Looking behind the numbers Thursday's ADP report reveals an economy that is flat-lined, heading into recession.
When June’s numbers are compared to January’s, ADP’s total nonfarm private jobs growth has increased from 110 million to 110.9 million, a gain of 77-100ths of one percent, or about 142,000 new jobs each month. A closer look reveals that most of those jobs were in the highly volatile service sector, in small businesses, usually fast-food or similar businesses, known for their high turnover. In fact, the goods-producing sector gained just one half of one percent employment since January, translating into less than 16,000 job gains each month. These numbers are hardly a “hopeful sign,” but more reflective of an economy that has flat lined.
On Tuesday evening, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was asked about repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare, if Republicans take back control of the Senate in November. Said McConnell: "Repeal of ObamaCare will be the first item up in the Senate if I am Majority Leader. ... Our goal will be to get it off the books. In my view, it is the single worst piece of legislation that has been passed in modern times."
When shipping and supply managers were quizzed about their current outlooks by two separate reporting agencies, their answers were the same: Orders are slowing and so is production of manufactured goods. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), released in late June, and the Report on Business of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), which was released on Monday, each showed significant slowing. The PMI’s manufacturing index came in at its lowest level since last July, while new orders for durable goods (autos and appliances) fell sharply in June, continuing a trend downward since early spring. It also showed a decline in the backlog of orders, the first since last September.
International energy economist Leonardo Maugeri says that technology and new discoveries will increase crude oil production in the United States by 50 percent by 2020, discrediting the theory of "peak oil."
Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson announced his intention on Friday to give $10 million to political action committees controlled by Charles and David Koch who in turn are themselves giving substantial sums to unseat President Obama and turn control of the Senate back to the Republican Party.
Earlier this year, Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which owns and operates the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, and who is reputedly worth $25 billion, attended a Koch brothers-sponsored gathering of super-wealthy conservatives in Palm Springs, and after listening to the action plans and strategies to influence the November elections, decided to support their effort.
When the New York Times reported that the losses resulting from the failed trade made by JP Morgan Chase (JPM) earlier this year could reach $9 billion instead of the $2 billion initially reported, some said it didn’t matter while others called for more regulations. Few considered that such trades, and consequent losses, were inevitable and would likely continue because of the implied taxpayer backstop.
First, it should be noted that, contrary to JPM CEO Jamie Dimon’s statement that the trade was due to “errors, sloppiness and bad judgment,” and was “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored,” the people in JPM’s London office knew exactly what they were doing. Furthermore, Dimon was aware of what they were doing, was warned in advance of potential losses, and did nothing about it.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is underwater by $26 billion. But a small premium increase will fix things up just fine. When the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)’s president, Josh Gotbaum, announced that the bankruptcy of AMR (the parent company of American Airlines) wouldn’t impose additional demands on PBGC’s already flimsy financial statement, his relief was nearly audible:
It is great progress and good news that American recognizes that can reorganize successfully and preserve its employees’ pension plans.
We’re also glad the company is willing to work with us to preserve their pilots’ plan too.
The remarkable coincidence of increased private ownership of guns as reflected by the explosive growth of firearms manufacturers, coupled with the increased interest in self-defense and relaxed state rules regarding carrying a weapon with or without a concealed weapons permit, along with the steady decline in violent crime as reported by the FBI, all seem to point to a supreme irony: The most anti-gun president in recent memory, who is trying to stimulate the economy by growing jobs, is in fact increasingly responsible for the growth of the gun industry itself.
Beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can expect to see their checks cut to 79 percent by 2016, according to the program's trustees.
Best known as the co-author, along with Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Freidman, of A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, Anna Jacobson Schwartz died on Thursday, June 21, in New York City at age 96.
A brilliant economist in her own right, she provided the background, the research and so much of the thinking behind the 859-page A Monetary History that Friedman claimed that “Anna did all the work, and I got most of the recognition.”