We have called this a tale of two graphs. But what it really describes is a clear and present danger to American capitalism fostered by an unelected monetary politburo in thrall to its own lust for power and mesmerized by its own doctrinaire group think. The tragedy is that nothing can stop them except the thundering crash of the gargantuan bubble they have single handedly enabled.
Labor Department Finally Notices The Jobs Bloodbath In Texas: Midwest "Discharges" Surge To 4 Year HighSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/12/2015 10:50 -0400
The most notable aspect of today's JOLTs data was that March layoffs in the Midwest region, aka Texas and the various other shale-heavy regions, saw terminations soar to 455K from 340K, the biggest monthly total in layoffs for the region since June 2011, and the largest monthly jump since August of 2013.
Second Largest Coal Miner East Of The Mississippi Files For Bankruptcy: 4000 Patriot Coal Jobs In PerilSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/12/2015 09:23 -0400
At last check Patriot Coal had around 4000 employees. Those soon to be former employees will soon require yet another massive seasonal adjustment by the BLS to be "adjusted" out, because moments ago the second largest coal miner east of the Mississippi and the second largest producer of thermal coal in the eastern US filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
There is propaganda, and then there is the harsh reality, as shown by the case of Denny Rder, 47, of Decatur, Illinois: "look closer, and this city of 75,000 resembles many communities across the industrial Midwest, where the unemployment rate is falling fast in part because workers are disappearing: moving away, retiring or no longer looking for a job."
The class of 2015 may be the most indebted class of college graduates in the history of US higher education and the economy may have flatlined in Q1, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost for anyone who didn't study to become a petroleum engineer because as the government will tell you, you can always be a farmer.
As investors, it is crucial to ignore headline statistical data and focus on the underlying data trends that affect the real economy. While it is currently "blue skies" for investors, there are clearly storm clouds forming on the horizon. It will be those who fail to take precautionary actions that suffer the worst of consequences when the storm hits.
We currently have over 93 Million able-bodied people without jobs – and growing. This is why it’s near incomprehensible, as well as outright disgusting to me that such a dismal showing in both the headline number as well as the onerous implications of such a downward revision to the month prior, coupled with the outright fallacy of suggesting the rate of unemployment has moved closer still to statistical “full employment” came with near giddiness and if not outright back slapping. i.e., “This is a Goldilocks print. Not too hot – not too cold. With a report like this – The Federal Reserve won’t dare raise rates and might actually have to contemplate instituting another round of QE if not outright QE4ever!” And yes; that was the reaction paraphrased across the financial media outlets. Again, personally – I found it all repulsive.
As we have pointed out for a number of years, according to the payroll jobs reports, the complexion of the US labor force is that of a Third World country. Most of the jobs created are lowly paid domestic services. No economist should ever have accepted the claim that the economy was in recovery while participation in the labor force was declining. Having looked at the actual details of the payroll jobs report, which are seldom if ever reported in the financial media, let’s look at what else goes unreported in the media.
The recovery economists are so sure is right around the corner never is. What we can reasonably assume here is that the economy was bumped in a manner not seen since the Great Recession, and that we still don’t know how that will be resolved. The inventory problem is enormous and it at least suggests far more humility about assured rebounds that have never yet arrived and to which are based on arguable figures that at best are backward facing.
In welfare state America its virtually certain that through one artifice or another taxes will go up and the national debt burden will rise to crushing heights in order to keep the baby boomers’ entitlements funded. While Keynesians and Wall Street stock peddlers are clueless about the implications of this - it actually doesn’t take too much common sense to get the drift. Namely, under a long-term path of fewer producers, higher taxes and more public debt, the prospects for rejuvenating the previous historically average rates of real output growth are somewhere between slim and none - to say nothing of the super-normal rates implied by the markets’ current bullish enthusiasm.
While the April payrolls came almost precisely as expected, at 223K, a tiny 5K below the 228K expected, the reason stock are soaring is that the already abysmal March payroll prints was revised even lower to just 85,000, the weakest print since June 2012, and pushing the 3 month average job gain to under 200K, or a level which the Fed has indicated previously it will hardly do much if anything material. And, as a result and as we noted in our market wrap today, with a June hike now looking unlikely, the S&P has exploded higher.
The last two months have been nothing if not a lesson in the disater that is the economic-forecasters of the world. With a 3-sigma beat followed by a 5-sigma miss, hope abounds that April will be the 'goldilocks' print - just cold enough to leave the Fed on hold and just hot enough to 'prove' growth remains. Goldman expects nonfarm payroll job growth of 230k in April, in line with consensus expectations. While labor market indicators were mixed in April, the employment components of service sector surveys were strong and better weather conditions should provide a boost. In addition, they see some upside risk to the forecast from a calendar effect, and expect the unemployment rate to decline by one-tenth to 5.4% and average hourly earnings to rise 0.2%.
Ben Bernanke’s skin is as thin, apparently, as is his comprehension of honest economics. The emphasis is on the “honest” part because he is a fount of the kind of Keynesian drivel that passes for economics in the financially deformed world that the Bernank did so much to bring about.
Including the professional class, perhaps only 3% of the workforce is truly independent.
During the heyday of post-war prosperity between 1953 and 1971, real final sales - a better measure of economic growth than GDP because it filters out inventory fluctuations - grew at a 3.6% annual rate. That is exactly double the 1.8% CAGR recorded for 2000-2014. The long and short of it, therefore, is that there has been a dramatic downshift in the trend rate of economic growth during an era in which central bank intervention and stimulus has been immeasurably enlarged. How exactly is the Fed helping when the trend rate of real growth has withered dramatically?