by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 11:10 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
From Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
Economic Report Card – Fail
We are now three and one half years into Barack Obama’s presidency. I thought a few pertinent charts would help us assess the success of his economic policies. Upon his election he demanded an $800 billion stimulus package in order to keep the unemployment rate from surpassing 8%. The $800 billion was to be spent over two years we were told and then government spending would be scaled back to pre-stimulus levels. There were 145 million Americans employed when Obama was elected. There are 9 million more working age Americans today than there were in 2008. There are now 142.4 million employed Americans. So, we’ve added 9 million potential workers and still have 2.6 less Americans employed. We have the same number of Americans employed as we did in early 2006, when there were 17 million less working age Americans.
The Obama stimulus plan was passed with everything he wanted. Democrats controlled the House and Senate and gave him exactly what he proposed. By October 2009, the unemployment rate was 10%. Obama’s stimulus package and economic policies have been so successful that he has been able to get the unemployment rate all the way down to 8.2% after three and one half years, even though he said his stimulus package would keep the unemployment rate under 8%. And all it took to get the unemployment rate down to 8.2% was for 8 MILLION Americans to leave the labor force. A critical thinking person who doesn’t swallow the crap peddled by the BLS and the rest of the government propaganda machine might question WHY 8 million Americans would leave the workforce when people desperately need income. If the labor participation rate had stayed constant, the current unemployment rate is 10.9%.
The long-term chart below tells the true story. The BLS classifying millions as not in the labor force is a crock. The Obama apologists and sycophants peddle a false storyline about Baby Boomers retiring as the cause for this labor force decline. The fact is people over the age of 55 have the highest participation rate in history and it continues to rise. Of the 142.4 million employed Americans, only 114 million works more than 35 hours per week, with 28.4 million working part-time. That means that 20%…
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 10:17 pm
Submitted by EconMatters.
June employment report from the BLS said the economy added 80,000 jobs (+84,000 in private sectors, -4,000 in government jobs) in June. The unemployment rate is unchanged at 8.2% from May, while the U-6 under-employment rate rose 0.1% from May to 14.9% (in 2007, the rate was 8%). The jobless rate has stuck above 8% for over three years since February 2009, the longest such stretch on record since 1948.
Even though the total employed jumped by 128,000, the jobless rate remained the same, partly because the labor force increased by a larger 189,000. That is not a good sign when the labor force is growing faster than job growth, as it suggests the unemployment rate could hit higher if the trend continues. Out of the total unemployed, 41.9% or 5.4 million is trapped in the long-term unemployed category (jobless for 27 weeks and over), while growth in private payrolls was the weakest in 10 months.
New Jobs in the USA (Sept. 2008 to June 2012)
Chart Source: Flaglerlive.com
The better news is that the jobless picture, while still gloomy, at least seems holding steady and not deteriorating. The bad new is that don’t expect we can dig out of this unemployment hole any time soon either.
At an April 25 press conference, Fed Chairman Bernanke said about 100,000 a month job growth is needed just to stabilize the jobless rate, while 150,000 to 200,000 a month of new jobs are needed to reduce it. The latest estimation from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) implies that roughly 90,000 jobs a month is needed to keep up with…
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 9:57 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
From Grant Williams, author of Things That Make You Go Hmmm,
Attempts to manipulate free markets invariably end badly – after all, they are, supposedly, by their very nature, free.
Over the past few weeks, the exposure of the Libor-rigging scandal has monopolized the headlines of the financial press and inveigled its way onto the front pages of every major news publication in the world through the sheer size and scale of the story.
Something as big as this just CAN’T be hidden from the public.
Only… it can.
It has been. It no doubt still is to a certain extent. I’m not going to go through all of the events of the past few weeks as you are no doubt familiar with them, but [simply understanding how LIBOR works makes for a simple conclusion].
I’m afraid it’s rather obvious. Given that almost half the reported inputs that help establish the Libor rate are discarded immediately, Barclays simply CANNOT have manipulated the Libor rate alone. Period.
What’s more, to effectively ensure the rate is set at the price required, you’d need to not only establish the highest and lowest 25% of prices, but then ensure the remaining 50% average out to the required rate and, based on the fact that there are 16 banks that submit rates, that would mean about 13 of the 16 involved would need to be complicit.
As a very good friend of mine put it earlier this week; at best this is a cartel, at worst it’s outright fraud on a scale that is completely unprecedented.
So for five years there have been attempts to fix the Libor rate and, take it from me, during that time, many inside the financial industry were familiar with the rumors of such manipulation but it was another huge scandal with such highpowered connected interests that it would no doubt be brushed squarely under the carpet. Forget ‘too big to fail’. This was ‘too deep to prove’.
Libor is so important to so many people in the financial industry that the question of why it was manipulated really ought to be framed differently:
Assuming you COULD manipulate something as important and potentially beneficial as the Libor rate with such ease for
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 9:35 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
A preview of the key events in the coming week (which will see more Central Banks jumping on the loose bandwagon and ease, because well, that is the only ammo the academic econ Ph.D’s who run the world have left) courtesy of Goldman Sachs whose Jan Hatzius is once again calling for GDP targetting, as he did back in 2011, just so Bill Dudley can at least let him have his $750 million MBS LSAP. But more on that tomorrow.
What Matters in FX This Week : China Growth and Inflation Data, Ecofin Meeting, FOMC
The past week undid a large part of the constructive price action posted the week before and a significant part of the progress made following the Euro-area summit. First off, it was a data heavy week, during which, key releases such as the ISM and Payrolls disappointed, but not to an extent that would justify further and imminent easing of monetary policy by the Fed. Overall, the deterioration in activity and the higher threshold for Fed easing continue to push the dollar higher and continue to challenge our FX views, which are predicated on dollar weakness.
On the European front, the ECB cut both the refi and the deposit rate by 25bps, pushing the EUR lower against most trading partners. Despite broader risk-off sentiment, EUR under-performed even currencies highly sensitive to global growth like NJA FX and AUD.
The latter were broadly supported by the announcement that China eased policy rates following softer growth and inflation prints. The recovery in metals and oil prices backed the market view that policy driven demand strength in Asia may prove to be a bright spot amid this generalized deceleration in DM growth. More broadly, although our GLI indicator has shown signs of deeply negative momentum in global industrial output, it is also true that PMI data hints at underperformance of DM growth vs EM.
Net-net, this has resulted in further demand for “short DM vs long EM” trades but in a risk-neutral way. The most obvious candidate over the last few weeks has been the EUR; short EUR vs long commodity or EM FX positions have attracted considerable market interest. However, the key question remains how resilient will EMs prove to be should DM growth continue to deteriorate and risk aversion continues…
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 8:46 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Japan’s core machinery orders were expected to post a modest -2.6% drop. Instead they had a worse collapse than anything seen in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, plunging by a stunning 14.8% . And the kick in the groin cherry on top was the current account surplus plunged by 62.6%: consensus forecast: -14.5%. The Japanese economy has once again ground to a halt, only this time it has no earthquake or nuclear explosion to blame. This time it is the entire world’s fault, where demand has collapsed proportionately. As a reminder the BOJ expanded its QE yet again on April 27. Must be time for another QE because this time will certainly be different after more than 30 years of failures. It is time for those brilliant central planners Ph.D’s to do engage in more of the same insanity that Einstein warned about decades ago. And incidentally this is not a joke: on Thursday the BOJ is expected to ease yet again. As a reminder, the BOJ already buys ETFs, Corporate Bonds, and REITs. What’s left: gold?
Instant View via Reuters:
HIROSHI SHIRAISHI, ECONOMIST, BNP PARIBAS
“The numbers are weak. Although the BOJ tankan indicated stronger (capital spending), uncertainty about the outlook for the overseas economy is making Japanese companies cautious. “Things won’t be as strong as the tankan suggested. We didn’t think capital spending would be that strong, because we can’t expect much growth in overseas economies. “The pace of capital spending is gradually becoming weaker. “We believe that BOJ will loosen monetary policy (at Thursday’s meeting).”
YASUO YAMAMOTO, SENIOR ECONOMIST, MIZUHO RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN TOKYO
“Looking at the May figure alone you may say that machinery orders were weak, but given that the data is volatile you cannot say capital spending is losing momentum. “Corporate capital spending remains in a moderate uptrend as the Bank of Japan’s June tankan confirmed, although the pace is tepid and levels are below those seen before the Lehman crisis. “Public spending and personal consumption are driving the Japanese economy but economic growth is likely to slow after the summer partly as government subsidies for low-emission cars run out of money. You cannot expect much from exports given uncertainty over Europe and the global economy. “The BOJ is likely to sit tight…
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 8:31 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
David Zervos, Jefferies: Shhh… Don’t Tell Anyone; Central Banks Manipulate Rates
It should come as no surprise to anyone that major commercial banks manipulate Libor submissions for their own benefit. The OTC derivatives markets was designed by the big banks, for the big banks, to ensure that as they set up their own private securities exchanges – away from regulatory scrutiny – they could control the interest rate settings. Money center commercial banks did not want the “truth” of market prices to determine their loan rates. Rather, they wanted an oligopolistically controlled subjective survey rate to be the basis for their lending businesses.
To that end, if there was a big reset for a specific bank on a given trading day, and a lower rate suited, said bank would surely shade its Libor submission lower. And then of course there were the far more unscrupulous submitters who tried to influence where other banks might post rates on a given day (for a bottle of Bolly or for a quid pro quo at a future date). When there are only 16 players – a “gentlemen’s agreement” is relatively easy to formulate. That is the way business has been transacted in the broader OTC lending markets for nearly 30 years. It is impressive that it took this long for the regulators to actually realize what a complete shame the entire structure really is.
In a way, the evolution of a corrupted Libor market is par for the course when it comes to the commercial bank tear down of the Glass-Steagall act. The biggest banks in the US and Europe spent decades trying regain control of the securities markets. In the US, Gramm-Leach-Bliley was the final nail in the Glass-Steagall coffin after the tireless work of folks like Sandy Weill and Hugh McCall (and their public sector lackeys Bob Rubin, Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan). One of the best analyses of the post Glass-Steagall world was done by Luigi Zingales at the University of Chicago. His recent FT article is attached below – and it is a MUST read. From the perspective of the evolution of the OTC derivative market, and Libor misrepresentations, this paragraph from Luigi says it all –
“The third reason why I came to support Glass-Steagall
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 8:16 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Well at least Spanish 10 Year bonds aren’t above 7% and Italy is safely below 6%. Wait… what’s that? Oh… uh uh… uh uh… Oh… Really… Oh ok…
As a reminder 7% is and has always been a very magic number for Europe:
Full forward bond issuance:
- 10 July: Greece auction. Bills.
- 12 July: Italy auction. Bills.
- 13 July: Italy auction. Bonds.
- 17 July: Spain auction. Bills.
- 17 July: Greece auction. Bills.
- 19 July: Spain auction. Bonds.
- 24 July: Spain auction. Bills.
- 26 July: Italy auction. Bonds.
- 27 July: Italy auction. Bills.
- 30 July: Italy auction. Bonds.
- 20 July: Eurogroup meeting (tentative). According to Reuters, the MoU on Spanish bank recap has been delayed to allow more time for negotiations and a new Eurogroup meeting has been pencilled in for 20 July. The MoU is due to specify the terms of the European loans – duration and interest rates. Again according to Reuters the first tranche of the loan will be sent to Spain’s bank restructuring fund (FROB) on time for the
state rescued banks.
- 2 August: Spain auction. Bonds
- 13 August: Italy auction. Bills
- 14 August: Italy auction. Bonds
- 16 August: Spain auction. Bonds
- 21 August: Spain auction. Bills
- 28 August: Spain auction. Bills
- 28 August: Italy auction. Bonds
- 29 August: Italy auction. Bills
- 30 August: Italy auction. Bonds
20 August: ESM to become operational (Tentative). The following euro-area countries have not ratified the ESM yet: Estonia, Italy and Germany. We think they will all do by the first week of August. Then the first installment of the capital has to be paid by each ESM member within 15 days of the ESM treaty entering into force. Hence, the ESM will not be in a position to lend money until the last 10 days of August.
Source: Deutsche Bank
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 7:35 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Between Clinton’s ‘prices to be paid’ and Obama’s new trade-war, is it any wonder the Chinese have decided to escalate their ‘more-than-rhetoric’ from bartering away from the USD. After ignoring the sanctions and then receiving their exemption, PressTV reports tonight that China is to invest in developing north and south Iranian oil fields (which will produce 700,000 barrels per day of crude). One of the oil fields, Azadegan, has one of the world’s largest oil deposits, with in-place oil reserves estimated at 42 billion barrels – enough to tide China over a for a while – as Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi adds after 10-15 years of negotiations the decision has finally (and coincidentally very timely) been reached as “the Chinese side has started its activities by investing USD 20 billion in the oil fields”.
Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says China has agreed to invest USD20 billion in developing north and south Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields which will finally produce 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.
Speaking to reporters in a visit to the Petropars Company on Sunday, the oil minister said the agreement for developing Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields has been reached after 10-15 years of negotiations with the Chinese side.
He added that the Chinese side has started its activities by investing USD20 billion dollars in the oil fields.
“So far more than 20 drilling rigs have been installed in Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields and plans have been made for the daily production of 700,000 bpd of crude oil [when development of both fields is complete],” Qasemi stated.
The minister said contracts have been signed for the development of 12 new oil fields in the past few months, adding, “Development of some fields, including Azar and Changouleh oil fields has also begun.”
Qasemi said necessary measures have been taken for the development of Darkhoein and Mansouri onshore oil fields as well as offshore fields such as Farzad A.
Yadavaran oil field is located in the southwestern Khuzestan Province bordering Iraq. The development project of the oil field is expected to be implemented in three phases. Upon the completion of all phases, some 300,000 barrels of oil
by ilene - July 8th, 2012 7:09 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
At long last unions are on the run and losing battles in multiple places at once. Let’s take a look at some dates and headlines.
June 7, 2012 LA Times: 2 big cities OK cuts to worker pension costs
Landslide victories on ballot measures to cut pension costs in two major California cities emboldened reform advocates, who said they expect a flurry of copycat initiatives and increased support for Gov. Jerry Brown’s long-stalled push to curb the state’s obligations to its employees.
In San Jose, nearly 70% of voters Tuesday approved a plan that gives workers the choice between increasing their pension contribution to 13% of their pay, currently 5% to 11%, or switching to a lower-cost plan with reduced benefits. It also steeply cuts benefits for new hires and tightens rules for disability retirements.
In San Diego, where pension cuts already have been implemented, voters opted to eliminate pensions for new workers. By a 66% to 34% margin, voters Tuesday endorsed Proposition B, which provides newly hired city employees with a 401(k) program, but preserves traditional pensions for new police officers.
The San Diego measure also calls for a five-year freeze on “pensionable” pay levels and removes elected leaders’ ability to improve retirement packages without a popular vote. Leaders in both cities say voters were echoing a point that reform advocates have made for years.
June 7, 2012 Washington Times: Labor unions feel pain of pension reform votes in San Diego, San Jose
“San Diego’s victory isn’t just a win for San Diego taxpayers. It marks the beginning of the pension reform movement for our country,” declared Lani Lutar, president and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. “Tuesday the voters sent a very clear message to elected officials: Put the taxpayers first. Use our money prudently, and stop giving away benefits we can’t afford.”
Pension reform advocates call it a crushing defeat, a rising trend, and just the beginning. According to the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, with the victories on Tuesday 18 of 20 pension reform measures have now passed in California since 2010. They have won with an average of two-thirds of the vote, even in more liberal cities like San Francisco.
July 6, 2012 Mercury News: State will
by Zero Hedge - July 8th, 2012 6:35 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
In an extended interview with Bloomberg TV, Nouriel Roubini lives up to his doom-saying reputation and goes where few have as he opines on Lieborgate that: “bankers are greedy and have been for 1000 years” and “nothing is going to change” unless there are criminal sanctions; to which he follows up – briefly silencing the interviewer, “If some people end up in jail, maybe that will teach a lesson to somebody – or somebody will hang in the streets“. The professor goes on to note that the EU “summit was a failure” since markets were expecting much more and warns that without full debt mutualization, debt monetization by the ECB, or a quadrupling of the EFSF/ESM ‘bazooka’; Italian and Spanish spreads will continue to blow out day after day – leading to a crisis “not in six months but in two weeks”. The only entity capable of stopping this is the ECB which needs to do outright unsterilized monetization in unlimited amounts which is ‘politically incorrect’ to talk about and claimed to be constitutionally illegal. 2013 will be a very difficult year to find shelter as policy-makers ability to kick-the-can runs out of steam as he sees the possibility of a ‘Global Perfect Storm’ of a euro-zone collapse, a US double-dip, a China & EM hard-landing, and a war in the Middle East. Dr. Doom is back.
Must watch 9 minutes of reality:
Nothing has changed since the financial crisis. The incentives of the banks is to cheat – doing things that are either illegal or immoral. The only way to avoid that is to break up these financial supermarkets. There are no chinese walls and massive conflicts of interest.
Bankers are greedy – they have been for 1000 years.
There should be criminal sanctions. Noone has gone to jail since the global financial crisis. The banks do things that are illegal and at best they get a slapped with a fine. If some people end up in jail, maybe that will teach a lesson to somebody – or somebody will hang in the streets.