Skip to main content

Conservative real estate magnate and publisher Mort Zuckerman, former owner of the Atlantic Monthly and Fast Company, and current owner of US News and World Report and the NY Daily News, had a very interesting Op Ed piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, "The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think."


The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think
The average length of unemployment is higher than it's been since government began tracking the data in 1948.
Wall Street Journal
Opinion
July 14, 2009
By MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN
Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, US News and World Report

The recent unemployment numbers have undermined confidence that we might be nearing the bottom of the recession. What we can see on the surface is disconcerting enough, but the inside numbers are just as bad.

More from Zuckerman...


The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

Regrettably, like so many other quasi-wingers,  he fails to mention the basic concept that most (not all, but most) of this mess on which he comments is courtesy of the previous administration's unbridled, laissez faire management of our economy. Furthermore, Main Street's pain is being exacerbated right now by the rants of fiscal deficit hawks that have all-but-logjammed additional stimuli for Main Street  to the point where sufficient votes in our Congress and Senate are not there to address the matter at the moment.

But, I'll re-reference that truth later on herein.

What is worthy of note, however are the statistical facts, formed into "10 reasons," that Zuckerman brings to the foreground, as to why the economy's in a much greater abyss than we realize--due to Bush's doodoo economics--which I will now review, paraphrasing Mort's own words:

1.) The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ("BLS") assumed, in June alone, that 185,000 people were working who "probably were not." Zuckerman tells us it's due to assumptions the BLS makes about trends.  We're reminded that the government's numbers assume there was job creation in sectors such as finance, which is downright incredulous. We're told the adjustments over future months will account for this stretch of fiction.

2.) Companies are asking employees to take unpaid leave (I'd also add that numerous state and municipal governments are also doing this to hundreds of thousands--if not millions--of people.)

3.) 1.4 million people were, simply, uncounted because they did not look for a job over the previous four weeks. (Partially covered in the BLS' U.6 index, but not in their much more widely-quoted U.3 index.)

4.)  There are 25 million "involuntary idle" folks in this country, as measured by the BLS' U.6 index. 5.8% of the workforce, the underemployed, have found part-time work of some form or another.

5.) The average work week statistic has dropped to 33 hours, which is the lowest level ever recorded since the government started tracking that metric, 45 years ago. As a result of this chicken-or-the-egg number, factories are operating at 65% of capacity. Zuckerman points out if it wasn't for the shorter work week, there'd be 3.3 million more unemployed, which would bring the U.3 indext up to 11.7%, instead of the 9.5% level, where it's at now.

6.) The average length of unemployment has increased to 24.5 weeks. We're reminded that this is also the highest measurement that's ever been recorded since the feds started tracking that data, since 1948. Long-term unemployed (27 weeks or greater), 4.4 million folks, is also at the highest level ever measured.

7.) The average worker's hourly compensation remained flat in June, at $18.53 per hour.

8.) The "goods-producing sector" is losing more jobs than any other, which accounts for 223,000 of the jobs lost in June.

9.) The reality is that when the economy does pickup employers will increase the hours of their full- and part-time employees before they consider hiring of new employees.

10.) The escalation of job losses may extend well into 2010, peaking close to 11%; and this level may remain somewhat static for a lengthy period thereafter.

Perhaps, what I found most interesting about Zuckerman's comments was a reiteration of something I've been talking about for quite some time:


Can we find comfort in the fact that employment has long been considered a lagging indicator? It is conventionally seen as having limited predictive power since employment reflects decisions taken earlier in the business cycle. But today is different. Unemployment has doubled to 9.5% from 4.8% in only 16 months, a rate so fast it may influence future economic behavior and outlook.

Earlier in this diary, I referenced Zuckerman's status as a "quasi-conservative," because he continues on in his opinion piece to strongly support the immediate implementation of additional stimulus spending to address these matters. That's pretty neo-Keynesian/progressive thinking, IMHO.

He also reminds us of something I've been posting diaries about for months now, and that's the reality that much of the current stimulus budget--many of the pieces of it allocated for distribution by the states--have been redirected by various states' legislatures to extend unemployment and healthcare benefits. This is a credible and factual observation, unfortunately.

But, this is also where Zuckerman's argument concludes with a reality that flies in the face of most conservative commentary about these matters, too, and it's this: More stimulus spending is needed--and must be approved--right now.

Instead of bloviating from a politically expedient bully pulpit about this, it's time for conservatives of all stripes, not just Zuckerman (including pseudo-conservatives who now speak like fiscal moderates or, dare I say it, pseudo-liberals), to face up to the truths behind their political bullshit--a line of revisionist crap that attempts to distort the basic truth that job creation, or the implementation of any type of WPA-like program, requires the authorization of additional expenditures of significant funds by our Legislative Branch--at least if this matter is going to be addressed honestly and effectively, anytime soon.

Zuckerman concludes this hypocrisy by making statements relating to this irrational, two-faced game that many on the other side of the aisle (as well as some DINOs) are playing now, and  it's framed in stereotypical fashion as a bogus attack on the current administration:


No wonder poll after poll shows a steady erosion of confidence in the stimulus. So what kind of second-act stimulus should we look for? Something that might have a real multiplier effect, not a congressional wish list of pet programs. It is critical that the Obama administration not play politics with the issue. The time to get ready for a serious infrastructure program is now. It's a shame Washington didn't get it right the first time.

