Bob Brinker said that there is a lot going on in the financial markets so "let's get right to it." Brinker began by giving the latest data from the unemployment report that was released on Friday and commenting on it. Here is where to find the data: United States Department of Labor report (link)
Some of Brinker's viewpoints about the job market:
* The 8.1% jobless rate was "essentially on target in terms of month of February"
* There were some upward revision to December and January, unemployment "rising substantially."
* Economists were predicting a 200,000 drop in jobs -- it came in at 168,000.
* There are people out that that are not included in these statistics because they have given up looking for work or have settled for part-time.
* This is the highest unemployment rate since 1983 when it reached over 10%.
* Globalization (and the recession) has taken factory work from the United States. "Remember the hubcap theory." There are millions of people in other countries who will work for "pennies on the dollar" compared to workers in the U.S.
* We are a service-based economy and will continue to be so going forward.
* General Motors announced 47,000 global layoffs. Chrysler 3000. Auto parts are having the same problems.
STOCK MARKET AND "THE ADMINISTRATION": Brinker said: "This is what happens in a recession and it certainly is not pretty. The people who invest in the stock market are well aware of it. The stock market has continued under pressure because of the credit market situation where we just have not had a resolution here of the banking situation here......
...... Now we've talked on Moneytalk and we talked about the laser beam focus that the administration has to have on this. And they of course have not had it. They've had the omnibus approach which is really off-target. We've talked about the need to stabilize the financial system. We've talked about the essential need to get credit flowing in the economy to make it possible for you to buy a house, a car, something with credit.........and we have implored the central government to focus on the economy.....
..... Have they stabilized the financial system? I don't think they have. When we look at the banking system, the stress test, the lack of transparency to date, I don't think at this hour they've stabilized the financial system very well. And I think that is why the stock market is where it is, and that's why investor psychology is where it is right now. Tremendous amount of fear out there right now.....
.....And have they restored the flow of credit? No they haven't. They're still working on that one. They have their TALF effort.......hopefully that will be helpful, but look how long it's taking....
.....Here's the acid test for this administration. Their seven weeks in and that's long enough for us to give a preliminary reaction. Have they focused like a laser beam on the economy from the moment they took office? Well, I'll be honest with you. I think the answer is no......
..... Regardless of its merits or demerits, reconstructing the health care system is not the priority today -- it just isn't. Going after the educational system -- making changes there -- that's not the priority today. This is where the priority, I think, gets off the track for right now. If there is one thing about this administration that's very puzzling, it's the lack of prioritization.....
......For crying out loud! Stabilize things in the financial system, in the banking system, get credit moving again. Focus like a laser beam on getting the economy back on a track. Nobody expects it to happen overnight, but these are the things that have to be done and obviously, they have not been done.....
...... And when you see an omnibus bill come out on stimulus and you see that a lot of the bill is about health care, about education, even the energy part of it is off-target. You cannot address the energy situation with windmills and solar panels -- we've been over that before. You're talking about such a minuscule part of the situation that it shouldn't even be wasting your time to talk about it. Talk about 1%, 2%, what about the other 96, 98% of the problem. And we've talked about the solutions to that -- that have been ignored completely by the administration. So it's very, very hard to be happy with what this administration has done in its 7 weeks in office.__This is Moneytalk.
Honeybee EC: Well, well, well, Brinker's "not happy" with what "this administration" has done in 7 weeks in office. BTW: Mr. Brinker, the man took the oath of office as Barack Hussein Obama, not "this administration." You never had any problem saying Hilary Diane Christine Evita Rodham Clinton, Cactus John McCain or "Bush"! Now you try your best not to even say Obama's name. What ARE you afraid of???
And another thing, back in January, you said Obama was one of the "smartest presidents in the last half century." Is he not as smart as you imagined? Have you forgotten that all of these people were appointed by Barack Obama?
It was only three weeks ago that Brinker was shouting "for crying out loud, give the man a chance," and demeaning "those people" who don't like Obama's BIG spending package. Here is the (link) to my summary of Brinker's big rant about those who "Rushhh" to judgment.
Here are some of my comments from the January 24th Summary:
"Then he attacked a large segment of Americans who DO CARE about this country, and that is WHY they oppose this stimulus package -- or large parts of it. "Those people" that Brinker spoke so condescendingly about (including the talk-show host that Brinker falsely accused) are not hoping for Obama to fail, they are hoping for this dangerous TRILLION-DOLLAR spending package to fail because they are convinced it will damage our country perhaps beyond repair!
Brinker wants to give Obama "time." Well, guess what, Obama and Pelosi are the ones who wanted this package passed IMMEDIATELY, in spite of the fact that Obama promised this "russhhh" to pass bills would not happen on his watch. And in spite of the fact that no one in the House or Senate had time to read the package -- even if they wanted to wade through 1100 pages."
TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Brinker also blamed the stock market decline on the February 10th speech by Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner. Brinker called it a "train wreck in the financial markets" and said: "The S&P 500 has lost 21 1/2% since the Secretary of the Treasury spoke about his plans for the banks. So say no more, it speaks for itself. So to show disappointment in these people is more than reasonable in terms of what they are doing about the problem." [Link to Geithner's speech]
FDIC and SHEILA BAIR (link): Brinker said he was "stunned" by what FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said, and felt that she was very irresponsible because (in his opinion) it is not true. Brinker quoted Bair as saying: "The FDIC insurance fund could be wiped out in 2009 unless new fees on the banks and thrift companies are raised." Brinker "guesses" they will extend the $250,000 limit on FDIC insurance beyond 2009 because they "won't want a run on the banks."
INFLATION: Brinker said there is "little inflation."
RECESSION: Brinker called it "deep and severe" and said it reminds people of the 1974 recession. Brinker said: "We will see how it plays out. Maybe it becomes more severe than that."
Brinker's Saturday guest-speaker was Leonard Santow, Do They Walk on Water?: Federal Reserve Chairman and the Fed (link)
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