James Pethokoukis

PelosiCare could be bad news for the dollar

November 9, 2009

If the Reserve Bank of India’s directors had any doubts about the wisdom of buying 200 tonnes of IMF gold — and likely dumping some U.S. Treasuries in the process — they had only to watch last weekend’s legislative activities on Capitol Hill. The proceedings provided plenty of reassurance that the move was a smart play.

Remember the Misery Index?

November 9, 2009

I am not sure Jon Hilsenrath of the WSJ does: “It’s hard to get inflation when unemployment is so high.”

Tobin taxes, the dollar and gold

November 9, 2009

Perhaps the real reason Gordon Brown suggested a securities transaction tax was to tamp down on currency speculation that driven down global currencies vs. gold. Willam Rees-Mogg explains:

Unemployment and presidential disapproval ratings

November 6, 2009

Some interesting charts (via TNR) looking at the linkage between unemployment and disapproval ratings:

America’s jobless recovery

November 6, 2009

Here are a few opinions about the jump in the unemployment rate that caught my eye:

A few more thoughts on the shocking 10.2 percent unemployment rate

November 6, 2009

Some quick hits:

1) Remember in the early 1980s 7 straight quarters of avg. GDP growth of roughly 7% (!) lowered jobless rate by only 2.5 percentage points. Hard to see economy booming like that between now and Election Day 2010.

The massacre of small business

November 6, 2009

Good point from David Goldman:

The big issue in the US economy is the massacre of small business. That’s why the household survey shows that 558,000 Americans “became unemployed” during October, while the establishment survey of payrolls shows a decline of only 190,000 jobs. The establishment data, which are collected from larger businesses, are more reliable; the household survey is based on telephone interviews with randomly-selected households. But the numbers are so large as to make clear that small businesses are shutting down.

US unemployment rate surges to 10.2 percent; 190,000 jobs lost in October

November 6, 2009

This is an extraordinarily bad number, and makes this week a 1-2 punch for Democrats. A 10.2 percent jobless rate is the highest since April 1983, even though the labor force participation rate actually dipped a bit. The broader U6 measured surged to 17.5 percent. Recall that 7 quarters of average GDP growth of roughly 7 percent in the 1980s only brought down the unemployment rate by 2 1/2 percentage points. As the Labor Department sums things up:

Obama’s lost year

November 5, 2009

Rahm Emanuel famously said that you “never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  And certainly the sense of crisis earlier in the year helped the White House pass the $787 billion stimulus package. But where stands the rest of the Obama legislative agenda?

Obamanomics, Big Government, inflation and the price of gold

November 5, 2009

Ed Yardeni says the rising price of gold is sending a message about the political economy: