Friday, June 4, 2010

What are we doing?

Greetings good citizen,

In what might best be described ‘disturbing’ the markets are currently crashing (Down over 200 points) on the ‘news’ that the ‘big employment numbers’ posted for the month of May are less ‘promising’ than previously advertised.

Understand that just days ago the market ‘rallied’ over 200 points on ‘rumors’ of the, er, pretty fucking poor job market performance relative to the size of the labor force.

After a solid year of ‘down’ the job markets posted a relatively ‘tiny’ gain largely due to the once a decade ‘census’. These are jobs that will disappear next month (maybe the assholes will mange to spin that into a rally too…)

If it hasn’t been made abundantly clear, the performance of the ‘markets’ has absolutely nothing to do with conditions on Main Street. Why these assholes deserve billion dollar bonuses is totally beyond comprehension!

I think we all know exactly what they ‘deserve’ and they deserve it so richly that they should be given it on national TV!

My dear mother, may she rest in peace, always said, when what is passed off as the truth deviates too far from the average person’s reality, the seeds of revolution are sown!

Try not to get any on you…

Let us proceed with tonight’s first offering

SP Daily Chart: Looking Ugly

By now you will have heard about the shocking miss on the US Payrolls Number, made more shocking by the cheerleading that preceded it by the likes of Goldman Sachs and even by Barack Obama himself.

The administration had nothing constructive to say this morning except for mindless sloganeering by the likes of Christina Romer, Obama's chief on the Council of Economic Advisor, who is unlikely to inspire confidence when delivering even good news, much less a clear sign of a double dip in the making.

With Romer, Summers, and Geithner, the President has managed to put together the economic scream team. Even Volcker is looking tired and ineffective. His proposal of a VAT, the most regressive of taxes, sounded less like a democratic reform and more like something from the Bilderberg playbook.

And then there is Obama himself, who sounded this morning like Baghdad Barack when speaking about the economy. It was obvious he was going to try and talk himself out of yet another misstep in a remarkable bluff, something that may have worked for him in the past when he was not responsible for any quantifiable results. But now he is, and he looks short performance and long rhetoric.

It looks like the SP futures may be forming a bear flag, with another big step down to follow. That would be 'bad news' because below the support at 1040 is a disturbing possibility of a triple digit SP 500.

Um, Traders can be so ‘melodramatic’ sometimes…999 are still ‘triple digits’, just as 101 is.
The disturbing thing here is nobody the general public is largely ignorant as to what the S&P 500 standing at 1040 means.

Quad digits are obviously superior to triple digits but where ‘should’ the number be? What does it indicate? Admit it good citizen, 99% of us are absolutely clueless when it comes to ‘economic indicators’, which is why they can screw with them and nobody’s the wiser!

I’ll spare you the globalization diatribe and the lecture on the constantly shifting basket of items being measured (which, naturally, totally distorts/confounds the whole idea of economic measurements!)

Needless to say, the situation is far worse than it appears and it is, as always, incumbent upon YOU to sort out the ‘spin’ from the tiny nuggets of truth…such as they are.

Worse, what you THINK you know is ‘suspect’ at best too…

That said, let us proceed to tonight’s second offering , where the slippery MSM tries to ‘save face’.

U.S. Adds Jobs in May, but Private Hiring Disappoints

Published: June 4, 2010

Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month in a decade, the Labor Department said Friday. But the bulk of the growth was in government jobs, driven by hiring for the 2010 census, and private-sector job growth was weak.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent nationwide, from 9.9 percent in April, the department said.

The figures for May represented the fifth consecutive month that payrolls have risen, but fell below analysts’ expectations that 540,000 jobs would be added to the economy. Most of the private-sector gains were in manufacturing, but over all, the figures suggest that non-government hiring was weak. [Did overseas hiring plans fall short? Because you know domestic hiring is flat, at best. Talk about lying with statistics, the increased production of US Company’s foreign subsidiaries is counted as domestic productivity gains! It is akin to adding a step to put a label on imports that says ‘assembled in the USA’ when the only thing that was ‘assembled’ here was the fucking sticker! Worse, then the product is added to our GDP as ‘domestic production! Sound far-fetched? Remember, these are the same people who ‘permit’ the banking sector to ‘pretend’ the mortgages on their books are worth more than they really are so they don’t have to declare bankruptcy!]