The truth is much different.  Washington "didn't get it right the first time" because the GOPers and the DINOs wouldn't let us get it right!

The historic pain that's currently being felt on Main Street--those truths which are more self-evident now than they were just months ago--will only be resolved if our government releases more funds to address these matters now.

Maybe it's what Kossack nycvisionary asked us just last night in his frustrated rant about this very story: "How does it feel to be a masochist?" (btw nyc...bigtime hat-tip!)


...when we finally muster the courage to take control of the situation, do we use our new found power to change things for the better?  No - we just let them start abusing us again, even though they're only in control of 40% of the Senate, we let them keep bullying us over and over and over and OVER.

Too often, we are the masochists.

And we never learn.  Maybe we don't want to learn.  Maybe we just want to be bullied and abused and kicked and spat upon.  Maybe we don't really want to make the world better.   Do we want to let the @$$h*les win?

Is this just wishful thinking, or could it be that even some of the GOP, not to mention DINOs within our own party, are painting themselves into a corner with regard to the current level of despair on Main Street, at least to the point where a bloc of these so-called conservative legislators are feeling the heat about unacceptable levels of unemployment right in their own backyards?

It's up to progressives everywhere to call out these mealy-mouthed, two-faced, bloviating hypocrites for what they are! Giddy-up! Scores of millions of Americans are suffering because of it!

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:08 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  All these clowns have jobs (5+ / 0-)

    saying stupid stuff

    Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

    by JML9999 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:37:39 AM PDT

  •  Truth... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bonddad, Wufacta, RussTC3, Dcoronata

    the economy is better than the diarist thinks and unemployment sucks...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:39:30 AM PDT

    •  Truth: Old truths are now falsehoods... (12+ / 0-)

      ...when it comes to the current state of our economy.

      Another truth: economics is as much of an art as it is a science. It's an evolving craft...people create rules which are there to give us a sense of comfort that everything's under control and may be explained, when the reality is that one of the biggest truths about our current economic mess is that, unlike past recessions/depressions, we no longer control our own economy (at least not enough to fix it properly, on our own in any event).

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:43:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well to a great extent... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        we already changed history by averting a 1929 style run on the banks and a complete global financial meltdown by doing what many at DKos have criticized...bailing out the banks...

        So I would disagree that we have no control over our economy...perhaps not as much as times past...but no control would not be an accurate statement...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:46:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unemployment a "lagging indicator" (5+ / 0-)

        That's probably the most infamous one of those "rules" designed to comfort people. Conveniently, unemployment and other labor related issues are the most material evidence to ordinary people that things are bad, so for them to hear that their employment pains are the last station of the recession train will comfort them. Unfortunately, unemployment in this particular case may be a leading indicator, because it portends that consumer spending (which led the downturn) will be continuously in the dumps.

        "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois [-7.12, -5.95] as of 09/2007

        by rovertheoctopus on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:46:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Number of employed"= most important indicator (9+ / 0-)

          ...per our own Federal Reserve's definition.

          It is here where folks try to trip others up...and to posit that there's no correlation between numbers of those employed versus number of unemployed is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

          Even the US Dept of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' own "Monthly Employment Situation Report" uses this "number of employed" (i.e.: net jobs lost, etc.) as the opening statistic in their monthly "unemployment" press release!

          But, here's the Fed's commentary of how number of folks employed is the single-most coincidental economic indicator...

          Here's the entire scoop on economic indicators, straight from the Federal Reserve: "ECONOMIC INDICATORS."

          ECONOMIC INDICATORS

          Economic indicators provide a snapshot of the economy's health. Just as a doctor checks the vital signs of a patient, an economist might check the vital signs of the economy by looking at gross domestic product (GDP), consumer price index (CPI) or the unemployment rate.

          Economists categorize some economic indicators as leading, lagging or coincident. These categories help them see where the economy is in terms of the business cycle, which shows the rising and falling of economic conditions over time. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) examines many economic indicators prior to determining monetary policy. The indicators listed in this section are examples of some of the factors the FOMC considers before issuing its directive on monetary policy.

          --SNIP--

          Coincident indicators provide information about the current status of the economy.

          EXAMPLES OF COINCIDENT INDICATORS

          1. Employees on nonagricultural payrolls: It includes full-time and part-time workers and does not distinguish between permanent and temporary employees. Because the changes in this series reflect the actual net hiring and firing of all but agricultural establishments and the smallest businesses in the nation, it is one of the most closely watched series for gauging the health of the economy...

          And, then there's, arguably, the leading player in the U.S. Bond and Treasury marketplace, PIMCO's Mohammed El-Erian, trying to tell Main Street that they'll have to get used to a new normal of 7%-8% (IMHO, it'll be higher than this) for an extended period of many years, in: "America’s bumpy journey to a new normal."

          America’s bumpy journey to a new normal
          By Mohamed El-Erian

          ...the unemployment rate will increasingly disrupt an economy that, hitherto, has been influenced mainly by large-scale dislocations in the financial system. In just 16 months, the US unemployment rate has doubled from 4.8 per cent to 9.5 per cent, a remarkable surge by virtually any modern-day metric. It is also likely that the 9.5 per cent rate understates the extent to which labour market conditions are deteriorating. Just witness the increasing number of companies asking employees to take unpaid leave. Meanwhile, after several years of decline, the labour participation rate has started to edge higher as people postpone their retirements and as challenging family finances force second earners to enter the job market.......

          This possibility of a very high and persistent unemployment rate is not, as yet, part of the mainstream deliberations. Instead, the persistent domination of a "mean reversion" mindset leads to excessive optimism regarding how quickly the rate will max out, and how fast it converges back to the 5 per cent level for the Nairu (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment). The US faces a material probability of both a higher Nairu (in the 7 per cent range) and, relative to recent history, a much slower convergence of the actual unemployment rate to this new level. This paradigm shift will complicate an already complex challenge facing policymakers. They will have to recalibrate fiscal and monetary stimulus to recognise the fact that "temporary and targeted" stimulus will be less potent than anticipated. But the inclination to increase the dose of stimulus will be tempered by the fact that, as the fiscal picture deteriorates rapidly, the economy is less able to rely on future growth to counter the risk of a debt trap.

          Politics will add to the policy complications. The combination of stubbornly high unemployment and growing government debt will not play well. The rest of the world should also worry. Persistently high unemployment fuels protectionist tendencies. Think of this as yet another illustration of the fact that the US economy is on a bumpy journey to a new normal. The longer this reality is denied, the greater will be the cost to society of restoring economic stability.

          As even http: //www.dailykos.com/user/bonddad Bonddad] has [ noted in the past, the economy has to create (not lose) 150,000 jobs per month for significant growth to even begin to occur.

          That's not going to be happening until late 2010, at this point...and it may not actually occur for many, many years, as the "New Normal" of 7%-9% unemployment becomes the latest Wall Street meme, which is merely designed to preempt the reality of the extent of the brutal effects of Wall Street's greed upon 99% of our population.

          As Taleb--and many others--tell us, in the quote in the comment above this:

          Taleb says "we're in an environment that does not resemble the past at all," so current policy cannot be based on anything that has happened in the past.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:06:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yep! Another "These aren't the droids you are (0+ / 0-)

          looking for" statement.

          "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

          by Unbozo on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:32:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Truth: NBER will call the recession over (0+ / 0-)

      when the dust clears, it will "call it" over sometime between May 2009, and August 2009.

      We will see actual GDP growth either in Q3 or Q4.

      •  The NBER is irrelevant...what is relevant is... (5+ / 0-)

        ...what I'm telling you in the comment, immediately, above yours.

        I guarantee you that Main Street doesn't give a rat's ass what the NBER says...this is a reality-based, political blog. We're in a very, very, very deep recession, at best.

        And, even Larry Summers says you're wrong!

        "The worst is yet to come.

        IMHO, here's the link to the most important graphic on our current economic situation, and within the context of how it compares to other "recessions," with quotes around the word, recession, since what we're in is a Depression:
        "Percent Job Losses In Post-WWII Expansions."

        Downplaying and trivializing what's going on right now on Main Street is nothing short of a propaganda travesty.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:46:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Annual "GDP growth" < 3% is bogus, too... (4+ / 0-)

          ...since we must have 3% GDP growth to sustain 150,000 jobs-plus growth per month, just to eke away at the 7.2 million jobs that have been lost during this recession.

          Again, you cite more propaganda...give it a rest!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:48:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who, if I might be so bold (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bonddad

            gave you the ability to decide what is and what isn't growth?

            If you think sub-3% growth is bogus, then you are rewriting the rules of economics.

            That makes you a fantasist, creating your own rules and conditions.

            Or in reality, a fool and an attention-seeking child.

        •  If you don't care what the numbers say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bonddad

          then to call yourself "reality based" is total nonsense.

          To call this a "depression" when this is not that much worse than the two recessions of the 1980s is propaganda, and it willful ignorance of that reality you so proudly proclaim.

          The reality is, Q3 will show either very small growth, or very small decline.  Right now, with a few straight months of LEI and durable goods growth, combined with increased stimulus spending, it looks more than likely Q3 will be positive.

          You can screw with the numbers any way you like; I prefer the scientific approach of determining what is a recession and what isn't- data, not emotions.

          •  Scientific approach (0+ / 0-)

            Does this many any sense to you?

            The Fed noted that despite the projected snapback, the economy remained weak with many downside risks.

            Although the overall economic outlook was better, the Fed also raised its forecast for unemployment, saying the jobless rate would peak this year in a range of 9.8 to 10.1 percent, compared with its April forecast of 9.2 to 9.6 percent.

            How can you simultaneously increase your unemployment forecast and your economic health numbers?  Don't you see that this is all a game Bernanke is playing to try to calm our international loan sharks - China, Japan, oil bearing countries - the same ones Geitner is touring - into giving the dollar longer?

            Sure they will declare the "recession" over in 2009 and then another one starting in 2010 or 2011.  It might be semantics but I prefer to call the whole thing a depression.

            •  Because the economy improves before... (0+ / 0-)

              hiring starts not after hiring starts...it is really quite simple...

              Businesses do not hire new employees until all other options are exhausted including increasing hours of existing employees, efficiencies/effectiveness improvements, outsourcing, subcontracting, part-time/temporary help and raising margins (increasing prices/turn down excess low margin business)

              After all that is implemented...then businesses will add more permanent employees...in addition what is different today are the multitude of options short of hiring full-time employees that were not available 30 years ago due to technology and resume database search engines that allow for shorter lead times for many skill sets that are fungable...

              Not that any of this is comforting to those who are unemployed...it is not...but it is reality based...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:54:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well that's not true (0+ / 0-)

                Businesses do not hire new employees until all other options are exhausted including increasing hours of existing employees, efficiencies/effectiveness improvements, outsourcing, subcontracting, part-time/temporary help and raising margins (increasing prices/turn down excess low margin business)

                In good times businesses were ramping up employees as fast as they could. IN NO WAY is this the situation that business are sitting on big profits and making employees work longer rather than hire.  In fact hours worked is still declining (or are you saying that is lagging also)?

                •  Well in fact... (0+ / 0-)

                  we are as a country still shedding jobs (yes at a slower rate than the 1st quarter)...so jobs are still being lost so yes that would put downward pressure on average hours worked as well...

                  So let me ask you...have you ever hired an employee?  Do you have any idea what a manager of a business does in terms of figuring out when to hire...I have been in that position...and I am telling you the exact thought process that is gone through...

                  And it is not an evil thing...you see it is quite expensive in many cases to hire a new employee rather than trying to make do with existing employees, existing employees do not need to be trained, they do not need additional benefits and if your spike in business is only temporary you do not have to incur the costs of layoffs which often involves a severence and increased unemployment taxes...

                  Businesses do not need as much lead time to ramp up in good times as 30 years ago due to better systems, processes and linkages with other companies in the supply chains that can add capaticy without adding additional new employees...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:29:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are thinking mom and pop stores (0+ / 0-)

                    Where every penny was being counted.  I have worked for and hired for both kinds.  Most of the employment in this country is not being done with the thought process you describe.  A big company will decide to do a project and then hire hundreds to take it on.

                    •  Uhhh excuse me... (0+ / 0-)

                      2/3s of the new jobs in this country are created by small and medium sized businesses who act as I discussed...

                      Now perhaps there are some companies who just start hiring based on a project...but as someone who hired for the big-6 accounting and consulting firms...that is not the way they do business...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:33:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  That's about it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dvogel001

      "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

      by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:45:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, because the NBER tells us "it's over"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        disrael

        ...then that's what matters? Even though Larry Summers says things will get worse? What's the point, from a practical, political perspective. As unemployment rises through some/all of 2010, what do you think is going to be more important--from a practical standpoint--to the political options of the Democratic Party? Increasing unemployment or a press release or blog diary telling us how things are getting better? Seriously, which is more relevant to Main Street and to the everyday reality of the of the US citizen? A technical statement devoid of the realities of human suffering or....reality?

        If I may be so bold, that's like being told on September 5th, 2005, the Hurricane Katrina was "over"...while people were still dying of dehydration in the streets.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:53:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  love the way you put words in my mouth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dvogel001

          Did I in any way mention that it was over the the preceding comment?  No, I did not.  What I did agree with is the statement that things are better than you say and that unemployment sucks.  Period.  That was all I agreed with.  As usual, you continue to argue that anyone who disagrees with you is basically pissing on the unemployed.  And that is most definitely not the case in any way shape or form.

          A few points.

          1.) As usual, you have cut can pasted an article and said "I agree".  There are no charts or graphs or any original analysis here.  It is simply a statement of "he said x and I agree".  

          2.) The initial unemployment claims continue to drop.  The 4-week moving average continues to move lower.  As someone who is "uniquely qualified to discuss the economy" would surely know, unemployment claims are a great leading indicator.  In addition -- as someone with "10 years of financial industry experience" surely knows, the general cycle is unemployment claims drop at the end of the recession, GDP starts to grow, and then unemployment drops.  I clearly documented the relationship here.  I used charts from the St. Louis Federal Reserve -- a website you are surely familiar with given your many years of economic experience.

          3.) The number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less has been dropping since the beginning of the year.  This indicates that the front end of the long-term unemployed problem is dropping, thereby indicating a possible upcoming crest in the number of long-term unemployed.  (The information is also available at the St. Louis Federal Reserve's website which a person of such considerable and deep economic experience such as yourself clearly knows already).

          4.) The "black swan" argument is great because now all you have to say is "we're in a singularity where the old rules don't apply so I don't have to reference them or even know them (which you obviously do because you are "uniquely qualified to talk about the economy").  However, as pointed out up-thread, the reality is the unemployment rate was higher at the end of the 1982 recession and 4-week unemployment claims data was higher.  In short, the recession of the early 1980s was just as bad and deep.  And we got through that as well.  

          Let me add this because you continue to conflate disagreement into insensitivity toward the unemployed.  So:

          I THINK THE US SHOULD MAKE SURE THE UNEMPLOYED ARE DEALT WITH IN A HUMANE WAY.  THIS MEANS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS SHOULD BE INCREASED AND PROGRAMS TO HELP PEOPLE FIND JOBS SHOULD BE PROPERLY FUNDED.  STIMULUS MONEY SHOULD BE STEERED TOWARDS INDUSTRIES THAT SHOW STRONG LONG-TERM GROWTH.

          "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

          by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:51:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your ongoing misinformation is duly noted nt (0+ / 0-)

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:29:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tell us, Bondad, how things are getting better nt (0+ / 0-)

              "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

              by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:30:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Things are not "getting better." n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:33:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because I say so!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dvogel001

                  "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                  by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:40:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whoa! For a "part-time" economist... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...former bond/stock trader and someone who's been practicing law for two years...I think your ego's a bit out of hand Mr. "Rock Star." The emperor has no clothes. Go put something on...you'll catch a cold.

