Friday, January 29, 2010

That's Incredible!

Greetings good citizen,

Most of you know what’s on tap for tonight… What fresh Orwellian hell is this?

Earlier this week I cautioned you to read the offering with that catchy little tune that pops into our heads with most MSM reports, “Listen to the bull shit fly,” apparently they can’t get enough of it, or they really do think you’re so stupid that you’ll swallow anything!

Anyway, the markets have closed for the week and it appears that it was Europe’s turn to be ‘out of synch’ with the rest of the world. After spending most of the day in positive territory, US markets ended in negative territory. Which only adds to the ‘conundrum’ of such an, er, ‘optimistic’ GDP report.

U.S. Economy Grew at Fastest Pace in 6 Years Last Quarter

Published: January 29, 2010

The United States economy grew at its fastest pace in over six years at the end of 2009, but a sluggish job market is still souring economists on the sustainability of the recovery. [What smacks you in the eye here is the total absence of proof of an uptick in economic activity. It appears GDP reporting has gone the way of consumer price inflation measurements and unemployment statistics…they ‘are’ whatever they say they ‘are’ and have no discernable basis in reality.]

Gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter, well above analysts’ and any sane persons’ expectations. It had grown at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent in the previous quarter. [Revised down from the originally reported 3.5%] Analysts had forecast annualized growth of 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter, and the better-than-expected result sent stocks higher when trading opened on Wall Street. [So we return to yesterday’s statement that the market ‘responds’ to influences that are not necessarily ‘fact based’…making the nature of money itself ‘questionable’…]

“It was an excellent report, but it’s not clear how sustainable this pace of growth is,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. [ John who?] “We need numbers like this for the next two years, and I just don’t think we can achieve that.” [And we should care what he thinks, why?]

The biggest lift to economic activity came because businesses ran down their stockrooms at a much slower rate than they had earlier in the year. The change in inventories added 3.39 percentage points to the fourth-quarter change. [Oh, that clears up the whole thing! Which is to say are you fucking jerking me? How the fuck does slower inventory turnover create higher GDP unless the morons are measuring it wrong? Anyone want to take a stab at that? Bueller? anyone? Bueller?]

Slower inventory liquidation is not the most promising way to guarantee growth going forward, [Can we get a no shit!] but economists are hoping that once companies become more confident about the recovery, they may ramp up production to refill stockroom shelves. [WTF! Talk about ‘wing and a prayer’!]

“What goes down wildly has to go up at a pretty good clip,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at ITG. [Again with ‘the who’ and ‘the why’?]

Still, many economists worry more about trends in final sales to consumers and businesses.

Consumer spending grew at an annualized pace of 2 percent in the fourth quarter, after an increase of 2.8 percent in the third quarter. That is better than many had feared when the quarter began, considering that the cash-for-clunkers program was no longer around to help stimulate spending.

But consumer spending has still been disappointing to many economists, given the trends in previous recoveries. In the past, housing and consumption often helped drive growth in the wake of a recession. [Yeah…but that was then and this is now. Until the fucktards stop shipping jobs overseas the economy won’t have a prayer of righting itself, not now, not ever!]

Without the benefit of similarly bombastic inventory changes, many economists are expecting tepid growth in the quarters ahead. Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics, expects output to expand by a mere 1 or 2 percent, at an annualized rate, this quarter and next. [So what the fuck is this 5.7% bullshit all about? I’m still baffled as to how this was achieved via ‘slower’ inventory reduction rates…sounds more like an accounting problem!]

The biggest challenge going forward is the job market.

“Our focus must remain on getting Americans back to work,” Christina Romer, chairwoman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement. “That G.D.P. rose strongly in the fourth quarter of last year while employment fell and the workweek increased only slightly emphasizes the need for policy actions designed to help spur private-sector job creation.”

Also on Friday, the Obama administration released details of a proposed tax cut for businesses that hire workers or raise wages, a policy intended to encourage companies to start investing more in their workers.On net, the economy lost 208,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last quarter, and the unemployment rate rose to 10 percent. As long as the labor market remains weak, consumers — whose purchases make up the bulk of economic output each quarter — will be reluctant to spend money. That means businesses will need to look for other sources of demand, like exports.

Perhaps the most promising trend, at least for job growth, to come out of Friday’s report was the pickup in equipment and software spending.

Businesses increased their investment in these areas at an annualized rate of 13.3 percent last quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

“Businesses that are spending more on equipment and software probably going to be hiring more as well,” said Nigel Gault, chief United States economist for IHS Global Insight. “If we see more hiring, that means we may see more consumer spending, too.” [This asshole we’ve heard of, but it seems he’s ignorant of the concept of replacing outdated technology…which doesn’t add a single US job…in fact it usually eliminates a couple.]

Total government spending fell slightly, by an annualized rate of 0.1 percent, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, largely thanks to declines in military spending and state and local government spending.

Federal nonmilitary spending rose at an annual rate of 8.1 percent last quarter, after rising 7 percent the previous quarter.

International trade over all increased last quarter, and exports grew nearly twice as fast as imports, helped along by a relatively weak dollar. [Too bad our main exports are food and raw materials that we no longer process here. The drop in imports isn’t necessarily ‘good news’ either as it is due to our being unable to pay for more useless dreck, thanks to weakness in the overall economy.]

The G.D.P. number is a broad measure of the economy’s total output of goods and services. While it is, by definition, a backward-looking figure, analysts watch it to get a sense of where the country may be headed.

The number can be subject to major revisions, especially when the economy is at a turning point. The annual growth rate initially reported by the government for the third quarter of 2009 was 3.5 percent, but was later revised to less-impressive 2.2 percent.

The government’s final figure for last quarter’s G.D.P. will be released in March.

What can you say good citizen, when they ‘cook the books’ they don’t do it halfway, do they? Guess this brings us to the hallmark of neo-conservative philosophy, ‘if you’re going to lie, lie big!’

Which brings us to another chilling reality: After a certain point it is no longer possible to discern the truth, regardless of the source.

When trust breaks down to the point you can only moderately trust the people you have intimate interactions with (you know them quite well) and you don’t dare trust anyone else, the world becomes one huge armed camp.

The establishment of the ‘rule of law’ was supposed to put these fears to rest, but now the criminals have taken over the machinery of the law. It can no longer be trusted.

Now there’s a ‘pendulum’ that literally ‘snaps’ back and forth between extremes, a ‘squeaky clean’ legal apparatus prosecutes everyone for everything until the message is clear that one had best not even appear to step out of line for fear of some very real consequences.

That’s the ‘trouble’ with the law, either it works too well or it doesn’t work at all.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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