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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shame all around (Michael Pento) and a few Grandpa comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Other Michael Pento Posts
By: Michael Pento

Shame on the Department of Labor for once again having to revise the previous week’s initial jobless claims number higher. In the week ending December 11th, Initial claims came in at 420k, after being revised up by 2k in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits rose by 22,000 in the week ended Dec. 4 to 4.14 million. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs. Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments increased by 324,537 to 4.83 million in the week ended Nov. 27.

On another front, the U.S. continues to hemorrhaging red ink on every front. The U.S. current account deficit widened to $127.2 billion in the third quarter from $123.2 billion in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported today. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit increased to 3.5% in the third quarter, which was the largest share since the fourth quarter of 2008, from 3.4% in the second quarter. The overall deficit widened as the deficit on goods hit $171.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with $169.6 billion in the second quarter. The current account deficit consists of the trade deficit (exports minus imports of goods and services), net factor income (such as interest and dividends) and net transfer payments (such as foreign aid) and is the broadest measure of capital moving outside of the United States.

So the ersatz recovery is well on track but it is completely based on massively upping the ante on borrowing and printing. Just a minor detail investors would do well not to ignore. Shame...

Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital is a well-established specialist in the “Austrian School” of economics. He is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, and other national media outlets and his market analysis can be read in most major financial publications, including the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining Euro Pacific, Michael worked for a boutique investment advisory firm to create ETFs and UITs that were sold throughout Wall Street. Earlier in his career, he worked on the floor of the NYSE.

Additional observation by Grandpa:
The Department of Labor's seasonal adjustments have not remotely accounted for the actual # of people filing initial jobless claims. Granted, the U.S. stock market does not care about any "real" figure given the fact that Bernanke has afforded the market manipulators ample capital to push stocks to the moon.

Today, the Department of Laughter Labor reported seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims of 420,000 although the non-seasonally adjusted claims (a.k.a. real people standing in line) was 486,284. For the prior week report (12/4/10), the Department of Laughter Labor reported seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims of 423,000 however the non-seasonally adjusted figure was 555,382. During this two week period, DOL seasonally adjusted out 198,667 Americans.

The DOL seasonally adjusted out the equivalent population of San Bernardino, CA and more than the entire population of Mobile, AL, Grand Rapids, MI or Fort Lauderdale, FL. Salt Lake City, UT would need to add 15,000 to their entire population just to equal the number of people DOL adjusted out of the initial claims report during the prior two weeks.

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