                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:42:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The comment was directed at you (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dvogel001, forgore

                      because -- as usual -- you don't respond to any analysis I offered.  In effect, I was making fun of you because you continually respoinse with simple sentences or a reference to your "10 years of financial industry experience" working for/with over half of the largest institutions in the country.  The reality is your resume as quoted is a at best inflated (of course, licking stamps does mean you worked for a campaign....)

                      Instead you offer a one sentence response with no substance.

                      Now -- above are several observations I made regarding facts which are available from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.  They deal with the continuing drop in initial unemployment claims and the continuing drop in the front end of the unemployment curve.  These indicate the longer term unemployment trend stands a good probability of topping out.  Do you agree or disagree?  If you disagree, please provide facts from a source like the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  A man of your incredible experience and depth of knowledge should find this a simple task.

                      "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                      by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:01:39 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  You contradict your own claims... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...within your very comments right here!

                  You put forth the bogus meme that "things are getting better," while claiming you're not insensitive to what's actually happening on Main Street.

                  Double speak no longer cuts it!

                  If what you're saying's not total bullshit, I don't know what is.

                  "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                  by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:40:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Gee Bob -- got me there ... NOT (0+ / 0-)

                    Back to the question I asked above.  

                    above are several observations I made regarding facts which are available from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.  They deal with the continuing drop in initial unemployment claims and the continuing drop in the front end of the unemployment curve.  These indicate the longer term unemployment trend stands a good probability of topping out.  Do you agree or disagree?  If you disagree, please provide facts from a source like the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  A man of your incredible experience and depth of knowledge should find this a simple task.

                    Do you end know how to do this?

                    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                    by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:31:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Because you say so... (0+ / 0-)

                  well I say they are...so there.../snark

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:57:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  that is in depth analysis Bob (0+ / 0-)

                "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:39:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'm scared Bob (0+ / 0-)

              BTW: what statements were "misinformation"?

              "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

              by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:40:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Things are not "getting better." (0+ / 0-)
                In fact, I'm glad you had the hubris to say what you've just said in this comment thread, because my simple sentence in the headline of this comment lies at the heart of the misinformation you've been spewing forth to this community with your "happy news" economic commentary while the actual suffering on Main Street grows deeper and deeper.

                You hold onto to outdated truths which are being dispelled by new economic realities as I write this.

                Even Summers tells us things are going to get worse! (As recently as last weekend he said this, and I link to it both upthread, and in other diaries I've posted since.)

                You grab at straws--bits of information--which taken in context mean little or nothing while the suffering increases on Main Street on a daily basis, too.

                "Because you said so!" LOL!

                Virtually everything about our economy is getting worse--some things are getting worse more slowly, however.

                So, until such time as you stop using words like "things are getting better" (which lies at the heart of the criticisms of most about your commentary, in general), cut the crap.

                (And, maybe go see someone about that ego problem...)

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:53:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As I have repeatedly pointed out (0+ / 0-)

                  the economy has bottomed.  The facts and figures are located here.  You have yet to counter any of the points in the article.  

                  In addition, this is more than "bits of information".  Please indicate where my analysis is wrong.  Try using some facts you find yourself.  Try BLS.gov, BEA. gov, or Census.go

                  "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                  by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:04:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Bondad is quite right... (0+ / 0-)

              and that does not mean that the unemployed are happier because of bondad...but his analysis is spot on...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:56:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  His analysis is part of the Wall St. meme n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:01:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So by definition... (0+ / 0-)

                  if a smart person from Wall St performs an analysis that disagrees with the diarist...it must be wrong.../riiiiiight.../snark...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Wall St is a reflection of the majority... (0+ / 0-)

                  of business sentiment from around the world...they do not make opinion...just reflect it like a mirror...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:04:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What planet are you on? I mean, truly... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...what are you doing on this blog? Your comments indicate to me--and to others--that you should be spending more time on RedState.com

                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:36:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Answer this question genius (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dvogel001

                      above are several observations I made regarding facts which are available from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.  They deal with the continuing drop in initial unemployment claims and the continuing drop in the front end of the unemployment curve.  These indicate the longer term unemployment trend stands a good probability of topping out.  Do you agree or disagree?  If you disagree, please provide facts from a source like the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  A man of your incredible experience and depth of knowledge should find this a simple task.

                      What's the matter -- too hard for you?

                      "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                      by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:38:24 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Individual Fed Branch responses reflect... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...the interests or sentiments of the branch often (not always).

                        For instance, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Branch recently came out with commentary that tells us that your entire train of thought with regard to unemployment is ill-founded. (Unlike you, I don't cite it as factual, since it's only one branch's sentiments. But, I'll include the link herein.)

                        "San Francisco Fed Skeptical About Unemployment Rate"

                        And, you may sit there mocking me all you wish. Unlike yourself, I don't wear my extensive curriculum vitae on my sleeve.

                        I think recently you were making comments about "25 years of clips," or something to that effect with regard to something else you said when you started attacking me (last time) on a personal/ad hominem basis. About two weeks later (10 days ago, give or take), John Orman's obituary appeared as a recommended diary on this blog. Orman stepped aside to let Lamont run for Senate in CT against Lieberman. (I also worked for Lamont in the only race for elected office where he was the final winner, in a local election in Greenwich, CT.) John Orman was among about two dozen national (Presidential tickets), regional and local Dem candidates for whom I've spoken, developed media, and for whom I've written policy papers on matters ranging from the economy to international relations, all over the past three decades.

                        So, unless you want to continue to make a complete fool of yourself--absent the facts which you conveniently disregard as most self-appointed "experts" tend to be--cut the ad hominem "genius" attack crap out, please. Thanks!

                        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                        by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:12:54 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I've addressed the San Francisco Fed Report (0+ / 0-)

                          By agreeing with it.  

                          5.) I have repeatedly stated I do not think the recovery will be robust.  In fact, I think we'll be stuck in a 1%-2% growth rate with high unemployment for at least another year and a half or longer.

                          I've been putting up with your attacks for far longer.  

                          There was this call out in a recent diary:

                          Don't believe the hype about "recovery" as it relates to projected Gross Domestic Product  ("GDP") nos., still-negative balance of trade improvements that conveniently ignore temporarily depressed-but-soon-to-spike oil prices, or related statistics, either.

                          You again

                          The "happy talk" we've been hearing, which is really little more than propaganda (blatant misinformation), about unemployment being a lagging indicator of our "recovery," is now being openly dispelled by a few outspoken souls in the MSM.

                          And then there was this comment:

                          This diarist's most recent posts have been EXTREMELY misleading. It's to the point, of late, where diarist might as well be posting on RedState...oh, snap, well they're on HuffPo...so, I guess that speaks for itself.

                          i could do go but the bottom line is don't start something you can't finish.

                          And -- you still don't know where the government sites are, do you?

                          "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                          by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:24:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's such petty and bogus bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

                            I have, and continually reference all the links in my many diaries...while you choose to play games in these comments threads, above and beyond attempting to qualify all of your Wall Street-oriented propaganda in your leads. So, I'll continue putting up with this childish commentary, such as...

                            ...you still don't know where the government sites are, do you?

                            I dutifully dissect the BLS' monthly employment situation report within minutes after it appears on their website every month.

                            What I don't do is "parrot" misleading government numbers, such as the U.3 index, or repeat quotes from government figureheads as if they're fact. I look behind the propaganda and get the truth out to this audience!

                            To some here, that's more than a concept, or something that one just pays lip service to in some qualifying small text deep within a diary with the false/"good news" meme that recovery is just ahead on the horizon, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

                            I'll tell you what, though...if you keep it up for another year, or two...eventually you will be right.

                            But, until then, you misdirect and misinform this community on a regular basis (of late). I'm sure that member congresscritters are reading your stuff and realizing it flies in the face of political realities critical to their re-election next year, as well.

                            Get a clue, Bonddad. Your audience would appreciate that! Start at the headline when telling the facts of life...don't puff up a false reality with saccharin commentary and repetitive posts of government propaganda. You will maintain your current audience if you do that, to some extent...but, over time (as you're now realizing, although I'm sure you wouldn't acknowledge it) you will lose (are losing) credibility.

                            Too many facts are flying in the face of your happy news slant. Just this past weekend, even Larry Summers said things are--more than likely--going to get worse!

                            Until the employment numbers shift upwards over a quarter or two, your comments about unemployment (trivializing the harsh effects it has upon our society) around these parts offend many progressives' sensibilities...including yours truly.

                            Additionally, the rules of the economics game are changing before our very eyes. Applying outdated "rules" to this new environment is lame.

                            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                            by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:36:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  not wearing your resume on your sleeve?!?!?! (0+ / 0-)

                          please

                          ...journalistic responsibility to present objective information to their public. Now, this all falls under: "Do what I say, not what I do," I s'pose...but when you omit facts, and make an effort (consciously or subconsciously) to slant your stuff, you're going to get called on it.

                          In journalism, it's a rule of the game. And, in political p.r., it's an even bigger rule of the game. Beating people up and getting beaten up for slacking-off, on purpose or not, is part of the deal. It goes with the territory.

                          (IMHO, I'm entitled to say this...25+ campaigns, professionally...from a sitting President, another Presidential race, and right on down to City Council races...dishing it out almost as much as I took it. You give each other shit, then you go have a beer...in this case, a virtual cocktail...LOL!)

                          and then there was this

                          I also have 10 years experience in the financial services sector overlapping that.

                          "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                          by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:34:43 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you kidding...those idiots at redstate... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bonddad

                      drive me nuts...I am here because I am a committed Democrat as the FAQs say...and nobody who is pro-choice on abortion is welcome at RedState...

                      My question to you...is what are you doing here writing diaries and only expecting people to "high-five" you and tell you are a hero to the DKos community...

                      I have complimented and rec'd you when I agree and pointed out where I disagree with you...that is fair and pretty much the way writing a diary on a blog works...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:42:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Contrary to your false statements... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...I have no problem with folks engaged in legitimate dialogue. None whatsoever.

