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...
US Economy: Unemployment Rate Increases to 8.1% - BloombergJobs: Another 651000 Lost in February - BusinessWeek
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 …
discussion:Eric Martin / Bloomberg:Buck Naked Politics: 651,000 Jobs Lost in February, Many Never to Return; Meanwhile …Libby Spencer / The Impolitic: Blaming Obama — Robert Reich takes down the critics …Pundit Review Radio / BLACKFIVE: ANGRY PARANOID DWARF CALLS RIGHT ANGRY AND PARANOIDTaylor Marsh: Turning the Bush Inheritance on Its HeadMark Hemingway / The Corner: Crypto-Socialists Beware! — Rich, that Robert Reich quote contains multitudes.Moe Lane: Permit me to reassure Mr. Reich.JammieWearingFool: Can Someone Decipher What Mini-American Robert Reich Is Talking About?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...
‘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 …
discussion:Arnold Kling / The Atlantic Business Channel: Which Sign is the Multiplier? … Let us say that 50 percent …R.D. Walker / The Real Revo: Barack Obama's Pet BearNoel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org: When Will Media Blame Economy and Bear Market on Obama?Jennifer Rubin / Commentary: Add Bloomberg and ABC to the ListGayPatriot: The Obama Stock Market Crash of '09
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...
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 -- 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...
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...
Doom Bunker - Jack Jacobs and Stephen Moore -- [some horrific scenarios]
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...
discussion:Greg Scott / Stop The ACLU: CHAVEZ QUICKER TO THE PUNCHMichael van der Galien / PoliGazette: Hugo Chavez Calls on Obama to Continue Doing What's He's Doing
discussion:Eric Martin / Obsidian Wings: Where's My Thread At? — A place to get your miscellaneous ya yas out over the weekend.
- The $700 Trillion Elephant in the Room - Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch
- Obama Making War on Rich? Give Me a Break, GOP - Daniel Gross, Slate
- Tim Geithner--Man in the Middle - Onaran & McKee, Bloomberg Magazine
- Rethinking and Revisiting Globalization - Moisés Naím, Foreign Policy
- You Call Obama's Policies a Cure for This Crisis? - Susan Lee, Forbes
- China's Rebound Hopes Are Pure Fantasy in '09 - William Pesek, Bloomberg
- Rethinking the American Dream - David Kamp, Vanity Fair
- When the Pros Say 'Buy', I Get Nervous - Joe Queenan, Los Angeles Times
- Obama Repeats Bush's Worst Mistakes - Steve Forbes, Wall Street Journal
- If Obama Is Wrong, the U.S. Will Be Bankrupt - Tim Reid, Times of London
- A Bank Nationalization Plan That Works - Joseph Stiglitz, The Nation
- The Financial World Is Stumbling Blindly - Gillian Tett, Financial Times
- When Geithner Speaks, Stocks Crater - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- Wild Party Days Are Over for U.S. Banks - Sen. John Kerry, Bloomberg
- Why Didn't Markopolos Take Bernie to the Press? - Michael Thomas, Forbes
- The Deal That Fueled the Subprime Boom - Floyd Norris, New York Times
- Interview: 'Dow 36,000' Continues to Haunt Glassman - Carlos Lozada, WP
- The Stock Market's Historically Bad Run - Justin Fox, Curious Capitalist
- We Can't Afford To Wait To Recapitalize The Banks - Baseline Scenario
- Defending Financial Journalists--and Bloggers - F. Salmon, Market Movers
- Crash Of 2008 Now Worse Than Crash Of 1929 - H. Blodget, Clusterstock
- The Free Market Votes: Still No Change We Can Believe In - Seeking Alpha