David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff analyzes thusly:
1) Jobless claims stuck at 570k — basically in line with a sustained 200k-300k payroll losses.
From Brad DeLong:
Had John McCain won the presidential election of 2008, at the start of 2009 he would have in all likelihood proposed a trillion dollar fiscal stimulus bill–3/4 tax cuts and 1/4 aid to states–and he might have picked Tim Geithner for his Treasury Secretary. Democrats would have called for fewer tax cuts, more state aid, and some government infrastructure spending initiatives in the fiscal policy mix, but the need for the government to cushion the recession would have brought them into line. When Obama took office he bid $800 billion for his fiscal stimulus bill–about 1/3 spending, about 1/3 aid to states, about 1/3 tax cuts–thinking that would be a plan that would win broad bipartisan assent. And he was wrong.
At the end of the 2000 film “The Perfect Storm”, a Gloucester swordfish boat captain (played by George Clooney) finally accepts that his crew won’t escape a monster hurricane in the North Atlantic. “She’s not gonna let us out,” he says as the trapped vessel moves from the eye of the storm and back into the raging winds.
Some wise words from economist Andrew Samwick over at Capital Gains and Games:
1) The scenario I envision is that the public option does nothing to control costs. Its payment system is set up to resemble Medicare, and it is the growth in real, age-adjusted Medicare expenditures per capita that has most people concerned about long-term deficits. But with a public option, there will now be recourse for every citizen to petition the government to get a better deal on its health insurance premiums. The pressure will be enormous to subsidize the public option, just as there has been enormous pressure to offer services in Medicare that increase its cost at (future) taxpayer expense.
Marc Ambinder looks at this question and concludes a) that anything under 10 percent is better than expected, b) 0.3 percent makes a big difference politically, and c) Team Obama will be able to more or less successfully blame Bush. His bottom line: