Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 1-8

January 8, 2010

Bank regulators issue interest rate advisory (FFIEC) This may sound boring, but it's rather important. The FFIEC -- a collection of bank regulators including FDIC, OCC, the Fed, OTS and NCUA -- hasn't issued such a warning since 1996. It wants banks to make sure they can handle rising interest rates....which seems to me a HUGE disincentive to lend. 5% mortgages originated today will lose mucho value as rates go back up. This is a huge reason banks "aren't lending," because up is the only direction for rates to go!

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 12-8

December 8, 2009

(Reader note: still working on the bugs....please click "continue reading" to see all the links)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Video: The unemployment game show

December 7, 2009

A clever way to explain the difference between U-3 and U-6. From Mint.com.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Rosenberg: Unemployment headed to 12-13%….

November 11, 2009

...but that doesn't mean the overall employment picture will get a lot worse.

From today's "Breakfast with Dave" e-mail:

There are serious structural issues undermining the U.S. labour market as companies continue to adjust their order books, production schedules and staffing requirements to a semi-permanently impaired credit backdrop. The bottom line is that the level of credit per unit of GDP is going to be much, much lower in the future than has been the case in the last two decades. While we may be getting close to a bottom in terms of employment, the jobless rate is very likely going to be climbing much further in the future due to the secular dynamics within the labour market.

Higher NAIRU doesn’t equal higher interest rates

October 13, 2009

Goldman Sachs analyst Peter Berezin is jumping into the debate about the impact of a rising NAIRU – a measure of unemployment equilibrium. Felix Salmon posted on it here back on Sept. 29 and quoted PIMCO’s Mohamed El-Erian saying that 7% seems “reasonable.”

Free-trade advocates need to get real

September 17, 2009

President Barack Obama’s decision to impose safeguard tariffs on imported tyres from China has drawn predictable howls of outrage from economists, think tank staff and editorial writers — none of whom has seen their job exported to China. It would be more constructive if they devoted the same effort to devising ways to compensate losers from globalisation in order to shore up waning public support for trade liberalisation.
Between 2000 and 2008, almost 4 million jobs were lost in U.S. manufacturing (22 percent of the total), many as the result of offshoring and increasing competition from lower-cost manufacturers in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Santander’s debt buy-back not necessarily a flop

September 9, 2009

Santander’s attempt to buy back 16.5 billion euros of asset-backed debt looks, at first glance like a bit of a flop: in the end investors only sold about 600 million euros of bonds by face value to the bank.

Job declines slow, but unemployment rate jumps

September 4, 2009

The Labor Department’s August report on the jobs market has a bit of a good news/bad news slant to it. Job cuts slowed to “just” 216K, below expectations and better than last month’s 276K (up from the originally reproted 247K). But the unemployment rate, which is calculated through a distinct survey of households rather than businesses, jumped to 9.7% from 9.4% the previous month. You’ll remember that a slide back in July made some hopeful that maybe, just maybe, joblessness has stabilized.