Bad news for PPAA, Win43 and all of the other Obama Zombies–the weak economic recovery is faltering and worse is to come. Let me start with a personal anecdote. A friend of mine who still lives in the People’s Republic of Maryland is having a very difficult time trying to refinance his home. He and his wife have a credit rating above 750 and have assets, other than the house, in excess of $500,000. They can’t get refinanced.

My point? If someone like that is having trouble refinancing a home, what do you think is happening to the average Joe and Jane? This is not a sign of a healthy economy.

Let’s look at Merger and Acquisition activity. From the Financial Times:

Investment banks face the prospect of another disappointing year as companies put off dealmaking, depressing fees for the first quarter of 2012 to their lowest level for three years.

Fees from mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets totalled $15.9bn, down 24 per cent year-on-year, according to data provider Thomson Reuters.

With companies spooked by the uncertainty triggered by the eurozone debt crisis, five successive quarters of falling M&A volumes have depressed fees. Global M&A volumes dropped to $393.2bn, down 14.6 per cent on the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Mergermarket. The collapse in fees has set up expectations among some senior executives of a shake-up in the industry, with leading banks grabbing greater market share. . . .

While the US saw the biggest drop in deal volumes, Europe was the only region to show an increase in activity on the fourth quarter, helped by commodities trader Glencore’s $53.5bn acquisition of shares it does not own in miner Xstrata. But with parts of the eurozone in recession, some bankers are more pessimistic about a recovery in dealmaking. “You will need to see a lot more confidence from US and Asian companies to invest in Europe,” said Philip Noblet, co-head of Emea M&A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “You are already seeing signs of it but the floodgates aren’t opening.”

How are things on the consumer electronics front? Just dandy. Just ask the folks at Best Buy:

Best Buy plans to close 50 big box stores and open 100 small mobile locations in the U.S. in fiscal 2013 and cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015. . . .

Best Buy, which has 1,450 locations nationwide and 2,900 globally, is focusing on closing some of its hulking stores to concentrate on smaller Best Buy Mobile outlets because of two emerging trends. Sales of TVs, digital cameras and videogame consoles have weakened, while sales of tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have increased. And with the rise of competition from Internet rivals like, shoppers aren’t flocking to big-box stores like they used to.

A list of the stores to be closed was not immediately available. Best Buy said Thursday: “We will announce details about specific store locations and timing for closings once they are finalized.”

Best Buy is trying to avoid the fate of its former rival Circuit City, which went out of business in 2009. Other retailers with large stores are also shrinking their footprint. Sears Holdings, for example, said earlier this month it would close 100 to 120 stores to become nimbler.

You realize, I hope, that this means the loss of thousands of jobs. Not just for the folks who go to work in those stores but also for the suppliers and restaurants the sold to the store or provided services for the employees.

The high gas prices are not helping things. Restaurants are suffering because people have less disposable income for eating out. We probably will not see numbers reflecting this decline for a month or so, but it is very unlikely that sustained high gas prices makes things better in the economy.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims remains above 350,000. If jobless claims are 300,000 or less then you have tangible evidence that the job market is heating up and people are getting back to work in numbers that will start making a dent in the number of unemployed.

The high oil prices are not only hurting America. Countries around the world are suffering. These are not the kind of signs you want to see if you are Barack Obama and running for another four year term.

Okay, we’ll now be inundated by deluded Obama Zombies swearing up and down that things, economic wise, are just swell. They aren’t, but facts mean little to that crowd.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Just curious, what is the White House saying about no Democratic members of the House of Representatives voting in favor of the President’s proposed budget?  There must be some reason for this.

    • Veronica Verona

      Oh, to know what they really think about the WH…  A peek at the internal numbers for da prez…

      Not one dem vote?  Twice now?!   

      Is it a branding problem?

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Interesting  OpEd here.  Even more interesting as one ploughs through the comments.  Noonan really hit a nerve.

    • Veronica Verona

      Noonan’s OpEd is spot on.  The pixie dust has worn off and the American people have been left with a jack- a  uh donkey for a prez.  

      Guess it looks like America doesn’t want to go out on a second date with Barack.

      • Flop_Flipper

        I think jackass is a much better representation of their true character.

  • EllenD818

    Larry, your friends may be caught in this current problem.
    My daughter just refinanced but the appraisal came in far  lower than they expected (which is reasonable because they are basing it on the fire-sale prices of the past year when neighbors walked away from foreclosures and the houses deteriorated.
    Fortunately my daughter could come up with the difference but many can’t.

  • mumphrey

    “You are a commie and you infiltrated this blog.”

    That’s great.  It’s great in its pitiable cluelessness.  “infiltrate” implies some kind of sneakiness.  I never snuck in here; it’s an open blog where anybody can chime in.  And I haven’t even tried to hide my beliefs; I’ve been quite open about them.  The whole point about infiltration is that the one being infiltrated doesn’t know it.  You can’t infiltrate somewhere if you show up and say, “Here I am.  I disagree with everything you say.”

    And about the “commie” part, you wingers love to throw the charge “communist” around, but I’d be truly amazed if you knew what it meant.  You guys couldn’t tell a communist from a scocialist from a liberal from a moderate.  I can only guess that you believe that anybody who votes for, or speaks up for, President Obama is a communist, but you still don’t know what communism is.  You people are sad.  But by all means, prove me wrong: tell me what it means to be a communist.  I don’t think you can, not in a month of Sundays.

    • EllenD818

       I know the difference. But your use of “You people” indicates that you are lumping all of us together – something you accuse others of doing.

      • mumphrey

        You’re right.  That was cheesy.  But I’ve heard enough people who hate Obama who yell about communism, socialism, liberalism and the moderate liberalism that dominates the Democratic Party today like they’re all the same that I don’t have much faith that many know one from the other.  I still want to hear Hokma’s definitions.  I don’t think Hokma could tell communist from a hole in the ground.

        • Veronica Verona

          Then you can go elsewhere.  Simple solution.  Save yourself some grief and hang out with the lefties.

          Hokma and the rest aren’t going anywhere.

        • stodghie

          so you think? hokma typically gives information and illustrations. i don’t see you doing that.

    • stodghie

      mumphrey, now that is funny. hint hint, you aren’t talking down here, you are talking up. btw you need to talk louder as you up so far with only insults as your friend.

  • DianaLC


    I fear you are correct in your assessment of the economy.  My feelings about the economy make me nostalgic and wishing I could go back to my happy youth when we all thought we had great futures.

    But, on the other hand, the mailaise that has settled over me because of the current economy leaves me with little to say. 

  • PPAA

    Well Larry Johnson at least you are making progress. You have gone just a couple of months ago from “coming double dip recession” to now “economic malaise” and “weak economic recovery” At least you are now admitting there is a recovery happening.

    I look forward to your economic comments 6 months from now. Lets see if your economic projects are better than almost every economist out there. So far you track record of economic predictions has been terrible. However, it has never been about being correct with you, but only about politics and trying to trash Obama any way you can.

  • David L

    Its Bush’s fault , just ask PPAA and Obongo.  LOL.

    • Popsmoke

       “Its Bush’s fault”

      Well there is truth in this statement… But what the hell vote for Mitt “Bush III” Romney and see where that gets us….

    • PPAA

      Actually, you are right this economic downturn began and was initiated on Bush’s watch. The housing bubble built starting in about 2002 and the financial market and economic downturn began in 2007. Obama has spent the last three years trying to clean up Bush’s economic mess, amongst many other messes that Bush left us with when he exited.

  • EllenD818

    “a shake-up in the industry, with leading banks grabbing greater market share. . . . ”
    Oh Goody!

    Best Buy seems to be closing US stores but opening them in China.

    Brick and mortar companies are under attack from Amazon who has put out an app where you can instantly compare their price with the one in the store. (My daughter is trying to boycott Amazon for that).

    “Sales of TVs, digital cameras and videogame consoles have weakened,
    while sales of tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have
    increased. ”
    The word in the Videogame industry is that, unless there is some compelling reason to buy a console, games will be played more and more on iPads.
    As for digital cameras – why buy a camera when your phone or iPad has higher resolution?

    I always wondered what would happen when the speed of the development of new technology would outpace the human ability to adapt to it.
    There is nothing permanent any more.

    • Hokma

      That’s part of it but Best Buy was counting on a strong Holiday sales season and it was tepid at best.

      • EllenD818

        We bought $50. gift cards at Best Buy as extra “stocking stuffers” for each employee. Guess that wasn’t enough, Hokma.

        BTW – I presented my credit card and asked for a large number of gift  cards. Without looking at my company credit card the manager scribbled an approval while looking at me  and saying condescendingly “Wow, you must have a lot of grandchildren”.
        I replied “No I have a lot of Videogame company employees. Try looking at the card.”
        He looked startled, looked at the card and said “OH!
        Gee I wonder why they are downsizing. They sure made me want to go back.

        • Hokma

          That’s funny

  • samb1

    Yep. the economy is in the shitter and “O” is pulling 
    the chain, but  look MO is going to Vegas on a
    vacation she must be tired what with all those 
    pushups and telling others how to eat.

    Optics are everything, lets see if the press will say
    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. yet again?

    Hells Bells!!!!!

    • Veronica Verona

      And whose dime is MOoch and Co. spending in Vegas?

      Bueller?  Bueller?

    • Flop_Flipper

       One might think she is there to lobby the town to change it’s name to Las Vegans.

      • KenoshaMarge

        Now that’s funny!


    the next bubble about to burst. over a trillion dollars in student loans. go to school, go into debt, no jobs when you graduate, late or no payments on student loans

    • PPAA

      Yeahh.. thanks to your GOP buddies who created the for-profit student loan business.

      At least the Obama adminstration has now put some regulation in place regarding student loans through Frank Dodd.  The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also gives students an outlet in which to lodge complaints if they believe they have been unfairly treated. In October Obama also rolled-out a student loan relief plan.

      What has the GOP done for students recently?

      • Hokma

        I was just looking through the United States Constitution. Maybe you can point me in the direction where it says that the Federal government is supposed to help students. I must have missed that.

        Don’t bother, it’s not there. That is the fundamental difference between commies like you and Americans. The U.S. was founded on the principals of self-reliance and personal responsibility  – –  not reliance on government.

        • KenoshaMarge

          Problem is Hokma, now that you have nearly half the country relying on the government, how do you get them off?

          We all know that a certain number of them are life-long free-loaders that will never get off the government teat voluntarily. As long as the “government” uses taxpayer dollars to buy the votes of these people the country will-not, cannot recover.

          • PPAA

            Half the country relying on government? You really have a warped perspective?

            What half would that be? The wealthy like Romney who pay very little taxes and suck so much out of this country and the oil companies who continue to receive significant subsidies and corporate welfare? Or how about LJ who has and continues to make a good living off of tax payers? This website is likely subsidized by LJ’s government earnings.

          • Hokma

            PPAA – How many rely on Medicare and Medcaid, on Social Security, on Food Stamps, on government backed student loans?

          • Flop_Flipper

             Take a look at this video to see how people are addicted to government handouts. Note: These are Obama supporters as should be obvious. And please ignore the asshat that appears in the beginning of the video.


        • PPAA

          In your world the U.S. government, which really represents the citizens of this country, should not help anyone. 

          There is nothing wrong with new rules and regulations regarding student loans, there is nothing wrong with setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to give students an outlet to voice their concerns if they have been treated wrong and there is nothing wrong with giving students more time to pay, if they are going to default.

          Actually, the U.S. was founded on good government. A strong government is the reason the U.S. has been a successful country. It is funny you say it is all about the individual and then you quote the government document of the Constitution.

          Where in the Constitution does it say the U.S. government cannot help students? 

          • Hokma

            Nowhere in any of the Federalist papers and writings at the time of the founding did any founding principal talk about the Federal Government as helping anyone for any reason.

            The Department of Education is a complete waste of taxpayer money and has been since its inception.

            Local school boards manage the education of primary and secondary schools as well as city and state colleges.

            Private colleges manage on tuition and endowments. A student who is accepted to a private college and does not have the financial ability to pay for it has access to loans and grants.  Many of these grants at private institutions are there because of individuals who contribute to their alma mater.
            I am not opposed to goverment backed low interest loans to students.

            I am opposed to students complaining that they do not want to repay those loans and wants the nanny state to bail them out. That is your policy. Americans do not want that policy. It’s called taking personal responsibility – something the Obamination does not understand both personally and collectively.

          • Veronica Verona

            It is a successful country.  Why would anyone want to lead it to socialism?  There’s the difference.  Save your time.  No one cares for the useful idiot drone drivel that Obama isn’t a socialist or that he’s a good president.

            That’s total BS!

          • PPAA

            Reply to Hokma below:

            “I am opposed to students complaining that they do not want to repay those loans and wants the nanny state to bail them out. That is your policy. ”

            More strawmen from you. Do you like arguing with yourself?

            Which students exactly are saying they do not want to pay back their loans? And were exactly did I say I think students should not payback their loans.

            Nice rant about the Dept. of Education. You really have no clue what the Dept. of Education actually does, do you?

            What is your proof that Obama does not understand personal responsiblity? More talking out of your ass with nothing to back-up these extreme points of view.

            How about Romney’s personal responsiblity of paying his fair share of taxes instead of hiding behind “carried interest” and overseas bank accounts?

            A strawman awarded to you.

