I am not sure how much time I will have until I have to shut off the electricity as they do the wiring, but until then I always wanted to write a real time blog post. I will start off posting what I am watching today and update it all day. A running commentary if you will. Of course this could all get cut short if the power needs to be off, but I will give it a shot.
Jobs Number Release
Gotta love this headline:
March payrolls rise 162,000 on private hiring
162k jobs with 48k from the census hiring, which are private jobs!
Anyways, far short of my estimate for 11 million jobs created (kidding) but within estimates which ranged wildly (80k-350k). Markets are closed but I imagine a weekend of "jobs created, whooopppeeee!" should engineer a bull run for Monday.
Another Great Headline
Like this one:
Obama: US would go bankrupt without health changes
So glad that's all fixed now!
Econompic has a handy visual for the macro jobs picture:
I say things are improving.....smirk.
The Good and the Bad
Good run down from The Big Picture:
• Average Hourly Earnings of all employees NFP fell by 2 cents, or 0.1%.
• Unemployment rate is unchanged at 9.7% (no improvement this month)
• U6 Unemployment, the broadest measure, rose to 16.9% –that’s off of the December 2009 peak of 17.3, but higher than January (16.5%) and February (16.8%) of 2010.
• Long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks+) increased by 414,000 to 6.5 million. (bad)
• 44.1 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks +. (Also very bad)
• Involuntary part-time workers increased to 9.1 million in March. (This remains a stubborn problem area)
• +162k is the best report since March, 2007.
• Average workweek was up by 0.1 hour to 34.0 hours in March.
• Temp help services added 40,000 jobs in March. That’s a cumulative add of 313k since September 2009.
• Census added “only” 48,000 workers — far below the 100-150k consensus. This pushes their hiring out into the rest of the year.
• Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate at 64.9% edged up in March
• Manufacturing continued to trend up (+17,000); Mfr added 45,000 jobs in Q1.
• Revisions: January 2010 data was revised upwards 40k (from-26k to +14k); February was revised up 22k (from -36k to -14k).
Kid Dynamite points towards a great rant by Dean Baker which is well worth a few minutes. Best part:
"The Washington Post (aka Fox on 15th Street) once again proclaimed TARP a success. The cause for the latest revelry is the fact that the government appears to be in a position to make an $8 billion gain on the stock it holds in Citigroup. Before we join the Post in breaking out the champagne, it's worth taking a bit closer look at our investments in Citigroup...."
"In effect, the government's profit is entirely due to the value of the government's guarantee. In Washington Post land, the government could make money by buying shares of a company's stock, offering to guarantee the company's debt, and then selling our shares at a gain when the market recognizes the value of the government's guarantee. Of course this strategy provides much larger gains to the other shareholders and allows the top executives to score billions in bonuses for being such shrewd managers, but in Washington Post land they don't pay attention to such things."
Classic. What a messed up situation we have.
I was just thinking that with the terrible employment situation, housing issues, etc why is it that consumer spending is not far from highs and various other metrics show things "returning to normal"? Do we even need jobs anymore other than something to do? How does an economy work like this? Something is amiss or there are other factors at work.
Getting a Response
The bets way to generate traffic and discussion? It has to be either mega hottie ladys or music!
The "Ghost of Tom Joad" debate goes on here and over at TAE. The best remake ever done? Jimi Hendrix blows Bob Dylan away with "All Along the Watchtower" by far:
Anyone really think otherwise?
I have always thought sports players should be paid at season's end based on their performance. This way you could avoid big contract guys from mailing it in.
Why can't the stock market be priced at every quarter end based on a set metric, whatever that is. Say company XXX made 2 dollars a share in Q1 and has 100 shares outstanding, the stock price would be set at $200. If they make 3 dollars a share at year end, the price is set at $300. No guess work, no games, and no casino gambling.
Oh, I answered my own question.
What Does This Mean?
