Saturday, June 6, 2009

Baffle 'em with BS!

Greetings good citizen,

The ‘meathead markets’ closed ‘mixed today with the Dow climbing a few points while the S&P and the Nasdaq both lost ground.

Perhaps more, er, ‘astounding’ is today’s unemployment report, where the BLS ‘birth/death model’ shaved not a couple or three thousand from the ‘rough’ (new claims) unemployment number but a whopping 220,000!

The major automakers shuttered over the past couple of weeks, what, some 3,000 dealerships between them? Okay, they didn’t all fall dead when they got their letter but given the automotive ‘climate’ out there, it is doubtful that ‘floundering’ dealers kept bleeding cash once they learned their ‘franchise’ had been cancelled.

Then there are the ‘furlough’s’, some for as long as eleven weeks being imposed by both Chrysler and GM…who seriously thinks more than a handful of these laid off workers are EVER going to return to work?

How many workers at GM & Chrysler’s 11,000 plus suppliers have been ‘furloughed’, many of them permanently?

Well, the ‘gross’ unemployment figure was 565,000 minus the 220,000 the BLS thinks ‘started their own companies’ and we arrive at 345,000.

Um this ‘green shoots’ nonsense was born of last months’ ‘better than expected’ unemployment numbers.

Sadly good citizen, it’s far from over, in fact its only just begun!

There was another interesting ‘statistic’ reported today but again we only have the statistic. Another ‘green shoot’ has been sighted, the number of overall unemployment claims dropped by 15,000 for the first time in six months…also, coincidentally, the average length of an unemployment claim.

Did these intrepid 15,000 find jobs over the month of May or did they merely exhaust their claims?

I’m here to tell you bubba, there ain’t no jobs…so it’s sure looking like exhausted claims to me.

So we arrive at tonight’s offering where the fact I share above are ignored and these idiots wonder why advertisers are fleeing print media in droves!

Joblessness Hits 9.4%, but Slowing Losses Raise Hopes

Economists described the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, released Friday, as an unambiguous sign of improvement, yet also clear evidence of broadening national distress, as millions of households grapple with joblessness and lost working hours.

The fact that a report showing the highest unemployment rate in more than a quarter-century was embraced optimistically [by Wall Street] testified to the stark fears over the economy in recent months.

“The free fall that the job market was in does finally appear to be tapering off,” said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “It’s the prelude to an economic and job recovery later this year.” [Yeah, and the housing crisis wasn’t going to impact the ‘real economy’ either…fucking liars!]

Although stock markets shrugged off the report, interest rates on government debt surged, hitting their highest levels in six months, as investors bet that inflationary pressure would accompany any recovery. [You don’t suppose that ‘bet’ is being made by the same ‘speculators’ that are driving oil prices to the stratosphere…AGAIN! Do you?]

The Obama administration pointed to the slowdown in job losses as proof that its $787 million package of spending measures was stimulating the economy. [Which is bizarre because only 50 billion has actually been disbursed to date…]

“Today is a sign that we are making progress,” said Christina Romer, a White House economic adviser. [If the ‘goal’ is bankrupting the nation, I’d have to agree!]

But experts emphasized that the slowing pace of deterioration did not alter the reality that the economy remained very weak. [Up is down and down is up…if you slide you hands into your back pockets, do they cover your ass?]

“These are still terrible numbers,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics. “We’re a million miles away from a recovery.” [Finally, a ‘voice of truth’…probably just talking his ‘book’ but anyway.]

Rather than a sign of renewed vigor, the May jobs report suggests merely the end of panic unleashed last fall, when the investment house Lehman Brothers crumbled, freezing credit through much of the economy. [Excuse me? We lost 3 million jobs BECAUSE Lehman Bros bit the dust? I want some of what they’re smokin’!]

“That wild disgorging of inventories and workers that we saw in the aftermath of Lehman, what you’re seeing is the reversal of that dynamic,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “You had companies throughout the world that suddenly had serious concerns about access to capital, and they slashed spending and cut workers well beyond any connection to demand. There’s now a better tone to the data.” [Um, from the data we’ve seen so far, nobody is guilty of shedding too many workers that resulted in a failure to meet demand. Recent retail figures prove demand is still tanking…or do these assholes think we’ve forgotten what was reported only a couple of days ago?]

But if primal fear has ended, comfort is nowhere to be found. Home prices appear to have hit bottom in some areas of the country, [Another bald faced lie!] but construction remains weak. The auto industry and retailing remain in distress. The job market is likely to remain in the doldrums for many months, Mr. Barbera said. [Try ‘years’ Bubba!]

A home foreclosure crisis is growing, thus far unchecked by an Obama administration program aimed at stemming the problem. As more foreclosed properties land on markets, real estate prices are falling further, adding to the losses and uncertainties confronting banks. [How can these morons contradict themselves like this in a matter of a couple of sentences? The paragraph directly above this one claims a ‘housing bottom’, WTF!]