  • Roger Elder

    The democrats have painted themselves into a corner where they need a crisis at this point to have a chance… the only question now is what crisis will be manufactured… because it is coming.

    • Veronica Verona

      The remedy to a crisis is to either be part of the solution or remain part of the problem.

      Guess which one the dems are.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    Great article Larry. I’m just waiting for this sugar high of cash via Benanake to run out, and then the real crash will happen, and no amount of money will fill that gap.
    There is no recovery, yes the stock market is up, all that money printed up has to go somewhere. But the real economy is stuck in ditch, one that Barry Soetero made much deeper. And its only going to get worse when the damn breaks.

  • Hokma

    LJ – Tell your friend to look into doing what two of my friends did.

    One of them was advised to intentionally default on their mortgage. Up to that time they had good credit and were always on time with mortgage payments. I voiced concern about this advice which came from their accountant.

    As a result of what they did they actually qualified for a mortgage modification at a much lower rate because of Obama programs.

    After seeing this work another friend did the same with the same result.

    What this proves is how incredibly perverse the economy has become under this socialist in the Oval Office whose goal is for the Federal Government to control all aspects of our economy: from education to transportation to energy to housing and, of course, the financial sector.

    • Roger Elder

      The idea is that once folks latch onto the government teat and taste how sweet the milk of other peoples money can taste… that they will never want to let go. The revolution is financed by those who contribute the most… the rewards go to those who contribute the least. It is perverse and it is not American. It can be candy coated but it is what it is.

    • win43

      Hokma – did your friends have enough income to keep up on their payments without modification when they did that?

      • Veronica Verona

        Is that information you should be asking for given it’s personal?

        • win43

          He posted the story. I’m not asking for names, just that one detail.

          It appears that Hokma is saying that HAMP allows homeowners who can afford their mortgages even without modification to abuse to program. That’s false — income verification is required.

          So if they took advantage of HAMP and were actually eligible, great (though they didn’t actually need to default to become eligible). And if they broke the law, then shame on them. That’s all.

          • Veronica Verona

            You don’t need to know, period.

          • win43

            You’re awfully defensive of people’s (totally anonymous) information for somebody who (a) doesn’t know them and (b) routinely lies about the President’s wife’s law license (twice in two days, now).

          • Veronica Verona

            Care to prove it differently?

            No, I didn’t think so.  Why?

            Let the vetting continue.

          • win43

            Are you fucking kidding me?

            Read the Snopes post I linked, where they de-bunk this in depth.

            The burden is not on me to disprove your lie, when all the publicly available information says I’m right and you’re wrong. If Michelle Obama surrendered her law license, YOU prove it to ME.

      • Hokma

        Yes. Income did not and does not matter.

        Going back to the New Deal, when government intervenes in the economy they pervert it.

        It starts out with all the right intentions but the people who make policy in D.C. are generally not the best and brightest and also are then subject to certain special interests. The result are bad policies that make situations worse – not better.

        • KenoshaMarge

          We all know what road is paved with good intentions don’t we?

          And good intentions are just plain stupid without the ability to see what the consequences of those intentions are.

        • win43

          Then your story isn’t true.

          HAMP requires income verification, via tax returns and/or pay stubs. Unless their debt-to-income ratio was higher than 31% and they were at imminent risk of default — and no, intentional default does not count — then they were ineligible.

          Either your “friends” lied on their applications, or you are making this up.

          • Hokma

            One. That is not the only program.

            Two. Of course you have to delcare income. The point is they don’t care what it is as long as you can pay it and they don’t care about imminent risk of default  because they already defaulted.

            Intentional doesn’t count? It should not but in pratice the government does not care.

            Let me give you another brilliant government program called ERISA. One partt of ERISA “protects” long term disability insurance. In pratice it does anything but protect it.

            Very typical is a worker who becomes permanently disabled at work and the LTD company immediately denies the claim without seeing a shred of evidence.

            That forces the worker to hire an attorney to sue the LTD insurance company. The LTD insurance company is counting on the fact that the worker will not be able to afford an attorney or wait for this to go through the courts. So they settle for next to nothing or go into poverty waiting.

            Even if the worker can sue them in the end (5 to 10 years later) the insurance company only has to pay what is owed – no punitive and no interest – in the mean time the insurance company has made interest on the money they never paid.

            This was a law designed to protect the worker and instead has become a shelter for abuse by LTD insurance companies. Another perversion of the market by goverment interference.

          • win43

            I’m not going to get into an argument about ERISA. You love to make distractions and move the goalposts when you pick the wrong fight.

            What federal program did they use, if not HAMP? HAMP has no default requirement at all. Which one was it, that allegedly allows you to qualify by intentionally defaulting regardless of income?

  • FormerLiberal9

    This is a case where I hope you are wrong Larry.  Things are just too bad now the last thing we need is a downturn in an already bad economy.

  • olivia1998

     The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell
    by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the U.S. Labor
    Department said Thursday. The latest data includes the
    government’s annual seasonal-adjustment revisions extending back five
    years, which have resulted in a small increase in weekly claims.
    number of new applications for benefits last week, for example, was
    originally reported at 348,000. The revisions now put last week’s level
    of claims at 364,000, a 4.6% increase

    I see the lib media is trumpeting this new number (once again) as a 4 YEAR LOW.

    Last week’s (348,000) was headlined as the same, 4 YEAR LOW (until revision).

    Amazing how the media and Obama can work together.

    Of course this will be revised up and then next week will be another 4 year low to headline.

    • PPAA

      Actually, your comment does not make any sense whatsoever. The numbers are the numbers.

      The 359,000 number is a four year low. A slight revision does not make a difference if the numbers still have not been this low since 2008. We have not been between 350,000 and 400,000 since 2008.

      The trend since Obama took office has been down in unemployment claims. That is a good thing and a sign that Obama’s economic policies are working and the employment picture is improving with the economy.

      See the chart below.

  • Dolly Cain

    Mr. Johnson once again they prove your point.  They came, they swarmed, as you said they would.  What’s so sad is that they’re too stupid to stop.

    • olivia1998

       Ha,Ha   they are like flys to scat.

    • HELENK2

       down at the Jersey shore they are called shue-bees. You know when you shue annoying insects away

      • Dolly Cain

        LOL! Too true.

    • PPAA

      Just like how the NQbot Larry Johnson fan club swarms and eats up anything they say on NQ.

  • TeakWoodKite

    I was going to get a sandwich for lunch. That was before I filled up my 4 banger, which cost 50 Obamabucks for 11 gallons.

    Multiply that by as many millions as care to and you get the picture.

    “What is ailing BestBuy has nothing to do with the economy

    • PPAA

      Actually lets talk about energy prices.

