Pension Canaries in the Coal Mine

Today the Financial Times reported that “California has acted as the canary in a financial coal mine lately for the rest of the US.” They have recognized the problem of promising much without the ability to deliver. But they haven’t got a real solution. “Northwestern University calculated before the latest bear market that, using risk-adjusted […]

The Impact of Kicking the Fiscal Can Down the Road

The EU’s top economy official, Olli Rehn, said today that he wanted the Greek government to supply answers by Friday on how it used currency swaps and how that affected debt and deficit figures. European Union finance ministers also gave Greece a deadline of March 16 to show that it can make big spending cuts […]

Could China Collapse?

China announced that they are trying to slow the pace of lending. That move, along with several others recently, is sending fear about a China collapse throughout the markets. It’s pretty clear that China has been lending too much money as this chart shows: The growth needs to be slowed, not only for the typical […]

A Look Into Our Fiscal Future

Looking out the windshield into the foggy future is always somewhat uncertain. So we look for a clear break in the fog to see where we are going. Here’s a BIG, pretty darn clear, clue about the road ahead. It’s from the Congressional Budget Office report on the Long Term Budget Outlook that can be […]

Are More or Less People Unemployed?

Determining the number of unemployed appears to be rocket science. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (I’d bet $20 you didn’t know her name before right now) announced today’s unemployment rate by saying, “This past January, the economy lost 20,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent.” Not being a rocket scientist myself, I […]

Would you lend money to Portugal?

Portugal’s ability to borrow money stopped yesterday. They tried to sell bonds to raise money to pay its bills. There weren’t enough buyers and they canceled the sale. (I wonder if they actually cut up the national credit card in front of the heads of state or if they just take it away and give […]

November Unemployment Statistics Analyzed

The Bureau of Labor Statistics job loss data brought cheer to the markets with only 11,000 job losses suffered in November compared to the 125,000 estimated by economists. Additionally the unemployment rate fell from 10.2% to 10.0%. But isn’t that a contradiction? If we have 11,000 more people unemployed, how can the unemployment rate fall? […]

Geithner Under Heavy Fire from Critics

The beleaguered Treasury Secretary got slapped around by Congress. “For the sake of our jobs, will you step down from your post?” asked Congressman Brady (R-Texas). “I don’t think that you should be fired. I thought you should have never been hired,” said Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Texas). The comments were amplified as it was carried […]

Bernanke: Markets Tied to U.S. Currency

Today, the financial markets hinged on every word by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he made a speech at the Economic Club of New York. Markets were waiting for some indication of a change in Fed policy or a comment on the dollar. They weren’t disappointed. While he didn’t imply any change in Fed […]

When Will We See More Jobs

The recent statistics show unemployment went into double digits rising to 10.2% nationally, more in some local areas. What’s more concerning is that this is a continuation of a steady trend upward with what looks to be no end in sight. Inquiring minds want to know, if we are out of the recession, why aren’t […]

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