Some local drama today and it turned quite chilly as well. No need to remind the regulars, tonight MY world champion New Orleans Saints open the season against the Minnesota Vikings. I will have a full NFL preview post up Saturday, but this game is tonight. This will be a short post so I can catch the game.
I know the Vikings feel they are the better team after last year, and they even might be. If this was week 8 I think the game goes for the Vikings. It is week 1, and the preseason cannot get you ready for the offensive firepower that is New Orleans, especially at home. I am calling for Saints 31, Vikings 21.
Friday night is tomorrow and I do not know if you folks think I write the entertainment post way in advance or what, but requests are considered all the way until Friday night at about 7pm.
This morning Tom Brady, the quarterback of my co-favorite NFL team New England Patriots, was in a moderate car accident. All reports state he is fine and he was at practice and did the full day's work. The local channel 7 News had SEVEN on the scene reporters at the corner where the crash happened (at 6am remember) tonight at 6pm! They all covered various angles of the story! This was big news indeed.
It seems a nut job in a minivan ran a red light at high speed and Brady's car collided with it. It was a red minivan, driven by a NY Jets fan (kidding!) with a driving violation record that is 4 pages long, as reported by channel 7. This driver was driving so fast and so reckless he almost ran over a 70 year old lady in the crosswalk who was with her dogs. This guy is in big trouble.
I hope Brady is ok, but these things tend to take a few days to affect you. What a mess.
It's Time for the Bottom Line
I like to poke fun at headlines, use sarcasm as my medium for creation, and highlight the hilarity that is our economic mess. Tonight I am low on time and lower on patience (long week!) so I just want to hammer one thought home and then I want some answers.
How long until this recovery happens?
Now most readers here are probably more of the mind that any recovery has been weak or not arrived at all. I am asking the other 95% of the world this question.
Case in point, this mornings "awesome" initial jobless claims. Coming in at only 451,000 this was cause for celebration. Keep in mind 451,000 initial would still indicate job losses, and certainly not real job growth. What is the consensus view?:
Hopes rise as jobless claims fall, trade gap eases
New filings for jobless benefits tumble to two-month low
WTF? Still looking for hope? At this stage in the recovery this number needs to be lower, much lower. From Calculated Risk the following chart of initial claims (click for larger view):
Hello! Anybody home?
At the peak of the last UE spike, initial claims ran just about at 500k. During the jobless recovery the number drifted around 450k. When construction and other jobs were created by the housing boom the initial number ran closer to 320k. I would also point out the Hurricane Katrina spike in initial claims was much smaller than what we are running all the time now! So here I am wondering again, where is this recovery? Where is it? It is late in the game to still be looking at second derivatives and hoping for more. It's getting old, it really is.
I would like to point out that last weeks numbers were revised up, and this weeks number was based on plenty of guesswork as 9 states did not report numbers due to the Monday holiday. I kid you not. Estimates were used instead! This did not make it into the release, but made the rounds shortly after via Bloomberg. This is unacceptable. You can read more about the number here:
Nine States Did Not File Initial Claims Data Due To Labor Day, Hundreds Of Thousands Of Estimates In Data "Beat"
Now perhaps next week this all gets sorted out and today's number was very close to correct. It would not change my point at all.
I do not want to go on about many items that are "screaming" recovery but only when viewed by comparison with the worst numbers. At this point the recovery should be gathering steam and running full on, not slowing down, which it is. That is the bottom line to borrow a phrase from The Housing Time Bomb.
The stock market is a mess and makes as little sense right now as it did back in 2007. Corporate profits are better than they have been, but that was accomplished by cost cuts and extremely favorable cost pressures. Many scream stocks are cheap based on XYZ criteria, but I have zero interest in the overall market unless it gets 20% lower which I think is fair value for where the economy is now and looking ahead.
This week I learned that:
-Deflation is over
-The Double Dip is officially dead
-The stock market, ALWAYS a LEADING indicator, says old highs on the way
-Jobs will come roaring back any day now
-Money is leaving the stock market, but this is bullish as the chumps always pull their money before huge rallies
-There is a Santa Claus
Overall a positive week. I guess I need to cheer up!
Have a good night.