Unemployment

What "Car Salesman" Ben Bernanke Said At Dinner Last Night

At one point during the evening, when pressed about whether his Quantitative Easing program was good for Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, Ben Bernanke flat out denied it, saying that such a premise is "simply not true".   He defended his printing $85 billion per month, suggesting that fixing interest rates at zero is beneficial for society because, among other things, it allows people to 'buy cars'.  I saw these words coming out of his mouth and thought to myself, "Is this guy f'ing serious?" Cars. Wow. As if going into debt to purchase a rapidly depreciating consumer item is somehow a victory for the people.

DJIA 16000, S&P 1800 Looking Increasingly More Distant

After the DJIA and S&P briefly crossed the key resistance levels of 16000 and 1800, the upper bound on the markets has been looking increasingly more distant and this morning's lack of an overnight ramp only makes it more so. Perhaps the biggest concern, however, is that with both Yellen and Bernanke on the tape yesterday, the S&P still was unable to close green. This follows on Monday's double POMO day when the S&P once again closed... red. Not helping things was the overnight announcement by the Japanese government pension fund, the GPIF, in which the fund announced it would lower its bond allocation further however the new law to reform the GPIF could be written by spring 2015. This was hardly as exciting as the market had expected, and as a result both the USDJPY and the ES-moving EURJPY find themselves at overnight lows. Will the EURJPY engage in its usual post 8 am ramp - keep a close eye, especially since the usual morning gold and silver slam down just took place.

Guest Post: Increased Minimum Wage, Decreased Economic Prosperity

Standard microeconomic theory shows that deviations of a price from its natural level bring forth bad results. One of the easiest ways to grasp the pernicious effects of price controls is when it is phrased in terms of the minimum wage. Long story short, the minimum wage acts as a price floor which stops people from selling labour services at a price below the mandated level. The final result is an increase in unemployment, partly from existing workers who lose their jobs and partly from new entrants to the labour market looking for a job but unable to get hired. It’s really not a very difficult theory to comprehend. Yet I’m always surprised at how few are able to apply this basic lesson.

Step Aside Carl Icahn, It's Time For Larry Fink's Dose Of Cold Water

Yesterday it was Carl Icahn explaining some uncomfortable truths to the mainstream media (who rapidly turned their cognitively dissonant backs on his status quo defying statements). Today, it is uber-bull Larry Fink's turn to unleash truth-hell...

  • *FINK SAYS PENSION FUNDS TO START SELLING STOCKS TO REBALANCE
  • *FINK SAYS STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT GROWING
  • *FINK SAYS QE NOT HELPING WITH STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT
  • *FINK SAYS CENTRAL BANKS' POWERS TO CREATE JOBS LIMITED

His remarks - coinciding with Europe's close and the end of POMO (and this EURJPY's levitation) has knocked half of this morning's gains off stocks...

Sign Of The Times - Wal-Mart Launches Employee Food Drive

You may find what is happening at one Wal-Mart in Ohio very hard to believe. At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too. On the one hand, it is commendable that someone at that Wal-Mart is deeply concerned about the employees that are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the food that they need for Thanksgiving. On the other hand, this is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet.

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The big news that has somehow shocked the media is that the BLS was caught fudging the jobs numbers going into the 2012 election. How on earth is this news? Anyone with a working frontal cortex is aware that CPI, the unemployment numbers, GDP and virtually everything else reported by the Federal Government is massaged to the point of being fraudulent.

Second Try At 16000, 1800 And 4000... Just Keep Icahn Away From Twitter

It is time for the centrally-planned markets to "try" for the round number trifecta of 16000, 1800 and 4000 again, although it may be a tad more difficult on a day in which there is no double POMO and just $2.75-$3.50 billion will be injected by the NY Fed into the S&P - perhaps it is Bitcoin that will hit the nice round number of $1000 first? Overnight, the Chinese Plenum news rerun finally was priced in and the SHComp closed red, as did the Nikkei 225 as the Asian euphoria based on communist promises about what may happen by 2020 fades.  What's worse, the Chinese 7-day repo rate is up 140bp this morning to 6.63% amid talk of tightening domestic liquidity conditions, and back to levels seen during the June liquidity squeeze. All this is happening as China continues leaking more details and hope of what reform the mercantilist country can achieve, and how much internal consumption the export-driven country can attain: overnight there were also additional reports of interest rate liberalization and that the PBOC are to set up a floating CNY rate. Good luck with that.

