The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts

Friday, March 6, 2015

February Jobs Report, Unemployment Drops And Wall Street Shudders!

295,000 Jobs and 5.5% Unemployment!

While CNN poked fun at the First Friday of each month has "Jobs Circus day" the significance of the February Jobs Report should not go without a moderate level of fanfare. The lowest level of employment across all 50 states in seven years is drum-roll and trumpet-worthy. CNN Christine Romans.  CNN's MJ Lee keyboarded the related "Jobs Day Circus" piece with particular attention to how boths sides of the political spectrum comments on the data.  

The Lee piece provides a fairly balanced quippy representation of boths sides of the "Jobs" issue. However, when accompanied by a one minute video that is all good news, one would think CNN management could find greater cause in an improving US economy.

The following Facebook post links to a more in-depth discussion of the February Jobs Report and 5.5% unemployment, but the posting comes with a price. It is a bit longer, laden with personal opinion and includes comment from vairous Facebook  posters. It is a good six plus minute segment with particular mention of job growth in areas beyond lower pay jobs: CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello.

The February Jobs numbers cannot go reported without a White House perspective from Jason Fuhrman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. The economist offers five key points about the jobs report including the significance of the numbers despite inclement weather across many major metropolitan areas. Moreover, if you want a dose of politically adroit, Fuhrman and team also addressed the common GOP retort of "well minority  unemployment is remaining high."

I will pose the second and most intriguing point after the White House report.

White House Dot Gov....


1. The private sector has added 12.0 million jobs over 60 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 295,000 in February, largely due to a 288,000 increase in private-sector employment. Although private-sector job gains in December and January were revised down, the private employment gains over the past twelve months total 3.2 million—the largest 12-month increase since 1998.

2. Despite a string of recent snowstorms in the northeast—and Boston’s snowiest month on record—winter weather appeared to have little impact on the headline figures in today’s report. While overall job growth was robust and the national average workweek was steady, the details of the employment report do offer some insight into the effect of weather on economic activity. In particular, 1.4 million nonagricultural workers that usually work full-time reported working part-time (fewer than 35 hours per week) due to bad weather, likely reflecting a February 8-10 snowstorm that coincided with the survey reference week. Another 328,000 nonagricultural workers reported missing work for the entire survey reference week due to bad weather. Both these figures are elevated from January, but below what was seen last February, when substantial snowfall stretched into parts of the southern United States that may be less accustomed to winter conditions. Even by Boston’s standards, this year’s winter undoubtedly qualifies as severe, creating hardship for many families and likely affecting other economic data such as vehicle sales and first-quarter GDP.

3. While the overall unemployment rate has fallen 1.2 percentage points over the past twelve months to 5.5 percent, the African American and Hispanic unemployment rates have fallen even more quickly, but remain unacceptably high. Relative to last February, the unemployment rate for African Americans is down 1.6 percentage points, while the Hispanic unemployment rate is down 1.5 percentage points. Reflecting these large declines, the African American and Hispanic unemployment rates are nearly all the way back to their pre-recession (2001-2007) averages. Despite this progress, however, it is important to note that these groups endured much larger percentage-point increases in unemployment rates during the recession, and a return to pre-recession averages would still leave these rates at high levels. This is why the President has proposed a number of policies—including the My Brother’s Keeper initiative for young men of color, tax relief for working families, and investments in skills education from pre-K to college—to help reduce disparities in labor market outcomes.

4. The last time the private sector added more than 12 million jobs over five years was April 1996 to March 2001. There are some notable differences between the current stretch of job gains and the one from 1996 to 2001. In particular, the manufacturing sector has added 877,000 jobs over the last five years, while it lost 255,000 jobs during the 1996-2001 period. Moreover, the private-sector job gains during the 1996-2001 period coincided with the addition of more than 1.5 million State and local government positions; in contrast, over the last five years, State and local government employment has on net fallen by 423,000 jobs. The two periods did, however, exhibit remarkably similar job growth in sectors like health care and social assistance, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Finally, it is worth noting that the two periods took place at different stages of the business cycle—in 1996, the economy was well into a period of sustained expansion, but in 2010, it was just starting to recover from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. That is why despite the progress that has been made, the President believes more must still be done to capitalize on the recovery and strengthen the labor market.

5. Job growth in a number of industries diverged from recent trends in February. Looking over the 60-month streak of private-sector job growth, February was one of the top ten strongest months for leisure and hospitality (+66,000), private educational services (+21,000), and professional and business services (+59,000, excluding temporary help services). However, February was a weak month for temporary help services (-8,000) and for mining and logging (-8,000). Manufacturing gained 8,000 jobs last month, and the sector has gained 877,000 jobs since February 2010. Across the 17 industries shown below, the correlation between the most recent one-month percent change and the average percent change over the last twelve months ticked up to 0.13, remaining near the lowest in over two years. This reflects the high number of industries that saw unusually divergent performances in January and February.

As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and payroll employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data as they become available.


As the jobs news day progressed the startling news of a plunging Dow Jones Industrial Average induced an episode of personal "Deer in the Headlights."

Dow 279 points

For a better and much more pronounced perspective let's take a look at a CNN Money, five day graphic. 


(Dow Jones Global Indexes: INDU)

As of 4:29pm ET
 -278.94 / -1.54%

Quote Details

Previous close18,135.72
Day high18,135.72
Day low17,825.15
Today's volume113,353,084
Average daily volume (3 months)94,510,636
Average P/E17.6
1 year change+8.74%

Sadly, as the middle class eyes a degree of "jobs" relief, those who earn millions and more well off investors become sickened regarding their earnings potential.

The market will return, but I posit it should take a major backseat to an economy that has clawed its way back for the Abyss of the Bush Years. 

Unfortunately, there are millions and a conservative political party that hold my posti in total contempt.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

David Ruccio's Chart Of The Day: Disposable Income:.US Income Distribution

David Roccio's.....

on economics, culture and society

Chart of the day

Posted: 22 February 2015

This chart, devised by Branko Milanovic, illustrates the remarkable economic recovery that has taken place in the United States beginning in 2010—a recovery, that is, not for the vast majority of people, but for a tiny minority at the top.

Consider the first period (blue line). It is remarkable that real income of all groups declined. But the hardest hit were the rich, with percentage losses increasing as we move toward to right portion of the graph, and the very poor. I am not an expert on US welfare system, but it seems to me that the system failed to protect the poorest people from substantial income losses between 2007 and 2010. But for the bulk of the population, the years of the Great Recession meant a modest real income decline. The median person’s real income went down by a little over 3 percent. The upper middle class (the people between the 80th and 90thpercentiles) did not see much change in their real income. But the top 10% clearly lost out: notice how the blue line starts decreasing ever more steeply as you move toward the top 1%. The Gini coefficient decreased by less than 1 point.

Now, look at the red line which shows the real change in the second period. It is almost a mirror-image of what happened in the first. The growth was zero or positive along the entire distribution, the strongest among the very poor (around the lowest 5th percentile) and among the rich (the top 10%). Median inflation-adjusted per capita income decreased by just under 1%. For the two top percentiles, which got clobbered by the recession, real income growth was in excess of 10%.

In other words, those at the very bottom lost a great deal during and immediately after the crash and, as a result of special measures (like an expansion of the food stamp program and increases in state minimum wages) they’ve recovered some of what they lost—and they’re still poor. For pretty much everyone else, they lost out (as a result of growing unemployment and stagnant wages) and they still haven’t recovered (even though the unemployment rate has declined but their wages are still pretty much where they were before the crash). And those at the top? They lost a great deal (because of the initial decline in corporate profits and the stock market crash), and as a result of the nature of the recovery (which has successfully restored the profits of large corporations and the stock market), and have now recovered most of what they lost—and they’re still rich.

So, after a brief hiatus (in 2009), the United States is back to having the most unequal distribution of income of all the rich countries on the planet.

And, unless things change (and I don’t mean the Fed’s tinkering with interest rates), it’s only going to continue to get worse.

Monday, February 10, 2014

CNN Candy Crowley And Guest Amy Stoddard, Said What?

      Impressing Wall Street? 

Candy Crowley and Amy Stoddard may have blown there Sunday interview.

There are few words that can en-capsulize CNN host, Candy Crowley's level of "whacked-out" and self-aggrandizing bliss and obvious affinity for Rand Paul. As I wrote the last sentence my mind took me to a few weeks back when Crowley came to the defense of Chris Christe as she came out against the developing scandals by indicating, "To the victor goes the spoils." I assume Crowley spoke those words to facilitate her interview with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Nevertheless, how crass and underwhelming? 

CNN viewers actually watched and listened as a show host summarily exercised what can only be considered "strategic disavowing of possible ethics and acts of corruption" to appeal to her audience. "Strategic" as a tool to attract and entertain viewers. What if Christe's troubles boil over into resignation or legal entanglements? 

The Christe case has traveled many roads since Crowley made the enticing remark. Again, what happens if the case turns into full-blown corruption charges with associated GOP cover-ups? There was a time when any news host would suffer a credibility hit for such risk laden callousness as that exercised by Crowley. Risk no longer an issue during our cable news "ratings centered" current event shows. 

It seems the model is appealing to conservative viewers no matter how zany the show theme and collective comments.   

Crowley and guest Amy Stoddard again visited the world of "appeal to conservative Sunday morning viewers."  Appeal to viewers without regard for ethics, decency and professionalism. Crowley and Stoddard actually explored the thought (unspoken by the completely nutty Rand Paul), that Hillary Clinton was the blame for Bill Clinton's indiscretions in the Oval Office. I believe I heard the comments accurately.

Let's visit a snippet of the Crowley/Stoddard partnership in pushing reporting of US politics to that of a soap opera and analogous to reality television.  

In one interview, Paul went as far as to accuse the former president of violence against women. And more recently, the Republican presidential hopeful declared that Bill Clinton should “return any contributions that Bill Clinton’s either raising for people or giving to people.” 
“This is smart politics it seems to me,” Crowley told Stoddard on Sunday. “Here’s Rand Paul kind of expanding what his dad had, he’s got the libertarian side of him: He’ll take on drones, he’ll take on privacy, he’ll do that. Then, he’s got the social conservative side of him. I think that’s where this comes in.” 
“He’s actually more in tune with the needs and the demographic liabilities Republican Party than most wannabe 2016 contenders,” Stoddard asserted. “He’s actually speaking right now to the Wall Street managerial wing of the party. It’s very worried that Chris Christie collapsed.” 
“And what it’s saying is, ‘I have the guts to take on the Clintons, I think we need to, I know we don’t have a candidate right now,’” she continued. “So in the middle of this panic, he’s saying, ‘I can do this. And that actually is going to bring him more ears.”
Question.  Do you actually believe that Wall Street 'money-grabbers' will find Paul (and his wife's) strategy an appealing campaign tactic? While the vast majority of Wall Street moguls and executives are conservative, they are also very adept of earning Top 1% income based on their respective organization financial performance. Is it actually possible Crowley and Stoddard really believe that Wall Street corporatist will find someone with the character of Rand Paul (a plagiarizing, libertarian) an appealing choice for the GOP nomination? Wall Street earnings hit peak and historical levels during Clinton Years and have repeated under Obama (almost immediately upon his taking office).  Money talks on Wall Street and after watching the movie "The Inside Job,"  Some high level Wall Street executives cannot afford to 'cast stones' at the indiscretions of Bill Clinton.

I ask that you reread Crowley's statement in paragraph two of the excerpt posted above.  


We remind you that Ron Paul has proven to be nothing more than "a noisy irritant" in GOP politics. He has never come close to being a viable candidate for president and he is a seething racist.  There was time when such a racist record would have placed a persona-non-grata label on even mentioning Ron Paul in a news related production. 

A couple of specifics. 

Paul openly espouses legalizing heroin. He spoke of legalizing the highly addictive controlled substance during a time when young suburban WHITE kids in many high schools are experimenting with the substance as a drug of choice. 

Paul was on record with eliminating the EPA, FEMA and other cabinet departments. He spoke such during GOP presidential debates not long before Sandy hit the East Coast. FEMA has its issues, but for thousands, the agency can provide critical services in times of dire need. 

Crowley used Paul "the elder" as an example of how Paul "the Jr." (In all DNA laced cloning) appeals to her perception of GOP "party managers."  While most Fortune 500 CEOs and executive leaders are conservative people, they have a degree of sanity regarding the stability of the US government. I doubt they place devotion level faith in the Libertarian Party. Koch brothers or no Koch brothers, Wall Street Executives are opportunist; a that trait may very well supersede their conservatism. In early 2013 Open Secrets reported a Wall Street lean for Republicans, Open Secrets "industry donations" data from 2012 shows contribution levels were almost negligible. Industry data referenced in the previous sentence was comprehensive data, not broken into specific industries. If there is pandering to the uber wealthy, Paul may have decided on strategy to tap into his fellow Libertarian Koch brothers (reported to be Christe backers).

We suggest Crowley was playing to her audience, and Stoddard was an obvious partner in delivering the CNN Sunday morning "Word." 

