Archive for December, 2011

Initial Claims for Unemployment may or MAY NOT be Improving continued…

December 30, 2011

Is this the first crack in the propaganda???

Here is what I said last week about the initial claims for unemployment:

“I will wager that next week this number will be revised UPWARD to 368,000, NO change.”

And this week the government propagandists “statisticians” say (from CNBC):

“The prior week’s claims data was revised up to 366,000 from the previously reported 364,000.”

Damn, missed by ANOTHER 2,000 claims, this time to the upside.  See how a REAL statistician makes errors to both sides of an estimation.  Some months I ma above the number, some months I am below the number, and some months I am just right.  My error per month is MUCH LOWER than the government propagandists, and my overall error when taken over a longer time period almost disappears.  UNLIKE the government propagandists who have been off TO THE DOWNSIDE (which makes the unemployment numbers “appear” to be better than they are) almost ALL OF THE TIME!!!

Then we get this from FoxNews, who is supposed to be “anti-Obama”:

“But a measure of applications over the past month fell to a three-and-a-half-year low, an indication that hiring could pick up.”

Here’s a question.  IF they are anti-Obama WHY would they even try to be optimistic??  IF someone has a good answer, please share.

This week the “estimation” is :

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said.”

I will wager that this number gets revised UPWARD again to at least 384,000.  Any takers??

Happy New Year everyone, let’s hope that the economy gets better, for the American people, in 2012.

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Initial Claims for Unemployment MAY be Improving continued…

December 22, 2011

Last week I said:

“I will wager that next week this number is REVISED UPWARD to 370,000.”

And this week the verdict is…..from CNBC:

The prior week’s claims data was revised up to 368,000 from the previously reported 366,000.”

Wow….my largest miss yet, 2,000 to the upside.

The Initial claims from the government propagandists this week is:

“Jobless claims, meanwhile, posted another weekly drop in another sign that the thawing of the labor market is progressing. The fall to 364,000 was the lowest level in more than three years.”

I will wager that next week this number will be revised UPWARD to 368,000, NO change.  Any takers?  And don’t forget that this week is Christmas and next week is New Years, so wouldn’t you think that these numbers should be lower?  I mean, when I owned and ran my own businesses (a small business, like MOST of the businesses in America, that employ the largest number of workers) there is NO way I would have laid someone off during the Holidays.  I would have warned, but there is NO way they would have been unemployed.  Please remember what I said two weeks ago:

Why am I so CRITICAL with the title of this post??  Well, it goes something like this.  The month is December.  Every year businesses hire more people (TEMPORARILY) to cover for the holiday rush of retail activity.  Did you know that most of a retailers profit comes during the holidays, and the rest of the year is lucky to be break even?  Do not forget the Christmas Tree lots, the wrapping services, the holiday light installations, etc.  These TEMPORARY jobs remove people from the unemployed list.  I will hold off any final judgement on the sustainability of the employment rate until after the new year.  Hopefully, the unemployment rate continues to improve.  At this point I am a skeptic!!”

The main point is STILL valid, I will wait till after the New Year to draw conclusions about the labor market.  It may be a few weeks into January before the picture becomes clear.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!  Happy Chanukah!!  Happy Kwanzaa!!  Happy Holidays!!  If I have missed anyone, it is NOT meant as disrespect.

One of the problems with LAWS in the USA…

December 21, 2011

This morning I was reading an article on FoxNews, about how the Attorney General of California was suing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and I read the following paragraph:

“Harris also called on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disclose whether they have complied with civil rights laws protecting minorities and members of the Armed Forces against unlawful convictions and foreclosures.”

Here is ONE of the problems that I see with respect to laws in the USA.  Do the Legislators that write these laws even think about what they say??  Do they even consider the Constitution??  Go ahead, read the quote again.

“Harris also called on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disclose whether they have complied with civil rights laws protecting minorities and members of the Armed Forces against unlawful convictions and foreclosures.”

Here is my question.  What about us middle class white guys??  Do we have a DIFFERENT “Civil Rights” law that protects US from UNLAWFUL convictions and foreclosure?? 

In the Constitution, all men are created EQUAL!!  We ALL have the right to equal protection under the law.  No one is “more equal” than anyone else!!!  WHY is there a law that ONLY protects “minorities” and members of the Armed Forces??  These are the problems with these types of laws, they single out a group of people and “appear” to give them preferential treatment.  In my opinion, ALL of these laws need to be repealed.  Let’s go back to everyone is EQUAL, and deserves to be treated fairly.  I understand that some groups were not, perhaps are not, treated fairly.  In current cases, we need to PUNISH the perpetrator, to protect EVERYONE, NOT single out a group for special treatment.  We need to attempt to be “fair” to EVERYONE, and treat everyone for laws as EQUALS.

Let me know what you think.

P.S.  The “all men are created equal”, is not to disparage women.  When this was written, the English language used the descriptor “men” to include everyone in a group, including women, if there was one man present in the group.  It was accepted as correct language usage.  Many “romantic” languages (Spanish, French, Italian, etc.) continue in this tradition today.  The tradition may be changing in the English language today, but please, do not apply todays “politically correctness” to another time period, that did NOT have those concerns.

Initial Claims for Unemployment MAY be Improving…

December 15, 2011

Let’s start with what I said last week:

“This week I will wager that the Initial Claims for Unemployment for this week is REVISED UPWARD to 385,000.”

This week (from FoxNews):

“The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 last week.”

And (from CNBC):

“The prior week’s claims data was revised up to 385,000 from the previously reported 381,000.”

WHAT??  Another PERFECT estimate from your truly!!!  This weeks government propagandists say:

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, the Labor Department said.”

I will wager that next week this number is REVISED UPWARD to 370,000.  Any takers, yet?

I will leave you with two more quotes, first from CNBC and then from FoxNews:

“The unexpected drop in claims last week pushed them closer to the 350,000 mark that analysts say signals labor market strength.”

“When applications fall below 375,000 — consistently — that usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.”

Well, which is it??  350,000 or 375,000??

Initial Claims for Unemployment MIGHT be showing singns of improvement….MAYBE!!!

December 8, 2011

First, lets look at what I said last week:

“I will wager that this weeks number will AGAIN be revised UPWARD and will be 405,000.”

And what do the Government Propagandists “Statisticians” tell us today (from CNBC)?

The prior week’s data was revised up to 404,000 from the previously reported 402,000.”

Missed by another 1,000 claims!!!  This time to the upside!!!  Maybe at the end of the year I will total the records of MY adjustments versus the Government’s adjustments, from the first post on this subject.  Also, notice how the Government’s number was REVISED UPWARD AGAIN!!!

What was the “news” this week (from FoxNews)?

“The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000.”

Wow!!  OK, that is a significant drop.  It is STILL not to a level that “signifies sustained improvement” in the Unemployment Rate.

This week I will wager that the Initial Claims for Unemployment for this week is REVISED UPWARD to 385,000.  Any takers?

Why am I so CRITICAL with the title of this post??  Well, it goes something like this.  The month is December.  Every year businesses hire more people (TEMPORARILY) to cover for the holiday rush of retail activity.  Did you know that most of a retailers profit comes during the holidays, and the rest of the year is lucky to be break even?  Do not forget the Christmas Tree lots, the wrapping services, the holiday light installations, etc.  These TEMPORARY jobs remove people from the unemployed list.  I will hold off any final judgement on the sustainability of the employment rate until after the new year.  Hopefully, the unemployment rate continues to improve.  At this point I am a skeptic!!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CONTINUE to LOSE your money…

December 1, 2011

Here are some updates on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Here is my previous post.

“Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for U.S. home loans, on Tuesday said it needed a further $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat…”

“The government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac has requested $6 billion in additional aid after posting a wider loss in the third quarter.”

That is NOT for the year!!!  That is for ONE QUARTER!!!  90 DAYS!!!

“Taxpayers have spent about $169 billion to rescue Fannie and Freddie.”

I understand that not everyone has heard about this situation and I understand that not everyone cares/is interested/understands the how/what/where/when/why we, as taxpayers, bailed them out.  But here is where I have a serious problem.  The “Executives” of these “companies” have been getting paid BONUSES for LOSING money!!  Here are links to articles from PBS, FoxNews, LATimes, and Business Week.  There are MANY others, just google bonus at fannie mae.  Also, I think I have shown that this is a NON PARTISAN issue.  I mean, if you do not think that PBS and Fox News are political opposites, then you can stop reading this blog and find somewhere else to get your information.  Thanks for your time.

“When Congress learned that 12 executives at Fannie and Freddie were paid some $35 million in salary and bonuses over the last two years, that was the last straw.”

“The total compensation for the top six executives at Fannie and Freddie for 2009 and 2010 was $35.4 million, with Williams and Haldeman receiving about half of that. Each of them could take home as much as $6 million apiece in salary and bonuses in 2011.”

“Edward J. DeMarco, chief regulator of the two firms, approved packages in 2009 that awarded a total of $17 million over two years to chief executive officers Michael J. Williams of Fannie Mae and Ed Haldeman of Freddie Mac.”

Bonuses??!!  For what??  ONLY losing $169 BILLION!!!  Can I have that “job”??  I’ll do it for half!! 

These numbers do NOT include the $100’s of MILLIONS or BILLIONS that were given to “executives” prior to 2009, when they were making these fraudulent loans that were a main contributing factor to the HOUSING CRASH that has caused the global economy to grind to a stop, sent unempoyment above 9%, and caused so much pain and suffering for Americans.  STILL, no one has gone to JAIL for this fiasco!!  I will leave you with the best quote from these articles, this question is directed at the CEO’s of Fannie and Freddie:

“REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-Calif., Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman: You made $9.3 million the last two years while the president made $800,000. Do you think that’s — that’s OK?”

That is basically what I have said previously.  If you work for the Government, you do NOT “deserve” to earn more than the President!!  Any questions??

Weekly Unemployment claims SOAR above 400,000 AGAIN!!!

December 1, 2011

This week I will start with the quotes (from CNBC):

“Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.”

(and from FoxNews):

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed to a seasonally adjusted 402,000 from an upwardly revised 396,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.”

And last week I said:

“I will wager that this weeks number gets REVISED UPWARD to 395,000.”

I missed it by 1,000 claims to the downside, and the government propagandists “statisticians” missed to the DOWNSIDE AGAIN.  Really??  I think I have proven that it is NOT that difficult to make a better estimate.  As, I have said before, IF they were true “statisticians” as opposed to a government mouthpiece they would have errors to both sides of the final number.  As it stands, I cannot find a time during the Obama Administration that they have had to revise their “estimate” downward.

I will wager that this weeks number will AGAIN be revised UPWARD and will be 405,000.  Any takers??

Also FoxNews says this week:

“New claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, popping above 400,000 for the first time in just over a month and reinforcing the view that the battered labor market was healing only slowly.”

but last week FoxNews said:

“Even so, weekly applications would need to stay below 375,000 consistently to push down the unemployment rate significantly.”

Well, which is it FoxNews??  Is 400,000 a labor market that is “healing slowly”?  Or does it need to “stay below 375,000 consistently”??  I won’t even ask about the 350,000.

Now for some cynicism.  I keep hearing the Democrats argue that they “want” an extension of the “extended unemployment benefits” and saying that the Republicans are fighting to let them expire unless we can “tax the rich more”.  Here is my view of the situation.  The Republicans are in a no win situation, because the Democrats are going to let them expire, no matter what the Republicans offer.  Here is why.  IF the benefits expire, then everyone that is unemployed for more 9 months (I believe this is what the law will revert to, if I am incorrect please leave a comment), instead of the current temporary 99 weeks (which is just short of 2 years) will NO LONGER BE COUNTED IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.  IF this happens, the Unemployment Rate will have a sudden drop from the current 9+% rate.  This will make the numbers “look” like they improved, so President Obama can claim to be improving the economy.  He will get on TV everyday and say that he brought the unemployment rate down from 9+% (it was over 9% thanks to President Bush and the Republicans) to x%, and that is why he “deserves” to remain President.  It would have come down sooner except the Republicans in Congress stopped him from helping out sooner.

Let me know what you think.