                        I have a problem with folks hijacking diary comment threads and with others that pretend to present an objective overview of "facts," when in fact, their presentations clearly present propaganda all dressed-up as to make it appear as if it's objective reportage (and/or, when certain folks highlight one side of a story while barely mentioning other facts which run completely counter to the story's lead somewhere deep in the text, as if to cover their asses in case they're called out on it down the line). This is a common practice of others, and the only thing I can call it is...bullshit. Kind of like selling cigarettes and then telling those that question their value, "Well, I say it's hazardous to their health on the side of the package."

                        When the gist of a story is "the economy's getting better," when it's not--and when the person stating that false meme on a continual basis fails to recognize their responsibility to the community due to the size of their following--they're engaging in a disservice to the community via misinformation.

                        Hell, right here in this very set of comments, this diarist leads of a comment with 'things are getting better.' They're not getting better; they're getting worse more slowly. Period. End of story. Everything else that tells us otherwise is little more than pure, unadulterated bullshit.

                        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                        by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:20:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You accuse me and others pf propganda (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dvogel001

                          And then you get pissed because I insult you?

                          Passive aggressive anyone?

                          "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                          by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:31:16 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm still waiting on the dollar sell off diary (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bobswern

                            If you are not a propagandist then give us that diary - you can't only diary on good predictions and stay silent on bad.  That is the definition of state propaganda.

                            Give us that diary and all is forgiven :)

                          •  Better yet, let's see THIS graphic as the... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...highlight of one of those diaries that you post where you just parrot the government's meme...how about making THIS chart the focal point of a diary of yours for a change...I just don't see you doing this...

                            The most important graphic on our current economic situation, and within the context of how it compares to other "recessions," with quotes around the word, recession, since what we're in is a Depression:
                            "Percent Job Losses In Post-WWII Expansions."

                            I double-dog dare you! Maybe when pigs learn to fly....

                            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                            by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:44:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As I've addressed before and again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dvogel001

                            on a repeated basis ..

                            I'm expecting a high unemployment recovery.  

                            And -- as I demonstrated in this diary the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator.  

                            And you still haven't answered this question:

                            above are several observations I made regarding facts which are available from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.  They deal with the continuing drop in initial unemployment claims and the continuing drop in the front end of the unemployment curve.  These indicate the longer term unemployment trend stands a good probability of topping out.  Do you agree or disagree?  If you disagree, please provide facts from a source like the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  A man of your incredible experience and depth of knowledge should find this a simple task.

                            What's the matter .... genius

                            "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                            by bonddad on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:57:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Let's be very clear about what you are predicting (0+ / 0-)
                            1. The economy will recover but the total number of people included in it will be much smaller.  - How much smaller?
                            1. The dollar will sell off.  Lots of imported goods will be more expensive - how much so?

                            3)

                            longer term unemployment trend stands a good probability of topping out

                            - well if they don't go positive by 150,000 or whatever the magic number is then a smaller and smaller percentage of the country will be employed?

                          •  Nobody is denying that unemployment... (0+ / 0-)

                            will be a problem for at least 2 years...when did anyone deny that...?

                            That does not negate the signs that the worst is over even if for some it will linger for some time...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:29:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  The economy is getting better... (0+ / 0-)

                          (or at least worse at a slower rate)...just because all aspects of the economy are not improving at the same rate does not negate the positive aspects of the economy improving...and yes an economy getting worse at a slower rate is the same as improving...

                          We on the other side of your economic argument give facts all the time which you just summarily dismiss as "Wall St. Talking Points" and wild accusations of hijacking your diary because we have not bowed to your diary prowess...

                          Common' diarist get over yourself...you have some good points and some points we just simply do not agree with your conclusions...like the other 5,000 or so regular diarists...we do not get 100% approval of what we say.../peace and chill out Bob!!!

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:28:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Your POV of hijacking = (0+ / 0-)

                          My objective overview of the facts...it is kind of like the definition of judicial activism...if you agree with the decision it was not activism...if you disagree with the decision it was activism...Rus Feingold...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:02:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Of course it's worse than we think (7+ / 0-)

    By "we" I mean the media who continue to perpetuate the "green shoots" story. Hello, industrial production fell again. That's recessionary, not expansionary. The job losses ain't letting up either. We're being encouraged to gleefully accept that slower contraction/stabilization is better than fast contraction. It really highlights how desperate people are to find inspiration. And the complacency that has naturally grown form this worries me a great deal, because such complacency prefaced the many legs-down during the Great Depression.

    "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois [-7.12, -5.95] as of 09/2007

    by rovertheoctopus on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:41:13 AM PDT

  •  I have to disagree that this is about the (8+ / 0-)

    previous administration's unbridaled lassez faire.  Each previous administration had its own role on what has happened.  Blame it on the system, not the administration. That goes with anything, health care, wars, you name it.  We are in the Twilight Zone brother.  

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:57:00 AM PDT

  •  This has been coming for a long time. (12+ / 0-)

    We've been starving out the bottom of the food chain for decades. We began by exporting the textile industry, along with the manufacturing of small consumer appliances etc. Those jobs were deemed unimportant. It then got worse from there, as we started exporting bigger and better industries. It's been hard to watch.
    The best way I can describe what has happened is to compare economies to ecosystems. In an ecosystem, when the smallest of species become deprived of resources and begin to starve out, the next species up the food chain, which relies on the smaller species, become deprived of resources and begin to starve out. Then the next species up the food chain become deprived of resources and begin to starve out And so on, until it finally works it's way to the top of the food chain. Then it all finally comes crashing down like a building from which all of the bottom blocks have been removed(or destroyed).
    This has been in the works for while. Probably by design.

