Posts filed under “Analysts”

Reagan’s Million-Jobs Month Revisited

* Sigh.*

@TBPInvictus here

I see once again that the canard about Reagan’s million-jobs-month is making the rounds:

“Reagan’s best job month garnered the very top ranking since WWII with 1,114,000 jobs added in September 1983. A single month with more than a million jobs added. So far Obama can only wish for such a total.”

This is either journalistic incompetence or deliberate deceitfulness. Those of you who keep repeating this falsehood — including some once-reputable media outlets — are committing journalistic malpractice. And shame on you, Senator Rob Portman.

So, for the second time in three months (see here for the first go-round) – and then on to a related topic – here we go:

The Reagan recovery simply did not include a month in which anywhere near one million jobs were created. It did include two months in which almost 700,000 AT&T workers went on strike and then returned. Those workers dinged the NFP number one month and subsequently goosed it the next. There’s no magic about this whatsoever; it could not be clearer. If I loan you $10 one month and you pay me back $11 the next, two things: 1) I’m a usurious bastard and 2) i did not “make” $11 the second month. Those who initiated this canard (thinking WSJ editorial page), and the countless bobbleheads who have mindlessly repeated it, have done everyone a great disservice.

I’ve retrieved and posted the two relevant BLS releases to my Scribd page.

Here’s the NY Times at the time:

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 6.17.09 PM

Here’s an excerpt from the BLS release the month before Reagan’s million-jobs miracle (when the striking workers returned). Note the “nationwide strike of some 700,000 communications workers.”

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 6.19.36 PM

All that said, I started thinking about that period of time in a larger context. I thought about what has become of labor’s leverage (or lack thereof) over the intervening years. I reached out to a friend at the St. Louis Fed, who found the data set I needed – Net Change in Number of Workers on Strike, persons, with the following definition:

Net change in the number of persons on strike is the number of persons newly on strike minus the number who returned to work after a settlement. Only strikes involving at least 1,000 workers are covered.

The table below is fairly self-explanatory, and tells a sad story about labor’s diminished – and diminishing – power, as evidenced by the ongoing decline in strikes (aka “work stoppages”). To be crystal clear here: Like everyone else, I have on occasion suffered as a result of striking workers in one industry or another. And it’s no fun. Then again, I’m sure it’s no fun for the strikers, either. I’m sure they’d rather not be on strike. The point is that one of labor’s Hail Mary, last-resort tactics has become virtually extinct, dealing a blow to the labor force.


Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 6.51.56 PM

Given that, is it any wonder that labor’s share of the spoils has just bounced off a record low (props to Slick Willy for at least temporarily turning things around).




See Bruce Bartlett on labor share here.

Category: Analysts, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Curse of the Macro Tourists

Scene: Dinner, Monday night Dramatis Personae: party of 8, including Fed staffer, Fund manager, VC, Trader, Media, et. al. (Notably absent were economists of any flavor, though some were present for pre-dinner drinks). Discussion: Post-mortem of Bernanke Q&A at press conference, how & when the Fed unwinds, whether the economy is strong enough to withstand…Read More

Category: Analysts, Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Psychology

Time for an important lesson with someone else picking up the tuition costs: It is the Meredith Whitney story, and it is instructive to those of us who work in finance and occasionally engage the media. Any of you who might think an outrageous call is the way to achieve lasting fame and fortune on…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Really, really bad calls

US vs Canadian Bank Regulations: Money Boo Boo

Internal e-mails implicate credit rating agencies in the 2008 financial crisis.

Money Boo Boo

Monday June 24, 2013 (04:33)


Jason Jones teaches regulation-loving Canadian bankers the advantages of harmless free-market fun.

