Non Farm Payrolls gets released this morning. Some outlets have pointed out an expected”beat” by BLS.

As we have long advocated, investors should be more concerned with the details than the headline, and watch for signs of a change in trend.A plus or minus 100k from the consensus is all but statistically irrelevant.

Be aware of the revisions, and Birth/death adjustment: Watch to see how much this impacts the overall number.

Look at these three leading indicators within the release:

1) Hours worked: Are employers still cutting back hours? That is a sign they lack confidence going forward.

2) Wages and income: Are salaries still falling? It reveals how much demand there is for labor.

3) Temp help:  Are employers starting to hire temporary workers?

These will provide some insight into the state of the Labor market.


I will be sitting in a canoe when these numbers come out. Use comments to update the release . . .

Category: Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

321 Responses to “Trend, Not a Single Data Point”

  1. Rex Nutting says:

    Other indicators to watch

    The unemployment rate and the change in payrolls always command most of the attention when the monthly report is released, but there are other indicators to watch that can help us judge the strength of the labor markets:


    The alternative unemployment rate: The widely reported jobless rate (the so-called U3 rate) includes only those who are actively looking for work. A broader definition includes workers who are too discouraged to look plus those who’ve been forced into part-time work when they’d prefer to work full time. This U6 rate hit 16.5% in June.

    The workweek: Employers have been cutting hours as well as jobs. The average workweek fell to a record-low 33 hours in June from 33.8 when the recession began. Total hours worked in the private sector plunged 0.8% in June and have fallen 8.2% during the recession.

    Temporary workers: Temps are the first fired and the first hired. Temp-agency jobs have fallen 33% during the recession and by 38,000 in June.

    Hiring diffusion index: In June, 29% of industries added workers, on net, down from 58% in the last month of the expansion. The low of 20% was hit in March.

    Earnings: With so much competition for jobs, bosses can afford to keep wages down. In June, average hourly earnings were flat.

  2. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    “3) Temp help: Are employers starting to hire temporary workers?”

    Anecdotal evidence: they are not. I used to be in financial services, now I am an involuntary temporary worker. I receive very few phone calls, despite an 18-year career with first-level management experience. Perhaps I’m the only person/job-seeker paddling this canoe. I kind of doubt it though; I’m not THAT special, despite what my mother told me. LOL.

  3. call me ahab says:

    I am assuming you are being paddled by natives- while sipping your coffee and eyeing your Mac- no?

  4. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    “I am assuming you are being paddled by natives.” To what natives do you refer, call me ahab?

    “I’m no Mac; I’m a PC.” LOL. Just checking in here while I submit more resumes and applications. Have a good day all.

  5. Unemployment numbers have always baffled me.
    What about the people that fall off after there benefits are eaten up?
    I work in the Real Estate market in Charlottesville Virginia and we actually have very low unemployment (compared to many areas) I believe we are still under 6%.
    Now a lot of people who are not working, do not want to work, should we track them?

  6. dead hobo says:

    call me ahab Says:
    August 7th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I am assuming you are being paddled by natives- while sipping your coffee and eyeing your Mac- no?

    You mean Big Mac?

  7. Greg0658 says:

    if only the treasury and labor departments could view bank accounts in real time with super computers
    we’d know exactly .. payroll deposits and payroll withdrawls

    and the super-dupper computers could see the shadow underground economy and add it into the mix for the true BP

    tho that might kill some jobs and some super-secret inside info traffic’g

  8. jc says:

    Nonfarm payrolls declined 247,000 in July, the Labor Department said Friday, the smallest drop since last August and below the 275,000 decline economists in a Dow Jones Newswires survey had expected.

    Avg WW up from 33 to 33.1

  9. jc says:

    Results of the various stimuli?

  10. AmenRa says:

    I said yesterday that GS had someone in the BLS. They were setting up for the ultimate short squeeze.

    Nonfarm -247k
    U3 9.4%
    U6 16.3%
    Hrs worked 33.1
    Hrly earnings 18.56 +.03
    Wkly earnings 614.34 +2.85
    B/D 32k

  11. AmenRa says:

    Weekly hours
    Manufacturing 39.8 +.3
    Construction 37.8 +.2

  12. AmenRa says:

    ok last one
    addendum part two:
    All Industries
    Part time for econ reasons 8798 -191
    part time for non econ 19018 +300

  13. hopeImwrong says:

    temp workers lost 9800 jobs. (less bad)

  14. jc says:

    birth death adj was only 32K, last July it was 25K, it was over 200K a copule mos ago

  15. chegewara says:

    people been highlighting this weeks ago. it’s seasonals (shadowstats):

    Week Ahead: July Employment and Unemployment. Due for release next Friday (August 7th), the July employment and unemployment surveys are expected to show a respective monthly decline of 333,000 (versus a 467,000 drop in June), with unemployment rising to 9.6% from 9.5%, per Underlying series would suggests significantly worse results, but unusual seasonal-factor distortions could bring a reported — albeit false — reported decline in the unemployment rate.

    As discussed in SGS Newsletter No. 51, disrupted patterns of regular auto-industry shutdowns for model-year-change retooling terribly skewed seasonally-adjusted new claims for unemployment insurance, reducing levels to a point of triggering “economic recovery” hype. The worst of the distortions took place in the same week as the household (unemployment) survey, and the same seasonal-pattern distortions may play out in the July unemployment rate and could affect payroll employment to a lesser extent. If it does, look out for sharp negative movements in the August data.

  16. chegewara says:

    so this year auto workers got laid off in May, not in July.

  17. GreatWarrior says:

    Help! I know Barry called the bottom back inn March 2009. I wonder if Barry has shared any predictions of equities going forward?

    The last thing I remembered was Barry saying he still hold like 80% equities + 20% cash, 1 month ago.


  18. Kedar says:

    The drop in the unemployment rate happened only because more people stopped looking for work and were thus ineligible to be counted as officially unemployed. The share of adults with jobs actually fell: to 59.4 percent, from 59.5 percent.

  19. Cohen says:

    @Kedar: Wouldn’t u-6 (supposedly) pick up those people?

  20. AG says:

    I want to make sure I’m getting this right.

    ok so even though the total Population of Employed people shrank by 155k, the Population of Unemployed did _not_ rise but also fell by 267k. This is explained by the fact that 422k people just left the labor force completely. violana, unemployment rates fall even as people get fired?

  21. batmando says:

    @ crazyjerrygarcialover at 8:15 am
    To what natives do you refer, call me ahab?
    perhaps ahab as thinking of leftback and his twins?

  22. cwf says:

    I work in the film business, and one item that gets lots of attention in Hollywood is the way studios tend to lower expectations for box office receipts of marginal films going into opening weekends in an effort to spin the film’s success on Monday by announcing “the film met expectations” or “the film beat expectations”. Complimenting this behavior by studios is their motivation to overestimate said film’s box office receipts on Monday morning to further spin the film’s “success”.
    However, by Tuesday of that week, those numbers get re-adjusted (almost always downwards) because the real revenue stats become more available to the press & public so studios can no longer spin the numbers. By then though, the new lowered numbers are “old news” and don’t make headlines. Thusly, the studio benefits from the spun/overestimated numbers rather than the true numbers. It also benefits from the lowered estimations, even though they were purposely lowered.
    I am not a conspiracy theorist. I refuse to be. However, is there any chance Timothy, Larry, Ben, Rahm, etc have motivation to extremely lower expectations for these job’s numbers, and then are they possibly also motivated to spin the numbers today towards the favorable side, and then, when the press/media/investors move on to other more current news items, are they then motivated to get the real numbers out, knowing at that time it’s old news and will avoid headlines?

  23. franklin411 says:

    You think Geithner runs ADP too?

    This is a clear win for the President, but most importantly, it’s a win for the American people. I was expecting a marginal improvement in the employment picture, but I was certainly not expecting the headline unemployment rate to *dip!*

    Green shoots, amigos! Green shoots!

  24. cvienne says:

    White House’s Romer sees normal post-recession growth


    “Romer said in an interview on Reuters Television. “I haven’t seen anything yet about this recession or about what’s happened to our basic infrastructure, our factories and whatever, that would lead me to think that we’re in for a period of lower normal growth.”

    What mood altering drugs are these people on?

  25. cvienne says:


    Please enlighten us as to how and why “This is a clear win for the President” (or don’t, if you really don’t have anything elaborate to say, and just want to make a non-pithy comment off a number that on first glance looked favorable)…

    And prepare to be bombarded, thus…

  26. beaufou says:

    How much of this stuff is Seasonally adjusted?

    U6 drops too?
    I don’t get that one.

  27. constantnormal says:

    Finally, Franklin 411 connects! A base hit!

    But it’s not all peaches and cream. Given the high degree of variation in the month-to-month unemployment numbers, it (as the title indicates) takes more than a single data point to make a trend.

    We should:

    1) wait a month to see how the final numbers look, as the initial releases are ALWAYS gamed by whatever administration is in power (possibly the system is constructed to produce initial estimates that produce overly optimistic numbers?).

    2) take into consideration that the (less than optimally implemented, I think even F411 would agree to that) stimulus program is having an impact, which should be more next month, and maybe more the month after that, at which point I think it runs out of steam as an economic driver.

    3) take heart in the fact that the workweek numbers are better (are these also “preliminary”, or are they more solid numbers from the outset?), as are the wage numbers (which are probably up due to the minimum wage going up, and will spur further unemployment — a complex mix that we will also have to wait to see how it unfolds)

    But for the moment, green shoots. We’ll see if they survive this quarter’s corporate revenue and sales numbers, which will have an impact in October (Brown October).

  28. beaufou says:

    U6, I’ll answer myself.

    “About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force
    in July, 709,000 more than a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally
    adjusted.) These individuals, who were not in the labor force, wanted
    and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the
    prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
    not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

  29. Cohen says:

    @beaufou: re: U-6 im looking into that too.

    Since the u-3 drop is a function of more people leaving the workforce than those losing jobs, there’s a decrease. If you leave the workforce, I guess you’re not considered discouraged, involuntarily p/t, etc. so U-6 wouldn’t pick that up either, hence the drop.

    Ami i totally off-base here?

  30. franklin411 says:

    I feel no need to defend these numbers as a positive–just look at Peter Boockvar’s note.

    Also, Secretary of Labor Solis was on CNBC around 6:40 Pacific saying that less than 1/3 of the stimulus has been allocated. So I would dispute the notion that the stimulus will peter out in two months.

  31. The Curmudgeon says:

    “This is a clear win for the President, but most importantly, it’s a win for the American people.”

    Because this President’s fortunes and the fortunes of every little American are inextricably linked, I suppose?

    OMG, we better start now with the necessary constitutional amendments to allow Emperor Obama to rule until death, just like his Kenyan brothers have tried since the end of colonial rule, at which point one of his progeny will be designated to take the helm.

    Why in the world does everything conflate to a victory for Obama?

  32. The Curmudgeon says:

    But on a green-shoot-wilting note, the 10 year treasury is screaming up, registering about 3.84 at the moment. Dang, as soon as one green shoot emerges, another starts to wilt. I don’t suppose it has anything to do with the fact that NOTHING (sorry, Cvienne) has changed to make this economy any better or different than the old economy, that recently revealed its true character as a giant ponzi scheme, dependent upon the continued flow of ultra-cheap credit.

    If the economy starts shooting green, either the dollar plummets or interest rates skyrocket, and either way, we are back to where we started.

