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Friday, February 6, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — February 6, 2009

Items of Interest:

Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Economy Sheds 598,000 Jobs in January — The United States lost almost 600,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent, its highest level in more than 16 years, the Labor Department said Friday. — It was the biggest monthly job loss since the economy tipped …

discussion:
Michael Falcone / The Caucus: The Early Word: Getting to 60
David Leonhardt / Economix: 3.6 Million Lost Jobs
Michael J.W. Stickings / The Reaction: BREAKING NEWS: 598,000 job losses in January
related:
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
As Economy Sheds 600,000 Jobs In One Month, Senate Conservatives Ask: What's The Rush? » — Today, the Labor Department reported that the economy lost 598,000 jobs in January, the worst monthly jobs loss since 1974. 1.8 million jobs have been lost in the last three months alone …
discussion:
Jonathan Stein / MoJoBlog: Bad News for Jobs, and Sanity
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect: MAKE THIS SPEECH IN PRIME-TIME.
ZP Heller / Brave New Films blog: Confirm Hilda Solis for Labor Secretary Now
Chris Isidore / CNNMoney.com:
discussion:
Fox News: Employer Slashes 598K Jobs in January, Unemployment Rate Jumps to 7.6%
Brian Blackstone / Wall Street Journal:
Recession Job Losses Hit 3.6 Million
discussion:
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture: Details of January Non-Farm Payrolls
Jeannine Aversa / Associated Press: Jobless rate 7.6 pct; 598K job cuts most since '74
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Paul Krugman / New York Times:
On the Edge — A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting …
discussion:
Jazz Shaw / The Moderate Voice: Stimulus: Rushing Over the Cliff
Booman Tribune: Krugman is Our Cassandra
Robert Stein / Connecting.the.Dots: Deck Chairs on the Titanic
Steve M. / No More Mister Nice Blog: THE STIMULUS BILL REDUCES LONG-TERM GDP? …
----
NY Times:
As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force -- With the recession on the brink of becoming the longest in the postwar era, a milestone may be at hand: Women are poised to surpass men on the nation’s payrolls, taking the majority for the first time in American history.

The reason has less to do with gender equality than with where the ax is falling.

The proportion of women who are working has changed very little since the recession started. But a full 82 percent of the job losses have befallen men, who are heavily represented in distressed industries like manufacturing and construction...

More men being laid off than women during downturn----
The Treasury seriously overpaid for bank stocks. What else is new?
Kevin Depew / Minyanville.com:
Taxpayers Screwed Again; Nation Shrugs -- Here's an unsurprising surprise. It turns out the Treasury Department under former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson overpaid for bank stocks under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and head of an oversight panel for the bailout, told Congress on Thursday that the Treasury paid $254 billion in 2008 to financial institutions through the TARP program but received only $176 billion worth of stocks and warrants.

Back in December, the oversight panel asked Paulson to value taxpayers' return on the "investments." Paulson told the panel the "investments" were made "at or near par," according to Warren. That would mean taxpayers received about a $1 stake for every $1 "invested" in the banks. However, the oversight panel "found otherwise," Warren told Congress. Far from being $1 for $1, the actual value $0.66 on the dollar, the panel discovered...
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David Goldman / Inner Workings:
What was in Larry Summers’ D.E. Shaw Pitchbook? -- White House economic advisor Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard University, had brief career as a part-time pitchman for a hedge fund. His activities may bear on his ability to serve the country with maximum effectiveness. According to sources who attended meetings with him, Summers traveled to Asia during July 2007 with a pitchbook recommending the AAA-rated tranches of collateralized debt obligations to Asian sovereign funds and financial institutions, in his capacity as a Managing Director of the hedge fund D.E. Shaw.

In July 2007 the AAA-rated tranches of mortgage-backed securities backed by subprime collateral were trading at around 90 cents on the dollar. Now they are trading at less than 40 cents on the dollar...
----
Jordan Stein / Minyanville:
TARP: Taxpayers Against Ridiculous Pay -- These days, working on Wall Street sucks. A retired financier recently told the New York Times, “I’d almost rather say I’m a pornographer,” Another investment banker recalled telling an acquaintance what she did professionally, only to be met with palpable disdain: “Oh, you’re one of those.” ...
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A searchable index of the 10,000 individuals and accounts identified in court documents as victims of the $50 Billion Hedge Fund swindle perpetrated by Bernie Madoff.The Madoff Ponzi

Kirk Shinkle / US News:
Madoff Search: Multimedia Mashup Edition -- Today, we're gifted with the following:
  • Madoff Search. Type in a name, see if they're a victim of Madoff's scheme. This just made the day a lot easier for some low-level enforcer at the SEC.
  • The Madoff Map. Now that you know who the victims are, you can also see where they live. (Florida and Manhattan are pretty well covered with tags. Yikes!)
For more Madoff mania see: The Madoff Action Figure and the Fake Bernie blog. Or, for the less whimsical side of all of this check out Harry Markopolos Gets His Day With The SEC.
----
MSNBC:
Resale shops are latest casualty of bad economy -- Drop in consumer spending and in prices at malls sting thrift shops ...

Since the financial meltdown last fall, however, many thrift and consignment shops have been hurt not only as people are shopping less but because those who remain are being pulled away by 80 percent off signs at the mall...
----

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia