Aug 5 2012

The other side of persistently high unemployment – Underemployment rate shoots up to 15 percent but is actually more problematic because of the civilian employment-population ratio.

Spending time examining the employment report shows continuing trends that appear beyond the headline figures.  The number of Americans unemployed or marginally attached to the work-force increased to 15 percent and appears to be a new staple of our current workforce.  A key data point is the civilian employment-population ratio that shows a continuing drop.  […]

Aug 2 2012

A crushing blow to male earnings – From 1969 to 2009 male earnings have fallen by 28 percent. The slow decline of the American middle class.

The contraction of the US middle class continues to roll along.  There are major generational rifts that are hitting the economy.  For example between 1960 and 2009 the number of men working fulltime has fallen from 83 percent to 66 percent.  A large number of people are categorized under “not making formal wages” and this […]

Jul 31 2012

The engineering of bigger financial bubbles – corporate profits as a percent of GDP at record levels while unemployment is historically high and record number of Americans on transfer payments. Paying interest on excess reserves to banks for our own bailout funds.

The market is perched on the edge of a chair looking out for what the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have to say.  The almighty Oz is the only game in town.  With the Fed, the expectation is of some sort of additional quantitative easing to prime the economy once again whereas the market […]

Jul 29 2012

Ph.D. in food stamps – the rise of food stamp usage among those with advanced degrees. Record number of households on food stamps.

t is hard to declare a recovery when a record 22.3 million households are now on food assistance.  The latest data shows that 46.5 million Americans are still relying on SNAP, the food assistance program, to get by each month.  Since this data lags, we see that in May we added 77,000 jobs but added […]

Jul 26 2012

Retirement means having to work in current economy – new survey shows 34 percent of workers in their 60s do not plan on retiring. The hunger for higher yields in a weak stock market.

The chase for yield is causing money to flow into unlikely places in the market.  The low performance market has taken a toll on retirement planning models for millions of Americans nearing retirement age.  Many of the models were built on the assumption that stock market gains would return 7 to 10 percent annual gains […]

Jul 23 2012

The hindrance of global debt – Spain accelerating to major bailouts and bond markets react. Eurozone stock markets in major decline.

It is always a sign of desperation to ban short selling.  Trying to put an artificial bottom usually backfires and we are seeing this hit in Spain.  The situation is unsustainable and has taken the headlines away from Greece.  Spain is a much bigger economy and they are deep in a recession with headline unemployment […]

Jul 19 2012

The sinister nature of inflation – historic droughts push food costs up impacting 46 million Americans on food stamps. What happens when everything gets more expensive and incomes fall?

Inflation is an odd sort of economic beast.  People take it for granted that inflation will always be a part of our life sort of like a quite humming background noise.  The Federal Reserve is doing all it can to increase inflation so banks can essentially inflate their debts away.  Yet the impact for most […]

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