  33. Thor says:

    Don’t feed the trolls boys – it’s been very quiet on the troll front here for a week now. I think we can see why. Numbers do seem to be getting better. Clearly though, unless the population of the US is going down now, I’m not sure how a drop of nearly 250K while the unemployment rate went down is good news to anyone. Sure, job losses are obviously dropping, but there are people in this country who have decided not to go back to work. To me, that’s translating to a population who is getting ready to live with a permanently reduced standard of living. Whether that’s good (less meaningless consumption) or bad (more poor people) is the real question.

  34. HCF says:

    >If the economy starts shooting green, either the dollar plummets or interest rates skyrocket, and either way, we are back to where we started.

    Also adding to your point that oil prices are self defeating. Nearly everyone sees rising energy as a “green shoot,” since it means the market is speculating on a robust recover. However, high oil in and of itself can kill off the recovery. Same thing with the weak dollar or higher interest rates, as you’ve pointed out.


  35. Thor says:

    PS – sorry for the continued troll comments, just trying to save us all from the thread degenerating into drawn out tit for tat. I think we have more imp0rtant things to discuss than whether or not the troll should be fed ;-)

  36. HCF says:

    Uh oh….

    “NY Fed Model: No Chance of Recession in 2010″

    I think I’ll take the other side of that trade. Low probability, perhaps. Zero, hell no…


  37. Bruce N Tennessee says:


    I would agree that this is a green shoot. Not a feeling, but a concrete number that indicates some improvement. Recessions, and even the great depression, they don’t last forever.

    But your buddy, Big O, is going to bring the national debt to 13 trillion by January 1st. Interest on the debt will be about half of the megastimulus. This will go on for years, and it will be an anchor on the commercial aspects of the nation.

    Wouldn’t it be better without socialism, without big spending by government…with more control of your work, life, by you instead of big brother? I know you know Marx better than I do, but this only seems right to me. Marxism has been discredited already. Do you really think these ideas of government control will produce a better future?

    Someone here in the last few days posited that this was an emergency situation that private industry had failed, and that it was simply necessary that government intervene and take a bigger hand in running the nation’s business. Let me give you the other side of the coin.

    I say, we survived because of private industry. Period. Industry has been pummeled by a series of very bad decisions by government. Rates too low too long, Greenspan’s epic 1% rates to “save us” when it would have been much better to keep rates higher. Free trade, instead of fair trade…I am not in favor of protectionism, but private industry, UNDER THE GUIDELINES SET UP BY THE US GOV., did the economically expedient thing, sending labor costs overseas, and competing on product price. Having a fair trade policy would have stopped much of this, like the Germans compete. Huge debt, by fighting two wars, and not paying for them. Government programs like drug programs on medicare that are passed and not paid for. And on and on…

    No, this problem was not “caused” by a failure of private industry. Big government sets the rules, and by prolonged innate stupid decisions, got us where we are..I view your bud as simply more and more of the same…

  38. The Curmudgeon says:

    @Thor…sorry for the troll nourishment, but dadgum, he’s fun to play with.

    @HCF…should have also included oil…I expect like a clock on the wall, T.Boone Pickens might be right this time that oil will rally.

  39. constantnormal says:

    @GreatWarrior 9:18 am

    “… any predictions of equities going forward? ”

    I don’t think that Barry makes any long-term predictions, he is more inclined to make statements on the current positions of the markets being over/under-valued, and plays momentum for all it is worth. It seems to work for him.

    However, from my vantage point, it seems that “nobody knows” which way the markets are going from here. You will find about every perspective under the sun expressed here, and I regard this as one of the more informed places of discourse on this subject.

    I think (for what it’s worth, which is at best zero), that we will see some choppy movement trending upward until this quarter’s earnings come out in October, at which point the stimulus will be close to having run its course, and we might see some significant correction/collapse. I’m hoping for a substantial collapse, something just shy of a financial apocalypse (I’m currently long), in order that a buncha banksters might be wiped out, taking their toxic debt with them, and putting us much further along the road to de-leveraging. I do not want to follow the Japanese into a de-leveraging that spans multiple decades, I want to live to see the next secular bull market. I am in the camp that thinks we will be plagued by deflation until we de-leverage and get rid of our excessive debt overhang, and that the Fed will be politically unable to print enough money to counter the deflation (the trifling mere hundreds of billions printed to date stand alongside trillions of excess debt, much of it toxic). YMMV. And you will surely find a plethora of other opinions on this site. Some of them might be right.

    Good luck in your quest for answers.

  40. manhattanguy says:

    First time in a while we are seeing both Dollar and Equities are up at the same time. Perhaps dollar is up because of positive employment report.

    @cv: now that we are above 1008 clearly. What will be the next target?

  41. AmenRa says:

    Let’s see what happens around S&P=1015. That’s the major overhead resistance for today (38.2% retrace).

  42. manhattanguy says:

    1015 could be easily reached within the next hour or so. Will the retrace start today? Time will tell.

  43. cvienne says:

    @Andy T

    Andy – we’re on 1014…

  44. The Curmudgeon says:

    “Perhaps dollar is up because of positive employment report.”

    Actually, I would guess the causation goes something like this….the 10yr yield is up because good news in the economy means bad news for the 10yr. The increased yield makes it attractive relative to its trading partners.

  45. cvienne says:


    didn’t see that post

    1014…Then 1054 if the previous gets taken out…

    I’m starting to inch my way in 10% at a time…

  46. manhattanguy says:

    Took out 1014 easily. Something tells me we are on our way to 1054.

  47. franklin411 says:

    U-6 ticked down as well, from 16.5% to 16.3%.

  48. cvienne says:


    “Sure, job losses are obviously dropping, but there are people in this country who have decided not to go back to work. To me, that’s translating to a population who is getting ready to live with a permanently reduced standard of living.”

    You said basically what I wanted to say…

    To understand numbers, one has to look at a broad range of things (not just the numbers themselves)…

    If you’re playing in a football game and you’re down 52-0, but your defense recovers a fumble what does that suggest? Until I see a lot of fumble recoveries, and more importantly, A LOT OF SCORING…All I see is a scoreboard that reads 52-0…

    Seriously…I’m wondering with the extra $2 billion allocated to “cash for clunkers”, combined with the idea that some expireed (from unemployment), will just fall off the planet and choose to go on the government dole forever…Hell, job losses may report ZERO within a few months…

    And what will the administration have achieved? A country that has no incentive or desire to work…Who only buys things that are subsidized by the government, and that increasingly needs government support (for welfare & food stamps), for basic survival…

    Congratulations Mr. President!

  49. hopeImwrong says:

    Stopped out of my SPY short. Very interesting action. Still feels like a turning point. Have to see where this goes. But, with the dollar up and the stock market up (and the recent positive correlation between the two) something is coming.

    I think my short position may have been a little early, but was it early by a few days? Is today the day to short? Was it early by a few weeks?

    So many people (bulls and bears alike) are looking for higher stock prices (either as a new bull market, or higher before the bear resumes), that I think if it turned down now, that would be counter to most expectations.

  50. constantnormal says:

    @F411 10:24 am

    “I feel no need to defend these numbers as a positive–just look at Peter Boockvar’s note.”

    nobody is saying that they are not a positive development. The only thing I am questioning is whether they will survive the release of “corrected” data, and how long the stimulus program will continue to be felt. All of the economic seers that I am aware of who have looked into the matter categorically state that the Obama stimulus was smaller than what was needed to completely lift the economy out of the pit. The only question is how long the stimulus will continue to favorably impact the economy.

    And as to 1/3 of the stimulus having been allocated, how much of the stimulus do you think will have a beneficial impact that will help the economy to grow back to levels closer to the capacity that is present in every industry? Dontcha think it would have been better if completely applied to infrastructure improvements? Those provide excellent immediate employment impact, and provide a much-needed means for roll-out of improvement in the power grid, bridges and roadways, and communications infrastructure (that our fatcat telecom dinosaurs seem unwilling to do unless someone else pays for them).

    Oh wait, I forgot — you favor throwing the money away on a dysfunctional educational system, with tons of wasted money going into teaching kids how to not think.

  51. cvienne says:


    Possibly…Oil is down too…so there still might be some fuel…

    I’m also watching the “crap”…I’d said a week or so ago to someone to be careful “shorting” the likes of COF…A move to $40 was possible if things got out of hand…

    Look at that thing continue to go up…

  52. hopeImwrong says:

    Bull trap today?

  53. cvienne says:


    In any case, the SPX hit the very top of that OPENING WEDGE it started 6 days ago…So there’s a reference point…

  54. manhattanguy says:

    @Cv: agree about COF. same goes for FAS. It might see $100 if S&P puts a 1060.

  55. jc says:

    GB, Interesting, I wonder how easily the B/D index and workforce dropouts can be manipulated, payroll taxes keep dropping on a current daily basis

  56. The Curmudgeon says:

    Re dollar strength/10yr yield shooting up:

    Don’t forget what Andy Xie said would happen to China’s property/equities market if the dollar strengthened:

    “It is not too hard to understand when the bubble would burst. When the dollar becomes strong again, liquidity could leave China sufficiently to pop the bubble. What’s occurring in China now is no different from what happened in other emerging markets before. Weak dollar always led to bubbles in emerging economies that were hot at the time. When the dollar turns around, the bubbles inevitably burst.”

  57. AmenRa says:

    As expected a quick sell off after hitting the 38.2%. I figure at two more retests before the day is over. If the S&P closes above 1015 then I will not be short over the weekend. I’ll wait for Monday to decide if I’ll get short again.

  58. manhattanguy says:

    Usually major reversals happen when few are expecting. We all have been expecting it to reverse in the last few weeks. Have to admit that this recent market movement is monstrous at best. I am going to sit on the sidelines and watch the market until it breaks down decisively.

  59. beaufou says:


    Yeah, I answered myself at 10.22.
    2.3 million people were dropped from the workforce.

    Looking a Chris Mortenson’s birth/death rate though courtesy of GB.

    247 000 is nonsense.

    Anyone has an enlightened opinion on the birth/death thingy?

  60. cvienne says:


    I agree with your levels…But at these levels, I’m not worried about catching the ABSOLUTE TOP anymore…In fact, I think it’s going to be VERY DIFFICULT to catch the absolute top…

    When this thing eventually does reverse, it’s going to take out a lot of levels very easily IMO…Why? because it’s not spending any time ESTABLISHING those levels…

    So I’m content to start with short positions here and let them ride, but only in small chunks…

    We’re beyond nosebleed already so I’m confident that at some point we’re going to go lower…

    Literally, Since we’ve been over 1,000 I’ve felt myself more nervous when I DIDN’T have shorts in place, than when I DID…(even with the risk of going higher)…It’s one of those cases where you buy and HOPE you lose money in the short term…

  61. cvienne says:

    …and to be clear

    There isn’t anything FIRMLY established all the way down to about 840 (some minor stuff here and there – but not much)…

  62. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Indeed, we bounced right off of it. Time for a breather? Kass is getting more bearish and shorter this A.M., FWIW. I just can’t get myself to stand in front of this and can’t go long either. Thus is the nature of this market for many right now.

  63. cvienne says:


    The general logic is that we’re in BEAR MARKET mode after a 20% pullback…

    So if we get to 1054…1054*20%=210.8


    Just a little math…

  64. Daffyorbugs says:


    Give us some help here. Where’s the top?

  65. cvienne says:


    I’m with Kass…easing in

  66. cvienne says:


    If I recall, Franklin was looking to ‘lighten up’ on his longs the other day…

    He may be a little bit of a wingnut, but his trading senses might be good…

  67. manhattanguy says:

    At this level if you are long, you ought to be concerned.