“That’s now the most significant threat to the economic recovery,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s

For more than a decade, economic growth and attendant American job opportunities [Excuse me, where have I been for ‘the past decade?’] were fueled by swelling wealth and liberal access to credit. As home prices soared, homeowners availed themselves of myriad forms of credit that turned increased real estate values into cash. They sprinkled those funds on an array of industries, generating jobs from auto factories and lumber mills to construction companies and restaurants. [Oh, I remember, I’ve been living in the Republican run state that ranked 49th in job creation for the past decade!]

Now, as paychecks disappear and home prices fall, people are increasingly inclined to save — a rough transition in a country in which consumer spending makes up roughly 70 percent of economic activity. [Um, not for nothing but that figure SHOULD be less than 50% and until they ‘changed’ how that figure was calculated, it was as high as 83%…]

“People are not going to be moving forward based on housing wealth, and they’re not going to be taking on debt,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute in Washington. “They’ve got to get wage growth.” [Yet out-sourcing proceed apace…]

Yet wage growth has been stagnating even as gasoline and medical costs rise, putting pressure on household finances. Average hourly wages were 3.1 percent higher last month than they were in May 2008, but the month-to-month increases in April and May were just 0.1 percent, to a seasonally adjusted $18.54, from $18.52, according to the Labor Department. Wages for manufacturing workers fell 0.1 percent. [Tell me about it, I’m lucky to be offered what I used to make in 1989!]

The jobs report presented a statistical puzzle. After shedding an average of more than 700,000 jobs each month during the first quarter, the economy lost 504,000 jobs in April, according to revised data, and the number was smaller still in May. Yet the unemployment rate leapt from an already high 8.9 percent, reinforcing fears it would reach double digits. [This is true, there is something ‘wrong’ with this month’s figures as far as the unemployment ‘percentage’ goes…]

This disconnect owes to the way in which the government collects data. The number of jobs comes from a survey of employers, while the unemployment data is derived from a survey of households. In April and May, the number of people who told surveyors they were actively looking for work increased by more than one million. These people would have previously been considered outside the work force and thus excluded from the unemployment calculation. Now, they are officially back in the hunt, yet struggling to secure work. [Methinks rising prices is pressuring ‘marginalized’ workers to renew the hunt for more income…]

Manufacturers cut 156,000 jobs in May, with worse on the way: General Motors announced plans this week to close or idle 14 American plants, imperiling as many as 20,000 workers. [When it’s all said and done, GM USA will likely be lucky to still employ 20,000 US workers…total. Worse, most of those 20,000 will be in management!]

Construction jobs fell by 59,000, though that was a marked improvement from just a month ago, when employment in that industry sank by 108,000 jobs.

Professional and business services shed 51,000 jobs, though that represented a slower pace of losses than in recent months. Health care remained a rare bright spot, adding 23,500 jobs. Restaurants and bars added nearly 9,000 jobs.

The economy has lost six million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, and some economists anticipate two million more to come. Even after the economy resumes growth — perhaps later this year — businesses will probably be conservative, cognizant that credit is relatively tight, and consumers will be inclined to save. Instead of hiring full-time workers, many may rely on temporary employees or add hours for existing employees. [Um, we, that vast majority of us, cannot afford another ‘jobless’ recovery. Despite how the government ‘measures’ unemployment, we are rapidly approaching the point where 50% of all working aged citizens are ‘jobless’.]

“The jobless rate is going to continue to rise,” said Bernard Baumohl, managing director of the Economic Outlook Group. “It’s a dismal job market. It’s going to remain awful, easily for the balance of this year. Even when the economy begins to recover, we might be witnessing the mother of all jobless recoveries.” [Can you say ‘widespread civil unrest’? I knew you could!]

That would keep the pressure on the seven million Americans who have been out of work for 15 weeks or longer.

Since losing his job as a legal courier in February, Dante Whitfield, 35, has been riding the bus around San Jose, Calif., in a futile quest for work, subsisting on unemployment checks and the Value Menu at McDonald’s.

“There’s days I come home in tears,” Mr. Whitfield said. “You just feel lost. You don’t know what to do.”

Well Dante, I hate to be the one to tell you this but capitalism isn’t about ‘full employment’, it’s about profits for shareowners.

Worse, the things that ‘need doing’ but can’t be done ‘profitably’. Well, the tax base that pays for these ‘unprofitable but necessary’ occupations is ‘tapped out’ too.

What I’m saying here is the system itself is ‘fatally flawed’. How long do you suppose those the system excludes as ‘superfluous’ will sit idle, waiting for what they know isn’t going to happen?

Put that shoe on the other foot…how long will you wait?

Patience is a virtue but you can very easily be ‘patienced to death’.

Wait too long and you won’t be able to help yourself.

The clock is ticking good citizen and we’re down to a few short weeks before the whole thing blows apart.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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