recession with a ton of debt and now it has increased to the point where the Fed has pulled on the monetization lever to buy it, keep rates low for all borrowers to keep their servicing costs down and buy time.


    Debt has diminishing returns and is counterproductive at some point and we are there since the Fed is doing a lot of the funding of the debt which is terrible for the dollar and standards of living. John Maynard Keynes did not propose the damage we are doing now.


    The fundamental question in my mind is what should our total output be if we have to deleverage and in view of other countries becoming a bigger share of the world economy. Shifting it from one sector to another still keeps the leverage in the economy. Should we be a $14 Trillion economy when we got here on debt steriods? Maybe it should be $12 Trillion? If so then our debt mountain looks even bigger and that is a potential disaster as nobody is thinking our economy has to downsize but if debt and output are correlated 1:1 then it is a math problem that is unavoidable.
    18 May 2011, 12:39 AM Reply Like
  • Im not cherry picking, Keynes advocated government spending to make up for shortfalls in the private sector, and that explains why the government has increased spending during the last few years. Keynes is best known for fiscal policy, and I was not crediting him with designing the monetary policy being enacted by the Federal Reserve.


    The debt the US govt has is a serious problem, but the Fed is buying debt to lower interest rates further than it can by using the Fed Funds Rate, not to keep the US government solvent. The Fed reacted to the economy and credit markets, not to the Treasury needing to sell more debt. The US is not Greece, Ireland, or Portugal, it can sell debt on its own at low rates. The Fed's interference in this market is not a signal of weakness related to the US debt situation.
    18 May 2011, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • Mike


    You need to keep studying. On the fiscal side Keynes did not believe that government deficits would be run in good and bad times. Rather he believed that good times would lead to surpluses which would then be drawn down in bad times through extra government spending. We have not done the former so that is why you are cherry picking Keynes as you are only looking at what we have done during after 2008. In addition if you believe the economy is so great then we should pull back on fiscal spending right now.


    On the monetary side we are doing the exact same thing many countries have done that had too much debt and so they drove inflation and devalued their currency. Taken to an extreme and you have post WWI Germany, Austria and Yougoslavia. The US has some advantages that Euro countries do not but that is nothing to take much comfort in for very long. Monetizing the debt is transferring wealth from savers to borrowers and lowering standards of living. Never mind that taxpayers own that debt in the long run which has not really set in yet.


    Your statements are inconsistent and not shared by anyone I have read except maybe Krugman who thinks we should spend indefinitely and all will be fantastic.
    18 May 2011, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • Keynes championed deficit spending, not drawing down surpluses. He also argued against trying to balance the budget during soft economic periods.
    18 May 2011, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Postponable Purchases to GDP is 17.3%..we have never had a recession unless this number first crossed the 20% barrier...and
    over the last 40 years the barrier has been 22%,,,,
    17 May 2011, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • Recovery? We're still in the soup! Wheres the jobs?
    Recession? Looks like and feels like a depression!
    Jan Hatzius had best come down out of his ivory tower. Do some grocery shopping. Talk to the common person on main street. Only don't tell anyone he's a banker. For his own security.
    What drivel.
    17 May 2011, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Please, people talking this is a depression are just ignorant...check history, check the 1929-1936 timeline....


    What we have today is nothing compared to the Great grandfather lost his job, and he had to beg for food in the streets, he had lost everything....


    This generation of Americans can't withstand a depression....
    17 May 2011, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • and now you have +40 million on food stamps, paid for by borrowed (begged?) money. So what s the difference?


    have a good evening
    17 May 2011, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • What a brilliant comparison...NOT.


    Do some research before writing......
    17 May 2011, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Man, Joe, I have depression era parents, lucky to have a room to put a radio in, let alone the radio itself. Ever been to a best Buy in the middle of this depression? Those new fangled radios with moving pictures sell like hotcakes.
    17 May 2011, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • Well, Hatzius is the chief domestic economist of Goldman Sachs, he was trained in economics, he is an expert, he knows what he is talking about....and he has data to corroborate his claims, see his research paper....
    17 May 2011, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • And GS must know a little about what their doing. I mean, they make a little money..........
    17 May 2011, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac and Joe Crash,


    Yes they make money. Nothing wrong with that.
    I'm sure they are smart. And certainly smarter than those that may be gullible enough to take their advise for sure.