  68. Andy T says:

    Yep. This is a fairly critical level today….amazing market. Wonder what the “most difficult” trade is to make right now? It’s an old axiom…the most difficult trade is usually the right one….We’re getting some nice disconnects between the DX and the SP500….some smart “black box” hedgies are getting screwed with that divergence today, at least for now.

  69. jc says:

    Wonder if Kudlow is singing Obamas praising for pulling out of the Bush depression?

  70. Thor says:

    So perhaps what we’re seeing now is the new normal for the economy – reduced consumer spending, reduced consumer debt, and a reduced work-force. Something more along the lines of Europe only without the social safety net they enjoy and with a slightly less severe demographic problem (overall population decline). Personally, I think it’s about time the US population learned how to live without five bathrooms and a TV in every room – our parents and grandparents lived without these things and I think that they lived very happy and fulfilling lives.

  71. AmenRa says:

    I also noticed that 4% had been support (currently is resistance) for the 10 year bond dating all the way back to 1962.

    btw that’s the second test of 1015 on the S&P.

  72. jc says:

    Thor, Indoor plumbing is way overrated, bring back the honey pots!

  73. jc says:

    Thor, Is a 50% US deficit the new normal? If it is we’ll need a new normal currency!

  74. AmenRa says:


    What no outhouse?

  75. Thor says:

    JC – thanks for that! – I forgot to mention the “and without Europes far less massive deficits” in my earlier post

  76. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “Personally, I think it’s about time the US population learned how to live without five bathrooms and a TV in every room – our parents and grandparents lived without these things and I think that they lived very happy and fulfilling lives.”

    Amen brother! I and others of my ilk have been saying that for years though, of course. Only when the credit lines have been shut down is this coming about though; and the govt is fighting tooth and nail to soften that. There’s been much observation over the years that in spite of our increasing standard of living and apparent wealth, happiness and contentment have been falling. Go figure, especially when it’s brought about by debt fueled spending and stress ridden hamster wheel work life.

  77. jc says:

    Thor,We’re becoming more Euro – or as Jim Bunning said “I woke up and thought I was in France”. France only has one nationalized car company, we have two,LOL

  78. jc says:

    Troy, don’t you think stress levels are up for the millions who fell off the hamster work wheels and are now facing foreclosure?

  79. The Curmudgeon says:


    Indeed. And it is happening, slowly, but it is happening that people are learning to live with less. Wages and living standards tend to equillibrate across economic systems that are active trading partners. The wages and living standards of the LDC’s like China that we trade with must increase, or ours must decrease, or a little of both, to achieve equillibrium.

    This inexorable slide in American living standards will cease when either we all live like Chinese peasants, or Chinese peasants start living in McMansions, or, more likely, something in between. Maybe rice three days a week on both sides of the Sino-Anglo divide. There’s nothing any politician, short of closing off the borders of the US and China through the expenditure of massive amounts of treasure and blood, can do about it.

    In the meantime, as wage rates are sticky downward, there is apt to be a high level of unemployment in the US. If prices fell in line with demand, there wouldn’t be nearly as many unemployed.

  80. Daffyorbugs says:


    If you don’t answer me I’ll have to pray to The Great CNBC Sucks. Or spring for Barry’s service. Is that what you want?

  81. manhattanguy says:

    Still France hasn’t bailed out one bank. Their banking system is more sound than ours. They embraced nuclear power while we are still attached to Coal.

  82. cvienne says:


    Green Acres is the place to be
    Faaaaaarm livin’ is the life for me
    Land spreadin’ out so far & wide
    keep Manhattan just gimme that countryside

    That’s your “anti-stress” tune for the day…hum a few bars :-)

    or do a BR…jump in a canoe…but bring a paddle for goodness sakes!

