Posts Tagged ‘unemployment benefits’

Cookies for Susie and Obama’s “Temporary” Tax Compromise

Courtesy of Mish 

Woman with tray of cookies

President Obama has agreed to a tax deal that’s bound to please deficit-hawk hypocrites on both sides of the aisle. The cost is a mere $30 billion spread over 10 years. Spreading the cost over 10 years is an interesting concept given that the extensions are "temporary" for only 2 years.

Of course the last extension was "temporary" and the next extension will be "temporary" as well which makes me wonder about that $30 billion cost.

I have a better idea, why don’t we just "temporarily" extend these deals until 2020 and be done with it? We might be in a genuine recovery by then.

Of course we will then have to factor in the idea that we may need to "temporarily" extend the benefits "one" more time lest we sink the nascent 2020 recovery.

Obama’s Proposed "Compromise"

Inquiring minds may be asking "Just how compromising is the compromise, and more importantly, what’s in it for Susie?" Those are very good questions. The answers can be found in the article Obama Agrees to Extend Tax Cuts for Everyone for Two Years.

President Barack Obama said he’ll agree to a two-year extension of all Bush-era tax cuts in exchange for extending federal unemployment insurance. The plan also would cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points.

Obama said he would accept a lower rate for the estate tax than Democrats wanted in order to break a stalemate over extending the Bush tax cuts before Congress adjourns. The current tax rates, enacted in 2001 and 2003, are set to expire Dec. 31.

Without the compromise, middle-income families would become “collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington,” Obama said in televised remarks. He said he still believes the nation can’t afford to permanently extend the top tax rates.

“This compromise is an essential step on the road to recovery,” Obama said.

In addition to keeping the current tax rates for all Americans, the plan outlined by Obama would extend aid for the long-term unemployed for another 13 months. The payroll tax — which funds Social Security and Medicare — would be cut by 2 percentage points during 2011 to help spur hiring.

Obama also endorsed allowing a full deduction for equipment purchases that currently must be deducted over time. The proposal would accelerate $200 billion in tax savings for companies in the first


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We Can Only Dream

We Can Only Dream

Courtesy of Michael Panzner of Financial Armageddon 

Children play with giant bubbles at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 in south west England, June 23, 2010. Picture taken June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Reports like those that follow help make it clear that the problems we face are structural rather than cyclical. Myriad bad policies and a distorted sense of economic reality — no doubt fed by ruthlessly self-interested corporate and political interests — encouraged large numbers of Americans to acquire knowledge, skills, and perspectives that are really only relevant in an easy-money-fueled economy.

Once the bubble bursts, however, they are as unprepared for changing times as a proverbial fish out of water. And yet, we still have a growing chorus of mindless Keynesians, ivory tower economists, Wall Street strategists, and assorted other pseudo-experts pushing for more stimulus, more borrowing, more tax cuts — more of the hair of the dog that bit us to begin with.

If government is going to do anything at all — which seems inevitable, like it or not — wouldn’t it be better if the those in charge focused on telling people the cold, hard truth about where things stand; directed efforts towards helping Americans adjust to a new operating environment, instead of the one that is not coming back; and, rejigged policy incentives — like those that favor borrowing and homeownership — in ways that might prove more beneficial in the long run?