      Yes, the price of gasoline is up. Lets say you are spending $80 a week to fill your car instead of the $60 a week you were spending a few months. That means you are paying about $80 a month ($20 x 4 weeks) in extra cost to fill you car.

      However, this winter we have had record high temperatures (thanks to global warming) and also record low natural gas prices, which has resulted in a much reduced need to heat your house. Household heating bills, whether by oil or natural gas, are as much as $200 to $300 lower per month this winter. This means the average household in the Northern part of the country has likely saved as much $600 to $1,000 in home heating costs this winter.

      So many are spending $80 a month extra in gasoline prices, but are also saving $200 to $300 a month on home heating bills. Therefore, the average household for many in this country has actually seen their energy costs dropping significantly, despite the higher gasoline price.

      In fact, the $600 to $1,000 of heating savings this winter for many equals the equivalent of 7.5 months to 12.5 months of the extra cost of higher gasoline prices.

      Net-net the higher gasoline prices are being offset by lower home heating prices for many and in fact most households budgets are better off and not worse off at this point, so it is far from clear how much the gasoline price will impact the economy.


      On another topic:

      New CNN poll gives Obama a 54-43 percent lead over Romney, up from 51-46 percent in mid-February.

      And Obama has not even really started to campaign yet and if the economy continues to improve, despite what Larry Johnson says, Romney’s chances will only diminish.

      From the same poll a very interesting result for this question:

      “And, thinking specifically about the economy, which of the following is the most important economic issue facing the country today?”March 24-25Unemployment – 37%Which is down significantly from December 16 – 18Unemployment – 51%This is very important, as it says that only 37% think that unemployment is the most important economic issue. It also say that 63% of Americas do not think it is the most important economic issue. So all this focus on the employment picture may not be as important to voters as many think. I think Romney will need a better message than just the economy.

      March 24-25
      Unemployment – 37%

      Which is down significantly from

      December 16 – 18
      Unemployment – 51%

      This is very important, as it says that only 37% think that unemployment is the most important economic issue. It also say that 63% of Americas do not think it is the most important economic issue.

      So all this focus on the employment picture may not be as important to voters as many think. I think Romney will need a better message than just the economy.

      • EllenD818

        “This means the average household in the Northern part of the country has
        likely saved as much $600 to $1,000 in home heating costs this winter. ”

        This convoluted thinking does nothing for us in Southern California who don’t have a lot of heating costs but who have the highest gas prices in the country.

        • Hokma

          “This convoluted thinking ”

          Your mistake is believing that PPAA “thinks” at all. PPAA just cuts and pastes from the Daily Koz Kidz. 

          • PPAA

            How is this “convoluted thinking”?

            Actually I do not even read Daily Kos, but feel free to point out where I were I am cutting and passing from my comment above or where I have cut and pasted anything from Daily Kos.

        • PPAA

          As I said in the post that this primarily impacts the Northern part of the country, which still represents a very big number of households in this country.

        • Flop_Flipper

          Home heating costs rose because the price of home heating oil rose. Significantly.

      • Flop_Flipper

        Your opinion that the mild winter was a result of global warming is not supported by scientific fact. It’s hyperbole and bullshit.

        • PPAA

          “Over the long term, records show the world is warming. Global average surface temperature crept up by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit (0.7 degrees Celsius) between 1900 and 2000, and the first decade of this century ranked as the warmest on record, according to the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s State of Climate in 2010 report.

          So mild weather this winter hasn’t come out of the blue. “It’s consistent with the idea that global warming is going on,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the independent National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.”

          We will never be 100% certain whether this warm winter is exactly from climate change, but it fits the pattern of climate change of generally warming temperatures and much more volatile climate.

          If it is the jetstream, then what is causing the jetstream to be so erratic?

          • Flop_Flipper

             I assume that you are aware that Europe had one of the harshest winters ever.

          • Flop_Flipper

            Perhaps the jetstream is erratic because of all those fundraisers Obama uses Air Force One for.

        • TeakWoodKite

          “However, this winter we have had record high temperatures (thanks to global warming)”….praise Allah and thanks be to him.

        • PPAA

          In reply to Flo_Flipper’s comment below.

          Yes, I am well aware of a very cold winter in Europe. You are a typical “denier”. You do not really listen to what the experts are saying or tell you. They say that climate change will result in much more volatile global weather and temperatures, but with the overall trend being warming. The erratically colder winter in Europe may also be the result of climate change. Average global temperatures in 2011 and so far in 2012 have actually been warmer. 2011 was the 9th warmest year on the planet ever.

          “The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.”

          “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2012 was the 22nd warmest on record and the coolest since 2008, at 12.47°C (54.57°F), which is 0.37°C (0.67°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F). ”

          “2012 Likely to Reach Record High Global Temperature, according to NASA”

          What credible sources do you got that say different or support your view?

          Crickets.. i am sure…

          • Flop_Flipper

             I have a degree in Environmental Policy so you aren’t addressing one of the ignorant masses. There is much debate among MANY scientists as to whether this is a normal global fluctuation or something man made. My own perspective is that if we know that the emission of certain gases creates the potential for warming then the wise thing to do is cut back on the emissions. I am not a nutcase one way or the other on the issue which tends to piss people off on both sides.

          • PPAA

            To flop below:

            ” There is much debate among MANY scientists as to whether this is a normal global fluctuation or something man made. ”

            I there is no debate among MANY scientists… hardly.

            90% versus 10% is hardly MANY.

  • TeakWoodKite

    …. LJ, you wrote about a similar situation about someone you knew in Florida…two years ago?….stagnation does not make for a growing economy…

    • Veronica Verona

      Real Estate is still estimating four years to recovery in residential market.  I know people who are in the same refinancing boat and have been for three years as LJ’s friends.

      Credit Unions are helping out but mainly because they don’t function under the same lending rules as banks.

      When it costs 200 to 400 more per month for gas and groceries – that isn’t economic turnaround.  When small companies are putting out more for fuel (I speak from experience) and putting average new build homes on the market for 50,000 +/- less than before December 2007, that isn’t growth.

      Recently I received an add to buy prime acreage that had once been listed at 24 million for 9 million – that isn’t economic growth.  That’s a fire sale.

      • Flop_Flipper

        It’s like so many other things in this economy. It may be “improving” but the value of property and the level of income has diminished. So it’s not really a “recovery.”

        • Veronica Verona

          Rassmussen Reports has an interesting poll stat that now only 50% are reporting that their home is worth more than the mortgage.  That’s DOWN 7 points from LAST MONTH (2/2012).

          Consumer confidence?  Real economic growth?  Obama saving the economy?   It’s just not proving out that way.

          • Flop_Flipper

            I’ve seen wages drop nearly 50% in some professions. No matter what spin they try to put on the numbers real Americans know that this economy sucks. And I blame the frickin Dems for it. When they had the power in the House, Senate and the WH they didn’t do a damned thing except waste money on the problems. Now that Obama is up for reelection and in trouble suddenly the Dems “really care” about the economy. But it’s still all Bush’s fault.

  • PPAA

    “My point? If someone like that is having trouble refinancing a home, what do you think is happening to the average Joe and Jane? This is not a sign of a healthy economy.”
    Actually that is a sign of a difficult mortgage refinancing market.  Is your friend’s house worth less than his current mortgage? If that is the case then that is why refinancing is a problem. I recently refinanced with no problems.

    Great, you have an example of a friend having trouble refinacing their house, but that does not mean that the larger economic trends are positive and getting more positive.
    And now the standard of a healthy economy or an improving economy is the level of M&A activity? That is just laughable. At least according to PWC and the WSJ the M&A outlook for 2012 is for an improvment:

    How about some real news on the economy?

    Today, the weekly unemployment claims came in at 359,000, continuing a downward trend and was the lowest unemployment claim number since  April 2008 (a four year low) or before Obama was even elected. Unemployment claims below 400,000 generally suggest a decline in the unemployment rate is happening.  The chart below shows the nice downward trend in unemployment claims since Obama became President.

    If you know anything about BestBuy, you would know that the pressure the company is facing is not from week customer demand for consumer electronics, as demand for consumer electronics has been up, but from significant pressure from Internet shopping or ecommerce. People are going into BestBuy stores checking out the merchandise and then buying the consumer electronics cheaper online from Amazon. It even says this in the article you quote. What is ailing BestBuy has nothing to do with the economy.

    By the way the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for March which was released just two days ago was essentially flat for February at 70.2. That is a very good number, given the higher gasoline prices. Consumer confidence has not been this high since February 2008. Again, below is a chart showing a a nice turn around in both consumer confidence and retail sales since Obama became President.

    And we got better news from business executives this week:

    “The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index increased to 96.9 in the first quarter from 77.9 in the previous three months, the Washington-based trade group reported. Readings greater than 50 are consistent with economic expansion, and this quarter’s measure is the highest since April-June 2011.
    Forty-two percent said they will increase payrolls, compared with 35 percent in the prior quarter, while 43 percent plan to hold their staffing levels steady.”

    And this just out from the Fed:

    “The U.S. jobless rate could drop to as low as 6 percent by the first half of 2013, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. ”

    “Simulations based on historical patterns suggest that the fall in the unemployment rate could be quicker than many forecasters predict,” Sahin wrote in a note on the bank’s Liberty Street Economics blog co-written by research associate Christina Patterson. ”

    I could go on and on…

    Obama has done a very good job at turning the economy around and getting things moving in the right direction.

    • MG6

      “Unemployment claims below 400,000 generally suggest a decline in the unemployment rate is happening. ”

      Yeah, unemployment tends to go down when you kick people of the rolls because of all the jobs that are out there.  Except there are no jobs…AND the people are still unemployed.

      “The King has no clothes” no matter what you say.

      • Veronica Verona

        Gosh they never want to bring up the unemployed that aren’t on the government roles, do they.

        Nope.  That would tell a far more accurate tale and Obama and Thugs Incorporated just aren’t that into the truth.

        • MG6

          Two friends of mine are unemployed.   Each  recieved letters that because employment is on the rise they will no longer be recieving their benefits as of 4/7/12.  
          Mind you, one is a single parent of 4 and is panicking because THERE ARE NO JOBS OUT THERE!
          And she is not the only one thats being kicked of.  My other collegue gave up and will be applying to welfare and SS.
          I suspect many will be doing the same.  So Sad!

          • win43

            “Two friends of mine are unemployed.   Each  recieved letters that because employment is on the rise they will no longer be recieving their benefits as of 4/7/12.”

            That’s not how unemployment benefits work. You are either mistaken or just making that up. Unemployment benefits expire because a person has received them for the maximum amount of time. Or they can end because a person stops looking for work. Or they can end because a person gets a job.
            They do NOT end, ever, because the economy is adding jobs. That’s not how it works.

            You’re either misinformed or lying.

          • Flop_Flipper

             You are absolutely correct. The US Department of Labor sent out this information to various states. win43 is the one that is misinformed.

          • Flop_Flipper

            Here are a few FACTS that blow a hole in win43’s declarations.

            March 30, 2012
            EB Ending
            Indiana no longer qualifies for the federal Extended Benefits program due to the state’s lower unemployment rate. Extended Benefits are the last 20 weeks of the possible 99 weeks of benefits. The last day Hoosiers can file a voucher for Extended Benefits is Saturday, April 28, 2012.

            Extended Benefits to end in Kentucky – updated March 14, 2012

            In order to pay out federal benefits, states must continue to meet eligibility criteria, which are tied to the state’s unemployment rate. Because Kentucky’s unemployment rate recently dropped below the federal minimum qualification level, unemployed Kentuckians will no longer be able to receive Extended Benefits, or EB. This program previously lasted for 20 weeks, from weeks 80-99 of the possible 99 weeks of benefits.

            Deadlines for extended unemployment compensation have been extended through the end of the year. However, the U.S. Department of Labor has notified the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that, because of Ohio’s declining unemployment rate, the following changes must occur: 1.EUC claimants who exhaust their remaining balance of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier 3 benefits after April 7, 2012, will not be eligible for up to 6 weeks of EUC Tier 4 benefits. For more information, please see UC Federal Extended Benefits FAQs.

             Emphasis bolding my own.

          • win43

            Flop_Flipper and MG6: I want to go on record here as admitting when I’m wrong. I did not know this about the Extended Benefits program (and I even looked for five minutes — obviously I should have looked for longer). MG6, please take this as an apology.

            When I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and when confronted with evidence I’m not ashamed to admit it. (Some others around here might take notes — it’s neither hard to do nor embarrassing.)

            Re: the expiration of benefits because of state unemployment levels… that’s pretty stupid. Whose bright idea was that?

        • beyond_words24

           Ooh those numbers are not to be discussed. Nothing to see there. Don’t forget Comrade Pelosi said unemployment payments “create jobs”.

          Pravda official policy talking points only!

          • Flop_Flipper

            No Pelosi fan here. But if she would have said that unemployment payments “sustained” jobs it may be almost accurate.

        • win43

          The word you want is “rolls.”

          Lern 2 spel.

          • Veronica Verona

            The word you are is Arsehole.  Learn to know when you’ve stayed too long.

          • Flop_Flipper

            Actually “roles” can be used appropriately. It depends on the intention of the author. I find it an interesting “happy accident” that ‘roles’ was used. Quite profound in my opinion.

