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  • Stock and commodity futures are under significant pressure as a relatively quiet overnight session turns volatile. Dow -0.9% to 10295. S&P -1% to 1093. Nasdaq -1%.
    Crude -1.6% to $72.71. Gold -1.6% to $1,146.
    30-year Tsy +0.6% to 119-27. 10-year +0.56%. 5-year +0.36%. 2-year +0.13%.
    Euro -0.5% vs. dollar. Yen +1.1%. Pound -1%.  [View news story]
    Why is the dollar rising?...there is nothing to back it is so debt laden, backed by other debt laden countries (ex. Japan) it is worthless.

    Plus with the $13 TRILLION the govt has been pumping into the's like a massive ponzi scheme.

    March 31 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

    New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.
    Dec 8, 2009. 08:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sources say U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg will exempt some AIG (AIG) executives from a $500,000 salary cap after at least five employees threatened to quit. Feinberg said in October (.pdf) base salaries wouldn't exceed $500K except in cases where there was "good cause" to pay more.  [View news story]
    Wow...the pay czar position just got neutered.
    Dec 8, 2009. 08:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ICSC Retail Store Sales: -1.3% W/W and +2.6% Y/Y, down from -0.1% and +3.1% last week. ICSC warns of (hopes for?) a last-minute shopping rush, but maybe people really are just giving cash.  [View news story]
    This is why unemployment is now a leading indicator.
    Dec 8, 2009. 08:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Friday's Jobs Report and the Week Ahead [View article]
    I disagree that unemployment is a lagging indicator. When too many are out of work and our 70% consumer economy continues to slide down (ICSC Store sales -1.3% during the holiday!) it begins to impact future production, shipping, sales, etc..

    Employment didn't improve the number of unemployed shrank due to being dropped from the count. The 55-64 age group is retiring early due to no jobs, thus not being counted. The 16-24 group isn't counted since they have never been employed. Size of labor force continues to shrink, the size of those 'not in labor force' continues to rise (at twice the rate the size of labor force shrinks). Ignoring the unemployment situation is why Wall Street has disconnected from Main Street.

    I'll keep saying this:
    The reason the numbers changed:
    Civilian Labor force (total employed and unemployed):
    Sept Oct Nov
    154.0 mil 153.9 mil 153.8 mil (shrinking month to month)
    Sept-Nov Size of labor force decreased by ~ 200,000

    Not in Labor force (NILF) no longer counted
    Sept Oct Nov
    82.3 mil 82.5 mil 82.8 mil (growing month to month)
    Sept-Nov NILF increased by ~ 500,000

    Fewer unemployed are counted...they are dropped from the rate, thus it 'appears' unemployment is going down, when in reality these people are discarded.
    Dec 8, 2009. 07:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial Conditions Almost Back to Normal [View article]
    The 'new normal' has been declared:
    - 10-17% unemployment (or higher depending on how you look at the numbers).

    - Ballooning government debt (see Japan for an example).

    - US falls to Japan status or worse (majority of Japan's debt held domestically versus US hels externally...thus easily manipulated by foreign governments).

    -oligarchy in control (Fed and Friends) and traders too high on making money day to day to care about the longer term (5-10 yr) implications.

    - possible worldwide agreement to renegotiate debt?

    -BIC the new power group (Russia has too many internal problems to be included)
    Dec 7, 2009. 07:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As Unemployment Appears to Crest, Monetary Policy Reaches Critical Juncture [View article]
    The reason the numbers changed:
    Civilian Labor force (total employed and unemployed):
    Sept Oct Nov
    154.0 mil 153.9 mil 153.8 mil (shrinking month to month)
    Sept-Nov Size of labor force decreased by ~ 200,000

    Not in Labor force (NILF) no longer counted
    Sept Oct Nov
    82.3 mil 82.5 mil 82.8 mil (growing month to month)
    Sept-Nov NILF increased by ~ 500,000