  •  The usual late night rendezvous with heartburn nt (4+ / 0-)
  •  I heard Meredith Whitney guesstimate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, forgore

    unemployment as high as 13% (at the same time she referred to her recent "buy" rating on GS as a "bullish" call in a "bearish" environment.)  

    Thanks again bobswern.  

    Did you get my e mail?

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:17:08 AM PDT

  •  He's a GOP troglodyte (0+ / 0-)

    ...completely marginalized along with the rest of his party and as such has only one square to put all his chips on now: Armageddon--the last best hope for a conservative counter-revolution.

    It's like the old SNL Franken parody of a campus Marxist: "Our job is to make things rotten."

  •  NPR-Here & Now,Taibbi & Warren yesterday (9+ / 0-)

    http://www.hereandnow.org/

    A pretty good listen:

    Goldman Sachs, the "Bubble Machine"

    Listen
    The financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs just posted its biggest quarterly profit ever in it 140-year history. How did they do this, just months after receiving federal bailout money? Our guest, Matt Taibbi, writes about Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone. He says the firm has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression, and is about to do it again.

       * Read some reaction to Matt Taibbi’s article, including Goldman Sachs’ response.

    How’s the Bank Bailout Working, and What Kind of Help Do Consumers Need?

    Listen
    We’ll speak with Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and chair of the congressional panel to oversee the U.S. bank bailout. Warren is also one of the movers behind the White House’s proposal to create a new Consumer Finance Protection Agency.

    Liz Cheney- Daddy's last deferment specimen.

    by bamabikeguy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:29:19 AM PDT

    •  NPR stories are eye-opening and sad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliaAnn, farbuska, yellow dog in NJ

      Eye-opening because all this looting is being done in broad daylight and is well documented.

      Sad because our government is unwilling to stop it since the govt is fully controlled by the corporations doing the looting.

      We are probably witnessing the final stages of the fall of the US empire.

      Fascism is the NEW Democracy. Both parties are whore houses to the Corporations. And your nest egg is on their breakfast menu.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:47:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Warning, attempted thread hijack!!! (3+ / 0-)

    I completely ignore all pundits on the economy.

    Simply, the people, corporations, and government of the USA have depended on bubbles (.coms, real estate, Chinese manufacturing, leveraged buyouts, 401(k) infusions, credit cards, student loans, 2nd & 3rd mortgages, etc.) to finance an unimaginably large debt to maintain an unsustainable lifestyle. There is no more cheap borrowing. The standard of living in the USA has to go down a great deal to match current incomes/taxes/revenues/etc. The pain will only get a lot worse. And then, when some of these debts have to be paid off, things will only get worse.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:11:27 AM PDT

    •  What you describe is called (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shann

      deleveraging - and it is happening on all levels.

      Sad is the soul that slumbers ...

      by yellow dog in NJ on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:09:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is also called (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shann

        "the chickens coming home to roost" . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IMHO, that's essentially supporting the Wall St. (2+ / 0-)

          ...meme. I don't see a whole hell of a lot of chickens roosting on Wall Street...the disparity of who's shouldering the suffering here is unacceptable to me on many levels...political, economic, social, etc.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:32:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely and point taken (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deward Hastings, bobswern

            Deleveraging reflects the continued contraction in the economy - with the exception of banks on life support thanks to taxpayer dollars.

            Infused money is not targeted to productive ends - a failure on the part of the administration.

            The human face of the suffering (continued unemployment, housing loss, etc.) is definitely being glazed over.

            I still contend that the systemic dynamics are a bottom up problem.  Until this is addressed (and Geithner/Summers/Rubin kicked out), there will be no turnaround.

            Sad is the soul that slumbers ...

            by yellow dog in NJ on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:11:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  can't argue that . . . (0+ / 0-)

            . . . but we did let it happen, and a lot of "ordinary Americans"were happy to take their, admittedly tiny, piece of the pie.  I was one of the very few people I knew who was saying (in 2005-2006) "this is ridiculous, there's no way my house is worth that".  Almost everyone was running off to the bank to refi and cash in on the "increased value".  Nobody's entirely innocent . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is not a "crisis" (4+ / 0-)

    I think a lot of the wrongheaded thinking on both sides of the discussion about the "economic crisis" is that people keep calling it a "crisis". This is a word that's abused almost as much as the word "tragedy". A crisis is a short, sharp event or series of events. And when it's over, things get back to normal. If -- as I strongly suspect -- the capitalist system is collapsing into a much smaller economic ball (a collapsing star, if you will), then the unemployment numbers and the nosediving housing situation and the freezing of formerly free-flowing credit are nothing more (or less) than the new normal. Perhaps, going forward, 10% + unemployment is going to be normal (it already is in the EU). Perhaps, going forward, those houses that popped in "value" from $500K to 1.5 mil in a few years will stay at their real value (say, $200K)and never regain their former puffed-up "value". Perhaps, going forward, credit of all kinds will not be freely available to one and all, and the engine of American consumerism -- which has always, at its base, been built on the mad flow of credit -- will slow down permanently to the more sedate levels we saw when people put things on layaway instead of whipping out their Platinum Card.

    Perhaps this is the new normal. Perhaps this is how we live from now on. Perhaps.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site