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Just How Ugly Is The Truth Of America's Unemployment: David Rosenberg Explains

Tyler Durden's picture


Over the past 3 days America has been battered by one after another apologist explaining just how good the employment data is if one strips out all the "bad", and how all the "bad" can and should be stripped out by all patriots, and attributed solely to bad weather. For those who are beyond sick and tired of listening to this tripe, here is David Rosenberg once again telling it how it is. In summary: "The data from the Household survey are truly insane. The labour force
has plunged an epic 764k in the past two months. The level of
unemployment has collapsed 1.2 million, which has never happened before.
People not counted in the labour force soared 753k in the past two
months. These numbers are simply off the charts and likely reflect
the throngs of unemployed people starting to lose their extended
benefits and no longer continuing their job search (for the two-thirds
of them not finding a new job). These folks either go on welfare or they
rely on their spouse or other family members or friends for support."



It is laughable that everyone believes the labour market in the U.S.A. is improving. Lost in the debate over the weather impact was the benchmark revision to 2010 — overstated by 215k or 24%. The U.S. economy generated 909k jobs last year, which works out to just under 76k per month. That is insignificant considering that the population grew around 160k per month. The level of U.S. employment today stands at 130.265 million, which is where it was in January 2003.

The data from the Household survey are truly insane. The labour force has plunged an epic 764k in the past two months. The level of unemployment has collapsed 1.2 million, which has never happened before. People not counted in the labour force soared 753k in the past two months.

These numbers are simply off the charts and likely reflect the throngs of unemployed people starting to lose their extended benefits and no longer continuing their job search (for the two-thirds of them not finding a new job). These folks either go on welfare or they rely on their spouse or other family members or friends for support.

Meanwhile, it does look like real weekly earnings contracted in January for the third month in a row — that last occurred from April-June of 2009. Once the payroll tax cut effect fades and material cost pressures come to bear with a lag in margins the retail space will be squeezed hard.

Saving the day now are the payroll tax cuts but this effect wears off in Q2. Congress is about to cut spending and Bernanke doesn’t have a ton of support for QE2 from within the ranks. And the story ahead is one of profit margin squeeze more generally, though the market doesn’t yet see it.


We were asked about this on Friday because it was already known that it went from 16.7% to 16.1% — everyone wants to believe that this is a harbinger of labour market tightening. But it may be time for a reality check. The broad U-6 jobless rate measure was 8.8% when the recession began, was 9.0% when Bear Stearns failed, 10.5% when Fannie and Freddie imploded, 11.9% when AIG was taken over, Lehman failed and Merrill taken over, and 15.6% when the stock market hit its cycle low.

There’s also some seasonal adjustment quirks because of the massive increases in the raw unemployment data in January 2010 and January 2009 and the current seasonal factors are most sensitive to smoothing out what happened in the same month of the past two years. In January 2009, the U6 spiked 1.9% on a nonseasonally adjusted basis and in January 2010 it rose 0.9%. So the seasonal factors now were looking for an increase of 1.4% and instead it comes in at +0.7%, which on a raw basis is pretty normal for January, and it gets translated into a decline to 16.1% from 16.7%. Remember, the raw data showed an increase to 17.3% from 16.6%.

Nobody seemed to know what to do with the job data on Friday due to weather. It’s interesting that the storms seemed to have little effect on the ISMs or chain store sales, but everyone believes that just because a bunch of folks didn’t make it into the office in January the impact is probably hugely exaggerated. We saw an economist quoted on the front page of Investor’s Business Daily stating so arrogantly that he is “comfortable” with the view that the snow subtracted 100k from nonfarm payrolls in January. Even if true that would still be 138k, which is still abnormally weak for this stage of the cycle, not to mention still quite a bit below the post-ADP whispered estimates of +180k.

This U.S. labour market is still one sick puppy. The fact that 2.8 million Americans said they had given up on their job search in January was overshadowed by the debates surrounding the weather impact on the headline. Talk about being small-minded and totally myopic on the small picture. Then again, we have to admit that is what drives speculative rallies — the “noise” in the data. Of all the analysis we saw over the weekend, the only one that made any sense was the editorial by Bob Herbert on page A15 of the weekend NYT:

“The policy makers who rely on the data zealots are just as detached from the real world of real people. They’re always promising in the most earnest tones imaginable to do something about employment, to ease an awful squeeze on the middle class (policy makers never talk about the poor), to reform education, and so on.

They say those things because they have to. But they are far more obsessed with the numbers than they are with the struggles and suffering of the real people. You won’t hear policy makers acknowledging that the unemployment numbers would be much worse if not for the millions of people who have left the work force over the past few years. What happened to those folks? How are they and their families faring.

The policy makers don’t tell us that most of the new jobs being created in such meager numbers are, in fact, poor ones, with lousy pay and few or no benefits. What we hear is what the data zealots pump out week after week, that the market is up, retail sales are strong, Wall Street salaries and bonuses are streaking, as always, to the moon, and that businesses are sitting on mountains of cash. So all must be right with the world.

Jobs? Well, the less said the better

What’s really happening, of course, is the same thing that’s been happening in this country for the longest time — the folks at the top are doing fabulously well and they are not interested in the least in spreading the wealth around.

The people running the country — the ones with the real clout, whether Democrats or Republicans — are all part of this power elite. Ordinary people may be struggling, but both the Obama administration and the Republican Party leadership are down on their knees, slavishly kissing the rings of the financial and corporate kingpins.”

Look, these are just excerpts for your convenience. The whole column just oozes with the truth — the true state of the labour market that is widely dismissed.

As a trusted and loyal reader notified us on Friday after the data were released and the consensus view out of the bond market was how reflationary this labour market report was, the civilian population rose 1.872 million last year. At the same time, the labour force fell 167k. Those not in the labour force soared 2.094 million. Just in January, we saw 319,000 people drop out of the work force. These numbers are incredible. This is a highly dysfunctional labour market. People are falling through the cracks at an alarming rate as they come off their extended jobless benefits — “doubling up” as Bob Hebert put it — and we have traders and economists debating the weather effects of a nonfarm payroll data-point that will most assuredly get revised no fewer than three times in the next couple of years.
It’s incredible how the masses of pundits have responded to the data.
Real labour compensation contracted at a 0.6% annual rate in Q4, and since the recession technically ended, it has shrunk in four of the last six quarters. How is this the hallmark of a well functioning labour market? We can see now how this environment has been wonderful for equities:

  • The Chinese government stimulates to the effect of 13% of GDP in late 2008 and this spills over globally.
  • The T.A.R.P. money is distributed around the financial and industrial sector in the U.S.A.
  • Bank shares are bought by the Treasury; ditto for shares of auto companies.
  • Accounting rules are changed so the banks can start showing a profit.
  • The Fed radically steepens the yield curve by cutting rates to zero and then promotes financial sector profitability by purchasing mortgages en masse. The mantra is that the Fed and Treasury saved us from a Depression.
  • The Fed moves to expand its balance sheet even more in November but unofficially announces the extension in late August.
  • The U.S. government embarks on a spending spree in early 2009 and runs up a record debt bill and then extends the stimulus in late 2010.

So the corporate sector has been receiving tremendous support from the government. All the while, the acute anxiety among the working class has allowed companies to continuously cut unit labour costs, which in turn has prompted a V-shaped recovery in profit margins.

Now what about the top-line? We just saw in those Q4 productivity numbers that came out for Q4 that the price deflator for the nonfarm business sector actually fell at a 0.9% annual rate. But, you see, companies don’t have to worry about that — they can afford to keep prices down because not only can they cut labour costs quite easily in this environment, but the federal government is ensuring that people still get paid even if it’s not from their employer. We have a situation now where a record near-20% of total personal income is coming in the form of government assistance, whether that be in Social Security, food stamps, or the unprecedented expansion of jobless benefits.

But to be calling for a labour market recovery when real compensation per hour is declining at a 0.6% annual rate is just slightly a case of looking at the situation through rose-coloured glasses. Just a tad.


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Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:07 | 940598 The Axe
The Axe's picture

The markets tell another story....strength is off the grid.  Bonds higher--growth. copper higher growth..stocks higher growth....I can't listen to tell another story..he has to be wrong...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:38 | 940692 d00daa
d00daa's picture

Markets tell another story, until they don't.


But maybe you're right.  Maybe this time it's different.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:57 | 940741 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

You would have been a hoot in Weimar.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:36 | 940841 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

DRosenberg Is Correct
Your markets are all POMO, ZIRP and QE 1,2, ..., n

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:45 | 941957 if
if's picture

What was the Nasdaq telling you at +5k back in 2000 ?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:07 | 940599 fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

Personally, I think MoneyMcBags translation of the jobs number is far superior!!

The most important point is that these numbers are SEASONALLY FUCKING ADJUSTED (bolding intentional, because, yes Money McBags is yelling) which means that they should TAKE IN TO ACCOUNT THE WEATHER because, you know, THAT IS THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF SEASONALLY ADJUSTING SOMETHING.  Now look, Money McBags is no Willard Scott (and not just because he doesn’t have a GMILF fetish), but as far as he can tell, the weather this past January wasn’t any kind of anomaly (like Carrot Top’s career), it was just kind of an average January, or at least within one standard deviation of a normal January.  So given that, the seasonal adjustment should have seasonally adjusted for the fucking weather and thus this huge miss shouldn’t have been caused by a little snow.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:09 | 940603 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Let Them Eat Hope.


Fight The Future.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:11 | 940610 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Rosenberg always does an excellent analysis.

If he had focused all that intellect, time, and energy into watching the tape, he would have made a fortune being long stocks since the 2009 bottom.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:25 | 940649 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

so i presume you have made a fortune. where did you retire to?

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 18:59 | 944526 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Someplace where the gains aren't wiped out by a monetising global reserve currency.

A pygmy tribe in new guinea.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:30 | 940664 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

Maybe if you focused all your intellect, time, and energy into  posting top ticking charts when they only support your viewpoint, you could be the next Robert Kiyosaki of stock market investing.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:36 | 940688 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

homer, that's his/her/robotdouche's modus operandi. he doesn't believe his own posts or writing, nor should anybody else. today he mocks rosie's skepticism. two weeks ago the douche was bearish, now he's bullish. tomorrow he'll be - well, who know, especially not him/her.

remember, he's 30% invested for all his bullishness in such stellar stocks as - wait for it - vz and hd. wow! the creativity of hours and hours of analysis and he comes up with the grand idea to invest in hd and vz.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:15 | 940611 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

You pussies have never seen a recession until you have seen a third world recession. We got food stamps, homeless shelters, and when is the last time you saw a street urchin in america? 19th century? Life is good! At least you buggers arent pushing an ice cream cart or eating ruminant feedstocks. We can hedonic down a lot further than this. Cat food and dog food really arent that bad if i remember correctly as a curious kid.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:09 | 941238 merehuman
merehuman's picture

hey, troll it must not have touched your door yet. I see people losing all they woerked for. I see folks divorcing, dying and living in tents. I see a slower  death by pieces as some of us have to give up their pets. Death by a thousand cuts for us Little people as we lose hope, knowing there  aint a damn thing we can do about it.

Help your neighbors, find strenght in union and share the sacrifice and the wealth, cause in the end after all is said and done , its each other we really need and should love and treasure.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:11 | 940613 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

Seems like Rosie has been grasping at straws trying to explain over the past few days why this was not a good report. We get it, Rosie. Apparently, the rest of the investment community sees it a different way. There were several unbiased opinions regarding the report and most conceded it was indeed a very good report. So, maybe it's time to move on to something else, like buying stocks.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:16 | 940622 morph
morph's picture

By the rest of the investment community, you mean the FED.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:29 | 940637 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

He does. And the Fed has gottin' it wrong for the last 30 years (really the last 100 years, but in particular they have really fucked up the last 3 decades)

Think about this. In 08 every major bank failed in reality. Had it not been for the tax payer the banking system epically failed. Let that ferment. That is how bad the Fed did. F -

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:48 | 940887 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

Wasn't just the banks. Many, many people in the US over-leveraged.

Keynesian manipulated markets breed greed..

It all failed..

The only thing keeping the game going is Banana Ben Bucks.

yeee haw...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 22:35 | 942105 Quaderratic Probing
Quaderratic Probing's picture

Total failure gets pretty good bonuses these days... aside from the fact you get to keep your job.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:20 | 940635 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

harry, fourth request. when you made your 9% call on the u3 rate after you said you ran the numbers, did you base your analysis on the drop in the labor participation rate, organic job growth, or was it just a wild baseless guess?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:29 | 940659 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

I based it upon Gallup's twice a month poll of 30,000 individuals regarding employment. It's been remarkably consistent and pointed directly at 8.9-9.1% rate base upon their surveys.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:43 | 940699 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

and gallop's was based on the drop in the labor participation rate which undermines your economic bullishness.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:46 | 940715 d00daa
d00daa's picture

It was the snow.


It's always the snow.


Don't expect a response.  He's a fucking moron.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:00 | 940750 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

i know. the world needs fools like harry. who else could we take money from on poker nights?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:59 | 940747 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

Gallup's poll was based upon a twice a month survey of 30,000 individuals and had nothing to do with labor participation rate. That's not the way their polling system is designed.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:15 | 940785 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

harry, you can't have no job growth and a falling u3 rate without reducing the labor participation rate at the same time. it's mathmatically impossible.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:42 | 940821 d00daa
d00daa's picture

What exactly in Gallup's poll pointed to an 8.9-9.1% BLS ????????




Once again, I eagerly await your reply.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:22 | 940640 myshadow
myshadow's picture

'several unbiased opinions regarding the report and most conceded it was indeed a very good report.'



Name two.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:35 | 940684 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

Calculated Risk

Washington Post


ABC News

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:44 | 940704 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

that's one as the requirement was "unbiased" sources. Clearly, WaPO, AP and ABC News fail this test.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:45 | 940710 d00daa
d00daa's picture

1) Washington Post + ABC News + AP = ONE SOURCE (but you already knew that).

2) The fact that you attempt, with a straight face, to list the above as UNBIASED (Calculated Risk??? LMAO) sources is fucking laughable (but you already knew that, too).

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:49 | 940723 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

CR gives the most unbiased look at economic data and analysis anywhere on the web IMO.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:37 | 941308 Judge Smales
Judge Smales's picture

You must be joking, right? Since Tanta died, CR has essentially turned into another arm of the hopium-smoking MSM, only with a bizarre obsession with hotel RevPar. Used to be a great site, but now they've bought into the BS and can't be taken seriously.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:50 | 940854 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

I was surprised by Bill at Calculated Risk's summary on unemployment...

I think he needs to look a little harder at the revisions to employment in 2010 and 700k+ unemployed being relabeled to discouraged or marginally attached...

300k... If you run out of unemployment benefits are you any less unemployed?

As per economists with phd's from the "right" schools labeling you are...

But then economists with phd's from the "right" schools usually have government jobs and wouldn't know what unemployment is from the safety of the tax payer teat...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:26 | 940653 subqtaneous
subqtaneous's picture

Well, since you have your usual aversion to details (and Rosenberg), try David Stockman's numbers . . . ouch!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:29 | 940655 d00daa
d00daa's picture

He's not making equity calls, you stupid fuck.  He's speaking reality:  THE LABOR MARKET IS ABSOLUTELY TRASHED.  STRUCTURALLY TRASHED.


Please explain away the anemic job "growth" since the "end" of the depression...  hell, why not start circa 2001??  Leaving your perverse tunnel-vision toward equity investing aside for just a split second, HOW THE FUCK IS THIS GOOD LONG-TERM FOR AMERICA IN GENERAL???


I eagerly await your reply, you mindless automaton.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:29 | 940656 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

Another dumb HarryWanger comment sponsored by HarryWanger - where even eediots make money based off dumb luck.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:35 | 940685 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Do you really think this guy 'makes money'?   Probably gets stopped out often...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:32 | 940672 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

"What’s really happening, of course, is the same thing that’s been happening in this country for the longest time — the folks at the top are doing fabulously well and they are not interested in the least in spreading the wealth around"


How many low paying jobs you going to create this year?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:51 | 940727 HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

We're adding four production jobs and two admin jobs at the end of this month. Both pay well relative to similar positions at competitors. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:40 | 940861 Arrinex
Arrinex's picture

You're right harry.  Where I work we've forecasted possibly adding 35-40 sales folks out of our 800 total current number. Unless this recovery is mostly based on certain sectors...

Oh, and did I mention I work for one of the big banks. I mean it's so hard for us to make money in this environment...right....


Sorry...had to troll...but dude, seriously. It's all smoke and mirrors with the recovery job numbers unless your getting TARP or work for the government.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:41 | 941152 gorillaonyourback
gorillaonyourback's picture

it is smoke and mirrors, i have a plumbing company and the past 2 years i have been doing 80% commercial work, schools, hospitals, fire stations, etc. prior i was 80% residential.  the residential is at the same point but now there r so many people bidding on the government projects its ridiculous.  i did have 6 employees at the end of summer down now 2.  its the same all over for the construction field. i was not a fan of relying on government spending but if thats all you got,,,,.  lets hope harry optimism plays out, but i doubt it.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:47 | 940879 oldmanofthesee
oldmanofthesee's picture

I'm a new "reader" Harry, and wonder why you ignore all the abuse, and come back for more, every day? Are you a tool of someone, or a Manchurian type, or.........just askin'.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:45 | 941335 Guy Fawkes Mulder
Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

Fail Troll Syndrome.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:33 | 940676 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

There is no fundamental reason to buy stocks. Maybe a few select stocks but in general, until we no longer have 1.5 trillion deficit and 500 billion trade deficit my view of this economy's end game is still in place.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:49 | 940725 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Shouldn't you be getting back to your highly successful home decorating business? Exactly how do you find the time to run your business and troll this and other websites spreading your propaganda?

I like you Hairy, I find your posts comical and quite entertaining, so don't give up.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:23 | 941270 merehuman
merehuman's picture

I envision Harry in a room with 40 other government workers at a bank of computers going over diverse websites lying and messing with us. wherever truth arises it must be diverted , waylaid, obfuscated. Karma is coming, the poor fool Harry has sold something precious. Integrety is earned slow but fast to go. some of us, thats all we got.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:14 | 940618 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

one after another apologist explaining just how good the employment data is if one strips out all the "bad",


That is a typical US way of thinking. Once all the counter-examples are removed, one is left with only examples supporting a point.

Once you remove the casualties, nobody died. Etc... Largely used in the US to show how universally good the US world order is.

Not surprised as it comes back home.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:25 | 940632 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

There is a limit to the time businesses can squeeze workers. My brother works for an aircraft service company near DFW. For the past year they have been working six days a week, often 10-hour days. His annual bonus, usually several thousand dollars, was a paltry $300 this year and the CEO claimed bonuses were small because the company had to conserve cash.

When I talked with him yesterday, he said they are now working a shift on Sundays, but it's *only* six hours, and management has no plans to hire outside of replacements!

He's fed up and I can't blame him. Working seven days a week, even with big OT pay, gets old fast.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:32 | 940671 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

We've made the same decision in one of our businesses.    We're not hiring, using OT as the way to fill the gap.   It's a hard call.   You don't want to staff for peak demand periods in a shakey economic environment because you don't know when the bottom will drop out.    Many of my competitors are hurting, several have closed their doors - I could cherry-pick some great talent - but I won't in this environment.  

I told the guys they can either complain that they are tired during longer than normal weeks or they can complain about not being able to pay their bills working only 20 to 30 hours a week.    They understand, but it DOES GET OLD...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:48 | 941329 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We can pay our bills but dont need to work chained to the clock for you 60 hours a week because you have inadequate staffing to carry what little work load in quest to cut costs.

About 15 years ago we had 150 hungry drivers sitting in a major truck stop with one waitress and one cook, both of whom were on lunch break with the manager outside.

It was a very dangerous 45 minutes as increasing numbers of very patient drivers started to get very angry.

My spouse gets taken off the clock and sent home to keep the shift costs down on the Supervisor's cost report to her bigger boss. I tell my spouse to smile and say thank you!

Leave while adding 8 hours leave time to the time card for that week, costing the employer far more than saved by sending spouse home.

Looked at another way. A Driver can be set aside and told to sit and wait days between loads that dont travel very far and produce much money. If this driver has stores of extra cash, food and water he or she can be ready to go when the company finally picks up big dollar cross country loads.

Those unable to endure the famine simply quit and go home.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:33 | 940677 NorthenSoul
NorthenSoul's picture

This aircraft service company near DFW is sure to go under very fast as soon as the economy regain a real footing. That is what usually happens to the corporations that are too stupid to treat their employees with a minimum of decency.

All the corporate apologists can refrain to reply extolling the wisdom of management. Spare me! American managers have nothing on their counterparts in the rest of the developed world...absolutely nothing whatsoever!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:47 | 940718 trav7777
trav7777's picture

surely the CEO's bonus was big as hell.

Is there an "Undercover Boss" yet who can fucking cut it as a real worker?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:24 | 940646 RicktheDick
RicktheDick's picture

What's amazing to me is the premise that if you believe that the US Labor market is strenghening that that won't translate into an end to QE. Bulls don't get to have it both ways. Bernake himself conceded that QE has contributed to a rally in equities and other risk assets. So if the Labor market is getting stronger wouldn't it stand to reason that they start to tighten... And if that happens who exactly would be left to prop up the markets? I assure you it won't be retail investors.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:29 | 940654 NorthenSoul
NorthenSoul's picture

Question to a good number of posters here: Why do you keep insisting that Rosie is "missing the boat" or "loses money trading" because he has "such a dim view of the US" bla bla bla!

I mean, what does a dispassionate and cold analysis of the US econ situation remotely has to do with trading equities? One can have a very dark outlook on the socio-economic status of any country, but being very aware that liquidity galore and zero interest rates is fucking awesome for the stock market and trade accordingly.

Yet, in too many occasions, people need to see that the "color of the story" matches the direction of their trading.

As Barry Ritholz wrote this weekend there is stuff that doesn't mix well with investing.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:11 | 940771 The Axe
The Axe's picture

You are correct! You should never mix short-term trading and economic rhetoric .

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:39 | 940674 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Feds are hiring up a storm.

Air Force and Navy are getting picky again. They are telling the marginal to go talk to the Army, they don't want them.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:57 | 940740 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

2010 - "The Army exceeded its recruiting goals again this year, turning more than 74,577 young americans into soldiers."


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:21 | 941105 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Thats been going on since 2005. Turning enlistments away, early retirements, increasing PRT standards, not offering commissions to officer candidates, strict rules on promotions at the JO and senior levels.

I think it's a combination of the level of specialization needed for a lot of the billets and declining billets due to guys staying in longer. The navy just doesn't need a bunch of sailors to run a ship any more. Same with the air force wings. Yeah, the guys are overworked, but they'll always complain.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:01 | 941692 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Corporate Private Mercenary Military

  • "The lack of oversight alarms some members of Congress. "Under a shroud of secrecy, the United States is carrying out military missions with people who don't have the same level of accountability," says Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a leading congressional critic of privatized war. "We have individuals who are not obligated to follow orders or follow the Military Code of Conduct. Their main obligation is to their employer, not to their country."
  • "The Pentagon has become so dependent on private military companies that it literally cannot wage war without them. Troops already rely on for-profit contractors to maintain 28 percent of all weapons systems."
  • "Federal law bans U.S. soldiers from participating in Colombia's war against left-wing rebels and from training army units with ties to right-wing paramilitaries infamous for torture and political killings. There are no such restrictions on for-profit companies, though, and since the late 1990s, the United States has paid private military companies an estimated $1.2 billion, both to eradicate coca crops and to help the Colombian army put down rebels who use the drug trade to finance their insurgency."
  • "An analysis shows that 17 of the nation's leading private military firms have invested more than $12.4 million in congressional and presidential campaigns since 1999."
  • "In 2001, according to the most recent federal disclosure forms, 10 private military companies spent more than $32 million on lobbying." More recently, "the ten largest contractors in the nation spent more than $27 million lobbying the federal government in the last quarter of 2009," according to a review of lobbying records. "The massive amount of money used to influence the legislative process came as the White House announced it would ramp up military activity in Afghanistan and Congress considered appropriations bills to pay for that buildup"

corporate military is beholden to corporate masters.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:32 | 940675 Kerel
Kerel's picture

No Harry, you don't get it.  But that's okay, you've got plenty of company.  Baaa!  Baaa!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:46 | 940717 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

Answer to poor labor %ages is easy: start deporting illegals while slowly scaling back unemployment and welfare bennies.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:55 | 940739 pat53
pat53's picture

Another "Rosie" post and another rally in stocks   LOL   works every time. I wish he posted something every day, we'd be at Dow 15K by  Now  LOL . Oh well, we'll get there by year end anyway... gotta love it. bears getting severely "blowtorched" today,  right Robo

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:12 | 940773 d00daa
d00daa's picture

Wow, you are one sick fuck.  I pray that you have no children.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:22 | 940800 thepigman
thepigman's picture

All you have to do is read Rosie's

piece and you realize the exact same

guys that got it right in 2008 are going

to get it right again while all the

Wanker-types have their

 heads in the sand  and are celebrating false

prosperity again just as they did in 2008. I wouldn't touch

this market with a 50 foot pole.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:23 | 940803 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Any day now we'll be hearing how young Americans looking for jobs can't get any because they are so, so, SO much less worthy than their Chinese and Asian counterparts who work harder, are way better in math and obey their elders. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:24 | 940805 Bob
Bob's picture

What’s really happening, of course, is the same thing that’s been happening in this country for the longest time — the folks at the top are doing fabulously well and they are not interested in the least in spreading the wealth around.

Isn't this the place where some useful idiot like Joe Six Pack sounds the alarm of "socialism"?

Sounds dangerous to me.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:27 | 940818 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Why. That particular sin happens under every system.

That's one of the reasons nations are temporary.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:35 | 940839 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Let me offer up some speculation:

I suspect less than 1% of investors aged >45 (where the big money is) are > 40% stocks.  If bonds get more scary, they'll go to utilities and food.  The older money (which is big, because of decades of compounding) is scared money.  It's not going to growth or gold.  Maybe a handful will try gold, but older money remembers gold's collapse.  Scared money doesn't swashbuckle.

I suspect fiscal stimulus will go in reverse this year.  This will be so for both Federal and State governments.  

I suspect 2nd half growth will be sharply reduced by this fiscal contraction.

I suspect the presence of QE2 and the discussion of QE3 being possible is utterly definitive of reality.  If all was well, it would not exist.


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:36 | 940849 thepigman
thepigman's picture


Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:28 | 940983 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

growing up in new york, you always used to hear about government scam artists getting arrested in brighton beach, where the russians were. the story was that russians were experts at scamming government because that was the only way to make a living in soviet russia. of course, after the collapse, there were no more benefits and no more scams to be had. but we are entering the phase where ordinary people start to depend increasingly on ggovernment. with this, there will be a geometric rise in the number of people attempting to scam the system as they find fewere and fewer sources of legitimate and illegitimate ways to make money in the private sector. 


we are turning into a government sponsored economy, centrally planned and all. 

strange how kleptocratic military industrial bankster pseudo capitalism turns into government sponored feed the masses fascism, which used to be called communism when we wanted to blow it up. labels never seem to fit all that well. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:35 | 941002 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

data zealots!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:58 | 941052 Weisbrot
Weisbrot's picture

this may be that redistribution that senator 0 spoke about durring is campaign to become king of the world.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:01 | 941056 sbenard
sbenard's picture

I just finished watcing Owe-bama's latest teleprompter tripe! It just reeked of entitlement as he lectured business leaders about what they "owe" to their employees.

My best friend has a small business. A few times, one of his employees has complained that he's not making enough money, despite that the guy never even graduated from High School. How many people do you know that make $21.50/hr without even a high school diploma?

My friend works 14-hour days six days a week. When I go to his house to watch a basketball game or movie, my friend ALWAYS has a 6" stack of paperwork and a laptop the entire time. When he comes to MY house to watch, he brings the same amount of paperwork with him. He makes a good living, but is hardly wealthy. He lives in a middle-class home in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. He's the most generous person with his means that I know!

And THAT'S the kind of person that the Deceiver in Chief wants to lecture that he "owes" America more jobs, regardless of the environment that Owebama has created for his business.

Excuse me, Mr. President, but these people owe their FAMILIES a living, not the entire welfare state that votes for you!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:08 | 941232 Lazane
Lazane's picture

Is their a methodology which factor's in a workers earnings who have returned to work at a level of compensation 1/4 to 1/3 the dollars per hour they were earning before becoming unemployed? While some are back to work, they are working for significantly less money and have not nearly the income they once had and the bills still have to be paid. How does this contribute to an illusion of a improving economy?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:19 | 941604 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

thank you mr rosenberg!! i love the truth - especially bitch slapping the lying sociopaths: "The people running the country — the ones with the real clout, whether Democrats or Republicans — are all part of this power elite. "

they are part of the fuck you power elite...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:31 | 942027 girl money
girl money's picture

The labor market isn't trashed, it's working just fine.  It is controlled by hard-working, calculating, risk-taking, practical business owners.  No matter what cajoling or arm-twisting the US government dishes out, business owners are not required to hire. 

Employees are not an asset, they are a liability.  There is no such thing as a moral obligation to hire. 

Why hire if there are no sales to pay for wages, payroll taxes, and health benefits?

Why hire within the USA if there is a financial and regulatory incentive to hire overseas?

Why hire if profit is already evaporating in the face of rising raw input costs, brought on by QE1, 2, 3...

It is a global economy with global talent and a global range of wages and benefits.  We will not see our economy or our labor market heal without making them globally competitive.  The US government can report fluff and froth, but business owners never stopped living in the real world.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 23:24 | 942170 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

"The policy makers don’t tell us that most of the new jobs being created in such meager numbers are, in fact, poor ones, with lousy pay and few or no benefits."


That is the delusion of just looking at the jobs is extremely rare that anyone ever talks about the 'quality' (pay & benefits) of jobs lost versus jobs created.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 05:36 | 942386 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Harry Wanger

The jobs your firm are adding are very likely from most recessions a 'gain' from a competitor going under. When markets decline it becomes Dog-eat-Dog with the last men standing picking up scraps from others demise (see wall Street currently consuming others business, in the case of AIG and Lehmans, destroying others businesses!).

You've got junked 35 times, impressive stuff, you trying for your new record???

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