    Fewer unemployed are counted...they are dropped from the rate, thus it 'appears' unemployment is going down, when in reality these people are discarded.
    Dec 7, 2009. 07:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Market Notes: Jobs Summit a Success - Just Look at Employment Numbers [View article]
    How about showing a total number of those 'no longer in workforce'? The government is merely peeling a larger percentage of unemployed from the stats making it appear the unemployment rate is going down. It seems they really are trying to talk their way our of this recession. 'Convince people everything is better and it will be.'
    This tells me that the economy is so bad nothing can be done. Our debt insurmountable, similar to Japan, that this is the new normal everything is ok level."
    Dec 7, 2009. 06:16 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Japan Going to Stop Buying Our Debt? [View article]
    How exactly does one buy debt with debt? Japan's debt to GDP ratio (+180%) is off the chart compared to ours. When exactly does someone somewhere say, " guys are broke." ? Our debt is backed by even larger debt. Seems more like fraud to me.
    Dec 7, 2009. 06:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "This kind of looks like a buying stampede ... It's just an awful popular trade." - One of a number of investment chiefs who have begun cutting holdings in gold and miners to take profits.  [View news story]
    buy on the dip. It will go back up when all the temp jobs get dumped in the new year. I'm sort of surprised people didn't realize that the drop in unemployment was due to fewer unemployed being counted (291,000 'no longer in workforce' for Nov alone!..ouches), not fewer actually unemployed.
    Dec 5, 2009. 03:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Another V-Sign [View article]
    The job numbers were NOT good. What changed to make them 'appear' good was the terrible statistic that 291,000 are 'no longer in the labor force'. They reduced the number of unemployed by dropping them from the count.

    Simple math:
    You have a hundred people in the total workforce and 10 of them are unemployed. Thus your unemployment rate is 10%.
    If 1 of the unemployed gives up looking for a job and is no longer counted. 1 of the employed gets laid off and decides to retire, go back to school, etc. and is no longer counted.
    Your unemployment rate has dropped to 8.82%. You merely removed a larger percentage of unemployed from your total population not reduced the number of unemployed. Though on the surface the situation appears to have improved, it actually got worse. This situation is easily counted by the continued loss of payroll taxes. The number of payroll taxes filed by employers continues to drop. Frankly, I would love to see the total number from the government over time. This would give us a much clearer picture instead of the 'survey' used.
    Dec 5, 2009. 07:53 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A costly failure No. 128 for banks as 66-branch AmTrust Bank of Cleveland, the 120-year-old former Ohio Savings Bank, is seized at a cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund of an estimated $2B. AmTrust's parent company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.  [View news story]
    Guess the FDIC slides a little deeper into the red.
    Dec 4, 2009. 09:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Report: An Actual Green Shoot [View article]
    The reason the numbers went down was the size of the total workforce shrank.

    Civilian labor force shrank by 98,000 (these people no longer counted).

    The total of 'not in labor force' spiked 291,000.

    Political Math explains it best:

    Let’s say we have 20 people in the workforce and 2 of them fit the technical definition for unemployed, which means that they’re actively looking for work. That gives us an unemployment rate of 10%.

    Now, let’s say one of the unemployed people got tired of being unemployed and decided to go back to school. She has now removed herself from the labor force, so we don’t count her when we count unemployed people. Let’s also say that one of the employed people lost his job and instead of looking for a new one, he decided to simply retire.

    As you can see we haven’t added any jobs… in fact we have fewer jobs than we did before. But we took a higher percentage of people out of the “unemployed” group than we did out of the “employed” group. It’s now 1 person unemployed and 17 people employed. We’ve “slashed” the unemployment rate to 5.5%.
    Dec 4, 2009. 03:23 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, An Encouraging Jobs Report [View article]
    I'm sort of surprised the market didn't jump 200. If you take away yesterdays down turn we are only up, what 40pts?

    Think investors know this is temporary (like the jobs that increased).

    What makes me scratch my head is payroll take in by the govt continues to fall. This suggests more people (more than 11,000) lost jobs.

    But I'm no expert.
    Dec 4, 2009. 10:35 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A surprising nonfarm payrolls number, with unemployment dropping to 10%, spurs markets in Europe and futures in the U.S.: Benchmark S&P futures +1.2%, Dow futures +1.1%, Nasdaq +1.1%. Factory orders coming up at 10:00.  [View news story]
    Wonder how long the temp jobs number will stay up? This just a Holiday season hike or something more?
    Dec 4, 2009. 09:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nov. Nonfarm Payrolls: -11K vs. -125K expected, -111K in October (revised from -190K). Unemployment 10% vs. 10.2% expected and prior. Avg. hourly earnings $18.74 vs. $18.72 prior. Overall workweek 33.2 hours vs. 33 prior.  [View news story]
    How the heck did they get that number?
    Dec 4, 2009. 08:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment