I Guess The Economy Is Just Peachy Now – The Sixth Month In A Row That The Recession Has Ended

U.S. jobless rate seen highest since 1983


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy likely shed a further 355,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high, but for a nation mired in its deepest recession since at least World War Two that may be good news. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090702/bs_nm/us_usa_economy_payrolls_1

However, ADP has reported, “Private employers shed another 473,000 jobs in June, according to ADP’s National Employment Report released this morning. http://jan.freedomblogging.com/2009/07/01/adp-reports-473000-job-cuts-in-june/16721/

One out of 6 US workers underemployed

It’s not just the unemployed who are hurting.

If you include people who involuntarily are working part-time and those who want a job but have given up looking, the so-called underemployment rate for the nation was 16.4% in May, say the experts at the Economic Policy Institute. The rate for just those who were unemployed was 9.4%. http://economy.freedomblogging.com/2009/07/01/one-out-of-6-us-workers-underemployed/

Watch for the Government’s upward revision on the under-reported unemployment numbers – The Obama Administration has had to revise upward the numbers it reported 4 months in a row. Today’s report will “estimate” unemployment at 9.6% – that number will later be revised upward to 10% – however the revision will take place on page 12 of your local paper and not be reported by the Main Stream Media.  

Mortgage Applications Fall to 7-Month Low

NEW YORK–U.S. mortgage applications plunged to a seven-month low last week as demand for home refinancing loans tumbled 30%, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The drop does not bode well for the hard-hit U.S. housing market, which has been showing some signs of stabilization, with sales rising and home price declines moderating in many regions of the country.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended June 26 decreased 18.9% to 444.8, the lowest reading since the week ended Nov. 21, 2008.

“Rising unemployment, concerns about job security, potential buyers’ inability to sell their existing homes and problems with appraisals coming in too low are all weighing on demand,”  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/mortgage-applications-fall–month-low/

U.S.  Auto sales for June 2009 are off an additional 28%.                                                                                                     http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102167.html 

In June 2008 auto sales were only off 18% not this months 28%, however, the pre-election headlines one year ago described that decline this way ….

Auto sales plunge“, http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/01/news/companies/auto_sales/index.htm?cnn=yes , and “June Car Sales: U.S. Buyers Almost Veer Off the Road”,  to describe the fact that G.M.’s sales were off 8%, Ford’s sales were off 19% and Chryslers sales were off 28%  this time last year. http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/07/june-car-sales-us-buyers-almost-veer-off-the-road.html.

I’d agree with Mike Karagozian at Examiner.com, an inside the industry publication, when he says,   “Down is the new Up, apparently. In the Sunday business section of one of Detroit’s surviving daily newspapers, a headline proclaims, “Forecast has signals of auto recovery,” with this hopeful sub-head: “Annual rate expected to top 10 million.” Don’t bet your 401k on auto industry stock, however. We have entered a new era in mainstream media journalism where bad news is good news; where the glass is always half full. The sales numbers don’t justify a headline that blares “signals of auto recovery.” Auto manufacturers will announce their June sales figures this week and they will be up slightly from May, but down significantly from June 2008. That should come as no surprise. To spin industry sales projections of 10.3 million units as good news or reason for hope, however, is totally bogus. It’s worse than bogus. It’s downright irresponsible. By any standard of measure, a 10.3 million unit sales year is an absolute disaster — unless being at rock bottom is considered good news, which, apparently it is.

Worst-case scenario
According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates press release, “new-vehicle retail sales for the month of June are expected to come in at 789,400 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.2 million units. This is down by 9 percent from one year ago, but up by 14 percent compared with May 2009.”  Except May 2009 was a disaster compared to May 2008. If the J.D. Power projection is correct, a 9.2 million-unit year is worse than any worst-case scenario anticipated by senior management at GM, Chrysler or Ford. Or the Asian and European manufacturers.  If 9.2 (or even 10.3) million sales is sign of recovery, consider that last year (2008), industry sales were 13.2 million and in 2007 sales were 16.1 million. The glass that was half empty is now half full
This bad-news-is-good-news style of reporting has affected the way unemployment figures are portrayed. In January 2009 the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent and the media were apoplectic. The nation’s unemployment rate for May 2009 topped 9.4 percent and is now approaching Europe’s unemployment rate. Instead of predicting economic disaster, we get stories that portray homelessness as an alternative lifestyle choice for hip urban sophisticates who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Don’t take my word for it. Google “homeless lifestyle” and read for yourself. The glass is half empty but we are being asked to believe it is half full. http://www.examiner.com/x-6173-Ford-Examiner~y2009m6d29-June-auto-sales-expected-to-be-down-due-to-weak-economy-unemployment

In 2007, a horrific year in vehicle sales, vehicle sales topped 16.1 million. Last year, 2008, vehicle sales slipped to 13.2 million. The 2009 projection for vehicle sales is between 9.2 million and 10 million, an additional 30% drop, if the the projection proves accurate and sales are not worse.

2009 home sales figures are down from 2008 (If 2008 numbers were a “disaster” why are the 2009 numbers viewed so optimistically?). In 2008 4.68 million homes were sold – in 2009 we are on pace for 4.55 million sales. That represents an additional 3% drop off some very dismal numbers in 2008. http://www.realestateabc.com/outlook.htm

Mortgage foreclosures in 2009 have already topped 1 million (the 1,000,000 mark was passed over Memorial Day Weekend). The currently projected total for 2009 is 3.6 million. http://www.mortgageloan.com/new-foreclosures-top-1-million-in-2009-3320  Don’t forget that a “moratorium” on foreclosures was in place for 90 days in 2009. 

I’m just overjoyed that everything is just peachy now …… and here I though we were just getting more of the same old crap.

Watch for next months claims that things have bottomed out and everything is fine ……… don’t pay any attention to the fact that the “ship of state” is still sinking – you know the ship is sinking just a bit slower now. So what if you get wet, isn’t it a nice day for a swim. Pay no attention to those fins, the “fish” don’t eat much.     

Another Example of Democrats Blocking Reform – McCain’s attempt at reform “Scuttled”

McCain Accounting Proposal Scuttled

Senate Rejects Listing Of Stock Options as A Corporate Expense

By Helen Dewar and David S. Hilzenrath

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, July 12, 2002; Page A01


Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a proposal that would have changed the way companies account for stock options, an initiative vehemently opposed by high-tech companies that have used such grants to award billions of dollars in compensation to their executives and employees.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tried unsuccessfully to attach to a broader corporate accountability bill a requirement that companies subtract the cost of stock option grants from their reported profits. But the Democratic leadership prevented McCain’s amendment from reaching a vote.

 “The fix is in,” said McCain, vowing to try to force a vote on the measure in the future. McCain’s proposal faced bipartisan resistance in the Senate.

Unlike salaries and cash bonuses, option grants to executives and employees are not counted as an expense on corporate statements. If they were, many companies would report weaker profits, and some companies that now appear profitable would post losses.

The ability of companies to dispense options as if they had no cost has led to huge executive grants, giving corporate leaders added incentive to cook the books and artificially inflate stock prices, some politicians and business analysts say.

After Republicans used parliamentary maneuvers to block Democrats’ amendments, Assistant Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) outflanked McCain. As a result, Reid spared senators the potential discomfort of going on record with a vote against the stock option amendment.


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