Monday, October 5, 2009

SAR #9277

Perhaps it's time to take off the rose colored glasses.

Wrong Question: With the disclosure that the BLS's unemployment data has been horribly understating the true depth of the recession, many are asking “How did the government get it so wrong?” The question of more interest is “Why did the government get it so wrong, for so long?”
Faint Hope: Retail analysts say they expect Christmas sales this season will be flat compared to last year. Retailers say that's good to know, they were afraid it would be worse.

Another Number: The government's CPI is a negative 1.5% y/y. The Case-Shiller CPI is a negative 5.1%. The difference is the government's Owners' Equivalent Rent (sort of the Birth/Death model for housing costs) at +1.7% and Case-Shiller uses the reality based actual price decrease of 13.3%.

Asked and Answered: “Do they take us for schmucks?” Yes, what made you ask?

Importance of Earnestness: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithener says that a strong dollar is "very important" to the US, and reassured that American will do all it can to ensure the continued strength of the dollar. Which would be more reassuring if something other than hope and prayer were available.

Old Farmer's Albanacski: The lack of Siberian snow so far this year suggests that Arctic wind patterns may reduce the flow of cold air into the US Northeast this winter. This contradicts earlier predictions of a colder than normal winter due to a very weak El Nino.

A, Then B: Credit card delinquencies have risen to equal 5% of all account balances and will only get worse “ until the labor market improves.” Click your heels.

Taking a Hike: If you live in a state where mortgages are non-recourse loans and you are underwater on your mortgage and do not expect prices to recover to the point of breaking even for 5 or 10 years, wouldn't it make sense to just walk away? That question faces 26% of all mortgage holders today. Wonder what they'll decide if the economy turns down again...

Not Made In Japan, Either: Japanese automotive production fell 26%, y/y, in August – the 11th consecutive month of declines in output. And Toyota's CEO, anticipating a loss of $5 billion this year, said Toyota was 'a step away from “capitulation to irrelevance or death"'

Quoted: “In troubled economic times, the best investments for a society are the ones which improve equality.”

Zombie Nation: Told he should apologize for saying the GOP wanted folks without health insurance to shut up and die quickly, Rep. Grayson (D-FL) did so, telling the more than 44,000 Americans who will die this year because they lack health insurance that he is sorry that reform is taking so long.

Short Version: Deflation is taking root around the globe, as economies struggle with overcapacity, falling demand, shrinking credit and a collapse of corporate spending.

Putting Off to Tomorrow: The taxpayers profit from the TARP program will be delayed because at least 29 of the TARP recipient banks did not make their payments in August – because they are still too short of capital.

Pont of View: The Republicans, who dearly loved tax cuts for the rich, are rejecting health care reform in the name of fiscal soundness – even though it would cost less than half as much as the Bush tax cuts.

No One Wants To Tell You : The truth about jobs is: (a) Since 2008, 9 million have been outsourced, lost, misplaced, abolished – so far. (b) the BLS doesn't know how to count. (c) most of the lost are not coming back. (d) the new natural unemployment rate is 10% or more. (e) All of the above.

Porn O'Graph: Waiting by the dock of the bay...

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