Posts Tagged ‘hiring’

Large Companies Hiring, Small Companies Not; Federal Hiring Strong, States Cutting Back; Proposed Solutions; Bright Side of Fed Policies

Unfortunately, after reading Mish’s article "Large Companies Hiring, Small Companies Not; Federal Hiring Strong, States Cutting Back; Proposed Solutions; Bright Side of Fed Policies," most of us are not going to be happy about what Mish calls the bright side. – Ilene

Courtesy of Mish

A recent Gallup survey suggests Larger U.S. Companies Are Hiring; Smallest Are Not

Gallup finds that larger companies are hiring more workers while the smallest businesses are shedding jobs. More than 4 in 10 employees (42%) at workplaces with at least 1,000 employees reported during the week ending Nov. 14 that their company was hiring, while 22% said their employer was letting people go. At the other extreme, 9% of workers in businesses with fewer than 10 employees said their employer was hiring, and 16% said their employer was letting people go.

This Gallup question about company size is new, so it is unclear whether this pattern is a continuation of, or a change from, the past.

Hiring Also Much Higher at the Federal Government

The federal government is hiring more employees than it is letting go, while the opposite is true for state and local governments. More than 4 in 10 federal employees (42%) say their organizations are adding people and 21% say they are letting workers go. In contrast, state and local government employees report a net loss of workers.

Pitfalls, Flaws, Observations 

There are huge flaws in the survey as well as a potential for additional flaws in analyzing the survey results. Nonetheless there are some important observations that can be made.

For starters, it is nice to see large corporations hiring, but there is no indication of by how much. Is the total headcount hiring 1 or hiring 2,000? Is the number up or down from last month?

Compounding that lack of information, we have seasonal flaws. Many retailers are now ramping up hiring for the Christmas season. So… is the hiring temporary or permanent?

The survey does not say. Moreover it does not say why they are hiring. Is business expanding or is this a short-term need?

That aside, the survey is not useless by any means. If this expansion was getting stronger, the number of companies hiring would be going up. It is not. Worse yet, small businesses which are the lifeblood of job creation, have not participated in the hiring…
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Weekly Claims Drop to 451,000, 4-Week Moving Average at 478,000; Where to From Here?

Weekly Claims Drop to 451,000, 4-Week Moving Average at 478,000; Where to From Here?

Courtesy of Mish 

Weekly Claims fell this week to 451,000 but that number is still consistent with an economy losing jobs.

Please consider the Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for September 9, 2010.

In the week ending Sept. 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 451,000, a decrease of 27,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 478,000. The 4-week moving average was 477,750, a decrease of 9,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 487,000.

Unemployment Claims

The weekly claims numbers are volatile so it’s best to focus on the trend in the 4-week moving average.

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims

The 4-week moving average is still near the peak results of the last two recessions. It’s important to note those are raw numbers, not population adjusted. Nonetheless, the numbers do indicate broad, persistent weakness.

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims Since 2007

No Lasting Improvement for 8 Months

There has been no lasting improvement since December 2009, eight months ago. The above chart is slightly off, the Fed has not updated the series yet today. The last data point is at 451,000.

To be consistent with an economy adding jobs coming out of a recession, the number of claims needs to fall to the 400,000 level.

At some point employers will be as lean as they can get (and still stay in business). Yet, that does not mean businesses are about to go on a big hiring boom. Indeed, unless consumer spending picks up, they won’t.

Questions on the Weekly Claims vs. the Unemployment Rate

A question keeps popping up in emails: "How can we lose 400,000+ jobs a week and yet have the unemployment rate stay flat and the monthly jobs report show gains?"

The answer is the economy is very dynamic. People change jobs all the time. Note that from 1975 forward, the number of claims was generally above 300,000 a week, yet some months the economy added well over 250,000 jobs.

Also note that the monthly published unemployment rate is from a household survey, not a survey of payroll data from businesses. That is why the monthly "establishment survey" (a sampling of actual payroll data) is not always in alignment with changes in the unemployment rate. At economic turns the discrepancy can…
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Banks Recruit Investors to Oppose Honest Valuation of Assets; Just how Unprepared are Banks for Major Losses?

Banks Recruit Investors to Oppose Honest Valuation of Assets; Just how Unprepared are Banks for Major Losses?

Courtesy of Mish 

Reader "Henry" has a question on the loan loss provision chart I posted in Former Fed Vice Chairman vs. Mish: Is the Fed Out of Ammo?

Henry writes …

Hello Mish,

Thanks for writing and sharing your wonderful column. It has been very informative and educational.

Could you please help us mere mortals decipher the ALLL/LLRNPT chart in a follow up post?

I have difficulty reconciling the units, and I suspect I’m not the only one. Exactly what does that chart depict?

Thanks.

Henry

From my previous post …

Assets at Banks whose ALLL Exceeds their Nonperforming Loans

The ALLL is a bank’s best estimate of the amount it will not be able to collect on its loans and leases based on current information and events. To fund the ALLL, the bank takes a periodic charge against earnings. Such a charge is called a provision for loan and lease losses.

One look at the above chart in light of an economy headed back into recession and a housing market already back in the toilet should be enough to convince anyone that banks already have insufficient loan loss provisions.

That is one of the reasons banks are reluctant to lend. Lack of creditworthy customers is a second. Quite frankly would be idiotic to force more lending in such an environment.

To further clarify, the chart depicts the ratio of loan loss provisions to nonperforming loans across the entire banking system (all banks). There are 33 ALLL charts by bank size and region for inquiring minds to consider. The above chart is the aggregate.

The implication what the chart suggests is that banks believe nonperforming loans are NOT a problem (or alternatively they are simply ignoring expected losses to goose earnings).

The implication what I suggest is banks earnings have been overstated. Why? Because provisions for loan losses are a hit to earnings. I believe losses are coming for which there are no provisions.

The chart depicts a form of "extend and pretend" and overvaluation of assets on bank balance sheets. The Fed and the accounting board ignore this happening (encourage is probably a better word), hoping the problem will get better. With more foreclosures and bankruptcies on the horizon, I suggest it won’t.

Magnitude of the Problem

The above…
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Small Businesses are Not Hiring – Why Should They?

Small Businesses are Not Hiring – Why Should They?

Courtesy of Mish 

Hand holding out empty pocket

In response to Creating Jobs Carries a Punishing Price, an article about Mr. Fleischer, president of Bogen Communications Inc. and why he is not hiring, I received an interesting email from "David" a reader who disagrees with Mr. Fleischer’s stated reasons for not hiring.

One of the items mentioned by Mr. Fleischer and challenged by "David" is the idea that corporations are sitting on cash. On this score, "David" is correct. I have also debunked the idea that corporations are sitting in cash (Please see Are Corporations Sitting on Piles of Cash?)

"David" also challenged Mr. Fleischer’s math on healthcare.

However, such arguments miss the entire point of the post.

Actions Matter!

It does not matter one iota if Mr. Fleischer is wrong about corporate sideline cash or anything else. What matters is Mr. Fleischer thinks he has sufficient reasons not to hire.

On that score, I believe Mr. Fleischer is correct. There are numerous good reasons to not hire.

Businesses have a legitimate worry about health care costs, rising taxes, and other artifacts of Obama’s legislation.

On the consumer side, this is not a typical recession. This is a credit bust recession with consumers still deleveraging. With savings deposits yielding close to 0% and with credit card rates over 20%, common sense dictates consumers pay down bills rather than make new purchases. The housing bubble has burst and boomers are headed into retirement with insufficient savings.

Given all the economic uncertainties, consumers are reacting in a rational manner by not spending. In turn, businesses have consistently cited lack of customers as one reason to not hire.

Pertinent Facts

That Mr. Fleischer fails to articulate reasons that others agree with is irrelevant. The pertinent fact is he is not hiring.

More importantly, numerous other small business owners think and act just like Mr. Fleischer. How do we know? Simple …

What Can Be Done?

