Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

AB notes on the December Employment Situation

This article is roughly 24 hours late, but I do have additional points to the headline numbers. From the BLS: Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary […]

Is the government actually forecasting a narrowing of the U.S. current account deficit?

This is a follow up to an article I wrote earlier this week, Older workers working longer; labor-force participation falling. In response to the article, which highlights the BLS employment and labor-force participation projections for 2008-2018, 2slugbaits (a loyal AB commenter) presented the following point: The 2 industry sectors expected to have the largest employment […]

Older workers working longer; labor-force participation falling

The BLS released its employment and labor force projections for the period 2008-2018. The report highlights a more diverse and slower growing labor force stemming from a falling labor-force participation rate. Some headline findings of the report are (bold font by yours truly): Total employment is projected to increase by 15.3 million, or 10.1 percent, […]

This week’s Greek tragedy

This week, the single most important event in global bond markets was the S&P downgrade of Greece’s long-term debt obligations, A- to BBB+. Moody’s is the last of the major rating agencies to hold Greek debt in the A-category of investment grade (currently at A1); but a major decision from Moody’s could come within weeks. […]

Household leverage: US vs. UK

Households in the US and the UK are members of the “most levered club”. But put their balance sheets side-by-side, and the outlook for the US economy looks a little brighter than that for the UK. Why? Both are dropping debt burden, but a qualitative analysis suggests that the UK household leverage (probably) should be […]

Sit back and relax: the US and China, this is gonna take awhile

China exported its way to a $2 trillion dollar fortress of F/X reserves ($USD mostly), while the US borrowed its way into a hole deep enough to spark a vast global recession. Who’s to blame? Given the symbiotic relationship in the chart above, it’s hard to blame any one individual, group, or even country. But […]

Too efficient NOT to consolidate

Cross-posted at News N Economics blog, by Rebecca Here’s yet another historical record broken in 2009: “Only three insured institutions were chartered in the [third] quarter, the smallest quarterly total since World War II.” This fact is from the FDIC’s latest Quarterly Banking Profile. There are probably non-economic reasons for this, i.e., the application process […]

Are exporters in Asia real-ly losing their competitive edges?

by Rebecca Central banks across Asia are concerned and actively engaged in some kind of currency manipulation – direct intervention, quasi-capital controls, and/or public speech (I will refer to this later, but RGE published a great article to the fact) – as investors flock to global capital markets seeking the “risk-on” trade. Central banks are […]

LABOR’S SHARE

By Spencer (2009)   The issue of a jobless recovery is getting a lot of attention recently. I’ve found the best way to look at the issue is to compare the change in real growth and productivity over the long run. There have been three periods of different productivity trends in modern US economic history. […]

Big week for currency intervention measures

by Rebecca Policymakers across Latin America are announcing measures to stem currency appreciation against the $US. Since March 2009, the $US depreciated 25% against the Colombian peso, 28% against the Brazilian real, 14% against the Mexican peso, 12% against the Peruvian nuevo sol, and 11% against the Chilean peso. Much of the $US’s lost value […]