Today was NFP day. Led by the ADP Report released earlier, the Street consensus was for at least 500,000 jobs lost. The whisper number had a six handle. As we all now know, the US economy lost 345,000 last month. The total for the year is a staggering 3,000,000 jobs lost.
On the news, there was a violent correction in the SP futures as the Street was caught short. But after the fireworks the markets became almost eerily subdued, with the exception of the usual position squaring volume at the end of the day/week. &...
What was missing? The incessant cheerleading that we've seen since the advent of "green shoots." Financial markets had been girding for the NFP number all week. Howev... evolving macro story may be the slow realization this week that in spite of all the jawboning, mostly in the mainstream media via the Administration, the ramifications of this deep recession are beginning to hit home and its not a pretty picture.&n...
This may have been the week that was...
Bernanke's statements did not help the bulls. Geit... was in China where decidedly unsophisticated student investors snickered at his assertions about monetary policy. Cheerleader in Chief spent as much time huddling in private with the Saudi Royal family as he did in public reaching out to the broader Muslim world. (Do we think President Obama was talking about green energy?) And with our three main economic leaders scattered around the globe, the US Dollar swooned.
What we may be seeing are green shoots that are drowning in a sea of US Dollars; $12 Trillion and counting, And perhaps a similar monetization of Obama's political rhetoric.
Since the inaugural, when we're not hearing from the President, in more speeches, remarks, cabinet room meetings, political rallies and major policy addresses than I can count, we're hearing from a bevy of Administration officials. Not just the usual suspects mind you, but from people like the VIce President's economist. We've heard more from the Vice President's economist than the Vice President. I'm not sure I've ever heard from a Vice President's economist before the Obama Administration.
Words are beginning to lose meaning as economic facts are carrying the day. Deficits matter. The value of the US Dollar against gold, oil, key global commodities and other world currencies matters. The budget matters. A GM bankruptcy, no matter how its characterized, matters. We cannot keep printing money indefinitely.
Even Congressmen and Senators, no strangers to foolish economic statements, have been increasingly rather quiet. I haven't seen the Speaker of the House near a microphone in a while. I've almost forgotten what Harry Reid looks like. Perhaps they’re listening to the voices in their States and districts and not the drone of federalism is the answer…
It seems like the Republicans have discovered the virtue of fewer words. Of course that doesn't include the daily ramblings of Rush Limbaugh. However, as long as the Democrats keep singling out Rush as their attack point, their lightening rod, attacks against him will also lose their traction. (How many times can MSNBC keep giving Rush free TV time?)
Personal popularity and political charisma, indeed even genuine political theater, are not enough to get through this dreadful economic cycle. Bi-partisanship will carry the day. Sensible, balanced approaches to problems, not statements that are echoes of the campaign trail are what’s needed now.
Green energy is an important long term goal, but its not viable right now. Oil is power. And if the US is to remain the world's number one economic power we are going to burn more oil and generate more electric power from coal, gas and nuclear than any other country on earth.
We must not federalize key elements of the American free enterprise system. The federal answer to a problem is rarely the best answer. Dismantling American risk taking, American entrepreneursism and putting workers on the federal dole is about as regressive as it gets. If you want to see what it looks like, take a gander at Europe. As bad as things are here, they're worse in the Eurozone.
We are in competition with China for industrial superiority in the world. Each time we forfeit our manufacturing base to the Chinese we allow a communist country to gain at our expense. Restructuring GM and Chrysler is one thing, selling an American brand like Hummer to the Chinese for a song is just stupid.
Does any American think the Chinese would sell part of their industrial base to us? In front of a camera, American business leaders speak about the wonders of Chinese economic growth. Behind the scenes they bristle at how closed Chinese markets really are.
Rather than turning to Uncle Sam for answers, and a job, the absence of cheerleading after another tough economic week may be the beginning of the realization that America’s strength stares back at us every day in the mirror, not from the Congress, not from the Federal Reserve, and not from a federal system that we empower.
Three hundred million people working in the most dynamic free enterprise system ever conceived is the answer. Lets stop wallowing in what didn’t work. Lets stop apologizing to the world. Lets square accounts and get going. We are not going to solve this problem by federalizing it, or monetizing it. And we should be ashamed of ourselves, and our generation, (including our political leaders) if we attempt to live our lives by making things harder for our children and our children’s children.
Fewer Dollars, less debt, less talk, more free enterprise.