Unemployment

The Google Unemployment Index

With even the Federal Reserve throwing doubt on the veracity (or usefulness) of the 'official' unemployment data (having finally caught on to the reality we have highlighted for a number of years), Petr Pinkhasov has created a more 'real' unemployment index reflecting the reality of every day for the average American...

Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week

In the upcoming week, the key event is the US FOMC, though we and the consensus do not expect any key decisions to be taken. Though a strengthening of forward guidance is still possible, virtually nobody expects anything of import to be announced until the Dec meeting. In the upcoming week we also have five more central bank meetings in addition to the FOMC: Japan, New Zealand, India, Hungary and Israel. In Hungary we, in line with consensus, expect a 20bps cut to 3.40% in the policy rate. In India consensus expects a 25bps hike in the repo rate to 7.75%. On the data front, US IP, retail sales and pending home sales are worth a look, but the key release will be the ISM survey at the end of the week, together with manufacturing PMIs around the world. US consumer confidence is worth a look, given the potential impact from the recent fiscal tensions.

October FOMC Week Starts With Traditional Overnight Meltup

Just as it is easy being a weatherman in San Diego ("the weather will be... nice. Back to you"), so the same inductive analysis can be applied to another week of stocks in Bernanke's centrally planned market: "stocks will be... up." Sure enough, as we enter October's last week where the key events will be the conclusion of the S&P earnings season and the October FOMC announcement (not much prop bets on a surprise tapering announcement this time), overnight futures have experienced the latest off the gates, JPY momentum ignition driven melt up.

Guest Post: Rediscovering The Price Of Money... When Things Can't Get Any Worse

How do we get a fundamental change away from this extend-and-pretend which prevails not only in Europe but also the world? History tells us that we only get real changes as a result of war, famine, social riots or collapsing stock markets. None of these is an issue for most of the world - at least not yet - but on the other hand we have never had less growth, worse demographics, or higher unemployment since WWII. This is a true paradox that somehow needs to be resolved, and quickly if we are to avoid wasting an entire generation of youth. Policymakers try to pretend we have achieved significant progress and stability as the result of their actions, but from a fundamental point of view that’s a mere illusion..

The New Normal?

This artificial prosperity plan for Wall Street has the added benefit of allowing the captured politicians in Washington D.C. to continue their $1 trillion per year deficit spending with no consequences for their squandering of future generations’ wealth. Bernanke and Yellen will never taper, because they can’t. The Fed balance sheet will continue to grow by at least $1 trillion per year until they crash the financial system again. Except this time, there will be no money printing solution. We are all trapped like rats in this monetary experiment being conducted by evil mad scientists. No one will get out alive. Welcome to the new normal. Now eat your cheese.

Labor Dept. Says Furloughed Federal Workers Can't Double-Dip On Unemployment Benefits

How anyone thought this made any sense in the first place was a little beyond us, but the Labor Department has ruled that the Federal employees who were furloughed while the government was shutdown were not eligible for unemployment benefits (as well as back-pay)...

  • *FEDERAL WORKERS DURING SHUTDOWN NOT ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: CNBC

So no double-dip... we await the union-based class action suit...

Guest Post: Alan Greenspan's Shock Revelation

As Alan Greenspan described this week, in an interview with John Stewart on “The Daily Show,”

We really can't forecast all that well. We pretend that we can but we can't. And markets do really weird things sometimes because they react to the way people behave, and sometimes people are a little screwy.”

Which means they don’t necessarily go along with your central planning, no matter how good you think it is. But still economists insist that, if they are allowed to monkey around with it, they can make an economy better. And therefore, the Fed, which has lived by the sword of QE, will probably die by it too.

Rumors Of Spain's Housing Market Resurrection Are Greatly Exagerated

Two days after Spain reported its first positive sequential GDP print (unclear just how adjusted the definition of GDP was to get to this watershed moment after 9 quarters of declines) and a day after it unemployment supposedly dropped more than expected (what was left unsaid is that the Spanish working age population dropped 85,200 in Q3 and -279,000 YoY and that of the 39,500 "jump" in Q3 employed people, virtually all were self-employed or temps while employees on permanent contracts were down by 146,300), the 5 second attention span investing herd is now convinced the housing market in Spain has dropped. This was "formalized" after billionaire Bill Gates invested $155 million, also known as pocket change, in Spain's infrastructure group Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas. Surely, if anyone knows how to time housing market turns it is the guy who brought us MS-DOS 3.1. Unfortunately, the mythical housing bottom may have been just that - mythical - following news that Spain's bad bank (oh yeah - lest we forget, Spain has a wonderful rug under which it can hide all insolvent bank NPLs)  failed to attract high enough bids in its first sale of commercial real estate and will cut the size of the portfolio being offered to make it easier to sell, according to Bloomberg which cited three people familiar with the matter.

The Chart That The Fed Fears The Most

Inflation, meh! Growth, bleh! Unemployment, whatever! The terrifying news is that it seems, despite the ongoing 'surge' to new all-time highs in stocks, they are losing the confidence of the "rich". With everything hinging on the 'wealth effect' of moar QE and a levitating US stock market, the fact that Bloomberg's Comfort Index for the most affluent earners just collapsed (and stayed at) seven-month lows - in the face a rip-your-face-off rally in stocks - suggests even the wealthy know when the music is beginning to end...

Guest Post: Economic Policy And The Price Of Gold

Economics isn't a science. It is a mistake to think it would be so. Science does not have schools. Only philosophies have schools. The difference between a science and a philosophy is the difference between seeking truth while honestly admitting you don't know it and declaring that truth is something you define. The distinction between science and philosophy with respect to economics is important because economists have an annoying ability to set policy - policy that affects the quality of your lives.

French Unemployment Surges As Another "Technical Glitch" Crushes Hopes Of Recovery

When France released its August Jobseekers data in August, and it beat expectations dramatically reversing the trend of ongoing malaise with little to no supporting evidence of 'why', we were skeptical. Fast forward one month and we are almost speechless in that not only are European PMIs rolling over just as we warned but the French jobs data is totally screwed up as yet another technical glitch meant 20,000 'text' messages that went unreplied were responsible for the entire improvement. French Labor Minister Michel Sapin is back tracking fast, admitting pre-emptively that "September's data won't be good... due to the 'statistical incident'." The 50k drop last month has been was bettered by a 60k rise to a new record high for French unemployment.

Initial Claims Still "Idiotic", Still "Rising Above" As California ObamaVista Glitch Persists

With claims from the backlog in California's systems "glitch" (which began in September) still working their way through the system, one can only imagine the debacle that this data really is as more people filed for unemployment claims that expected for the 3rd week in a row. 44,100 Federal workers applied for claims two weeks ago (and received it we presume as well as their back pay now) but the Labor department notes these claims are not reflected in the total. At 350k, vs 340k expectations, this is the first time since early January that we have seen 3 weeks in a row of missed expectations...

Frontrunning: October 24

  • Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (BBG)
  • More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around (Reuters)
  • Contractors Point Fingers Over Health-Law Website (WSJ)
  • Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program (WSJ)
  • Credit Suisse to overhaul interest rates trading business (FT)
  • Home Builders Target Higher End (WSJ)
  • The Many Lives of Iron Mountain (NYer)
  • Busy tourist season nudges Spanish unemployment lower (Reuters)
  • Morgan Stanley Joins BofA in Broker Recruiting Truce (BBG)
  • Ending World’s Longest Nonstop Flight Adds Five Hours (BBG)

Frontrunning: October 23

  • Top China Banks Triple Debt Write-Offs as Defaults Loom (BBG)
  • PBOC suspends open market operations again (Global Times)
  • Eurozone bank shares fall after ECB outlines health check plan (FT)
  • O-Care falling behind (The Hill)
  • Key House Republican presses tech companies on Obamacare glitches (Reuters)
  • J.P. Morgan Faces Another Potential Huge Payouta (WSJ)
  • Yankees Among 10 MLB Teams Valued at More Than $1 Billion (BBG)
  • Free our reporter, begs newspaper as China cracks down on journalists (Reuters)
  • Peugeot Reviews Cost-Saving Alliance With GM (WSJ)