Stoddard followed suit and added political scripture to the "Word."
He’s actually more in tune with the needs and the demographic liabilities Republican Party than most wannabe 2016 contenders,” Stoddard asserted.
Stoddard should weigh her analysis with consideration of Paul's chronic lack of judgment. Do you recall the zany Senator from Kentucky took it upon himself to speak to a Howard University crowd with the weakest oratory imaginable. He actually asked the highly intellectual crowd if they realized it was Lincoln's GOP that freed the slaves and Democratic governors who supported Jim Crow. How patronizing in his ignorance, lacking in judgment and crass in intent? Did he think he was speaking to a primary school audience? An example of mental processes and motive that Wall Street will surely view with hesitancy in following a path laid by Rand Paul.

Read more after the break below


Friday, October 4, 2013

Open Secrets: The Dissident 20 Part II...GOP House Is Not Showing So Well!

Our preferred internet site, Open Secrets, The Center for Responsive Politics, garnered serious attention over the past 24 hours with an article related to how 20 dissident GOP legislators are receiving disparate treatment from GOP House leadership.

Here is how we reported the Open Secrets piece. 

Open Secrets....
Facebook Open Secrets 
We've been asked many times in the past 24 hours (since we published this story:, "who actually funds the 20 House dissidents?" We were curious too, so we ran the numbers, and discovered some interesting answers.
Who Does Fund the Dissidents? - OpenSecrets
Yesterday we showed that the biggest thorns in the Republican leadership's side weren't getting leadership donations. So who is funding them? Don't look to Wall Street.


Who Does Fund the Dissidents?

Yesterday, we established that the 20 dissident Republican House members that the New York Times has branded as being some of the loudest rabble-rousers -- on the shutdown and other issues -- have little financial reason to heed the demands of their party's leadership; they don't receive much campaign money from top GOP House members or from the party's fundraising arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In a town where money handed out to other members helps create alliances and builds a party leader's machine, these 20 owe Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his No. 2 Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) very little. 

So if it's not the party leadership in Washington keeping the dissidents' campaign coffers full, who is it? 

A top source of campaign cash for Republicans overall in recent years has been the securities and investment industry -- Wall Street. In 2012, this industry gave more to candidates than any other except one, and 69 percent of its money went to Republicans. 

And Wall Street is, by far and away, the top source of campaign cash for the Republican House leadership. In 2012, Boehner's campaign and leadership PAC received $1.6 million from the industry; the industry that came in second (oil and gas) only gave about half that. (This excludes the catch-all industry of "retired.") 

In the first half of 2014, securities and investment gave Boehner's campaign and leadership PAC about $530,000 and continues to lead his top industries list. Like Boehner, Cantor also received more from that industry than any other -- about $466,000 sent to his campaign committee and leadership PAC. 

In 2012, the industry gave 239 House Republican candidates about $16 million, or, on average $67,175 apiece. 

So, what about our dissidents? Nineteen of the 20 received money from the industry in 2012 -- Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is the only one who's come up dry, according to our data -- but on average only received $20,618. That's less than a third of the House GOP average from Wall Street. 

Similarly, so far in 2014, the industry has helped fund 182 Republican House candidates; the average, per recipient, is $17,078. Seventeen of the 20 dissidents have received contributions from Wall Street, but they're averaging only $2,985. Not only is that far below the industry's average to their peers, it's even well behind the average amount given to Democratic recipients -- about $11,963. 

So, if it's not leadership funding these 20 dissidents and it's not the House Republicans' biggest source of campaign cash, who is it? 
According to a CRP analysis, the top donors industries for these 20 don't vary widely from the list of top industries giving to Republicans in general. But the average amount given does seem to. The oil and gas industry has given 192 House Republicans campaign cash in 2013, on average about $17,500 apiece. Most of the 20 dissidents have gotten money from the industry as well, but, on average, only about $11,500 each. 

The trend appears to be that, by and large, these 20 dissidents are simply raising less money than their colleagues. 

According to CRP data, Republican House members have raised an average of $331,000 in campaign funds so far this year. A review of these 20 dissidents shows that, on average, they have raised $301,000. The group includes Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who is running for Senate in 2014; he's raised about $1.1 million so far this year. Excluding Gingrey from the pool, because fundraising levels for Senate candidates are often much higher than for their House colleagues, the remaining 19 have brought in, on average, $259,000. 

It may be months before data showing whatever funds members of Congress are raising this week is available, but -- at least through the first six months of the year -- these 20 dissidents seem to be lagging behind when it comes to fundraising. 

Follow Russ on Twitter: @russchoma
Images: Boehner and Cantor on Capitol Hill this week. Evan Vucci/Associated Press.