David Rosenberg is the special guest on CNBC this morning.
Sometimes I get the impression they intentionally counter-program any bullish point I bring up (we talked about Rosenberg in yesterday’s post). As I did say yesterday – fear sells and CNBC is in the business of selling fear, driven by their own fear of declining ratings (new lows in the last book) and irrelevance. I think one of the problems with CNBC is that they forget they are on television. On the right, I am SHOWING you a chart of weekly unemployment – TV is supposed to be all about showing you things but the only things they show you are gigantic talking heads and the dreaded "octo-box" where the loudest guy with the best one-liner wins (I guess).
It’s sad that anyone gets their information this way and I am relieved to see people once again picking up newspapers to get their news (or even the occasional financial blog). The chart above is from Calafia Beach Pundit on Seeking Alpha and he’s trying to point out, as I am, that we have a tremendous amount of negativity that can take this MASSIVE improvement in weekly job losses and spin it as a negative. I’m not saying it’s great – we need to put people back to work – but expecting job losses to fall from 650,000 per week down to 300,000 per week without so much as a bump along the way would not only be unprecedented but ridiculous.
Another thing I like about blogs is the commentary and another SA Writer (who I happen to follow), John Lounsbury and a reader called Oil Finder, go back and forth on the merits of Pundit’s observation. You can learn more about unemployment following this exchange than you will if you had watched CNBC 24/7 for the entire past decade! Oil Finder makes the excellent observation that the track of the unemployment claims through the current recession is virtually identical to the track of our last major recession in the 70s (the one they blame on Carter, who took office in January of 1977).
So if we take into account the overall expansion of the labor force since 1975, then it’s not terribly surprising that our Unemployment numbers are also higher this time around. Back in the 70′s we had the oil crisis, the hostage crisis, Watergate the end of a pointless war that put the country in debt and government interference with the…