Friday, January 7, 2011

The Magic Of Ignorance

Through the magic of ignorance, the US Labor Department today reports that the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.8% to 9.4%. Funny that!

The Labor Department reported today that 103,000 "new" jobs were created in December, and the unemployment rate FELL 0.4%. Last month the Labor Department reported that 39,000 "new" jobs were created, and the unemployment rate ROSE 0.2% from 9.6% to 9.8%. "New" jobs were "created" in both November and December, but the unemployment rate rose in one month, and fell in the other. How can that be?

Oh grasshopper, you asked the silliest questions. Everybody knows that the unemployment number is about as accurate as a blind man shooting deer in a snowstorm. The unemployment number don't mean diddly squat. It is just a number trotted out for the headlines once a month to "stoke the confidence of the masses".

Consider this angle young economic Jedi's. Last months Non-farm payrolls report came out amidst the Congressional bickering over extending the Bush Tax Cuts. Bearing in mind that these "tax cuts" are really a form of fiscal stimulus in disguise, it wouldn't be wise for the Labor Department to show a fall in unemployment during a discussion about "boosting the economy" now would it? Of course not! And thus we get a rise in unemployment in the headlines in December.

Now that the extension of the Bush tax Cuts is a done deal, the headline must show that it was the right decision for the economy and that instant success is the result. And therefore kids it is only obvious why we get a "big drop" in unemployment in January, even though the number of "new" jobs created was far less than expected, er, hoped for.

Call me a cynic, but consider this fact: The deal made to extend the Bush tax Cuts did not include an "extension" of jobless benefits for those that have reached the present 99 week maximum. Yes, yes, there was an extension of the "emergency unemployment extension" that allowed those on a previous extension to get benefits "up to 99 weeks", but there was NO EXTENSION for those who had reached the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits already. The folks who have now lost their unemployment benefits are known as The 99ers.

Yes, it is confusing, but suffice it to say, if you have been on unemployment for 99 weeks, you no longer qualify for further unemployment benefits...AND you are no longer a government statistic. Yep, if you no longer collect unemployment, and don't have a job, you are NOT considered "unemployed" when the unemployed are counted by the brilliant statisticians at the US Labor Department.

Crazy? Hey, the TRUTH hurts. Ignore the truth, and live pain free!

It has been reported that more than one million people lost their unemployment benefits last month while the Congress debated extending the Bush Tax Cuts. It has also been reported that four million more will lose their benefits next year because their 99 weeks of unemployment have expired. Can we look forward to a falling unemployment number in the headlines for months to come as more and more of these 99ers fall into the abyss of labor Department ignorance? It sure would help to make the Congress' decision to extend the Bush Tax Cuts look brilliant...even if it if does quicken the country's pace towards insolvency.

House adjourns with no mention of tier 5 unemployment extension for 99ers
December 23rd, 2010
Naomi Cohn
The House of Representatives yesterday evening passed a motion to adjourn the 111th Congress with no mention of H.R. 6556, the bill that would have provided unemployment benefits for the 99ers.

The 112th Congress begins on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011. It is unlikely to pass legislation providing unemployment benefits for the 99ers. When asked about the future of the 99ers earlier this week, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the President intends to focus on job creation.

Michael Colliss worked for 21 years as a staff member in Congress. He is now retired and works as a volunteer advocate for the 99ers.

Colliss wrote of the 99ers, "There are at least 5 million hardworking Americans who have lost their job through no fault of their own during this the greatest economic crisis since the 1929 Great Depression and who have run out of benefits yet still been unable to find work. Every day millions of these “99ers” look for work in some job markets where new job openings may not even exist. These good and decent people, many of who have worked all their lives, have had to endure the loss of a job, a loss that they did nothing to incur. They have had to see loss of homes, loss of possessions and many of them for the first time in their lives have had to apply for assistance in the form of food stamps, assistance from food banks, and other social service agencies. Many of them have experienced depression and despair at almost debilitating levels. Many of them – despite not having done anything to cause their present circumstances – are feeling a loss of self worth and a loss of dignity. This is not a small group – it is a group that is growing by tens of thousands of people every single week. In the coming year it will become a crisis that will be even greater (if that is possible to imagine) than it is now in this week before Christmas, 2010."

I guess we can look forward then to more "drops in unemployment" as the Labor Department counts fewer people collecting unemployment, even though the number of people actually jobless stays the same.

From the Department of Labor's own press release today:

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 6.4 million and accounted for 44.3 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate edged down in December to 64.3 percent, and the employment- population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.3 percent. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in December at 8.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in December, little different than a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.3 million discouraged workers in December, an increase of 389,000 from December 2009. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

This hardly looks like an improving jobs environment to me. But hey, the headlines say the unemployment rate is down, so it must be. The headlines never lie, right? OR DO THEY?

Gold broke higher immediately on this mornings Non-farm Payrolls Report as the number "missed expectations" substantially. Recall that ADP reported an increase in jobs last month of 297,000. Today's jobs number was reported as 103,000...and even that number is dubious as it was conjured by the statisticians at the US Department of Labor. Gold popped $5 an ounce as the jobs number hit the wires at 8:30AM est. It stalled their briefly as the number was digested, and the shocking drop in the headline unemployment number was investigated.

Then, following the London PM Gold Fix being posted at 10AM est., Gold broke higher yet again and took out the recent down trend in place since Tuesdays bear raid by the bullion banks. After a brief visit this morning below key support at $1365 in advance of the jobs report, Gold has now regained the high ground from the bears. $1375 will act as near term resistance now. However, to regain bullish momentum, Gold must reestablish itself ABOVE $1385 soon.

Silver has been beaten with an ugly stick this week. At one point early this morning it was down over 8% since the markets opened Monday. This is absurd, as NOTHING regarding the growing supply shortages in Silver globally has been resolved. Silver always moves in Gold's shadow, and this week has been no different. It's market is much smaller than Gold's and therefore it's volatility is greater than that in Gold. Those waiting for a correction in Silver may have just witnessed it. A move back above $29.50 should put the bulls back in control of Silver.

I remain unabashedly bullish on the Precious Metals. These bear raids are nothing more than an opportunity to take advantage of the stupidity of our central bankers. They are hell bent on destroying the US Dollar despite their protestations to the contrary. Actions speak louder than words.

Never Forget... The Fed Caused The Economic Downturn
By Bob Chapman
Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, would have us believe that if it were not for QE1 unemployment would have been considerably higher. Since QE2 began in June, U6 has only improved by 1/4%. Perhaps better numbers are on the way, but that has not been an auspicious start. If we remember correctly almost all the funds in QE1 and now in QE2 have been lent to financial firms in the US and Europe, transnational conglomerates and governments and central banks. Most of those funds have been held on balance sheets to fain solvency. Very little has reached the public or to reduce unemployment. All we have to show for 2-1/2 years is a financial sector hanging on by a thread and more massive debt in the trillions.

What should be permanently stamped in your minds is that the financial carnage we have experienced is the fault of the Fed and the financial sector and that same Fed bailed out the crooks and left the public high and dry with 22-3/8% unemployment and a shattered residential and commercial real estate sector that is still two years from the bottom and perhaps 30 years away from appreciation.

It is despicable for Mr. Bernanke to have insinuated he helped avert higher unemployed when it was the policy of the owners of the Fed and Wall Street and banking, which was the cause of the worst depression since the "Great Depression" of the 1930s. It should be noted that the end of the damage is nowhere in sight. Throwing trillions of dollars at a problem doesn't solve it, and in this case will only make it get worse. In addition, trillions of dollars in wealth were destroyed and as a reward for their greed the Fed, which allowed the public to pay for the Ponzi scheme, protected the financial sector.

What The Silver Vigilantes Understand That You Probably Don't
By Mark McHugh
Sorry about the insulting headline, but every last shred of evidence I can find suggests that the most people remain utterly clueless about silver, despite the efforts of the silver vigilantes, led by Max Keiser and Mike Kreiger. Their brilliantly simple plan (go get some physical silver) promises to topple the criminally insane fraud that has become US economy. It doesn't require politicians or regulators to lift a finger either, you simply take advantage of what is undoubtedly an artificially low price. I can completely understand anyone who is skeptical of that last statement; I'm sure you've been burned before, but that doesn't mean you should stop seeking truth.

So what's silver worth?
The short answer is: more. If silver were priced based on its occurrence relative to gold, it would be over $125/oz. If it were priced on its availability - somewhere around $2,000. But if you are content to let the likes of Blythe Masters dictate the value based on truckloads of worthless paper promises, you can expect ultra-low prices until the whole thing blows up. Of course at that point, we'll be so busy killing each other for food no one will have time to say, "I told you so."

The silver vigilantes just want you to re-learn what the phrases like, "cold, hard cash," and "payment in full" are supposed to mean. There not asking you to sink everything you have into physical silver, just a little. Silver can't be printed into oblivion, or stolen by a cyber attack. Why wouldn't you want to own some of your very own?

A paper dollar from 1960 is worth exactly the same as a paper dollar in 2010, but four quarters from 1960 are worth more than $21. Given the fiscal insanity of the US government, I can't imagine the US dollar surviving another 50 years, but I'm quite sure that silver will still be useful.

Please consider getting some.

John Embry - Gold Over $2,000, Silver Above $50 in 2011
Eric King,
With a sharp two day correction in gold and silver taking place, King World News today interviewed John Embry, Chief Investment Strategist at Sprott Asset Management. When asked about the quick decline Embry stated, “This may be the best opportunity you’re going to get at least from a price sense to buy gold and silver in the next few days. I think when this correction however long it will last is over, it will probably mark the lows for the year which will then be the liftoff to the eleventh consecutive year of higher gold prices.”

When asked once again about tightness in the silver market Embry remarked, “There is infinitely more demand for physical silver than there is supply. I mean all of this stuff coming out of the ground is long since spoken for by traditional industrial and medical uses and what have you. And now with investor interest picking up, I just saw that on the 3rd of January there was 1.7 million silver coins sold in the United States which was equal to the amount that was sold in all of the month of December. So, investment demand for silver is going off the chart, this could only mean dramatically higher prices.”

When asked about price targets for 2011 Embry replied, “I’d be disappointed if it didn’t trade through $2,000 this year, in that event if gold were to make a run at that, silver is a layup for $50.”$2,000,_Silver_Above_$50_in_2011.html

Jim Rickards - Gold Standard Coming, Fed’s Hoenig Correct
Eric King,
Fed Governor Hoenig shocked many observers yesterday when he stated, “The gold standard is a very legitimate monetary system...We're not going to have fewer crises necessarily. You will have a longer period of price stability or price level stability, but I don't know that you'll have lower unemployment, I don't know that you'll have fewer bank failures.” King World News immediately interviewed Jim Rickards who has worked with both the Fed & US Treasury, and who also has a background in national defense as well as consulting with government directorates around the world.

Jim, you said that battle lines would be drawn on this debate and this is the second major figure who has joined with World Bank President Zoellick openly discussing the use of gold in the monetary system. What is your take on this development?

“What Hoenig has done, as Robert Zoellick did before him, is to legitimize the debate. This is not the last word on gold and there is a long way to go both intellectually and mechanically before we get to a gold standard. What is important is that the discussion is now out of the shadows and in the main arena and it will take on a life of its own from here with participation from many sides. Hoening may have lost his vote on FOMC but he has not lost his voice.”,_Feds_Hoenig_Correct.html

by Don Stott
We are asked or told, constantly it seems: 'Why should I buy gold or silver? I can't spend it at the grocery store or gas station?' Of course you can't, and neither can you spend stocks, bonds, or CDs at the super market or gas station, hardware store, or Walmart. You need dollars. We know that. Why should you buy gold and silver then? BECAUSE YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF DOLLARS, and be able to get back into them when you need them. Why get out of dollars? Because they are a failing measurement. It's like storing your water in a leaky bucket, and you wouldn't do that, would you? No? They why store your wealth in un-backed, printed by the trillion, paper scrip, known as dollars? Because they are 'liquid?' Sure, and water in a leaky bucket is liquid also, until the water is gone. Dollars are 'liquid' too, till their value is gone!

You need to get your surplus assets out of dollars, and into things which are TANGIBLE. I recently bought all new tangible appliances, because I knew their prices would go up in dollars. I buy gold and silver, because I know their prices will go up in dollars. All things tangible, or physical, will go up in dollars, as the value of dollars goes down. The value goes down constantly, such as oil now at $91 a barrel, when is used to be $2, or Hershey bars at $1.00, when they used to be a nickel, or gasoline at $3 a gallon, when it used to be 20 cents.

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