Altogether, 411,000 of the jobs added were for census workers whose positions will disappear after the summer. [So, that means the ‘private sector’ added 20,000 jobs ‘nationwide’ for an entire fucking month! Color me very unimpressed! Did I mention capitalism has failed and these job numbers are proof? The real question here, good citizen, is how long can they keep this farce up? (Because when, not if, the wheels come flying off, you WILL be the first to know! You’ll know it’s gonzo long before the MSM even hints anything is amiss!)]

President Obama tried to put a positive spin on the jobs report, telling workers at a trucking company in Hyattsville, Md., that the addition of 431,000 new jobs in May demonstrated that the economy was “getting stronger by the day.”

Mr. Obama acknowledged that temporary workers for the Census Bureau accounted for many of the additional jobs, but he said that hiring in the private sector was also growing. He noted that there has been jobs growth for the last five months.

“These numbers do mean that we are moving in the right direction,” Mr. Obama said. But, he added: “There are going to be some ups and downs.”

In April, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 290,000, but the unemployment rate rose that month because of a surge in the labor force. [Um, it has since been ‘confirmed’ that a majority of these ‘alleged’ new jobs were created not by the economy but by the BLS’s ‘birth/death model…and they exist only as ‘projections’, they can’t be found in the ‘real economy’.]

“The U.S. employment data was disappointing,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, in a statement. Mr. Chandler noted that private-sector job creation, a crucial measure, reached only 41,000, compared with expectations for 180,000 and a three-month moving average of 155,600.

“The fact that the unemployment rate ticked down is not really good news,” he added, “as the decline in unemployment was not a function of more jobs but a reflection of people leaving the work force.”

The May figures suggest that the job market still has a long way to go. The economy has to add more than 100,000 jobs every month to absorb the new entrants to the market. And they are joining a labor pool that is already swollen with 15 million Americans looking for work. [What should baffle most of us is not that friggin long ago, the monthly number stood at 150,000, so what are the fucking lying weasels trying to pull? Or is this another instance of, ‘What are YOU going to DO about it?’]

More than eight million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007. [And a vast majority of those jobs are NEVER coming back!]

“These new data do not present a picture of a healthy private-sector growth, and nothing closely resembling the job growth needed to dig us out of our very deep hole,” Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement.

In addition, the quality of the jobs was important as well.

“You would need to be producing 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month to be making a dent in this,” said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for Channel Capital Research.

“If you are getting people back to work but they are earning less, they are spending less,” Mr. Roberts said. “It does not affect the underlying condition.”

Economists are hoping that the recovery of the job market will lead to improved consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy. [Which is actually a bizarre statement, it ‘should be’ only 50% and that is at ‘full employment’. Understand that the 70% figure has 50% of the workforce unemployed!]

But there are issues of how sustainable the job growth is. The Labor Department report said that private-sector job growth was strongest in the temporary help and manufacturing sectors. There was a net gain of 31,000 temporary service jobs in May, meaning employers are not entirely convinced they want to commit to permanent hires. And the census positions are temporary.

Employment by all levels of government rose by 390,000 in May. Jobs with state and local governments, which are grappling with budget cuts and the prospect of job losses, decreased by 22,000 in May.

Analysts said that the figures for May showed how important government spending has been in supporting the domestic economy.

“Without the government, the total number of payrolls would have barely increased by enough to cover population growth,” said Guy LeBas, the chief fixed-income strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott, in a research note.

The new job figures suggest that there are still headwinds to face, some of them from abroad, as the [alleged] economic recovery progresses.

One area of potential growth is in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers are slowly making gains in their businesses and that could lead to an uptick in future hiring. [What is not ‘clearly defined here is what is considered ‘manufacturing’ these days? Does ‘building sandwiches’ count as ‘manufacturing’, does building ‘microbes’ count?]

The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, a trade association, said this week that the sector was rebounding, based on low consumer inventories and strong gains in exports. Manufacturers are “bullish on job growth in a sector that is not known for job creation,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, the group’s chief economist. “The supply-chain pipeline is filling with orders and manufacturing firms are reluctantly, but out of necessity, adding staff,” he said. [Having the title ‘economist’ attached to his name automatically makes anything he says a total fabrication…maybe this is where the alleged ‘uptick’ in manufacturing is coming from! Everybody’s broke, what ‘supply chain is nitwit babbling about? The top 20% of the income distribution does not the whole economy make!]