For my thoughts on what to do about small business hiring, please…
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Four-Week Moving Average of Weekly Unemployment Claims Holds Steady near 460,000, No Progress for Seven Months

Four-Week Moving Average of Weekly Unemployment Claims Holds Steady near 460,000, No Progress for Seven Months

Courtesy of Mish 

Tack on another month of no progress with weekly unemployment claims. The 4-Week moving average is still hovering around the 450,000 to 460,000 level where it was in mid-December 2009.

Please consider the Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for July 17, 2010.

In the week ending July 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 464,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 427,000. The 4-week moving average was 456,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 454,750.

Weekly Claims and 4-Week Moving Averages

Last week’s improvement in claims is an outlier primarily related to seasonal discrepancies in auto manufacturing workloads. The 4-week moving average smoothes out such fluctuations and is still hovering above 450,000,

The numbers are consistent with an economy that is losing jobs.

Questions on the Weekly Claims vs. the Unemployment Rate

A question keeps popping up in emails: "How can we lose 400,000+ jobs a week and yet have the unemployment rate stay flat and the monthly jobs report show gains?"

The answer is the economy is very dynamic. People change jobs all the time. Note that from 1975 forward, the number of claims was generally above 300,000 a week, yet some months the economy added well over 250,000 jobs.

Also note that the monthly published unemployment rate is from a household survey, not a survey of payroll data from businesses. That is why the monthly "establishment survey" (a sampling of actual payroll data) is not always in alignment with changes in the unemployment rate. At economic turns the discrepancy can be wide.

It may be quite some time before we weekly claims drop to 300,000 or net hiring that exceeds +250,000.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Weekly Unemployment Claims at 442,000, 4-Week Moving Average drops to 453,750

Weekly Unemployment Claims at 442,000, 4-Week Moving Average drops to 453,750

Courtesy of Mish 

Please consider the Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for March 25, 2010.

In the week ending March 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 442,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 456,000. The 4-week moving average was 453,750, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 464,750.

Unemployment Claims

The weekly claims numbers are volatile so it’s best to focus on the trend in the 4-week moving average.

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims

The 4-week moving average is still near the peak results of the last two recessions. It’s important to note those are raw number, not population adjusted. Nonetheless, the numbers do indicate broad weakness.

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims Since 2007

This was a good report in that claims have started to drop again, the first time since December 5, 2009. This is a step in the right direction, if it holds. On the other hand, to be consistent with an economy adding jobs, the number needs to get to the 400,000 level.

Also note that it takes 100,000+ jobs a month for unemployment to drop (barring changes in the participation rate).

At some point, employers will be as lean as they can get (and still stay in business). Yet, that does not mean businesses are about to go on a big hiring boom. Indeed, unless consumer spending picks up, they won’t.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Surveys Show Job Openings, Corporate Hiring Plans Anemic

Surveys Show Job Openings, Corporate Hiring Plans Anemic

Courtesy of Mish

Businessman carrying office belongings

Inquiring minds are watching Job Opening and Labor Turnover stats for signs of life.

There were 2.5 million job openings on the last business day of October 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The job openings rate was unchanged over the month at 1.9 percent. The openings rate has held relatively steady since March 2009. The hires rate (3.0 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) were essentially unchanged and remained low. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector by industry and geographic region.

Job Openings

The job openings rate was unchanged in October at 1.9 percent. After falling steeply from mid-2007 through February 2009, the job openings rate has been steady at 1.8 percent or 1.9 percent since March 2009.

Hires

The hires rate was essentially unchanged in October at 3.0 percent. The rate has remained between 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent since February 2009. The hires level fell by 1.5 million from the most recent peak in July 2006 to March 2009 but has declined by only 133,000 since.

The hires rate was essentially unchanged in every industry and region in October. Over the 12 months ending in October, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) declined for total nonfarm and total private. The hires rate decreased over the 12 months for wholesale trade; retail trade; information; accommodation and food services; and state and local government. The rate increased for federal government.

Separations

The total separations, or turnover, rate was little changed in October and remained low at 3.2 percent. The total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased over the 12 months ending in October for total nonfarm and total private. Total separations includes quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (including retirements).

The total separations level is influenced by the relative contribution of its three components—quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. The percentage of total separations at the total nonfarm level attributable to the individual components has varied over time. The proportion of quits had exceeded the proportion of layoffs and discharges every month from the beginning of the series in December 2000 until November 2008 when layoffs and discharges became the


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Giving Temps A Break

But are many of these temporary hirings pre-planned to be merely temporary, e.g., retailers needing more sales people for the holiday season?

Combination thanks to Tom (But Then What) and Jake (Econompic Data). – Ilene

Temporary Help as a Predictor of Broader Hiring

Courtesy of Jake at Econompic Data

Bloomberg reported:

The worst U.S. employment slump in the post-World War II era may be about to end as companies hasten to hire temporary workers and boost hours, according to economists such as John Ryding and Zach Pandl.

Employers took on 52,000 temporary workers in November, the largest increase since October 2004 and the fourth consecutive gain, the Labor Department said today. The average workweek climbed by 12 minutes, the most since March 2003.

“It is beginning to look like December could be the first month to show a positive payroll print,” Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics LLC in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Companies are running out of labor.”

Jumps in temporary help and working hours often presage the addition of permanent, full-time staff as companies grow more confident sales will be sustained. Job growth would help lift consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, and aid the recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s.

[click on graph for larger image]

This cycle may be slightly different as employers delay the full-time hiring due to uncertainty and quite frankly an ability to get top talent "on the cheap" on a temporary basis. Still, a nice sign on the margin.

Source: BLS

Giving Temps A Break

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark at But Then What

Jake has a nice post on the relationship between temporary hiring and its relationship to payrolls. Here is his graph (above).

And he comments:

This cycle may be slightly different as employers delay the full-time hiring due to uncertainty and quite frankly an ability to get top talent “on the cheap” on a temporary basis. Still, a nice sign on the margin.

No disagreement here that it is a positive sign and I agree that employers are likely to use temporary workers as a cheap way of adding employees. Should they be allowed to do that?

Right now is probably not the right time to be doing anything that


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Zero Hedge

Futures Flat, Gold Rises On Weaker Dollar As Traders Focus On OPEC, Payrolls

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After yesterday's US and UK market holidays which resulted in a session of unchanged global stocks, US futures are largely where they left off Friday, up fractionally, and just under 2,100. Bonds fell as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates amid signs inflation is picking up. Oil headed for its longest run of monthly gains in five years, while stocks declined in Europe.

Treasuries retreated in the first full day of trading since Yellen said late Friday that the improving economy meant a rate increase would probably be in or...



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ValueWalk

COMEX Gold Futures Market - INFOGRAPHIC

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Infographic: COMEX Gold Futures Market

his COMEX Gold Futures Market infographic guides you through the largest gold futures market in the world, COMEX.

Did you for example know that only 1 in 2500 contracts on COMEX goes to physical delivery whereas the other 2499 contracts are cash-settled? This corresponds to a delivery percentage of 0.04% of all gold contracts.

The US government claims to hold a fair bit of gold in reserves but how much is it really holding?

In this infographic you will learn more about the COMEX gold futures market considering

  • COMEX Trading Volumes
  • Fractionally Reserved Futures Trading
  • Cash-settlement of COMEX Gold Futures Contracts
  • Eligible and Registered Gold on COMEX
  • US Treasury Gold Reserves
  • Locat...


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Phil's Favorites

Merkel Ready to Kiss and Make Up with Putin?

Courtesy of Mish.

German chancellor Angela Merkel wants to stand tough against Russia, but Austria, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, and Portugal have had enough of sanctions that have backfired.

Talking tough may be Merkel’s official stance but circumstances have changed. She is no longer calling all the shots.

Step-by-Step Rapprochement

Please consider Step-by-Step Rapprochement: Germany Considers Easing of Russia Sanctions.

As expected, G-7 leaders reiterated their hardline approach to Moscow in the Japan summit’s closing statement. Chancellor Angela Merkel complained last Thursday that there still isn’t a stable ce...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Set for Longest Run of Gains in 5 Years Before OPEC Meeting (Bloomberg)

Oil is set for the longest run of monthly gains in five years as output disruptions from Nigeria to Canada reduce supply before OPEC meets Thursday in Vienna to discuss production policy.

Every Stock Was a Buy to This Analyst Team, Then Shares Tanked (Bloomberg)

Companies probably love getting attention from analysts at Emperor Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. Investors who followed their advice for the past year, not so much. ...



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Chart School

Respectable Finish To Week

Courtesy of Declan.

Semiconductors were the star of the week.  The index cleared Match/April congestion and posted six consecutive winning days in a row. Technicals are all in the green and the index is above all key moving averages. Weakness will be a buying opportunity; a test of the 50-day MA would be a good start.


The Russell 2000 managed to regain the prior rising channel. Technicals are positive although it still has to make up relative ground against the Nasdaq. The index hasn't yet cracked new highs but one more days gain may be en...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Mining Stocks- Most dangerous time to own them in years?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The rally in mining stocks since the first of the year has been very impressive.

The rally has taken Gold Miners ETF GDX up to test the 23% retracement of the collapse over the past 5-years. At the same time it is hitting the 23% level, two other resistance lines are being put to a test, with momentum at the highest levels in the past 5-years.

Joe Friday Just The Facts...



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Insider Scoop

Graham Media Group To Buy WCWJ, CW affiliate In Jacksonville, NBC Affiliate in Roanoke

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Graham Media Group, Inc., a Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) subsidiary, said it struck a deal with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. and Media General, Inc. to purchase WCWJ, a CW affiliate television station in Jacksonville, Florida and WSLS, an NBC affiliate television station in Roanoke, Virginia for $60 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities.

The agreement to acquire Nextar Broadcasting included pension obligations. Graham Media Group, Inc. would continue to operate both stations under their current network affiliations.

Graham Media said the acquisition is subject to approval by the FCC, other regulatory appr...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 23rd, 2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Digital Currencies

The Biggest Bitcoin Arbitrage Ever?

Courtesy of Chris at CapitalistExploits

Do you remember when you were growing up and all your friends were allowed Atari game consoles but you weren’t?

Well, I do and the things seemed as foreign to me as Venus. Mostly because the little time I managed to spend on the gaming consoles when my friends weren’t hogging them I found it all a bit silly. I never “got” computer games, and to this day still have poor comprehension of things like Angry Birds.

I suspect that many people around the world view Bitcoin in the same way as I view Angry Birds: with mild amusement and a general lack of understanding as to what the hell all the fuss is about.

I was thinking of this since a buddy of mine recently started ...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Biotech

This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members.

Here's an interesting article from Investor's Business Daily arguing that biotech stocks are beginning to recover from their recent declines, notwithstanding current weakness.

This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again

By 

Excerpt:

After a three-year bull run that more than quadrupled its value by its peak last July, IBD’s Medical-Biomed/Biotech Industry Group plunged 50% by early February, hurt by backlashes against high drug prices and mergers that seek to lower corporate taxes.

...



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Mapping The Market

About that debate last night

Although we try to stay focused on finding and managing promising trade ideas, the comments in the comment section sometimes take a political turn (for access, try PSW — click here!). So today, Jean Luc writes,

The GOP debate last night was just unreal – are these people running to be president of the US or to lead a college fraternity! Comparing tool size? The only guy that looks semi-sane is Kasich. The other guys are just like 3 jackals right now. 

And something else – if Trump is the candidate, that little Romney speech yesterday is probably already being made into a commercial. And all these little snippets from the debate will also make some nice ads! If you are a conservative, you have to be scared now. 

Phil writes back,

I was expecting them to start throwing poop at each other &n...



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Promotions

PSW is more than just stock talk!

 

We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more!

PhilStockWorld.com features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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