      • PPAA

        Actually, there is hiring going on out there. The total number of employeed is going up. There are more than 3.0 million people working today than there was just over two years ago. The labor force has been growing and we have been adding jobs, as reflected in the increases in non-farm payrolls.

        Less people are claiming unemployment benefits because there is less people unemployed.

        If you have any actual proof or facts to suggest otherwise or to support you comment why don’t you provide them? Otherwise, as usual, you are just talking out of your ass.

    • TeakWoodKite

      “Today, the weekly unemployment claims came in at 359,000.”

      This is a good number for folks sucking an Obot kool-aid.

      And PPAA doesn’t want to pay for my healthcare.WWAAAAA!

  • Liverpool Hotels Now

    The economy has a long ways to go. The Bush Recession is the worst economic problem since the Great Depression… why this would mean we would want to go back to the policies that created the mess in the first place (which is exactly what Romney would do in the White House)… I have no idea. But that seems to be what you’re implying despite the fact that it makes zero sense. 

    Voting for Romney over Obama in 2012 would be like voting for Alf Landon over FDR in 1936. It would be insane. 

    • Veronica Verona

      Ah, but it isn’t Bush’s recession now and hasn’t been for nearly four years.  

      Voting for Obama and expecting a different result from him is what is insane.

      • PPAA

        The economic downturn started in 2007, but the seeds of it (housing bubble) really started in about 2002. The recession actually ended in 2009. We are not in a recession any more. However, we still have a high unemployment rate. The high unemployment happened because of the financial collapse, housing collapse and recession, which happened on Bush’s watch. Obama has spent the last three years trying to clean up Bush’s economic mess. Obama has made very good progress and almost all economic indicators suggest continued improvement.

      • Home Recording

        Saying it’s not Bush’s Recession would be like blaming the Great Depression on FDR. It’s absurd. 

        Bush owns this Recession. Obama owns the recovery. The choice is clear.

  • c_e_s

    If Best Buy actually had more service in their Customer Service, they might have more customers. 

    • olivia1998

       Bernanke said YESTERDAY that the official unemployment numbers ‘Are not in sync’ with reality.

      • TeakWoodKite

        And that is saying something. His reality or? (LOL)

  • win43

    Oh, and re: M&A — I’m glad you spared yourself the embarrassment of trying to draw a link between M&A activity and economic growth. The two have nothing to do with one another; during some periods in U.S. history their correlation has been positive, and in some periods it has been negative. M&A declined throughout 2011, even as the growth rate increased through the year. 

    M&A rates are only relevant to people whose bonuses depend on doing a bunch of deals.

    • mumphrey

      Want to give odds on how soon it’ll be before they acknowledge the new video from the Sanford police department?

      • PPAA

        What amazed to me in that video was how huge Zimmerman was. He was like 250 lbs and not fat. He was much bigger than all the police officiers. We also have a witness saying today that it was the bigger guy that was on top during the fight and that the fight took place on grass, which completely conflicts with Zimmerman’s story that he was being beaten up with Treyvon on top bang his head on concrete. The video also shows absolutely no injuries of substance on Zimmerman. The biggest thing to come out however was that the lead detective in charge did not believe Zimmerman’s story and wanted to charge him with manslaughter.

        • MG6

          Keep on rewriting the facts and maybe you’ll start believing them.  

        • wylrae

          So having your head slammed against the grass covered ground excludes you from being beaten up.  Okay, so it is not concrete but if it is being done to you it sure may feel like it is.  Watched the police video and didn’t think Zimmerman was all that big; thought he probably weighted quite a bit less than I do (around 225 to 230) so thought he might be around 200 or slightly less.

          • PPAA

            It appears that Zimmerman lied about the facts and it is very likely that it was Zimmerman that was doing the beating. He certainly was the one who initiated the confrontation.

            There was no evidence in the video that Zimmerman suffered any beating.

            Trayvon only weighted 170 lbs and was 17 years old. Zimmerman was muscular and according to reports Zimmerman weighted well over 200 lbs.

        • Hokma

          Hey PPAA – Imagine. Just 24 hours later the police said they gave Zimmerman first aid. Now what do you race baiters got?

          • PPAA

            Watch the video. There is no evidence that Zimmerman needed first aid. What did he need a bandaid? What we do know is that Trayvon did not need first aid.

          • Hokma

            PPAA – He got it BEFORE they took him to the station house you utter moron.

      • Hokma

        Hey moron. Look at the video again. Notice when they are outside the patrol car before entering the station house, how one officer looked at the back of Zimmerman’s head to check out the wound.

        What you communist infiltrators are perpetrating was expecting the police were simply going to allow Zimmerman to keep bleeding in the car and in the station house. Ever hear of First Aid?

        Amazing how ignorant liberal are and expect everyone else to as stupid. Also, that video is so bad you could not even distinguish Zimmerman’s nose that well.

        But how often do you clowns get another Duke Lacrosse case your way?

        • Veronica Verona

          The only thing that has credibility is the police, the undoctored police vids (ABC should  be brought on charges) and EMT reports.  The rest is just conjectured and obfuscated crap from  UID headquarters.

        • mumphrey

          What kind of wound is on Zimmerman’s head?  There’s no blood.  No bandage.  As has been brought up a thousand times elsewhere, head wounds bleed badly, even small ones.

          I do like your “communist infiltrator” crack, though.  You might be a little off, here, though.  I’m not a communist, and I haven’t “infiltrated” anything.  I was born here, though I don’t have a  birth certificate, only a certificate of live birth, so maybe you wouldn’t believe me.  Just wondering, though, how do you define “communist”?  What do you believe “communists” believe?  If you think I’m a communist, then I don’t think you altogether understand what communism is or what communists believe…

          • Hokma

            You are a commie and you infiltrated this blog.

    • Hokma

      This is a remark that certifies someone who does not have the slighest clue what free market capitalism is and is wedded to government planned economies – the first is uncertain while the second is highly predictable. Guess which one leads to greater economic expansion and prosperity?

      The reason M&A’s have been down is because we are in the midst of a prolonged weak and very uncertain economy.

      To make the remark at the end about bonuses proves once again that any moron get a law degree – especially at Harvard.

      As someone who has been involved in many deals involving venture capital and acquisitions, the heartbeat of  free market capitalism is the dynamics of capital – not a bunch of D.C. lightweights thinking they can pilot the economy.

      The only one embarrasing anyone is yourself for making such ignorant remarks. Stick to what you know if you are going to insult.

      • win43

        If M&A activity always drops in a weak economy, why has nobody ever demonstrated a correlation between economic contraction and declining M&A activity?

        It’s easy to pretend to be smart until somebody pushes back on it, Hokma. So go ahead and prove what you’re saying. Prove to me with credible evidence that M&A activity always declines when GDP growth slows, and always rises when growth accelerates.

