A major move in terms of job losses is underway and spells big trouble for an already anemic economy.

Check out these news blurbs:

The Wall Street Journal‘s article, “AmEx to Cut 8.5% of Staff,” reports that:

American Express Co. [has] set plans to cut 5,400 jobs in its biggest retrenchment in a decade, as it pares back a travel business that has been hammered by the rise of Internet-based hotel- and airfare-reservation services.

The same article in the Wall Street Journal also reports that:

American Express Co. is reportedly planning to slash hundreds of jobs, the New York Post’s Keith Kelly exclusively reported on Thursday. Sources told Kelly that the first round of layoffs, which were originally expected to hit last week, had been pushed back till next month.

Politico reported in its article, “Possible NYT layoffs rattle media”:

… in the news business, no one is safe — not even senior editors at The New York Times. The media business was shaken on Friday when it was reported, first in New York Magazine and confirmed by POLITICO, that managing editor John Geddes, assistant managing editor Jim Roberts, dining editor Susan Edgerley, former Washington editor Rick Berke, and former Times Magazine editor Jerry Mazorati could all be casualties of the Times’ effort to cut costs.

According to the article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Morgan Stanley Said to Plan 1,600 Investment-Banking Job Cuts”:

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, plans to cut about 1,600 jobs from its investment bank in coming weeks, a person familiar with the matter said.

A friend of mine who works for FEDEX told me just before Christmas that FEDEX will be laying off a significant number of pilots and drivers. FEDEX is planning to reduce its work force.

It is time for the Obama apologists to wake up and admit that the paltry economic growth of the last three years is not a sign of a vigorous, healthy economy.

We have significant problems. Unfortunately, the canaries in the economic mine shaft are starting to die.

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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.