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Friday, May 8, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — May 8, 2009

Items of Interest:

Jack Healy / New York Times:
U.S. Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, but Pace of Losses Eases -- The American job market remains dreadful and is still worsening, but at a slower pace than before — good news given the stomach-churning events of recent months. The government’s monthly employment report buoyed hopes that the longest, most punishing recession since the Great Depression may be relenting.

Another 539,000 jobs disappeared from the economy in April, and the unemployment rate jumped to 8.9 percent, its highest level in a quarter century, the Labor Department reported Friday. Yet the deterioration was milder than expected, prompting encouraging talk...

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Mish's Global Economic Analysis:
Jobs Contract 16th Straight Month; Unemployment Rate Soars to 8.9% -- This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the April Employment Report.

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April (-539,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost. In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Overall, private sector employment fell by 611,000.

Unemployment Rate April 2007-April 2009 seasonally adjusted----
discussion:
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Grahman Bowley / NY Times:
2 Banks Cited in Stress Tests Find Ready Investors -- Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley each tapped the markets for $7.5 billion on Friday, showing that additional capital could be obtained quickly....
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Wall Street Journal:
Banks Won Concessions on Tests -- Fed Cut Billions Off Some Initial Capital-Shortfall Estimates; Tempers Flare at Wells

The Federal Reserve significantly scaled back the size of the capital hole facing some of the nation's biggest banks shortly before concluding its stress tests, following two weeks of intense bargaining.

In addition, according to bank and government officials, the Fed used a different measurement of bank-capital levels than analysts and investors had been expecting, resulting in much smaller capital deficits...
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FT.com:
Banks critical of stress-test sceptics — Bank executives were able to persuade US regulators to roll back many of their direst assumptions on the sector's future health but made little inroads in one key area: the banks' own earnings predictions...
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NY Times:
Berkshire Hathaway Posts Its First Loss Since 2001 -- Berkshire Hathaway, the company led by Warren E. Buffett, announced late Friday that it had recorded its first quarterly loss since 2001, hurt by a large investment in ConocoPhillips shares and losses from derivatives.

The company, based in Omaha, reported a net loss of $1.53 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to a profit of $940 million in the year-earlier quarter...
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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