        In advance, because you can’t, because there is no such evidence: you’re full of shit.

        • Hokma

          More proof that any idiot can get a law degree. You must have flunked eco 101.

          Go read some friggin books – I am not inclined to educate here.

          • win43

            Hahaha, the last resort of the beaten man… “I can’t be bothered to explain this to you right now.”

            That’s because you can’t explain it at all.

          • Veronica Verona

            Was it the same university that gave out the expensive, yet seemly worthless, piece of paper -to 8th grade reading level thesis writer Michelle Obama?   A piece of paper that said she was so proficient in her field that after the bar exam of course, she had to surrender her license four years later?  Not to mention her guest lecturer ( not really fully employed or tenured) husband…

            Let’s see whom should one believe – The Financial Times or Win 43?

          • win43

            Veronica: that “Michelle had to surrender her license” lie again?”

            Her license is inactive, but still in good standing. She voluntarily deactivated it because when you aren’t in a position which requires you to have one, it’s a pain in the ass (and costs money) to keep it active. That’s not the same as surrendering the license altogether. If she wanted to activate it tomorrow, she could.

            Snopes dealt with this already:

          • wylrae

            You would be wasting your time to educate a liberal; discussing anything with one is about like trying to pick up a turd by its clean end!

          • Hokma

            win43 – you’re embarrassing yourself. You obviously have never been involved in this market and therefore have no clue. So instead you just make it up. ANYONE in investment banking can give you this answer. Certainly you must know someone. But then by telling them that you believe that there is no correlation you will be laughed at. Go for it fool.

          • win43

            Veronica: you’re lying again. You’re linking to a blog front page that doesn’t even show an article with the information you’re “citing.” Snopes actually looked at the records.

            You’re a liar.

          • win43

            Hokma: I’m asking YOU. If it’s so easy to explain… just explain it. I anxiously await your reply. M&A and GDP growth rates: what’s the link?

      • win43

        I mean, Hokma… you need to look before you leap, bud.

        “The reason M&A’s have been down is because we are in the midst of a prolonged weak and very uncertain economy.”

        I’m sure you’re unaware, but 2011 was the busiest M&A year since 2008.

        But were we not “in the midst of a prolonged weak and very uncertain economy” in 2011? LOL.

        And now the economy is inching upward, and M&A is down. Go figure.

        • Hokma

          Your comparing 2011 to 2008? You’re an idiot. Figure it out yourself moron. You don’t know shit about eocnomics.

          Hint: the friggin recession started in 2007.

          • win43

            “the friggin recession started in 2007″

            Do you even know what a recession is? There were zero quarters of contraction in 2007. Zero. Unemployment was under 5%.

            That’s not a recession. LOL, you just can’t stop stepping in shit, can you?

          • Hokma

            Apparently you do not know what a recession cycle is – what the leading and lagging indicators are you friggin moron or that it is just part of a normal business cycle and what that is. Another indication that any idiot can get a law degree. You should have taken a course in Eco 101. And you complete lack of understanding of venture capital and its role in our economy is staggering.

          • win43

            Oh, so you want to take December of 2007, and say that month of contraction should mean we consider the data from the whole year as a year of “recession?”

            Yeah, okay. You must be a real business whiz with that kind of reasoning.

            • Hokma

              Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

              Look, you don’t know economics and you are way over your head here. So responding to you is a waste of time as your baseless comments.

          • win43

            By the way: still waiting for your brilliant explication of the link between M&A rates and economic growth/contraction. You’ve done a decent job of raising distractions to protect yourself from your inability to answer the original question, but the crickets on the M&A point are getting deafening.

          • win43


            “Look, you don’t know economics and you are way over your head here.”

            Pot, meet kettle.

            I am calling you out as directly as I can, here. You realize you have zero credibility right now, because you are obviously unable to explain something that you say is easy to explain. You have made dozens of comments to this post — you obviously have time for one more. The only reason you aren’t offering an explanation is that you don’t have one.

            If I’m wrong, and you can explain the link between M&A and growth rates with credible evidence, PROVE IT. 

            Until then, you’re just a dumbass with a keyboard who bit off more than he could chew.

  • win43

    I’d really like to meet this strawman you have constructed who keeps says that “things, economic wise, are just swell.”

    I mean, you call me out by name in your post, but I’ve never said anything close to that. I’ve consistently said that things are slowly improving — too slowly for comfort, and there’s a long way to go. But all the evidence we have says that the overall economy (which comprises much more than Larry’s friend’s house and Best Buy) IS improving. Things are not “swell” and will not be for a very long time, at this pace. But at least things are getting a little better every month.

    I frankly don’t see what’s controversial about that.

    • Popsmoke

      “I frankly don’t see what’s controversial about that.”

      I have a friend who is a national sales director for a major HAVAC manufacturer who basically says everything is at a standstill. What movement there is a extremely small. They are about ready to right off 2012 and its only March….

      We are barely keeping pace and all it will take is for the floor to fall out from underneath us one more time…

      Then you’ll get the picture……

      • mumphrey

        Idon’t think that the plural of “anecdote” is “data”.  Just saying…

        • Popsmoke

          Your right a anecdote is not data. But it can represent reality. In this case we are not talking about a small company or a company who does  not have market share. But one of the top five on this rock.

    • Larry Johnson

      You’d “really like to meet this strawman?”  Look in the mirror. Or simply read PPAA, “Obama has done a very good job at turning the economy around and getting things moving in the right direction.”

      You are a moron.

      • win43

        Larry… things ARE moving in the right direction. Slowly. Read what I wrote. Things can be moving in the right direction — which I do say — without being “swell — which you falsely say I say.

        I’m starting to think that actually YOU are a moron. I’m sorry, but it’s hard to conclude otherwise based on your demonstrated level of reading comprehension. Either that, or you’re just a rageaholic who misreads things on purpose.

        • Hokma

          Moving in the right direction? Keeping believing that crap as inflation sets in idiot. Where does high energy prices lead all the time? Go read some Eco 101 books.

          • PPAA

            Some inflation would actually be good for the economy.

            However, there is not much inflation and no expectations for any significant increase in inflation any time soon.

            Energy prices overall have actually been down with historic low natural gas and coal prices. Oil/gasoline has been higher, but what will you be saying if the price of gasoline starts to fall again once all this Iran concern begins to wane? 

          • Hokma

            PPAA – Your comment is just too comical to respond to.

        • Veronica Verona

          That is an arrogant and rude response.  If you don’t like what is posted and discussed here you are certainly welcome to let the cyber screen door hit you on your way out.

          If you need to parse points, The National Bureau of Economic Research marks Dec, 2007 as the beginning of the recession – despite the 4th quarter GDP growth of .9 in 2007.  It was statistically insignificant growth.

          Fifty two months after the mark of the recession unemployment is around 15%. Some estimates of GDP growth under Obama are as high as 2.8 over his term – not statistically significant.

          There is no real growth or relief in unemployment.

          It’s a fantasy to believe otherwise.

          • win43

            That’s idiotic.

            What the hell do you mean 2.8% growth isn’t statistically significant? You have no idea what that term even means, apparently. Measurement of GDP is not an estimate based on sampling or correlative variables. Thus, “statistical significance” does not come into GDP growth measurements. The measurement is the measurement.

            It’s like talking to eighth graders. You folks use all these terms, and you don’t even understand them.

          • Veronica Verona

            If we’re eighth graders then why don’t you just graduate on over to Huffy Poop.  They like your kind and I’m sure you’d find worshippers there.

            As for being arrogant and rude.  That still stands.

            The statistics of change over time is insignificant.  Sheesh it’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a bagel.

          • win43


            “The statistics of change over time is insignificant.  Sheesh it’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a bagel.”

            Pure gibberish. If I measure a thing at 100, and a year later I measure it at 103, it has increased at an annual rate of 3%.

            The concept of statistical significance does not enter into it. There is a data point at the beginning, and one at the end, and they are what they are.

            Don’t pretend to understand things you don’t. It’s unflattering.

          • Hokma

            win43 – Here we go again. Clearly you have no knowledge of recessions and their history. After all this time to have 2.8% growth is not significant. We should have been booming by now.

            But like how FDR took a depression and made it into the great depression, Obama took a basic recession and turned it into the great recession by not learning the lessons of FDR and just repeating them – something no prior President – all who faced recessions did since FDR.

            Instead of insulting others, why don’t you take your obviously worthless law degree and go sue your school for not giving you the education you paid for.

            Instead of picking up on ignorant left wing socialist economic blogs or the lies that come out of the White House, go read a book or two on capitalist economic theory and history – not Marx.

          • PPAA

            “That is an arrogant and rude response.”

            That is funny coming from you and related to LJ and NQ. All there is on here is “arrogant and rude responses” from LJ and the NQbots.

            Unemployment is 8.3%. If you want to look at the 15% of U6, then great. It too has fallen significantly over the last 3 years.

            Actually GDP at 2.8% would be slightly above average economic growth for the U.S. over the last 50 years, so not insignificant. At the height of the recession the economy was shrining by an astonding 10%, so that is quite a reversal from where we have been. I would say adding more than 3 million to the labor force over the last 3 years is significant. I would also say we have come a long way from the near 800,000 a month in jobs we were losing to now doing +200,000 a month or a near 1.0 million a month job reversal.

            I would also add  that this jobs recovery is actually stronger than the jobs recovery after the 2002 recession and it has been tracking about exactly what happened during the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, the darling of conservatives and the GOP.

            Reagan: January 1980 (when took office) unemployment rate was 7.5%
            Obama: January 2009 was 7.6%.
            Reagan: June 1982 unemployment 9.6%
            Obama: June 2011 was 9.5%
            Reagan: December 1982 unemployment 8.3%
            Obama: December 2011 unemployment 8.5%

            Reagan: January 1984 unemployment 8.0%
            Obama: January 2012 unemployment 8.3% 

            On second election day Reagan was at 7.4%. Obama may not get that low, but he may get it below 8% with a positive trend.

            The Fed actually came out this week and said it could be 6% by first half 2013.

          • win43

            Look up “statistical significance” sometime, Hokma. That’s what we’re talking about — not whether the number is big or small, but whether the concept of statistical significance applies.

            Give it up.

          • Hokma

            win43 –

            Obviously reading comprehension is a challenge for you.

            I said the 2.8% was not significant – not statistically significant – and at this stage it is not significant. As Popsmoke indicated with his anecdote companies and the economy are just  treading water.

      • PPAA


        In all your economic comments on NQ over the years and with your Tsunami of a double dip recession predictions you have been continueously wrong. You have never been able to prove that our economy is not improving. Even Romney admits that. You truly live in the NQ bubble that you have constructed for yourself with it self affirming backslappers.

        Still waiting for the double dip recession you again forecasted just a couple of months ago.

    • Hokma

      There is no significant improvement in the economy. Growth is very weak. Unemployment data is unreliable given how prolonged this weak economy has been and how many have given up looking or are in part-time jobs.

      And the second shoe is dropping. Inflation. High energy prices and a weak dollar translate to inflation in all sectors. If you ran a company you would understand how that works. That inflation will lead to a new round of lower employment (see Carter Stagflation).

      The average American is still not confident in the economy and as importantly the average business owners isn’t either.

      These are economic fundamentals which, unfortunately, the cool guy in the Oval Office is clueless about.

      • win43

        Wow, what else is happening in your fantasy world?

        “There is no significant improvement in the economy.”

        Growth nosed back up to 3% in the 4th quarter. That’s not a roaring comeback, but neither is it insignificant.

        “And the second shoe is dropping. Inflation.”

        Gas prices are up, but the CPI is holding steady, well under 1% month-to-month. There’s more to inflation than gasoline.

        “The average American is still not confident in the economy”

        True, but overstated. Consumer confidence is up substantially from 2007, though not yet at the irrational lets-buy-another-house highs of the Bush years. And the PS index has been moving steadily up.

        It’s a fragile recovery, but the gains have been real. I know you’re wishing with all your might for another crash so that your political wishes come true, but that’s not where the signs are pointing.

        Except for the signs in your head, that is.

        • Hokma

          Hey Chauncey –

          I said “higher energy prices and a weak dollar.” Those are concepts that nmay be beyond your pay scale and education. That leads to inflation and legit economists have been talking about inflation that is happening now – particularly in packaged goods.

          Obviously as a lawyer you don;t have a real job and never ran a company. But escalating energy privces effect every single line   item in a P&L. And in an economy as weak as we have a company has two choices – cut back expenses or raise prices. Am I going to fast for you?

          Since companies have already cut back as much as they can, then raising prices is the only alternative.

          This exact scenario happened during Jimmy Carter’s watch. It does not happen in one day but it will be a major issue this summer.

          Unfortunately for you communists we do not live in a planned government controlled economy – not yet at least.

          • win43

            Um, 4th quarter growth was 3% (annualized) on the dot. Not sure where you’re getting your number.

            I tell you what. Why don’t we just revisit this in six months.I say growth continues. You say we’re going to slide back into recession. We’ll see who is right.

          • Veronica Verona

            The Chauncey reference –  LOL!  

            It would appear that the botfly’s cover has been blown! 

            Good one, Hokma!

      • PPAA

        I get it. You do not believe the economic data. Fine. You have your own economic data in your head.

        However, polling shows that Americans are getting more optimistic about the economy, so no matter what you or LJ or NQ say, Americans are not buying it.