Puzzler from Bloomberg:
Tax Receipts Rebound as 15 Biggest States See Gain
Sounds good, right? From the story:
The two-year slide in tax collections that opened a $196 billion gap in U.S. state budgets has stopped, easing pressure on credit ratings and giving leeway to lawmakers as they craft spending plans for next year.I already have a bad feeling when the story leads this way. Next up:
The 15 largest states by population forecast a 3.9 percent gain in tax revenue in fiscal 2011, budget documents show. The 50 states on average may increase collections by about 3.5 percent, the first time in two years the figure is expected to grow, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.comSo faced with credit rating issues and the spector of, GASP, budget cuts, the states now FORECAST tax revenue growth? Whatever, go with it:
California took in 3.9 percent more since December than projected in January, Controller John Chiang said this month. New York got $129 million above forecasts in its budget year through February, according to a report from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In New Jersey, the second-wealthiest state per capita, January sales-tax collections were 1.9 percent higher than a year earlier, the first annual increase in 19 months, forecasters said in a report last month.How's that view from the base of K2 buddy?
“This time last year, we were sliding down a mountain,” said David Rosen, chief budget officer for the New Jersey Legislature. “I don’t think we are now; it’s stabilized.”
Yet another "awesome" report showing things getting better (?) after collapsing. We are fast approaching my target of S&P 500 1500 and DOW 14,000 with unemployment at 9% plus, no tax revenue, and waves of debt defaults. That is going to look peculiar, but pay that no mind.
I already have this weekend's reading gem via The Automatic Earth:
The Long and Short of Numbers
Ilargi: OK, so the BLS Establishment Survey Data say that in March, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 162,000 (quite a bit less than the consensus among "experts"). Not a terribly reliable or important number, if you ask me, but of course people will milk it for what they can. What strikes me is a number in the Household Survey Data:As always, much more in the post and you should read it. Is anyone really not checking that site every day?
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) increased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million.
That's almost 7% in one month, and that is downright scary. Of course, we've talked about this till the cows were home, fed, bathed, and left the barn again, but it still bears repeating that discussing US employment, for instance the initial jobless claims data, has become a futile exercise, if not an outright affront to the people, if the EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) numbers are not included.
What Does it Take for the FHA to Say "No Mas" to Your Firm?
It looks like quite a bit to get the boot (via Housing Wire):
FHA Withdraws Approval of Two Mortgage Lenders
The story details some reasons:
The MRB alleges RSA misleadingly stated it was properly licensed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance at the time the company submitted an application to FHA for lender approval.Wow! It takes all that to get booted from FHA funding? The best summary comes from the FHA themselves:
Additionally, the MRB alleges that RSA submitted false or misleading information regarding the criminal conviction and sanction history of its owner and executive, Ramsey Suphi Agan. Specifically, RSA claimed company officials “are neither currently, nor have ever been, debarred, sanctioned, fined, convicted, denied approval, or refused a license by any State, Federal, or local government agency.” But HUD said it suspended and debarred Agan on at least two occasions and has two felony convictions.
HUD claims 1st Alliance engaged in prohibited branch arrangements, provided false certifications, failed to implement a quality control plan, and committed a number of other violations of HUD/FHA standards.
MRB alleges 1st Alliance used independent contractors to originate 708 loans from branch offices that were not true branches of the company and then falsely certified the contractors were full-time employees of the company. The MRB also claims 1st Alliance charged consumers “unallowable, excessive or duplicative loan processing and origination fees” and also failed to list fees paid outside of closing on HUD-1 Settlement Statements.
FHA commissioner David Stevens. “If any lender can’t operate within FHA’s guidelines, they can’t do business with us.”
It is hard to live up to those stringent standards.
This is the Business We Have Chosen! I Didn't Ask "Who is a Currency Manipulator!"
This stuff is so dumb I wish so much did not depend on it:
US To Defer China Currency Manipulator Decision, No Further Escalation Expected
As was expected in light of recent FX moderating overtures by Beijing, China will not find out if it is or is not a currency manipulator on April 15. The NYT reports that the decision from the Treasury will be deferred until after China President Hu Jintao visit Washington. "
I missed the time stamps on a few posts, sorry.