  83. cvienne says:


    Here comes your 3rd test…

  84. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Of course. Please don’t misunderstand or misrepresent what I’m saying here. I can’t write a 10 page paper here to fully explore all the angles. I think you get the point. We’re on the same page.

  85. manhattanguy says:

    Liking the action in dollar. Next week will be an up week for $UUP.

  86. Paul S says:

    I’m afraid the new normal looks to be poverty for a lot of folks. The Employment-Population Ratio just ticked down another thenth of a point to 59.4 %, and while actual wages are up, there are the near universal decreases in benefits, not to mention the many decimated 401ks.

  87. Thor says:

    Paul & Curmudgeon- I’m not sure we’re going to go all the way to becoming a poor country. My guess is that rather than looking at our future as living in a country with a lower standard of living, we will do what society has done with pollution and segregation – future generations will look back at this time with disgust for it’s excess – the way people used to look at the gilded age. My grandparents had money, but they were always horrified by people who publicly displayed their wealth.

  88. DeDude says:

    Any fool can take a look at the curve and see that job loses are easing. The U3 that was shooting to the moon is not shooting to the moon any more although it would take a miracle for it to not end up breaking double digits. The labor force is faling as expected with many baby boomers forced into early retirement. The fall in average workweek has been blunted although another month or two is needed before we can say if it has reached its low. The facts are pretty clear here and to the great dissapointment of Rush, Bill and the GOP the stimulus package has done what it was supposed to do, and is beginning to turn the economy around. I know that there are people who’s ideology prevent them from seeing these trends and who will scream and yell all the way back to normal. But for anybody who gets their wiev of the world from facts all of this is pretty obvious. They had their fun, now franklin can have his.

  89. SavetheWhales says:

    Delurking for a moment:

    As a bear, I give up today.

    a) With bank funding costs at near zero. With FDIC wraps on bank bonds, the banks are now apparently legally allowed and even encouraged to mint money. Those of us that thought this was wrongheaded were wrong. This is the new reality.

    b) QE is our savior. Not only do deficits not matter, but printing money doesn’t matter either. Witness the Bank of England’s recent decision to expand their QE program.

    c) Transferring private losses to taxpayers, while leaving gains for shareholders is the new normal.

    d) US Treasury linked debit cards funded by the Fed QE can’t be far behind. Support your Congressman and he’ll make sure another $10 million are added to your account next week.

    I think it is time pick up my marbles and go home and take a nap for a few months because I can’t make head or tails out of our financial markets these days.

  90. Andy T says:

    manhattanguy: agree. as of right now, that’s a staggeringly bullish weekly candlestick on the DX, and the Euro has indeed turned into a massive bear trap. I can’t “confirm” full breakdowns in the Euro (major peak)…it probably needs to take out 1.40 to confirm a major peaking action, but that is awful action on the Euro…

  91. cvienne says:


    One thing that puzzles me a little is that the ZSL does seem to share any enthusiasm for the dollar move…

  92. Thor says:

    DeDude: – 50 points for once again bringing partisan politics into your post. +10 points for the baby boom reference. Perhaps that’s part of what’s going on with the -247K jobs while the unemployment rate actually went down.

  93. jc says:

    Troy, just light hearted not mean spirited, I agree with you & Thor

  94. Andy T says:

    cv. in re: ZSL….i see that’s some kind of ulta-etf…I don’t like any of these ETFs at all and I don’t trade or follow them…all i would mention is that silver is no where near it’s peak….so the dollar has fallen hard last several months and silver has not been able to better a 61.8% retrace of it’s big dumaparoo…i’ve noticed many instances this year of a lack of correlation between metals and DX….

    I’ve made this point before in re: trading….if you’re bearish or bullish the dollar, then people should express that view with bearish or bullish positions in the dollar…not something you think “should” be related to the Dollar…

    case in point: the SP500 today and even oil to some extent….

  95. cvienne says:


    …nothing worse than being right and STILL losing money huh? :-)