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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 13, 2007 3:51 AM. The previous post in this blog was Put your hands on your hard drive and pray with me. The next post in this blog is Ah, the irony. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here comes the recession

Time for the Chimp to find out that you can't keep kiting checks forever. The party is just about over. The Fed will screw around with the interest rates, but there's only so much they can do. Perfect timing for the '08 elections.

Comments (26)

Lemmee see if I got this right. Hoping and rooting for a recession because you believe that'll help the dummys win the '08 elections. Is that it?

Can't figure out where to put this, but here is just as good as any. Nice warping job of a knee xray as the new header. Yours?

ZQ-

Where is this post "hoping and rooting" for a recession? And, calling the dems dummys......

Ah. Ignore my previous comment. I just saw the Greg Oden post. Since I don't follow sports much, except in a fly-by way, I didn't realize that the newest savior to come PDX's way was in for arthroscopy. Best of luck to him and to Blazer fans. I'll stick to college sports and division 5A high school athletics. More exciting.

None of this is news if you have been following financial markets closely for the past year. The sub-prime mortgage market mess is affecting home loans nationwide and it will affect the housing market here in the Northwest in the near future. In 2008 you will have a much harder time buying a home or selling one for that matter. According to a Wall Street Journal article last month; the number of home for sale in the Portland/Vancouver market is up over 50% vs. the same period in 2006.
Keep in mind that Oregon's unemployment rate is already a full percentage point above the national average. And our "great" legislature spent almost every dime they could get their hands on this past session. I am predicting another replay of the 2001-2003
recession here in Oregon. It won't be pretty folks.

Not to worry, Portland Sam the scam Adams has a taxplan to fix all problems in a boom or bust economy. Open your wallets and let Sam save you.

Jack, you should stick to taxes and leave economics to others.

Let's see. GWB took office in the second quarter of a recession handed to him by Clinton. He cut taxes. The recession was one of the shortest lived on record.

Then 9-11 happened.

Since 9-11, there has been an unbroken string of robust growth and declining unemployment. Since 9-11, the GROWTH in the US economy is the equivalent of about 5 Saudi Arabia economies in terms of GNP. The stock market is higher today than on 9-10

Unemployment on 9-10 was 5.7, today it is 4.3. Productivity is up, interest rates are still low, inflation is low, and even the deficit is plunging, thanks to the tax dollars flooding into the treasury from the Bush tax cuts.

And you gleefully anticipate a recession so it will help your side in '08?

Kiting checks? Huh? The link was to a NYT article about oil prices rising and the dollar falling, which - ahem - has been the case for about six years. Where are the kited checks?

There are lots of things to criticize about Bush's administration, but the economic record ain't one of them.

Our country is over 9 trillion in debt and climbing to China, Saudis, and whoever else will buy our paper. Who is gonna pay it off? Not anyone typing comments here. I'm not an economist, but 9 trillion is a large number.

Where are the kited checks?

China.

There are lots of things to criticize about Bush's administration, but the economic record ain't one of them.

What planet are you posting from? In the last six and a half years we've had essentially no job growth and a decline in real incomes for all but the very wealthy, an unprecedented increase in public debt, sharp deterioration of our infrastructure and the loss of half the value of our currency, to say nothing of the doubling of energy prices.

When George Bush took office, oil was under 30 a barrel. Today it's over 80, in large part because of his doomed Middle East policy. No telling what it'll be if we attack Iran.
Heck of a job, Georgie.

Rob,

The D's and R's are in agreement that granting Amnesty (Shamnesty) for brazen violations of 18 USC 1014 are necessary to save the runaway detachment of home price levels from that of wages. Each has a different reason, none of them informed by the squirrelly statistical economic measures but rather targeted instead to the mushy ears of describable groups of voters.

911 has as much to do with explaining away unsustainable monetary growth (to affirmatively induce unhealthy asset inflation/wage deflation) as did/does the Spotted Owl explain away the consequence of cutting timber at levels far in excess of the "sustainable" level of cut over an extended period.

Perhaps I should find an economist that may have advised Plum Creek on the most cost effective lobbying expense.

I'll root for a restoration of healthy natural equilibrium between home prices and wages, informed by rental justified capitalization rate appraisals.

Ask any economist... the 'robust growth' conservatives like to cite has been largely a facade. We're at an odd time folks, and the economic indicators that used to be reliable bellwethers don't fit together anymore. A robust stock market doesn't mean our economy is in great hands, nor has it meant security or growth for the middle and lower classes.

We're at a crossroads. We've amassed incredible 'virtual' wealth by selling and reselling debt, and this is true at all levels. But no credit risk modeling algorithm has a precedent for our current climate to accurately predict what percentage is recoverable. Our income and savings rates have fallen in relative terms, while the costs and expenses of living have gone up dramatically. Energy costs will have a large share of our downfall, but we've created a perfect storm of factors, very few of which bode well for us.

Clinton didn't hand off a mess to Bush, we handed off the cyclical economic downturn that was expected. Bush did everything in his power to put the veneer of recovery on his term, but he really screwed us long-term. When you let the corporate boards of the financial industry (or the energy and mining industries) determine Fed policy, deregulate, and write legislation, that albatross will eventually come home to roost.

As a pragmatist, I see interest rates on borrowing increasing significantly, home foreclosures rampant, and interest rates on treasury security investments decreasing. The no risk 5% rate on a 6 mo. T-bill is now 4%. While I lack sympathy for the Chinese who have heavily invested in our treasury securities, our fixed income seniors will see a 1k annual decrease on their 100k, 6 month, treasury investment.
In other words, Grandma's $5,000.00 annual interest income on her $100k nest egg will now net $4,000.00. Gandma's Medicare and supplemental insurance premiums are increasing, and she now pays an added premium for the Bushie prescription drug benefit? Oh yeah, and the private insurance companies are not restricted from increasing those premiums which automatically reduce Grandma's Social Security benefit. That is recession with a capital R and it is occuring right now. Wake up people.