Investors have been watching the job figures for signs of health in the economic recovery. Corporate earnings for the first quarter have been generally stronger than expected, which raises hopes for more jobs. But there are still uncertainties from the European debt crisis hanging over the financial sector, and how that will affect credit availability. A further strengthening of the dollar could lead to export stagnation and hit the bottom line of companies that rely on sales abroad. [Not to mention what this will do to domestic hiring. It doesn’t matter if you’re starving to death, the people up top’s large paychecks continue to make you ‘un-competitive’.]

President Obama called for an extension of unemployment benefits, and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis called on Congress to also extend health coverage. [How long can this go on before we end up like Zimbabwe? Naturally, ‘the alternative’ is far worse!]

“We continue to push for programs to help unemployed workers make it through this difficult time,” Ms. Solis said in a statement. “I call on Congress to extend the unemployment insurance and COBRA subsidy provisions in the Recovery Act through the end of the year.”

The Labor Department figures show that the number of those unemployed for a long time continued to grow. Almost 6.8 million had been out of work for more than six months in May, and the average length of time that people remained out of work grew to 34.4 weeks, up from 33 weeks in April. When that figure reached 31.2 weeks in March, it represented the longest period since 1948, when the government started to keep track of such records.

The so-called underemployment rate, however, fell to 16.6 percent in May from 17.1 percent in April. The rate includes people with jobs whose hours have been cut, and those who accepted part-time jobs because they could not full-time work. The rate was 16.9 percent in March.

That means 8.8 million people were working part-time in May who preferred full-time work, compared with 9.15 million in April. [Couple of hundred thousand here, a couple of hundred thousand there and pretty soon we’re talking serious numbers here!]

Anthony Watler of Rosedale, Queens, might find himself in that category. This week Mr. Watler, 58, put on a fresh shirt and suit and went to a Suffolk County job fair to look for work as an accountant, a job he lost when he was laid off in 2008, earning $80,000 a year.

After working in a temporary part-time job, Mr. Watler went on unemployment in January and uses the $425 a month in benefits while drawing down from his retirement account to make monthly mortgage payments of $2,000.

He has searched for work on the Internet and gone on job interviews.

“I always feel hopeful,” Mr. Watler said. “Until I get home and a couple of weeks pass and I don’t hear anything.”

On Wednesday he filled out an application and left his résumé at the job fair. He was told by one company that it did not need an accountant now, but he said he was willing to do whatever that business or any other had to offer.

“I would accept anything that is above unemployment,” he said.

Which is pretty fucking bizarre because $500 a week wouldn’t crack his nut!

But that’s besides the point good citizen. Which leads us to a different question, what the hell IS the point?

How long should we be, er, ‘satisfied’ with flopping around, ‘hoping’ things will (trust me, ‘miraculously’) get better?

There is no light at the end of the tunnel, maybe we should wonder what the hell we’re doing down here in the first place?

Our ‘imported, globalized economy’ does the vast majority of us zero good…although the number of billionaires continues to rise. There’s a ‘connection’ to be made here and it’s as close as the words ‘stick ‘em up!’

You are and always will be a ‘captive’ of the local economy. As we have all learned, lower costs for your supplier do not always translate to lower costs for you, especially when ‘time’ enters the picture.

You can’t afford to wait three weeks for food and you’d be dead if you had to wait that long for water…so, it’s a game of ‘gotcha!’ You’re gonna buy from whoever has what you need and you’re gonna pay what they ask…no negotiation.

So remind me again who wins from all of this low wage import stuff? Geez, wouldn’t that be the guy who imports the crap? He’s getting a ‘good price’…too bad you can’t get the same deal…not without a ‘license’ anyway! (Add in the necessity of buying ‘in bulk’ to make it worth the supplier’s while.)

As long as Bobo can import ‘cheaper’ than what it costs you to produce a given item, your ‘job’ will remain in the ‘cheaper there’ and if you can’t afford Bobo’s ‘bargain prices’, tough, it’s not his problem, it’s yours!

Naturally, you can’t beat ‘free’ and, as unimaginable as it might be, if you could make everything you need for yourself, you’d put Bobo out of business!

Sadly, time and inputs are against you…never mind the capital investment required to convert the raw materials into useable components.

What am I pointing to? If you are left outside the supply chain you can’t draw from it. Lower prices are indeed ‘relative’…some things, like ‘globalization’, cost much more than they’re worth!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Oh yeah, here is the link to the mirror website.

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