Comments on: Employment falls A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: nbywardslog Sat, 03 Jul 2010 09:36:20 +0000 Another case of lies, damned lies and statistics, I think: definitions, workforce sizes, manipulating sectors….all governments do it. They call it spin, but actually it’s lies.

There are two fascinating commonalities between the US and UK at present.
First, neither private sector can soak up the public sector jobless. And second, everyone talks about ‘double dip’, when it’s hard to see any sign in the real data that anything went up in the first place without massive QE.

There is a third area too – massive debt. So we’re both between a rock and a hard place.

This is a great blog by the way, Felix – not just well-informed, but very creative in its interpretations.
Keep up the good work.

By: Rikh Sat, 03 Jul 2010 08:26:33 +0000 What worries me probably the most in this crisis are 2 things:
1). Why do especially Americans keep spending borrowed money.
Some stimilus might be a good idea but making all sorts of commitments for healthcare, wars etc??

2). The other one is that imho:
– It is pretty clear that a crisis triggers outsourcing from high wage countries.
– Combined with sharply rising education levels in the EM’s.
– And considerable groups not able to meet qualification requirements for a high wage enviroment in the Western world.

Make structural unemployment rise quickly.
However you don’t see any real long term policies to attack this problem, allthough it will likely lead to considerable lower wages (middle and especially lower) sector and more people on welfare. The latter leading to increased taxes or halving welfare payments.

Bush was not able or willing to do something against this trend and it looks Obama is neither (No he cann’t!)

By: OnTheTimes Sat, 03 Jul 2010 07:02:01 +0000 Yeah, vote out the Democrats, because when Obama was elected in 2008, the economy was humming along and the U.S. financial system was the envy of the world.

Businesses are not reducing investment because of government policies; they are cutting back because they believe the economy is weak. And because they are cutting back, the economy is weak. If they had confidence that the economy would grow, they would be investing, and amazingly enough, the economy would grow. Because there would be enough investment to make it happen.

By: Gotthardbahn Sat, 03 Jul 2010 01:56:55 +0000 q: A little inflation would see bond yields back up a LOT. Seeing as Uncle Sam will run a deficit this year of around 1.6 trillion and the current national debt is, what, 10-12 trillion or so, even a couple of basis points higher in yield would be ruinous in terms of interest payable, so a little inflation isn’t really an option.

When I write that Washington is the problem, it is in the sense that the Obama administration is apparently obsessed with changing all the rules governing business and employment – under the catch-all term of ‘reform’ – but what is not generally recognized is that the private-sector experience of the current administration is pathetically low. The uncertainty generated by Obama results in employers holding off on hiring and expanding, not knowing if Team Obama will change something else resulting in higher costs. The lack of private-sector experience of Team Obama means they really don’t understand, or even care, what impact their changes have on business. Mr. Immelt of GE, among others, has touched upon this in recent months.

Bottom line, clipping Mr. Obama’s wings in November means a reasonable degree of certainty for business going forward. A poor showing by the Democrats in November, which seems likely given the poor employment numbers recently released, will ensure a do-nothing/nonmeddlesome Congress and an improving economy in 2011. So get out and vote!

By: q_is_too_short Sat, 03 Jul 2010 00:36:20 +0000 uh, it’s not the government.

if companies are sitting on cash, they can just as well invest overseas. (not a bad idea to do while the dollar is high — let’s get rich owning the rest of the world.)

the issue is that nobody wants to invest when current fixed investments are running only at about 75% capacity. we’ve got a dearth of demand, plain and simple, end of story. a little inflation would cure this right quick.

By: Gotthardbahn Fri, 02 Jul 2010 19:59:23 +0000 Why would companies invest when Washington can just turn around and change the rules mid-stream, or find another set of corporate scapegoats of which to make an example, or raise taxes willy-nilly or whatever? Face it, you all elected Mr. Obama and now many of you are suffering from buyers’ remorse. Do something about it in November before it’s too late.

By: OnTheTimes Fri, 02 Jul 2010 19:00:23 +0000 @yr2009, yes, many companies are in no position to invest, but there a lots of big companies whose earnings have recovered due to reductions in payrolls and inventories, and they are not re-investing those earnings.

The WSJ, which regularly rails against federal spending to keep the economy from entering a death spiral, reported on the record hoarding ( 4052748704312104575298652567988246.html) . However, they are not able to connect the dots between large, healthy, profitable businesses reluctance to invest and the weak economy. I guess they still believe in the magic of the market, because if bonus-driven executives don’t want businesses to spend, and they don’t want the government to spend, I don’t know how they expect any economy to maintain its status quo, let alone grow to meet a growing population.

The economy is a national asset, and needs maintenance to remain valuable to the nation (and world). That maintenance is the renewal of investments and recycling of profits. In the absence of maintenance, all assets deteriorate and ultimately lose their value. That is what is happening now.

By: SkepticOne Fri, 02 Jul 2010 17:59:20 +0000 nyet…I agree with your posting…nothing to add here except a joke. If you took all the economists in the world and laid them end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

By: Woltmann Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:57:57 +0000 I think it’s indicative of the major loss of confidence by the American People in their elected officials and business leaders. The sooner our wonderful leaders, business and political, internalize this the sooner we get started solving some of America’s real problems.

By: armoderate Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:54:13 +0000 Its funny that someone writes this article now rather than during 2001-2007. This same phenomenon was going on then when all the news media were crowing how great the economy was under Bush when the unemployment rate was supposedly low. Us ordinary working “Joes” knew based on our real income erosion that the economy was being hyped. Structural unemployment has been a dirty secret since the Reagan Administration. It would be nice if the Bureau of Labor Statistics was not under the Executive Branch so that we all could see the real main street health of the economy.