Oh well, we can only dream.

~~~

"U.S. Jobless Rate Hints at Permanent Shift" (The Globe and Mail)

As the United States continues its battle with high unemployment, policy makers are confronting a troubling question: What if they’ve been taking the wrong approach to fixing the ailing job market?

Some prominent economists and policy makers are…suggesting the real problem isn’t lack of consumer spending – it’s that the unemployed don’t have the right skills to fill the jobs that are open.

These people are now theorizing that the financial crisis has altered the structure of the U.S. labour market, perhaps permanently.

If they’re right, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve will need to change their approach to increasing employment because their current one, which is aimed at stoking spending, could end up exacerbating the conditions that led to the financial crisis.

Raghuram Rajan, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, argues the U.S.’s high unemployment rate is the result of structural changes rather than a cyclical downturn in demand. He reasons the U.S. housing bubble


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32 States Borrow $37.8 Billion Total to Make Unemployment Payments

32 States Borrow $37.8 Billion Total to Make Unemployment Payments; CA Tops List at $6.9 Billion; Bill to Extend Benefits Until DEC in Congress

Courtesy of Mish  

Inquiring minds are reading the Economic Policy Journal for clues on how much states are borrowing to make unemployment insurance claims.

The totals are not pretty. As of May 20, the total balance outstanding by 32 states plus the Virgin Islands is $37.8 billion.

The CINN Group accounts for $14 billion of it.

California $6.9 Billion
Illinois $2.2 Billion
New York $3.2 Billion
New Jersey $1.7 Billion

The worst 4 grouping accounts for $17 billion, nearly 45% of the total.

California $6.9 Billion
Michigan $3.9 Billion
New York $3.2 Billion
Pennsylvania $3.0 Billion

Other Notables

Florida $1.6 billion
Indiana $1.7 billion
North Carolina $2.1 Billion
Ohio $2.3 Billion
Texas $1.0 Billion
Wisconsin $1.4 Billion

I bet the entire amount is forgiven. Any takers?

Note that the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Extended to June 2, 2010 is about to run out.

But Wait! More Free Money Cometh

The Public Policy Examiner reports Unemployed must wait for Congress to preserve benefits.

A vote on a new end for unemployment benefits will not come until next week. On Thursday morning, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) proposed amending H.R. 4213 to extend benefits until December 31, 2010.

The amended bill, American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, would extend COBRA health benefits until the end of the year.

Other plans accompany the benefits extension effort. Rep. Bob Filner (Dist. 51) plans to help San .Diegans in economic trouble by passing George Miller’s Local Jobs for America Act. Filner says the city would get 3,263 jobs, with more jobs expected in the other county communities. The bill targets communities with high unemployment.

Rep. Susan Davis (Dist. 53), on Wednesday, was one of three legislators introducing the COBRA Health Benefits Extension Act, H.R. 5324. The unemployed could receive COBRA benefits past the standard 18 months, as long as they needed. At least until Obama’s health exchanges arrive.

Damn, I am sure glad there is a nascent economic recovery. Otherwise, who knows how bad this could get.


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$45 Billion Boondoggle of Which $33 Billion Goes To Homebuilders

$45 Billion Boondoggle of Which $33 Billion Goes To Homebuilders

Courtesy of Mish

The Senate approved yet another plan to stimulate the economy. It’s called throwing $33 billion at homebuilders. This is of course doing nothing but giving money to the greedy pigs that helped create this mess. However, that is the way Washington works.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even had the gall to brag about it. Please consider Senate Approves Extended U.S. Homebuyer Tax Credit.

The U.S. Senate approved a $45 billion plan to expand a tax credit for first-time homebuyers, extend jobless benefits and provide tax refunds to money-losing companies.

Lawmakers voted 98-0 for the measure, sending it to the House, where Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said in a statement it will receive a vote as early as tomorrow. The bill then would be forwarded to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The plan would be the first major extension of provisions in February’s economic stimulus plan. The $8,000 homebuyers’ tax credit, slated to expire this month, would continue until April 30 and be expanded to include people with higher incomes and some who already own homes. That would cost about $10 billion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation.

The measure includes $2.4 billion to extend unemployment benefits for as many as 20 weeks, enough to aid the jobless through the holiday season. It would loosen tax rules for homebuilders and other money-losing companies to let them claim an estimated $33 billion in tax refunds this year, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates.

“Republicans used every trick in the book to slow and stall and ensure we can’t do important work,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said today.

Other Stimulus Measures

Lawmakers are still considering whether to extend several other elements of the stimulus package, including subsidies to help the jobless buy health insurance and increased funds for food stamps. Obama has called for sending seniors $250 checks because they won’t get a cost-of-living increase next year in their Social Security checks.

Waste of Money

Senator Christopher Bond, a Missouri Republican, called the tax credit a waste of money, saying studies show that most of those claiming the break would have bought homes anyway.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a research note yesterday


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CHART OF THE DAY: UNEMPLOYMENT NOW LASTS LONGER THAN BENEFITS

CHART OF THE DAY: UNEMPLOYMENT NOW LASTS LONGER THAN BENEFITS

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

From Bloomberg:

For the first time, the average amount of time it takes fired employees to find a new job exceeds the length of their standard unemployment benefits.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the average duration of unemployment is now 26.2 weeks, longer than the 26 weeks of state benefits normally provided to workers who lose their jobs. It’s the first time that has occurred since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping records in 1948.

 CHART OF THE DAY: UNEMPLOYMENT NOW LASTS LONGER THAN BENEFITS

The jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent in September, while payrolls fell by 263,000, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

Congress has extended unemployment benefits twice — first in July 2008 and then as part of the stimulus bill signed in February. Currently, the unemployed are eligible for a total of 46 weeks of benefits, and those in states where the unemployment rate is more than 6 percent are eligible for 59 weeks.

Those additional benefits expire at the end of the year, and about 1.3 million people will exhaust them by then, according to the National Employment Law Project. An extension of benefits, which was passed by the House of Representatives, is being held up in the Senate by lawmakers who object because their states would be excluded from the plan.

The purple line on the chart shows 5.4 million people have now been out of work for at least 27 weeks, representing 35.6 percent of the total number of unemployed, the most since the agency began keeping statistics in 1948.

Source: Bloomberg

 


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500,000 Will Exhaust Unemployment Benefits by September, 1.5 Million by Year-end

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500,000 Will Exhaust Unemployment Benefits by September, 1.5 Million by Year-end

