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...
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.
discussion:Justin Lahart / Wall Street Journal: Pace of Job Losses EasesJeannine Aversa / Associated Press: Layoffs slow to 539K in April; jobless rate risesDean Baker / American Prospect: Background on the Stress Tests: Anyone Got an Extra $120 Billion?Nick Baumann / MoJo Blog Posts: mojo: Obama's Bank Stress Tests and the April Jobs ReportThe Caucus: The Early Word: JobsNoel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org: Politico's Obama Blog: 539,000 Job Losses ‘Employment Doing Well’Steve Verdon / Outside The Beltway: April Unemployment NumbersKevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts: Job Losses SlowTruthdig: The Good News on Jobs: Less BadSteve Benen / Washington Monthly: JOBLESS CLIMBS, PACE SLOWS.... How awful has the recession been?Conor Clarke / The Atlantic Business Channel: Stress Test “Adverse Scenario” Looks a Lot Like RealityCatherine Rampell / Economix: Fulfilling the ‘Adverse Scenario’BJ Bjornson / Newshoggers.com: Good News! — Things are going to hell in a handbasket at a slightly slower rate!
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....
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...
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...
- Stress Tests Forever - Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post
- Regulators Suffer from Stockholm Syndrome - Caroline Baum, Bloomberg
- Crisis Averted, Investors Wonder What's Next - Don Luskin, SmartMoney
- Stress Tests Set Bar Too Low on Capital Requirements- Economist
- Stress Tests Bring Relief to the Markets - Randall Forsyth, Barron's
- Economic Recovery Will Determine Health of Banks - Floyd Norris, NYT
- Big Banks to the Feds: Thanks But No Thanks - Colin Barr, Fortune
- My Stress Test Ambivalence - Noam Scheiber, The New Republic
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...
- Who Lost the Economy & What To Do Next? - Robert Kuttner, Am. Prospect
- The Spring of the Zombies - Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate
- Bag The Tea Parties and Focus on the Deficit - Bruce Bartlett, Forbes
- An Economist, a Puzzle and a Lot of Promise - Steven Pearlstein, Wash Post
- The FDIC Needs More Good Hands - William Seidman, Wall Street Journal
- The Rest of Us Should Be Very Afraid - Paul Krugman, New York Times
- A Systemic Regulator Won't Work - Cliff Asness, StumblingOnTruth.com
- Treasury's Rosy Scenario - William Greider, The Nation
- Shadow-Banking System Up Next In Stress Tests - David Reilly, Bloomberg
- Chrysler: True New Dealers Should Be Horrified - David Skeel, American
- The First Episode of "Obama Gangster Government" - Michael Barone, IBD
- Bidding Farewell To Reagan & Thatcher - Ryan Streeter, Weekly Standard
- $17 Billion? Obama Is Playing Small Ball - John Dickerson, Slate
- Team Obama & Behavioral Economics - Chrystia Freeland, Financial Times
- Private Equity: $1T To The Rescue? - Carbonara & Greenberg, BusinessWeek
- The Gaussian Copula and the Market Meltdown - Susan Lee, Forbes