The October 2012 Pre-Election Jobs Report Was Faked

On Friday October 5, 2012, the BLS released what was arguably the most important report of Obama's first term: the final jobs number, and unemployment rate before the November 2012 presidential election. As so many predicted, it "plunged" from 8.1% to 7.8% allowing the president to conduct countless teleprompted speeches praising the success of his economic recovery. It also served as the basis for the infamous Jack Welch tweet: "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers" and prompted the pro-Obama media to quickly brand all those who questioned it as conspiracy theorists...  Well, as it turns out over a year later, the conspiracy theorists were once again, spot on: the Bureau Of Lies And Subterfuge manipulated the most important jobs report in Obama's career.

Ron Paul: "The Fed Steals From The Poor And Gives To The Rich"

It would be a mistake to think that QE is the first time the Fed's policies have benefited the well-to-do at the expense of the average American. The Fed’s polices have always benefited crony capitalists and big spending politicians at the expense of the average American. The well-connected benefit from inflation, as they receive the newly-created money first, before general price increases have spread through the economy. It is obvious, then, that middle- and working-class Americans are hardest hit by the rising level of prices. Far from promoting a sound economy for all, the Federal Reserve is the main cause of the boom-and-bust economy, as well as the leading facilitator of big government and crony capitalism. Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have become aware of how the Fed is impacting their lives.

Guest Post: Personal Sacrifices: From JFK To The Federal Reserve

The Senate Banking Committee’s confirmation hearing for current Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve began with Janet Yellen delivering prepared remarksMost observers likely tuned out well before the completion of the 2 ½ hours meeting to decide whether Yellen was worthy to succeed outgoing Chair Ben Bernanke and ascend to the top spot at the Fed. With the ongoing debacle of the Affordable Health Care website handcuffing Democrats, tough questions about QE, ZIRP, the oft talked about Taper and the possibility of reducing the Fed’s gargantuan $4 trillion balance sheet were verboten.  That left Republicans to address the elephant(s) in the room.  Predictably, it took nearly the entire hearing until a Senator from Nebraska offered his views about the damage being done by the various fiscal and monetary machinations undertaken to combat the Great RecessionWhat happened, beginning just after the 2 hour point of the meeting, was both remarkable and revealing...

Quote Of The Day: Bill Dudley's Schrodinger Forecast

Somehow, Fed head Bill Dudley has managed to encompass the entire "we must keep the foot to the floor" premise of the Fed in one mind-bending sentence:

  • *DUDLEY SEES 'POSSIBILITY OF SOME UNFORESEEN SHOCK'

So - based on an "unforeseen" shock - which he "sees", and while there are "nascent signs the economy may be doing better", the Fed should remain as exceptionally easy just in case... (asteroid? alien invasion? West Coast quake?)

Spanish Bad Loans Re-Accelerate To New Record High

Amid the Spanish FinMin's "concerns about the pace of the increase" in government debt, and PM Rajoy's confidence that the nation would exit the eurozone-fueled banking bailout by January, bad loans in the still disastrously-troubled nations have re-accelerated to an all-time record high of 12.68% of total loans. Mostly linked to the collapsed property sector, bad loans climbed by 6.9 billion euros from the previous month to an unprecedented 187.8 billion euros ($254 billion) in September. Having almost completed the drawdown of its 41 billion bailout - and with the situation fundamentally worse than ever (e.g. record high unemployment), Spanish bond spreads have collapsed to 250bps - their lowest in 29 months.

Today's Only Numbers That Matter: 1800, 16000 And 4000

The only numbers that matter today are 16000, 4000 and 1800: those are the Fed's closing targets for the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq and the S&P. Following last night's Chinese euphoria which saw the Shanghai Composite surge by 2.87%, or up 61.4 to just under 2,200 on renewed hopes for Chinese reform by 2020, the Fed's price targets should all be quite easily achievable. And not even the rising home prices in 69 out of 70 cities year over year, and 65 over month - the same as last month, with new nome price inflation at 0.6% overall and 0.8% for the first tier cities, was able to put a dent in the reflationary spirits in the Mainland. Additionally, news that China would join the US and Europe in "adjusting" its GDP calculation method, which would add R&D expensing into the bottom line, and as a result boost the overall number, is, well, helping things. Finally, with today's POMO a rather whopping $3-$4 billion, it is only a matter of time before all three of the previously noted psychological resistances are promptly taken out by the Fed's open markets desk.

Guest Post: The Real Heroes Of The Global Economy

Economic policymakers seeking successful models to emulate apparently have an abundance of choices nowadays. Led by China, scores of emerging and developing countries have registered record-high growth rates over recent decades, setting precedents for others to follow. While advanced economies have performed far worse on average, there are notable exceptions, such as Germany and Sweden. “Do as we do,” these countries’ leaders often say, “and you will prosper, too.” Look more closely, however, and you will discover that these countries’ vaunted growth models cannot possibly be replicated everywhere. The real heroes of the world economy – the role models that others should emulate – are countries that have done relatively well while running only small external imbalances.