Saturday, May 8, 2010
The International Monetary Fund operates primarily as a banker bailout machine. They cajole and tempt and confuse and threaten the leaders of governments worldwide to pay off the failed bets of the big bankers using the taxpayer funds of their countries. This has been going on a long time, at least since the early 1980s.
Thus, I am not in the teeniest bit surprised that the same thing is happening today in Iceland and Latvia. (more)
We are not dealing with a narrowly defined economic crisis or recession. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives. In turn, the U.S.-NATO military agenda serves to endorse a powerful business elite which relentlessly overshadows and undermines the functions of civilian government. (more)
- 290,000 jobs added last month -- 231,000 of them in the private sector
- U-3 unemployment rose from 9.7% to 9.9%
- The U-6 figure, including the underemployed, rose from 16.9% to 17.1%
- The average workweek grew from 34.0 hours to 34.1
So why the rise in the unemployment rate?
The Labor Department games that number to exclude “discouraged workers” who’ve given up looking for work. Even U-6 excludes discouraged workers who gave up more than a year ago. As some of those people regain confidence and begin looking for work again, the labor pool gets deeper.
Oh, irony… the quants’ statistical sleight of hand is coming back to bite them, yet again.
Still, there are a number of positive take-aways…
- Census hiring accounts for only one in five of the new jobs added last month
- Even accounting for the Census, we’ve added substantially more jobs than the 100,000 needed just to keep pace with population growth. That hasn’t happened since November 2007
Of course, that’s assuming the numbers haven’t been gamed in other ways. Heh. We’ll find out next month when the revision gets filed away in some dusty backroom of 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE in Washington. Agora Financial
So who are the beneficiaries when stocks perform the sort of high-diving act they did yesterday? Just what you’d expect…
Remember all that talk about the 10-year Treasury yield breaching 4%? That was so last month. This morning, the benchmark note sports a yield of 3.43%. A 30-year fixed mortgage can be had for almost 5% again.
The dollar index, for its part, is just a breath away from 85, near Panic of ’08 highs.