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Reads (2-28-2010)

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

President Scott Brown single-handedly writes, introduces, sponsors, co-sponsors, passes and signs the new jobs bill.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

President Scott Brown Wins Jobs Bill, Tax CutsHuffington Post

If you were just a casual observer of politics, flipping through the cable news networks, you’d think the Republicans — not the Democrats — passed a jobs bill. A jobs bill that was somehow written, introduced, sponsored, co-sponsored, passed and signed by President Scott Brown. Naturally, my inclination would be to blame the easily distracted, superficial cable news people. And they’re partly at fault here, but it’s mostly the absent, muted Democrats.

Why wasn’t the entire leadership contingent from the Senate, along with the entire West Wing staff, all over television condemning the Republicans for trying to filibuster/block/obstruct a jobs bill stuffed with tax cuts for businesses? Is this not a midterm election year in which the Democrats are sure to lose a couple dozen seats? Have they seen the projections for the Fall?

All eyes on the job market – CNN

With the unemployment rate near 26-year highs just below 10% — and unlikely to improve much this year — the focus right now is on jobs.

On Wednesday, outplacement services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports on planned job cuts for February. But a bigger market mover will be the February reading on private sector employment from payroll services firm ADP.

ADP is expected to report that private-sector employers cut 10,000 jobs from their payrolls in February after cutting 22,000 jobs in January, according to a consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com. The report is often a precursor to the more widely watched government jobs report Friday.

GDP Contraction Coming In Second Quarter 2010? – Mish Shedlock

With the consumer confidence present conditions index crashing to a low last seen in February 1983 (see Is Consumer Confidence a Contrarian Indicator? for details), there is no good reason to believe consumers will be doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Unemployed consumers typically do not spend a lot of money and Weekly Unemployment Claims Spiked To 496,000.

Couple that with the fact that New Home Sales Unexpectedly Plunge to Record Low it should not be too hard to envision a flat to negative GDP decline in the second or third quarter unless things turn around right now.

Finally, in light of the fact that economists are an amazingly optimistic these days (save a small group of notables like Dave Rosenberg, Steve Keen, and Nouriel Roubini) expect any economic surprises to be to the downside.

Throw away that V-shaped party hat. A stalled recovery or an outright economic relapse is likely just around the corner.

1.2 million Americans lose unemployment insurance today – The economic populist

As the unemployed face cutoff, Washington continues its infighting:

Without a long-term extension to unemployment, 5 million currently unemployed people will lose their benefits and be forced into welfare or outright homelessness by summer.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a new report last week showing that …
1.2 million jobless workers will become ineligible for federal unemployment benefits in March unless Congress extends the unemployment safety net programs from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). By June, this number will swell to nearly 5 million unemployed workers nationally who will be left without any jobless benefits.

Senator Burr (R-NC) is questioning the need for another unemployment extension.

To put this $10 Billion lifeline for working families into perspective, let’s look at what has gone down on Wall Street this week:
The federal government owned-AIG lost another $8.87 Billion. They still owe the taxpayers $70 Billion from their last bailout, and might be looking for yet another taxpayer bailout.

Cool Site: Economists for Firing Larry Summers

Who knew they cared?

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