The bad news will keep pulverizing your grey cells: housing prices sliding, stock markets weak, bond yields in the toilet, the dollar down (which I actually have argued is a good thing)...
But, do not make the mistake of thinking that means that companies are lacking for money. Nope. Times are good for the corporate accountants--and for CEO salaries. They just aren't really into using all their dough to help workers get jobs.
Ahead of what is likely going to be a dismal jobs report on Friday, stocks declined:
U.S. stocks kicked off June with a sharp loss after disappointing readings on private-sector job growth and manufacturing activity prompted increasing concerns about a slowing economy.[emphasis added]
But, hold on a minute: why exactly is job growth disappointing? I guess you'd say--companies can't afford to hire anyone.
Well, you'd be wrong. A few days ago, I read a little-noticed report that had this eye-popping stat:
In 2010, for example, total cash and equivalents at the nonfinancial companies in the S&P 500 were just over $1 trillion, representing approximately 10.9 percent of assets, on average, 14 percent of revenues, and 10.8 percent of market capitalization—the highest levels in two decades. When banks and the rest of the 9,500 U.S. public companies were included in the tally, the total amount of cash on hand was in the neighborhood of $9 trillion.[emphasis added]
Now, the authors of the study were making the argument that that huge pile of cash should be returned to shareholders.
Nah. Take that money and hire people.
The upshot is this: the misery of the people can be alleviated, if there is the political will to demand that these corporations--who are asking that they be given tax holidays--start opening up the piggy bank