Monday, May 7, 2012

Economy Top Ten

“Top Ten Reasons Economy Is Still Weak”

10).     Mr. Thirty Hour Work Week is only working 25 hours.

9).        The hottest new business on Foothill Boulevard is a Big Five Sporting Goods.

8).        Labor force participation rate is now the lowest since 1981.

7).        10 Year U.S. Treasury note yield 1.88%

6).        Leo and Lea find it cheaper to not get married.

5).        40% of students drop out of four-year universities before graduation.

4).        Job growth slows for the second straight month.

3).        Workers with tattoos are being hired before workers without tattoos.

2).        College administrators are getting their haircuts at SuperCuts.

1).       People are still taking advice from Larry Summers.

MIDDLE CLASS KEEPS LOSING GROUND - "Barack Obama campaigned four years ago assailing President George W. Bush for wage losses suffered by the middle class. More than three years into Obama's own presidency, those declines have only deepened. ... Underlying the erosion of the middle class, defined by some economists as the middle 60 percent of income earners, are trends that stretch back decades, including competition from lower-wage workers overseas and technological advances that allow factories and offices to produce more with less labor. As a candidate in 2008, Obama blamed the reversals largely on the policies of Bush and other Republicans. ... Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery"

WELCOME TO 2012: YEAR OF CONFUSION - "Don't like the economy we have? Just wait a day and you'll get a new one. One day, [GDP] is a growing at a dismal 2.2 percent rate. The next day manufacturing is at a 10-month high. Jobless claims are up again. That's not good. But maybe it's a just a quirk of the warm winter? Another bad sign: The S&P 500 just posted its first monthly drop since last year. But wait. The Dow is at a 4-year high. ... Welcome to the 2012 economy, a frustrating maze of conflicting - even confounding - data highly subject to partisan spin and defiant of all attempts to fit into a clean narrative.

COSTCO LUNCH – Since 1985 Costco has sold a hotdog and a soda for $1.50.

NETWORK NEWS ALERT - "Harvard, MIT plan free Web classes: Schools hope $60 million initiative will be research boon," by Mary Carmichael in Cambridge: "Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will team up on a $60 million initiative to offer free online, college-level courses under a joint superbrand known as edX ... The Harvard-MIT move -- an altruistic giveaway, a potential research bonanza, and an audacious bet on the future of higher education all in one -- instantly made the schools preeminent players in the burgeoning worldwide online education sector . ... The full edX program is expected to be up and running by fall."

MOOD MUSIC - "JPMorgan Chief Jamie Dimon Blasts Obama, Asks For Simpson-Bowles Now" - "Dimon was speaking .... at the University of Rochester, where he received the 'Executive Of The Year' award. ... 'The U.S. is the opposite of Europe, we know the way [to solve our crises], it's called Bowles-Simpson. ... Our problem is that we don't have the will ... Why the hell are we so depressed[?] ... We have the best military in the planet, the best universities and ... incredible innovation ... When things go wrong, finance gets blamed, just like this ridiculous stuff of blaming speculators for oil prices."

FACEBOOK EYES $96 BILLION VALUATION - "Facebook Inc. pulled back the curtain on how much it thinks it is worth, targeting a valuation as rich as $96 billion in what would be a record debut for an American company. ... Eight-year-old Facebook would become the most valuable U.S. technology company at the time of an IPO, exceeding Google Inc.'s $23 billion valuation in 2004. At nearly $100 billion, it would also rival the current market values of more established companies including Inc. and McDonald's Corp., and longtime tech giants like Hewlett Packard Co., despite having a fraction of the revenue-or profit. ...
"Facebook's IPO will be a watershed moment for Silicon Valley, spawning a new generation of millionaires, and a handful of billionaires, including founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, whose stake is worth as much as $18.7 billion. ... But while the social network is growing rapidly-more than 900 million people now use the site-there are questions whether its trajectory is slowing. Its revenue in the latest quarter rose 45% from a year ago, but fell 6% from the previous three months." 

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Bill Cowher (55), Tom Petersson (62), Mort Sahl (85), Rick Santorum (54), Toni Tennille (72), Steve Yzerman (47).

DINING – Looking for a great sports bar and food in central Michigan? The Beach Bar in Clark Lake, Michigan is the best beach bar in the Great Lake State. Michigan State and University of Michigan alumni are abundant in this central Michigan institution. Detroit Tiger, Red Wing, Lions, and Piston games are exclusively shown on the many HD televisions. The best of all: Ohio citizens in any shape or form are cordially asked to leave the building. There is still some sanity in this world.

3505 Ocean Beach Road in Clark Lake, Michigan (517-529-4211); specializing in pizza and burgers, the Beach Bar is a must when visiting Ann Arbor, Jackson, or surrounding areas.

WALL STREET WEEK - Look for a sharply lower opening for Wall Street this morning, as markets around the world react negatively to the election results in Greece and France. The S&P 500 is already coming off its biggest weekly drop since the week ending December 16, while the Nasdaq had its largest weekly fall since the week ending November 25. Investors perceive those results as a threat to recently negotiated pacts on European fiscal stability.

RINK RATS TMZ.COM – A Rink Rats insider reports that panty hose is making a comeback, yes panty hose. This staple of fashion of the 1970’s & 1980’s is returning to women’s purses again.  

DRIVING THE WEEK - Today is all about global market react to the anti-austerity votes across Europe. Conventional wisdom holds that after an early equity sell-off, things should calm down once it becomes clear that further ECB monetary easing is now more likely and that a modest tweaking of the dials away from austerity might not be the worst thing. And in any event, Germany is not likely to budge much from austerity and there is not much any other euro zone country can do (short of leaving the common currency) absent German support. The big wild card is once again Greece and the possibility that it will leave the euro ... 

Consumer credit out at 2:00 p.m. today expected to show an increase of $9.7 billion ...
Mitt Romney campaigns in Cleveland today ... House Financial Services subcommittee has a field hearing in Chicago this morning on FHFA's Real Estate Owned (REO) Pilot Program ... House Financial Services subcommittee led by Rep. Ron Paul has a hearing on Tuesday on reforming the Fed ... Senate Banking has mortgage refi hearing Tuesday morning ... Other top U.S. data include jobless claims on Thursday (expected to stay at 365K) and University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment on Friday expected to dip to 76.2 from 76.4

Next week, Dear Rink Rats and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
May 7, 2012

#III-2, 107

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