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Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — March 6, 2009

Items of Interest:

Employers Slash 651K Jobs in Feb.; Jobless Rate Hits 8.1% -- The nation lost more than 650000 jobs during the month of February, a US Labor Department report showed Friday, as the US economy continued to struggle during the first months of 2009 and employers continue to shed workers at a ever-quickening pace...

Robert Reich / Salon:
Is Obama responsible for Wall Street's meltdown? — “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. — Is Obama responsible for the meltdown of the Dow? The consistently wrongheaded Wall Street Journal's editorial page says so, as does Republican Fox News, CNN's reliably demagogic Lou Dobbs, and now CNBC …
Bill Quick / Daily Pundit: Firepower — Speaking of Paranoid - Rich Lowry - The Corner on National Review Online

Jim Cramer / TheStreet.com
My Response to the Obama White House -- "I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to to make some of the statements," Gibbs said about my point that President Obama's budget may be one of the great wealth destroyers of all time. "And you can go back and look at any number of statements he's made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the backup for those are, too." ...

Michael Boskin / Wall Street Journal
Obama's Radicalism Is Killing the Dow -- A financial crisis is the worst time to change the foundations of American capitalism...

Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Obama's Dithering Is Hurting the Banks -- among people I talk to there’s a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama’s failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern...
Eric Martin / Bloomberg:
‘Obama Bear Market’ Punishes Investors as Dow Slumps — President Barack Obama now has the distinction of presiding over his own bear market. — The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 20 percent since Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years …
Donald Luskin / SmartMoney:
Even Worse Than the Great Depression -- We can't blame President Obama for the mess he inherited. But we can definitely blame him for making it worse. Stocks are off 28.4% since his election, 15.2% since his inauguration, and 17.2% since his so-called “stimulus” bill was enacted. To say the very least, whatever he's doing, it ain't working.

I have to say I'm a little surprised. I didn't support Obama in the campaign, but I had expected that the wave of good feelings from the election of such a charismatic man would help lift the economy and the markets out of their doldrums. And while I don't agree at all with his liberal orientation in economic policy, at least I thought he was generally a centrist who wouldn't muck things up too much or too quickly. I even hoped his so-called “stimulus” bill would at least have a placebo effect...

Even Worse Than the Great Depression----
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Backdoor Bailouts for Goldman Sachs? -- My recent tirade against bailing out the hedge fund half of AIG makes much more sense when you consider who is actually getting all of the taxpayer largesse: Counter-parties of AIG, especially one Goldman Sachs. Some estimates have been in excess of $25 billion to Goldman Sachs...
----Bear Market Update
Bear Market Update -- The current bear market, now nearly 17 months old, has set yet another new low. It continues to dominate our saga of the Four Bad Bears. In nominal terms, the decline in the S&P 500 matches the Dow Crash of 1929 over the equivalent time frame. In real (inflation adjusted) terms, it has surpassed the Dow decline.

The accompanying chart is intended not as a forecast but rather as a way to study the current decline in relation to three familiar bears from history.

For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here's a long-term view of the S&P Composite since 1871...
What to do? Join a Tribe and Hide in your Doom Bunker?

Global Guerillas:
TRIBES! -- All we have now it is a moderately strong nuclear family (weakened via modern economics that forces familial diasporas), a weak extended family, a loose collection of friends (a social circle), a tenuous corporate affiliation, and a tangential relationship with a remote nation-state. That, for many of us, is proving to be insufficient as a means of withstanding the pressures of the chaotic and harsh modern environment (D2 in particular).

The solution to this problem is to build a tribe. A group of people that you are loyal to you and you are loyal in return. In short, the need for a primary loyalty to a group that really cares about your survival and future success...

Colbert Report:
Doom Bunker - Jack Jacobs and Stephen Moore -- [some horrific scenarios]
Drudge Report:
CHAVEZ CALLS ON OBAMA TO FOLLOW PATH OF SOCIALISM — Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the “only” way out of the global recession. “Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism...
Cherian Thomas / Bloomberg:
Roubini Says Recession May Continue Until End of 2010 — The global recession may continue until the end of 2010 as the response by governments to rectify it is “too little, too late,” said Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted the financial crisis...
Eric Martin / Obsidian Wings: Where's My Thread At? — A place to get your miscellaneous ya yas out over the weekend.

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