James Pethokoukis

SF Fed: Near 11 percent unemployment and a jobless recovery

June 9, 2009

The San Francisco Fed paints a gloomy outlook for the U.S. labor market with unemployment hitting near 11 percent next year and above 9 percent through 2011(bold is mine):

Does this explain rising bond yields?

June 8, 2009

This chart from Jim Glassman of JPMorgan makes an argument about seasonality:


Xerox CEO: The good times are really over for good

June 8, 2009

Here is a bit from Meet the Press from May 31 (pointed out by David Henderson) where David Gregory interviews a gloomy  Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox:

If economy improves, does GOP have a plan B?

June 8, 2009

Over at NRO, my pal Ramesh Ponnuru looks at all the green shoots and mustards seeds and wonders the following:

A salad of green shoots and mustard seeds

June 8, 2009
Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein of FIrst Trust Advisers offer some sunshine on the U.S. economy:
1) Since bottoming in February, consumer confidence has had the fastest three-month increase on record. 2) The ISM manufacturing index, which fell to historic lows over the winter, has climbed from its hole to signal that the overall economy is now expanding. 3) The Richmond Federal Reserve index, a measure of manufacturing in mid-Atlantic states, is showing growth. 4)  Container shipments both into and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – key measures of international trade – have traced a V-shaped recovery. 5) In the financial markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is back up to 3.86%, almost exactly where it was in August 2008, just before the crisis hit. 6) The VIX Index – a measure of stock market volatility and risk – has also traded back to levels not seen since August 2008. 7)  Meanwhile, key commodity prices, such as oil, copper, lumber, and gold are well off crisis-period lows.
Their bottom line:
In the last full calendar quarter before September (the second quarter of 2008), real GDP grew at almost a 3% annual rate. This is exactly what we expect for the third quarter of 2009 – 3% real GDP growth – with even faster economic growth in Q4 and then in 2010.

Banks out of the woods … or not

June 8, 2009

This is my choice hunk of the day from the brain of economic analyst Ed Yardeni:

Rail not as green as you might think

June 8, 2009

Here is an interesting bit from New Scientist that the White House might want to consider before spending billions on high-speed rail:

Sentence of the day

June 8, 2009

From the NYTimes articles on a White House effort to control executive compensation in the financial industry: