Carlos Slim, Rupert Murdoch, Ratan Tata and Christina Romer are among the speakers slated for The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Nov. 16-17. More than 100 CEOs gather at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to “rebuild global prosperity” and develop a set of priorities for the economy, education, the environment and health care. Check WSJ.com for updates, including video.
Last year the resounding issue that Americans were concerned about was the economy coming in at a whopping 77%, but there still is no help on the horizon for small businesses.
It is amazing to me to watch Rahm Emanuel believe his own rhetoric about not wanting to be involved with banks or car companies, and about setting regulation and getting out of the way of the private sector after everything that has been done in the last year, and everything that Barney Frank is about to unleash on the financial sector.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity to do things you think you could not do before…”
How many of you knew, upwards of 2 years ago, what was coming economically and started preparing? How many of you started living more frugally in order to pay off debt, and put yourself in a position of just a bit of breathing room when the economy really tanked a year ago? How many of you know that it is not going to get any better anytime soon, and that the “don’t spend while we wait and see” mentality is likely to get stronger? Well, an economic guru who saw the housing market collapse and other burst bubbles agrees with you, and is giving his view of the future.
Do not be upset with the messengers. You know your instincts and basic math ability are on the money after watching how Bush, Obama, Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke have been handling the situation. I feel like I am watching Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
Think the worst is over? Wrong. Conditions in the U.S. labor markets are awful and worsening. While the official unemployment rate is already 10.2% and another 200,000 jobs were lost in October, when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%.
While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January, current job losses still average more than the per month rate of 150,000 during the last recession.
Also, remember: The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recession.
So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.
There’s really just one hope for our leaders to turn things around: a bold prescription that increases the fiscal stimulus with another round of labor-intensive, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, helps fiscally strapped state and local governments and provides a temporary tax credit to the private sector to hire more workers. Helping the unemployed just by extending unemployment benefits is necessary not sufficient; it leads to persistent unemployment rather than job creation.
The long-term picture for workers and families is even worse than current job loss numbers alone would suggest. Now as a way of sharing the pain, many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Specifically, that fall in hours worked is equivalent to another 3 million full time jobs lost on top of the 7.5 million jobs formally lost.
This is very bad news but we must face facts. Many of the lost jobs are gone forever, including construction jobs, finance jobs and manufacturing jobs. Recent studies suggest that a quarter of U.S. jobs are fully out-sourceable over time to other countries.
Other measures tell the same ugly story: The average length of unemployment is at an all time high; the ratio of job applicants to vacancies is 6 to 1; initial claims are down but continued claims are very high and now millions of unemployed are resorting to the exceptional extended unemployment benefits programs and are staying in them longer.
Based on my best judgment, it is most likely that the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more.
The weakness in labor markets and the sharp fall in labor income ensure a weak recovery of private consumption and an anemic recovery of the economy, and increases the risk of a double dip recession.
As a result of these terribly weak labor markets, we can expect weak recovery of consumption and economic growth; larger budget deficits; greater delinquencies in residential and commercial real estate and greater fall in home and commercial real estate prices; greater losses for banks and financial institutions on residential and commercial real estate mortgages, and in credit cards, auto loans and student loans and thus a greater rate of failures of banks; and greater protectionist pressures.
The damage will be extensive and severe unless bold policy action is undertaken now.
Bush and Obama have not done anything but pay lipservice to the engine and job creator of our economy, small business. What do your instincts tell you? Quite the opposite. Everything that has been done has been to demoralize the population with class division, and destroy capitalism by destroying jobs and small businesses. What good is a bank that does not make loans, or an administration that does not feed the nation in a time of economic crisis through it’s small businesses? “Green shoots” are all fine and good, but the average American cannot eat them and 2010 is just around the corner.
Let me just warn you now. If you are drinking or eating anything as you read this, you might want to stop. This article is disturbing on so many levels, but even more, it is infuriating at the way in which it paints Major Hasan, the alleged mass murderer. This is way beyond the pale in just plain human decency, much less the manner in which they are using this horrific traedy. The headline pretty much says it all, Obama Ally Code Pink Justifies Fort Hood Terrorist Attack, Cashes in on Massacre in Veterans Day Fundraising Appeal. Yes, you read that right, and no, it is nor hyperbole:
At any other time I would probably be cheering, but in this instance, it’s the pot calling the kettle black and the exact same Alinsky tactics that ACORN used to make banks succumb to writing bad mortgages. Don’t misunderstand me though, I dislike Goldman Sachs and their henchmen immensely, but on this issue, there are actual people with families behind those bonuses, and it isn’t communist Amerika yet. Meanwhile, SEIU is making chumps out of their members.
About 100 protesters gathered outside the Washington offices of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, demanding the company donate its $23 billion in bonuses to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.
The protesters, organized by Service Employees Union International and Public Citizen, came armed with “wanted” posters for Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and a big red homemade vampire squid puppet, replete with fangs and cloak, that every so often tried to wrap its tentacles around a globe on a stick, acting out Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi’s description of the company as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”
The protesters ended their rally by delivering a poster-sized letter addressed to Blankfein proposing the donation of the firm’s entire bonus pool to stop foreclosures. “Donating the entire Goldman Sachs 2009 nonus pool would prevent every single anticipated foreclosure in America in 2010, and Goldman Sachs would lift one million American families out of poverty at the same time,” the letter said. The letter also chided the company for playing “a central role in the economic collapse.”
So let me understand this; ACORN got these homeowners into this mess and now SEIU wants Goldman Sachs employees to clean up the mess. What part of the American paradigm of personal responsibility is being applied here by either ACORN or SEIU?
Asked why SEIU was targeting Goldman when it was one of the companies that actually returned the billions it got from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, SEIU president Andy Stern told POLITICO that Goldman received tens of billions in other federal assistance, including about $12 billion via the AIG bailout as a counterparty to the mega insurer, which the federal government made whole.
“They’ve done very well. America came to their rescue when they needed it now America needs help,” Stern said.
The same Andy Stern who has visited the White House more than anyone else since the pResident was installed.