For one, an increasingly unpopular president ought to be held in check by an incoming opposition congress, starting next month. While this won’t be good for social issues (since both parties show up at the same paymaster window in Washington (staffed by the K Street Mafia), it will likely mean nothing (big) will get done.
And stability is something business likes. A lot.
Going into this morning’s Employment Situation Report, the market has been holding near recent highs, the price of oil seems to be stabilizing around $66-$68. Everyone knows that deflation is still out there, but as we explained earlier this week, when things like re-leasing previously leased cars (you can now lease the lease-return cars) the hyper-optimization of the auto industry seems to be sure to push auto sales to more highs, yet. Even if we hit the skids in the new year and layoffs bounce off historical lows.
Economically speaking, it’s like we’re all passengers on the Titanic and we have all rushed up on deck to admire the field of icebergs which have been going by. One was named AIG, but we got by that one, a small one was named Madoff, and there’s a group of bergs called the “naked short-selling” bergs, yet none of it seems to matter.
While following the ice breaker Dodd Frank, we seem to believe nothing can go wrong. But when one of the architects of complex financial instruments says the Dodd-Frank didn’t really clear any of the ice ahead, you should take notice.
Yet most don’t and won’t…such is the nature of the extraordinary popular delusions of crowds.
But not without reason.
There is just enough evidence that growth is returning to keep even the most skeptical over on the long side of the markets.
I’ve been hinting at a further decline in the unemployment rate this month for a while so let’s fast-forward to this morning’s press release:
“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
Household Survey Data In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men rose to 5.4 percent in November. The rates for adult women (5.3 percent), teenagers (17.7 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (11.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
We have our usual litany of highlights to report:
The U-6 (alternative measures of labor under utilization): 11.4% down from 11.5% last month.
The Labor Participation Rate: Unchanged at 62.8%
The CES Birth/Death Model which estimates new jobs into being: 137-thousand jobs were estimated into existence, so more than a third of the new jobs can only be statistically inferred.
Still, regardless of whatever questions you may have, the markets are likely to turn even more strongly upwards.
Off in the background, unnoticed by most, the Federal Reserve’s Money Supply figures are revealing the Fed is tapping the brakes with the idea of seeing if rates might move up a bit. The money supply growth for M1 is just about even on an annualized basis (no growth) and M2 is going up now at an annualized rate of just 3.4% – about in line with purported increases in GDP.
But that’s why gold is now dropping, the dollar going up, and stock futures are up 40. My closing dart landed on +68.37 for today (high resolution dart board) but it’s a long ways to the closing bell… My dart aim tends to be lousy by Friday, anyways.
More After This…
Promoting the Revolutionaries
Ignoring the good counsel of Charles Barkley and other responsible black leaders, we continue to see “protests” which are not about case specifics, but which are being generalized in an attempt to get traction against the PTB paradigm. Reader some of the signs. Not that they’re wrong, but the specifics of the case are the point, not generalizing off to all extensible realms.
Outfits like CNN are disagreeing with Barkley. And the widow of Eric Gartner is quoted as saying “Somebody needs to pay.” We’re left to ponder whether this is a prelude to a wrongful death lawsuit (likely, seems to me) or inciting (*less likely, but possible).
223 arrested in NYC, for example. But if you look closely, you’ll see that protesters are turning to video which will no doubt give an even bigger series of marketing videos to turn human-against-human, which seems to be how this will play.
As we say, Everything’s a business model, advertising on news channels and all, here in the Divided States of America…
Buying the Presidency 101
Get Hillary money from Warren Buffett and pimp a “ready for Hillary” song on the Internet Not running? Yeah, right. Check’s in the mail and I won’t…well, you know the list.
But it should give some indications up front about the kind of honesty and transparency to expect going forward, perhaps.
Birth Rate Collapse
I’ve been telling you for some time that there are a number of factors conspiring to reduce the birth rate in America. And it may actually provide some economic justification for inviting in all those kids in from SoB (south of border) countries. The US Birth Rate has hit new lows.
There are a bunch of drivers for the collapse. One is certainly the LBGT movement which makes non child-producing unions socially acceptable. Coupling without kids isn’t as economically stimulative as coupling with kids. LBGT couples may not need four bedrooms, for example.
Another thing driving the falling birth rate is traffic. In many major cities, the time spent in cars is going back up on the daily commute because roads are clogged like crazy even off peak hours. If you work 9-hours a day and have a 3-hour commute, do the math” Cook dinner, catch one flick, and sleep. No homework, no kid time, or all the rest of that parenting stuff.
Suddenly the LBGT lifestyle begins to pencil out as a much higher personal disposable income compared to the cost of a kid through college…it’s more than square footage.
Then we have the high divorce-rate hangover Lots of kids, including my three are being extraordinarily careful in mate selection, not wanting to repeat the mistakes of their parents. So later marriages and people again, pencil out costs: “Do I want a kid in high school when I’m in my 50’s? No, not particularly. That’s when I should be hiking the Himalayas or working on breaking par.”
Worst of all, though, is the reason my kids tell me they are not interested in coupling and kidding: “What for? Look around as this PoS [piece of sh*t]) world you are leaving us: Too many people, not enough resource…what kind of life is THAT going to be for kids?”
Sobering stuff because it all wraps up into a ball of economic gum that doesn’t grow well. Somewhere in the Peoplenomics archives there was an analysis a year, or so back, about why we should be throwing open our borders (to pay for grays’ Social Security, for one). But that doesn’t give us a national vision and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
The magic of President Kennedy was being able to articulate a dream – Landing on the Moon – which we did (although there are some questions and conspiracies even there). But the long and short of it continues to be “What for?”
My late grandmother (on the Danish side) held that “Children are our immortality…” Here in latter-day Rome, we are having a hard time with that and lots of people are choosing to ignore the barbarians at the gate by simply opting out.
A civilized person would weigh the future prospects carefully before damning another to be born into it to suffer through whatever’s to come. And since we haven’t articulated dreams and personal responsibility well, the continuing decline of the birth rate should come of anything but a surprise.
Seems a pretty rational choice, in many ways. Answers used to be so much more simple, which is why you’re here, when you think about it.
Humans In Decline
An OpEd in the New York Times, which wonders “Are humans necessary?” when talking about robotics completely misses the economic point: When all robots are not publicly owned, they become tools of an elite.
Damn dangerous ones, at that.
Why people writing about the future don’t talk more about the ownership issue (he who owns, controls) is just mind boggling.
Or, part of the plan. Your call.
But seems to me if you own the tech, you own the future. So are you finally going to read that Arduino programming book this weekend?