end of the line, unemployment benefitsCourtesy of Mish

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program began in June 30,2008. Benefits under the act have now been extended twice. Unless Obama extends the program a third time, it’s the end of the line for many receiving unemployment benefits.

Please consider First wave of jobless exhaust unemployment benefits.

Thousands of jobless Pennsylvanians are joining the growing ranks of people around the country who are exhausting unemployment benefits, as some experts worry about another blow to a stumbling economy.

Gov. Ed Rendell said 17,800 Pennsylvanians exhausted their jobless benefits in the week that ended Saturday, the first big wave of Pennsylvanians to do so. He urged legislators to pass a bill to extend the benefits.

Around the country, the number of people exhausting their benefits is piling up. By the end of September, more than 500,000 people will exhaust their benefits checks, with the biggest groups in Pennsylvania, California and Texas, according to estimates by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers based in New York City. That number will nearly triple by the end of the year, the group said.

New York Qualifies For Extended Benefits

As some states exhaust extended benefits other now qualify. In New York, Benefits Extended As State Unemployment Numbers Rise.

The number of jobless New Yorkers across the state jumped significantly during the month of June, according to state Department of Labor statistics released Thursday.

The unemployment rate increased from 8.2 percent in May to 8.7 percent in June. That’s the highest level since October of 1992.

In New York City, the rate increased from nine percent in May to 9.5 percent in June — the highest level in more than a decade. That translates into more than 850,000 people out of work in the state.

"Because of our 8.7 percent unemployment rate, we will qualify for an additional seven weeks of unemployment insurance benefits," said New York State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith. "So right now New Yorkers will be eligible for 79 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits."

Unemployment benefit extensions are expected to help an additional 47,000 jobless New Yorkers who would have lost their benefits in August.

79 Weeks is a long time to be…
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Personal Income Saved by Unemployment Insurance

Here are Jake’s information-loaded charts showing that May’s increase in income reflects an increase in social benefit payments – unemployment benefits doubled in the last year.

Personal Income Saved by Unemployment Insurance

Courtesy of Jake at EconompicData

WSJ reports:

The income of Americans soared in May because of the government’s economic stimulus, leading them to increase spending modestly and boost the saving rate to the highest in 15 years.

Personal income rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.4% compared to the month before, the Commerce Department said Friday. The jump reflected reduced taxes and increased social benefit payments unleashed by the stimulus package.

Up? Yes. Soared? No. Looking at year over year figures, personal income continues to show anemic (or in disposable personal income terms negative) growth.

personal income

Was stimulus the savior? Well, if you classify unemployment (and the extension of these benefits), then yes. The amount of unemployment benefits paid out has doubled in the past 12 months.

government unemployment insurance benefits

The chart below shows this more clearly. While personal income has stabilized, it has been due to unemployment benefits making up the shortfall in compensation.

personal income, fraction of personal income consisting of unemployment insurance
 
 
They key is what happens now. Unless benefits are extended again (and soon), these figures will turn negative unless you believe the broader economy picks up. There already have been negative signs as the exhaustion rate (i.e. those no longer able to collect benefits) has increased in recent months.
Source: BEA

 


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Carillion Q&A: The consequences of collapse and what the government should do next

 

Carillion Q&A: The consequences of collapse and what the government should do next

Courtesy of John Colley, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Construction giant Carillion has gone into liquidation. The UK’s second-largest construction firm was one of the government’s biggest contractors, involved in huge infrastructure projects like the HS2 rail link and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. It also provides services across the public sector such as running libraries, schools and prisons. Here’s what you need to know about Carillion’s collapse.

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ValueWalk

Nebraska Furniture Mart in the 1980s

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

little gem of a 1980s NBC News story about Rose Blumkin, better known to folks in Omaha as “Mrs. B.”. Rose Blumkin apparently was a fixture in Omaha, and ran a HUGE furniture store in Nebraska. Please don’t confuse Mrs. Blumkin with that dirty word “BLUMPKIN”. That’s not nice.

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Zero Hedge

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

 

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In a decision that Yonhap called an "unprecedented breakthrough", North and South Korea have agreed to form their first joint Olympic team and will march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony. The two Koreas agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team to take part in the Winter Olympics to be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, the two ...



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Digital Currencies

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

 

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

Courtesy of 

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If you missed my synopsis, it’s here.

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5 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 14, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

After 3 days of mild “rest” – and the first down day of the year (!!) for the S&P 500, bulls came back with bells on Thursday and Friday, driving indexes to record highs yet again.  This is starting to get “parabolic”… some shades of the type of things we saw in 1999.  (See the S&P 500 and NASDAQ charts below)  The S&P 500 gained 1.6% and the NASDAQ 1.7% for the week.

“This reminds me of January 2000,” said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist, at Capitol Securities Management, which manages $4 billion in assets, referring to the nearly unceasing climb to records for stocks and the unease it can inspire.  “It’s scary, the unrelenting advance,” he added.

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How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain - new study

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain – new study

Courtesy of Thomas E CopeUniversity of Cambridge

Harmful tau protein spreads through networks. Author provided

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Mapping The Market

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like 'Science-Based,' 'Diversity'

By Jean-Luc

These are the policies of a theocracy, not a modern democracy:

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like ‘Science-Based,’ ‘Diversity’

The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.

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An Interview with David Brin

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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.

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

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Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

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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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