James Pethokoukis

Some terrible unemployment data

August 24, 2009

This from IHS Global Insight:

Although there are increasing signs that the economy has bottomed out, IHS Global Insight’s summer forecast shows that a job recovery is still a ways off for most of the nation’s metropolitan areas. Of the 363 metros in the country, just one—McAllen, Texas—will add more than 1,000 jobs this year. While most areas will begin increasing employment again in 2010, it will be tepid, with only 118 metros crossing the 1,000-job mark next year. Solid gains will not return for the majority of the country until 2011.

Too soon for a Bernanke victory lap?

August 24, 2009

It was a pretty upbeat Ben Bernanke that spoke over the weekend at the Fed conference. But a few cautionary statistics from Ed Yardeni:

Dude, where’s my civilization-wrecking depression?

August 24, 2009

Geopolitical thinker and strategist Tom Barnett is disappointed with the resilience of the global economy and institutions:

How Obama could prevent a second recession

August 24, 2009

Is the light at the end of the tunnel an oncoming train? That’s the worry of many economists who fret that after a couple of quarters of moderate growth, the U.S. economy will either lapse into a state of torpor or relapse into recession. In a new Financial Times op-ed, Nouriel Roubini says that weak labor markets, weak banks, weak consumers, weak profits and weak trade creates a strong risk of just such a “W-shaped” economic scenario.

White House: 10-year deficit up $2 trillion to $9 trillion

August 21, 2009

My Reuters colleagues break the news that the White House is revising upward its ten-year budget forecast to $9 trillion from $7 trillion:

The New York Times, the super-rich, income inequality and taxes

August 21, 2009

Some thoughts on today’s NY Times story about the falling fortunes of the once super-rich:

‘Wee weed up’ (thanks Obama!) about some things and not others

August 21, 2009

Things I am “wee weed up” (which I think means “agitated”) about: the long-term budget deficit, the Long Recession, the state of U.S. competitiveness, the cancellation of “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (now and forever!),  breaking my Kindle by putting my elbow on the screen and then leaning my full 205 pounds on my elbow (I mean, Amazon never said “not” to do that),  Washington humidity, not being at Jackson Hole, health exchanges, the housing market, Rick Schroeder in “24″ in season six (currently watching on DVD via NetFlix), my six-day summer cold,  my commute which is even slower in the summer (something about “hot” rails, the Cubs falling out of the pennant race (now and forever, apparently) …

Death panels, rationing and Medicare

August 21, 2009

A good post on the healthcare debate from Alex Harris of the OpenMarket blog:

Any arguments about providing more entitlements somehow reducing the total amount of entitlements just don’t work. Insurance produces moral hazard. People overconsume goods they get for free on the margin. That’s Econ 101. The Democrats may have realized this and so proposed various cost-cutting measures, like panels to determine who gets care and who doesn’t.

Political woes could push Obama to nix Bernanke

August 21, 2009

The great Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets draws up a scenario that could see Ben Bernanke get pushed toward the exits:

The case against Bernanke being reappointed as Fed chairman

August 20, 2009

David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff outlines the bear case on Ben Bernanke getting reappointed by Obama: