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Friday, May 11, 2012

A Confident Consumer means a still unemployed Consumer

Its 3:15p on a lovely Friday.. let's see how the markets are doing..

Down -24pts..

Hmm, OK.. We guess JP Morgan Chase having losses of at minimum $2 billion isn't a big deal.  Or maybe they read our post last night and agree that when a US bank takes on horrible losses in the post Lehman era, the most appropriate response is to be 'Ehh..'

Let's see-- what else is new in the news..

Consumer Confidence is at its highest since April 2008 according to the Consumer Confidence Index...

"The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey rose to 77.8 in early May, up from 76.4 and beating expectations that called for 76."

Wowwie Zowwie!!    That's just Super Duper news.."

We'll just ignore the fact that the Consumer Confidence figure back in January 2008 when we were in an "official" recession was 87.9, and down from 90.6 in December 2007.

We'll also just ignore that 87.9 - 77.8 = a differential of 10.1 pts which means in 51 months, we're still not even close to where consumer sentiment was then.

See, we're enjoying the positive buzz Too much from the manipulative way the media reported this story to get worked up on stupid things like details.
From ZDNet:

"Consumers were still hopeful about future job gains despite disappointing recent development, with the overall references to the employment conditions remained positive enough to support the world’s largest economy’s prospect"

Psst, don't tell the 15.2 Million people who've not found work for 15 or more weeks (according to BLS.gov).  Don't those "Debbie Downer"s know that confidence abounds in this Obama-led recovery??

** We know.. gonna get some flak for that zinger.. ~grins

Sure glad to have something positive to offset this from CNN/Money:

"More than 200,000 long-term jobless Americans will lose their unemployment checks this week, when eight states roll off the federal extended benefits program...

The federal extended benefits program has provided the jobless with up to 20 weeks of unemployment checks after they've run through their state and their federal emergency benefits, which together last up to 79 weeks.  But the extended benefits program is expiring throughout the country as the economy improves."

~ Economy improves.. Hee Hee Haww Haww..  continuing..

"To be eligible for these benefits, a state must show that its unemployment rate is at least 10% higher than it was in at least one of the past three years. State unemployment rates have been falling as the jobless find new positions or exit the workforce."
~ Lindsay Lohan, what are your thoughts on the US economy?

In other words, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to fudge the numbers to propagandize lower unemployment while ignoring millions upon millions of people who've despondently given up hope of finding work.  And as the 'official' stats go down, this allows the government to get off the hook of providing additional benefits of those who need it the most.

Real unemployment is at least 12%    Officially, its 8.1%

Guess instead of the term "99ers", we should be start calling those perpetually out of work the "79ers".

But Hey.. Consumer Confidence is Up so.. turn 'dem frowns upside down!

But wait..what does this other CNN/Money article say?  Let's see...

"The Labor Department reported Thursday that 367,000 filed new jobless claims in the week ended May 5, down from 368,000 the week before."
~ So Lindsay, you think the economy is Awesome!.. We'll let you celebrate..

Down is good, right?  By a whopping 1000 people..

Although the accurate and honest way to look at that sentence is to take the 2 numbers, add together and realize there are 753,000 people--  Three Quarters of a Million US citizens-- who in the last two weeks have filed for Federal assistance for the First time; 753,000 of our friends, family, neighbors, etc. that a month or so ago had jobs.

But Hey Hey Hey!  Look at those Consumer Confidence numbers..

Were they not amazing or what!