A point about unemployment numbers: Those figures are derived from the number of people currently receiving unemployment checks. Once your 25 weeks runs out, you may not have gotten a job, but you're no longer counted as unemployed.

There is a huge political angle in the president's weak-dollar policy. We borrow tons of money, making dollars more risky and less valuable. That prompts outsiders to buy US stock, which increases stock market.

Then people like Rob Kremer look at the slightly increasing stock market value as proof that the president's policy is helping the economy. Really, we're playing right into our competetors' plan by going deep into debt. They are buying up our good stuff with the interest we pay them. Rob and others like him abandon common sense when they justify this debt. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned.

There are lots of things to criticize about Bush's administration, but the economic record ain't one of them.

I hope you're not teaching that to the kids. Read my lips: crushing deficits and eternal debt to the Chinese government.

Roger: Wrong. Unemployment rate is not based upon unemployment claims.

Jack: I don't like the debt much either, but the fact that the Chinese own a lot of it actually is a good thing. They are far less likely to do anything real flaky, tied as their fortunes are to the U.S. Also, the debt load is not "crushing." As a % of GDP it isn't even near historical highs.

The "weak dollar" policy essentially has been the official position of the U.S. since the 1980's, since that famous G8 meeting.

Allan L: No job growth? Wrong. Non-farm payroll is up by about (I am estimating, but it is easily found) 4-5 million jobs.

Chris: so borrowing money to fund a deficit is kiting checks? Do you know what it means to kite a check?

TKrueg: I didn't use the stock market as the only indicator of economic health. Go back and read it.

Ha. uh, heh-heh, oh, ha-ah. HA Ha hah, uh, hehHAAAAA HAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAh-ahHAAA HHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, HAAA, Haa, uh, HAAAA HAA oh, HAAAAA HAaa Hah ... heh, HA HA

Rob Kremer: That's a good one. You are dangerous running loose. Jokes as good as you tell could give somebody a heart attack laughing at your stupidity. Maybe you better just stay indoors in your LIARS bunker. You obviously don't get out much anyway.

The party's over for American consumers, By Froma Harrop, Syndicated columnist (She is a rightwingy columnist.)
The new numbers on consumer confidence are out. They show American consumers very confident that the economy is going down the tubes.

Over in Asia and Europe, stocks plunged on fears that Americans may no longer be able to find the second jobs and recklessly borrow the money needed to buy imported stuff. Economists now freely use the "recession" word following the report that American payrolls fell in August, the first monthly decline in four years.

American consumers, in other words, are all dried up. And the discussion has begun on what kind of baloney economy kept them lubricated for so long.
[The baloney has a first name R-O-B, that's ROB. The baloney has a second name it's K-X-L LIAR! ]

Among the jobs to be lost in coming months are up to 12,000 positions at the giant mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. Like other mortgage companies, Countrywide is having a hard time these days palming risky loans off on sucker investors. ...

Middle class wages have been stagnating for the last 30 years or so, gap between the rich and poor is widening, we're militarily stuck in two countries for the foreseeable future, total consumer debt is over $8 TRILLION, the baby-boomers are going to be retiring, the list goes on and on.

"crushing deficits and eternal debt to the Chinese government."

Just hope that the Chinese don't come to COLLECT those debts.

They're not going to leave them outstanding forever. "Hmmmm, that's some nice farmland you have there..."

"Unemployment rate is not based upon unemployment claims."

So...?

What is it based on, then?

"They are far less likely to do anything real flaky, tied as their fortunes are to the U.S."

Huh?

Less likely than who? Fortunes tied? How?

Can you elucidate, please?

Thanks!

The Chinese talk about the debt they hold in terms of gaining strategic power in the world. Like using the trillion dollars in cash they have to buy natural resources, and free themselves of dependence on others... so they have the leverage to reunite China and Taiwan. That's a good way to think about it. We think of debt we use in terms of buying more crap. We become more dependent on others, more susceptable to changes that are out of our control, and less able to influence what happens in the rest of the world.

Unemployment rates are calculated by dividing the total number of unemployed people by the total available workforce. The workforce, in turn, is defined as the total number of employed people plus the total number of unemployed.

The math is pretty simple; the definitions aren't.

The trick is in defining "unemployed." The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a number of criteria to determine who is unemployed. The principle category is "people who are unemployed and actively searching for work."

The best measurement of that group is of course drawn from unemployment claims, as an active search for work is a requirement for drawing benefits.

The BLS statistics also intend to include people who are still searching for work even though they are no longer drawing unemployment checks. However, there is no readily available and reliable monthly source for that number.

Therefore, to believe that the national unemployment rate is 4.3% is to believe that the Bush Administration -- always unrelenting in its pursuit of the best available information -- is actively pursuing an accurate count of that number.

Government statistics on unemployment may be imperfect, but that was true long before Bush arrived in D.C.

Assuming the methods of calculation are consistently imperfect, they still provide for a relative measure of labor participation over the years.

Homeownership just topped 69% (a record in the U.S.), infant mortality is setting new lows (despite saving more preemies than any other nation on earth), and even America's homeless live more comfortably than roughly half of the globe's population (access to clean water, emergency health care, and social service agencies). If getting enough to eat is any indication, I'd say America's underclass is much better fed than most of the world's poor.

The U.S. economy only sucks until the day after Hillary is sworn in: then everything will be coming up roses. OVERNIGHT ECONOMIC RECOVERY! Just like the OVERNIGHT RECESSION that followed Bush's inaugural parade.


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