    But, they don't care weather you make money.


    Buyer Beware.
    17 May 2011, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • Oh, no, GS would never screw the little guy.
    17 May 2011, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • I already know that 1980, and I don't take advise from anyone....


    ...Goldman Sachs gives excellent advise only to a small group of super high net worth clients....


    By the way,I'm just pointing out that the data corroborate his claims. The business cycle is in a early stage....
    17 May 2011, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • But think how much weight people could lose? We would go from the fattest to the slimmest.


    Cotton would probably drop in price as we would only need 1/2 the denim to cover everyones' fat behinds.
    17 May 2011, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Joe, the difference today is government intervention the likes we have never seen before. Which is, in part, what eventually led to recovery from the Great Depression. But unlike the Great Depression, today the banks and investment firms have/are benefiting most from the aid, as compared to using tax dollars/debt to build infrastructure as USG did in 1930's. The taxpayer now has trillions of debt resulting from the 2008-09 crash, with the Wall St bankers having reaped all the rewards. If people actually studied what happened from 2004-07 and understood what took place with subprime ABS, CDO's, CDS, ratings agencies, bankers, AIG, SEC, pension funds and many more, they would be livid. My grandkids will be paying the debt for the mistakes of this group for a generation to come. The losses just didn't disappear. And its not over yet....
    17 May 2011, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • They make $$ off of people like you. They need you to think a certain way, and buy their products. Investors that are not optimistic usually don't buy equities.
    17 May 2011, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Crash,
    LOL, you need to do some more research regarding Hatzius. That chump has revised and restated economic "positions" more times than Michael Jackson visited plastic surgeons.
    On the inside track, the guy's known as a joke and flip-flopper (which could be by design knowing Goldman's record).


    As for your other comment regarding bears being bears because their in some mentally depressed or angry state...well, it shows me you have no intention on trying to balance an argument within yourself. I mean, really...everything's perfect in American economics, so any contrary talk to the "recovery" MUST be illogically conditioned Freudian "id speak" right?


    Scroll down to WMARKW's 18 lines of fact. After reading it, please tell him he must be unemployed or missing the right side of the trade...after all, there's no WAY his recovery contradicting list could be right.


    Man I'm tired of you Keynesian mules with you blinders on...haven't you guys done enough damage?


    /sarc off
    18 May 2011, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • Tomas-
    Yes, nothing wrong with leaner and meaner. And you make a very sad point. What is obesity costing us in fuel usage?
    18 May 2011, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Long term unemployed to Labor force is recession has occured until this level hit 1%...
    17 May 2011, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • bbro,
    why are you posting data? It is so much more fun to voice data-free opinions. A founder of one of the tabloids once famously said: no facts can stand in the way of a good story. The stories about how the world is ending, like tomorrow, either from depression, or inflation, or both at the same time are so much fun to tell. No facts can stand in their way.
    17 May 2011, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • Reminds me of an ex-mother-in-law, who once said:


    Don't bring logic into this argument!
    17 May 2011, 11:40 PM Reply Like
  • Smell that?? Smells like QE 3.
    17 May 2011, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • 'Yo Jan, put down the crack pipe and step away from the table.
    What freakin planet is this dude from? Oh Yeah,
    Goldman Sachs, with the rest of our elected officials. Worthless liars.
    17 May 2011, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • Come on people. GS must have a trade on and they are asking JH to talk their book for them.
    17 May 2011, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • No Thumbs down system, has now emboldened some for even more self serving, asinine comments than ever before.


    Everbody gets a medal, just like first grade, along with the Union, tenured teachers in charge.
    17 May 2011, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Couldn't agree more about the no Thumbs Down button. Why have a ratings system if it can only move one way?


    As for the anti-banking comments, its typical of SA. When the economy is losing 700,000 jobs a month, the sky was falling. Now that its adding 240,000 jobs a month, the sky's still falling. In a month retail gas prices will have backed off considerably from $4, and the mood of the country will begin to rebound. Sure full employment is likely still 2 years away, but to say we are still in recession is, by the definition of the word, wrong.
    17 May 2011, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mike, very true....


    But all depends on the person perspective, most of the SA posters that are bearish is because they are unemployed, divorced or were impacted by whatever calamity that can happen to a person...
    17 May 2011, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe what they should have done is leave the TD button but make the person leave a comment first before they can do a TD. That makes people go on the record and not anonymously.


    There was too many a**holes that were cruising around doing TD's and not leaving a comment to express any point of view and I seen it on a number of comments from various people.


    I had a few losers that did nothing but silently TD me by following all my comments...........TD stalkers. Full of hate and no brains.
    17 May 2011, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • I also agree with you. I sent an email to the SA gods, but I don't expect a reply.


    It would be nice. I actually enjoyed getting the TDs. Curmudgeon that I am, and all.
    17 May 2011, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • No doubt.
    17 May 2011, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • Not so. I'm not bearish for any of those reasons. Rather, I see this market run-up as the result of FED QE2 money. Nothing more. Especially in light of recent Qtr 2 earning being somewhat dismal. Once QE2 $$ is gone, the market will not have enough retail interest to stand alone. If no QE3, this baby will drop like a rock. That is until QE3 is announced and then we'll go up up and away. But eventually, good economy or not, it will all end very badly for the markets and the ones who make $$ will be the lucky market timers. So, do you feel lucky? Well.
    17 May 2011, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, I've gotten TD's for saying innocent things that would make perfect sense to a two year old - and no politics involved.
    18 May 2011, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • Amen... Bring back the thumbs down !!
    17 May 2011, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • bbro, 1980


    I am totally with you. Without the validation of the Thumbs Down - it is hard to discern the wheat from the chaff.


    Why SA did you remove the best contraindicator around?


    It is discombobulating.


    Moi a Top 50 Commenter? I have become the thing I despise. Why are you punishing me? Why?


    Lumping me with Marketgollum, Eeyore and bunch of other loseimaries??!!


    Cruel. Too cruel


    17 May 2011, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • Econdoc,




    You will never be able to get out of the Top 50 now, with the new system.
    17 May 2011, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • It's great to have ya here Doc.
    Welcome to the club!!!


    Doom, gloom, kaboom!!!! Sing it with me Doc.............
    17 May 2011, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • SA has been taken over by the Fed, GS and assorted banksters and debsters.


    The great Thumb heist is all a grand master plan to get Obama re-elected. Youy know. Make everyone feel good.


    It's Thumb inflation - what we need is a return to the Quinn standard.


    How's that 1980? - is that crazy enough for you to qualify me as a bona fide Top 50 stud boy?


    17 May 2011, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • I liked the smell of thumbs down in the morning, it smelled like, like Victory!
    17 May 2011, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • condoc,


    wow, congrats! "Top 50" HAHAHA!!!!


    reap it troll boy! You and your 20 alteregos should celebrate and pop a bottle of Asti from your mom's fridge upstairs.
    17 May 2011, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • Econ:


    Apparently, SA joined the "everybody gets a trophy" mantra of the "Feelings Age." Now, you can only receive those warm, fuzzy, self-esteem vibes by being "liked."
    17 May 2011, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • Everyone is beautiful now!


    "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
    -Stuart Smalley


    Marketwatch seems to have lost a lot of user participation in the comments after they removed their thumbs down button. Same thing happened with Mish's blog which used to get 100's of comments on a post and now is lucky to get 30.


    Maybe SA wants less comments and page views also?


    Whatever. It's stupid to have half a system! Either bring back the thumbs down button or remove the thumbs up.
    18 May 2011, 03:54 AM Reply Like
  • too..I am a top 50....doesn't seem right....
    18 May 2011, 06:01 AM Reply Like
  • Seeking Alpha content has deteriorated the last couple of months, having authors posting opinions masking them as facts....that's why they have a lawsuit....


    The rating system...reminds me of the hippies, only peace and love...
    18 May 2011, 06:39 AM Reply Like
  • It's the Facebook effect ... No dislike buttons there
    18 May 2011, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Who the hell really knows what is happening? I can't fathom how trillions and trillions of public and private debt compounded by high unemployment and unfunded liabilities can be seviced, but I don't buy the deflation argument because there is nothing backing the debt based money other than worthless debt which should make the money itself worthless when people finally lose confidence in the currency. The only option is inflation until the underlying assets recover or collapse and a new monetary system.
    17 May 2011, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • @Geoffster


    "...a new monetary system."


    It will be global (call it a Global Currency Unit, or something similar, and it will be entirely electronic - which means it can be erased when accused of a crime or something of that nature).


    A black market system using barter, metals and jewelery will back-fill (like Russia in the 1970's and 80's).


    Sad, I think.
    17 May 2011, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • And a thumbs up to that.
    17 May 2011, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • It will be a while until the next recession if only because it will be a while before we get out of this one. The idea of a recovery is a myth that has been sold to people by the banks and mainstream media.
    17 May 2011, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • The definition of a recession is two or more consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, so by definition we no longer in a recession.
    17 May 2011, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • Yep, and since government spending is in the calculation, they can gin it up on a go forward basis in perpetuity. It's also not inflation adjusted. You can probably get positive GDP just from population growth.


    So go ahead and tell me the positive notes on the economy now? See if you can list 5.
    17 May 2011, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • What happened to the THUMBS DOWN?
    17 May 2011, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • "The economy and stock market still have some friends, such as Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius, who believes the U.S. is "years away" from the next recession."


    Reminiscent of the positive marketing of CDS Goldman assembled & sold and later still placed short positions against.
    17 May 2011, 10:20 PM Reply Like
  • The problems which nearly brought the economy down are not fixed. Until the SEC goes after a big fish and we create a more elastic oil demand things can go from good to bad fast. This doesn't mention problems with budget balancing. I for one see a lot of opportunity... interesting investing times ahead.
    17 May 2011, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • Economic Indicators:
    1. Real GDP fell to 1.8% in Q1 v 3.1% Q4
    2. PPI growing at 6.6% annual rate
    3. CPI including food and energy 3.2% latest 12 months.
    4. Dollar declined in the last 12 months more than 9%.
    5. Industrial production down
    6. Retail sales gains flat without auto's and gasoline
    7. Unemployment 8%, and who knows what U-6 unemployment should really be.
    8. Housing prices still going down
    9. Mis-directing zero interest rate policy at the FED will continue to lead to mal-investment and a failure to purge the past bubbles mal-investment.
    10. No end in sight $1.5 Trillion deficits.
    11. Ongoing QE required to fund federal spending
    12. EU leading the way, showing us what will happen because of our debt structure
    13. The only real hope to deal with debt is inflation which will further destroy segments of the economy.
    14. High(est) rates of use of government handouts like unemployment, food stamps, % of people getting government checks
    15. Continuation of government backed mortgages in a falling housing market with only 3.5% down payments
    16. Fed, State and Local government have YET to pull the trigger on their austerity programs since they got the benefit of bailout money last year.
    17. Commercial R/E loans up for reset total more than $2T
    18. Failure of treasury auctions to sell out without FED purchases

  fingers are tired. I'm not planning on any good economic news for...well let's just say years.
    17 May 2011, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Agreed...yet we trudge ahead. Even when you put down a sidewalk grass still seems to grow in the cracks. No matter how hard gov/greed try the free market finds the cracks.
    17 May 2011, 11:54 PM Reply Like
  • The ingenuity of the American people is that we have had more than 200 years of freedom to figure things out and to develop a competency for beating down the obstacles that are thrown in our way. It's like every time they come up with a new tax, someone comes up with a strategy to beat it. That's what gives me hope, is that no matter how inept the boys in DC are, there is always some bright guy somewhere who will find the next best thing that will save us. Stop to consider the innovations that have come from the US in the last 75 years....who else can match one.


    We just need the government to get out of the way. And if they don't...well I guess we'll have to go around or under them.
    18 May 2011, 12:04 AM Reply Like
  • Last I saw, retail sales were quite strong, even ex autos and ex gas:

    18 May 2011, 12:08 AM Reply Like
  • NEWSFLASH: Walmart same store sales in the US are down 2 years in a row as of May 17, 2011.


    People are buying food and not much else. That is a sign of a sick economy. Looks good from far away but up close people are not making it.


    Housing still sucks and energy prices are up.


    Those are the biggest expenditure categories in a household and they are all negative.
    18 May 2011, 12:53 AM Reply Like
  • TVP:


    Alas, you just don't understand the "Walmart effect."


    Time and again, Walmart's sales zoom, in all categories, food included, when times get tough, as many people downgrade their expectations, shopping experience and budgets. When the situations reverse, they migrate back to their regular, usually more expensive, stores. We see the reverse effect with on the performances of high-end retailers, like Nordstrom.


    So, it's no coincidence that Walmart's performance is lagging over the last couple years, as the economy has been improving. The proof that your implied conclusion that everything must be getting worse is incorrect is that if that were so, the other more expensive retailers would be seeing their performances deteriorate even faster than Walmart. Such is not the case.
    18 May 2011, 07:17 AM Reply Like
  • Dont confuse them with the facts, there minds are made up.
    18 May 2011, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Tack:


    Alas but you miss the obvious. And are you implying that Walmart has never grown when the economy has grown?


    Don't get hung up on Walmart as that is just a rough measure of what is going on and nothing to drive economic policy. Overall I am not saying that things are getting worse but I am saying they are not getting materially better except if you are a government employee. The private sector is not that healthy. And the government cannot continue to spend for the next 20 years to make this economy run. DI is being chewed up by rising food and energy costs which are hitting all time highs. Housing sucks which was the consumers biggest savings account. The translation is that standards of living are dropping and our economy should be focused on standards of living not just high level metrics.


    We have a barbell economy where people with educations are doing fine which is good for me so I have no complaints. But I spend the time looking at what is going on downstream with people who don't have educations and it looks bad. Their income is not going up but their expenses are accelerating. The UE rate at 9% is not the true number and everyone knows that. It will be very difficult to get these people off the dole until the private sector really heats up and the private sector has not been driving the growth in the last 3 years. Now with all the talk about taxes and the anti business rhetoric it probably will not grow enough.


    The corporate sector is growing off of foreign earnings and the devalued dollar.


    No time for more but we are becoming old Europe.
    18 May 2011, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Today from Merideth Whitney, "The states have racked up over $1.8 trillion in taxpayer-supported obligations in large part by underfunding their pension and other post-employment benefits. States have grown more dependent on federal subsidies, relying on them for almost 30% of their budgets. The condition of state finances threatens the economic recovery. States employ over 19 million Americans, or 15% of the U.S. work force, and state spending accounts for 12% of U.S. GDP. While over the past 10 years state and local government spending has grown by 65%, tax receipts have grown only by 32%."

    18 May 2011, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • Someone convince me that our national balance sheet with everything loaded on is manageable without default or inflation which is a financial default although not a legal default.


    Only a very robust private economy bordering on hot can work us out of this mess and I don't see it.
    18 May 2011, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • "The rise in gasoline prices could be sapping strength from spending on other goods. Or, weak April retail sales could be due to a payback after earlier strength. We'll know more in the next few months. Total retail & food service sales rose by 0.5% last month after a 0.9% March increase and a 1.3% February gain, both revised up from 0.4% and 1.1%, respectively. The April rise roughly matched Consensus expectations for a 0.6% gain, according to the Action Economics survey. During the last three months, sales rose at an 11.1% annual rate versus a 6.4% increase during all of last year. Excluding autos, sales rose an expected 0.6% last month after an upwardly revised 1.2% March gain. [THIS IS WHY I SAID FLAT - NO CHANGE TO DOWN - WMARKW] During the last three months, nonauto sales rose at a 12.5% annual rate after a 5.7% increase last year."

    18 May 2011, 12:20 AM Reply Like
  • Banks don't fail because they are hell-bent on doing dumb things. Banks fail because of government intervention in the economy. Tariffs, taxes, and internal/external protectionist policies and actions cause banks to fail. The crash of 1929 was not brought on by bank failures, banks failed because of what I just said. The recession of 2008-09 was not brought on by financial institutions, it was brought on by government intervention in the economy as I said above.


    Whether or not the U.S. sinks into a deeper recession won't be determined by the economy, it will be determined by the dumb things the government does.


    All would do well do read this link:
    18 May 2011, 12:54 AM Reply Like
  • Concerning the new SA rating system, to show support for its " Cant we all get along" system I would recommend that all on SA should "Like"every post no matter what, it would render SA system utterly meaningless and cause a migration away from SA to others sites, since we can no longer show our displeasure with a TD we can do it with a TU for all.


    I would only ask that SA provide two TU options "Like" and " Like All" it would save time.
    18 May 2011, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • e:


    Disappointing as the "Im OK, you're OK" system may be, there may be one salutary side effect: Now, when somebody has something genuinely negative to say in reaction to a comment, they are forced to elaborate their position in a reply, rather than merely complain silently, not providing the wisdom of their own rationale.


    In terms of a change in the previous rating system, I had actually suggested to SA that they adopt a measurement system that considered the percentage of thumbs-up to total votes, rather than merely the absolute difference between thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs. This would have better recognized the quality of various commenter's contributions, rather than rewarding volume.


    Instead, in the new voting system, "everybody gets a trophy."
    18 May 2011, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • Im happy to give you a TU for your most recent contribution.


    Though I wasnt aware SA has incorporated a " you must elaborate" function, will they be adding a "thumbs screw" icon :)
    18 May 2011, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • What many of you are missing, or refuse to acknowledge, is the core problem has not been addressed in the old "thumbs rating system" nor the new one.


    The problem with the ratings system is the virus-like invasion of "multiple account fraud". The entire Seeking Alpha rating system has been corrupted now for about half a year. There is a person(s) with multiple profiles (about 20+/-) that loads up's AND down's where they see fit (many "up's" on pro-Bernanke/Keynesian support and many "downs" on anti QE, Bernanke comment). This has dramatically shifted many user "ratings" and skewed the "perception" of public opinion regarding comments.


    On multiple occasions, I have watch my and many other users post comment(s) with reasonably balanced ratings "inflow", only then to watch 10-20 thumbs to flood in a 5-10 minute period. You can literally hit the refresh button and watch them add up that fast. I have also seen weeks of comments get hammered with multiple thumbs all at once. Very obvious and certainly NOT the work of a naturally occurring peer opinion ratings system.


    I've said this prior, ironically it mimics real life markets and their "ratings systems" where only a select few control and skew the perceived reality of a system . Kind of humorous when put into that perspective.
    18 May 2011, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • MG - To fix the abuse SA has to eliminate any form of rating system because as you said it swings both ways. SA changes of late have been perplexing, less appealing and done without explanation. Ive had dozens of my comments deleted from the database, one day XX # next day X#, without any response from SA.


    SA should require a written response with any rating, then only those willing to sit and type and not just click TU or TD will be accepted. This will eliminate the mass rating fraud you speak of. This would also identify those who are on SA just to skew opinions
    18 May 2011, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman,


    This is a fantastic suggestion, and I hope you forward it to the SA staff. I believe all would agree with such a logical fix (well, except for the "thumbs troll" of course).


    If an SA editor/moderator is reading this thread, perhaps you can chime in.
    18 May 2011, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • Gollum, what are you 12 or something?


    You have constructed this amazingly elaborate world where a person or people are out to influence public opinion by "subverting" a reasonably balanced rating inflow...


    Are you kidding? Voting for comments on SA actually matters?


    The opinion of tripleblack and user35732 matter? When they speak - people listen? You are joking right?


    One number counts - net worth - the rest is garbage


    One thing counts - a comment or opinion well argued and based in fact - not the mean spirited one liner garbage or the conspiracy crap about banksters and the rest of the boogeyman that you and the other Glen Back disciples have imagined.


    Anyway that's it for me - I have got to go and update my resume


    SA top 50 Commenter stud boy - has a nice ring to it.


    18 May 2011, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • "One thing counts - a comment or opinion well argued and based in fact"


    Well connie ol' boy looks like you better revise your way of thinking then, cause all my "conspiracy" chatter through the years is coming to the surface as...wait for it....fact. Amazing how that happens when you stay consistent with silly things such as "honesty" and "common sense"
    18 May 2011, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • We used to have a statute devoted to was called RICO. Don't see much of it anymore as the "racket" or "conspiracy" is now all to embedded into the economic structure.
    18 May 2011, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Who the hell has that much time on their hands?
    18 May 2011, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • The chronically unemployable.
    19 May 2011, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • In a sign of SA cooperation, even though I dont know all of you or agree with all of you, I just "Liked" all of you, but found Im not allowed to "like" myself, Ironic dont you think. SA wants me to like everybody but myself!


    Im feeling kinda down because I cant "Like" myself, can somebody give me a TU so I know you like me you really like me!
    18 May 2011, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • e:


    We'll probably discover they have a side business peddling anti-depressants. :-)
    18 May 2011, 08:21 AM Reply Like
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