Money Boo Boo – The Canadian Banking System

Monday June 24, 2013 (05:49)

Category: Analysts, Bailouts, Derivatives, Humor, Really, really bad calls, Regulation, Television, Video

World’s Shortest Analyst Report

      Hat tip Mike P  

Category: Analysts, Trading

Analysts Are Not Paid to Make Stock Recommendations

Source: SSRN, Motley Fool   News flash: Analysts exist to generate investment banking business and trading commissions; they are not here to assist you in making stock buys or sells. That is the conclusion of a recent study, but let’s be blunt: If you have been paying attention, you probably already knew this. At this…Read More

Category: Analysts, Investing, Trading

US Quantitative Primer 2013

Last week, I mentioned Merrill Lynch’s Market Analysis Technical Handbook. I was somewhat smitten by the wire house attempt to explain the basics of technicals to a broader layperson audience. Several BP readers at Mother Merrill (as she used to be known) directed my attention to another annual release: US Quantitative Primer 2013. It is…Read More

Category: Analysts, Digital Media, Quantitative

Bloomberg Economics: Free 2 Month Trial

Yesterday, I used a chart from Bloomberg Economics. An emailer asked: “How do I get access to that publication? The answer is below:     Click fro a trial subscription Source: Bloomberg

Category: Analysts, Digital Media, Financial Press

Dave Ramsey Does Not Understand “All Time Highs”

My wife happened to mention hearing a financial guru on the radio a little while back. I am always interested in knowing what financial gurus are saying (and thinking maybe it was Ritholtz or Rosenberg or Levkovich or someone else I personally know). I asked her who it was.

“Dave Ramsey,” she said.

“Dave who?” was my reply.

So I asked around – colleagues, friends in the business, etc. etc. Couldn’t get a bid. I turned to The Google and in short order realized that Dave Ramsey is the male version of Suze Orman. He seems to be a self-promoter with little actual experience or knowledge of financial markets or economics. But what really struck me was the condescending, patronizing tone he directs toward his callers. This a site refers to him as a “Christian financial guru,” yet he doesn’t seem to preach in very Christ-like manner.

I could write a thesis about all that’s wrong with this ilk. But rather than take the 30,000 feet view (that’s BR’s province), let’s get granular:

Should I Invest In Gold?

Once again, investors are reacting to the uncertainty in the stock market by investing in gold. Since the third quarter of 2010, the price of gold has jumped 40%, peaking at just over $1,900 an ounce. The “experts” are touting gold as the only “safe” investment in a volatile market.

So is now the time to buy gold?

No way!

Think about it: Why would you buy something at its all-time high?

Before we move on to the idiocy of the final sentence, let’s consider another aspect of what’s going on here.

Later in that same post:

Gold Stash is a quality company that will gladly buy any of your unused gold and silver. They do business the right way, going above and beyond. Dave wouldn’t endorse them if they did any less. With Gold Stash, you can take advantage of the high gold prices in a safe and responsible way.

So, not only is Mr. Ramsey advising against gold under nearly all circumstances, he’s recommending selling it to a company he “endorses,” who coinicentally happens to be an advertiser?

Oct. 13, 2009: “He never has, and he never will [advise buying gold]. Companies like offer an outlet for you to make some money on your unwanted or unneeded jewelry. Dave will only endorse companies that he trusts, and Gold Stash is reputable, honest and absolutely trustworthy.” Gold price then: About $1,050/oz.).

Who is Gold Stash? Hmm. Well, there’s a tab that allows us to see who “Dave Recommends.” There’s Gold Stash. Funny thing is that at the bottom of that drop down is a link for us to “View all Advertisers.”



Gold Stash is an advertiser of his, and Dave wholeheartedly endorses them (and only them, apparently) and, coincidentally, is always – 100 percent of the time – bearish gold. Dave is so concerned about your financial well-being that he’s going to let those suckers at Gold Stash take the hit on your soon-to-be-worthless gold. What a guy.

Read More

Category: Analysts, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank, UnGuru

Sheila Bair: On Ratings Agencies, Bank Leverage

Former Chairman of the FDIC Sheila Bair talks about President Barack Obama’s nomination of Jack Lew to Secreatery of the Treasury. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Bair: “I Would Like to See Justice Done on Ratings”

Bair Says Ratings Companies Need Regulatory Changes


Banks Still Have Too Much Leverage, Bair Says


Is Wells Fargo Still the White Knight of Banking?

Source: Bloomberg, Jan. 11 2013

Category: Analysts, Credit, Video