Tuesday, March 8, 2011



Employment: According to the Washington State Employment Security Department we lost 50,540 jobs in this state in January. The Evergreen State’s unemployment rate went up to 9.7% (the U3 number, or those who are collecting unemployment benefits). That means that 338,910 folks are on the U3 roles and that includes 15,910 new claims that have been filed, SO FAR! In addition the U6 number or the TOTAL number of folks who are unemployed or marginally employed increased to 642,880 as Washington’s U6 percentage rose to a record 18.4% in January. Particularly disturbing with these numbers is the fact that 64,930 folks dropped out of the work force around the state, because most of them have given up trying to find a job. Snohomish County was hit particularly hard with a new U3 number of 10.1% or 38,090 collecting benefits and a U6 number of 69,392!

For those of you who follow my blogs you know that I have said that the indications are that Washington is in a double dip recession. This is very bad news for the State Legislature awaiting news from the Department of Revenue about to issue its revenue forecast for the remainder of the year. With this many job losses, the news is not expected to be good. That means that the 6.8 Billion dollar deficit “can” the Democrats seek to “kick down the road” over into the next fiscal year on 7/1 may end up being a lot more than that figure.

In the all important housing market here in Washington, things are bleak to say the least. The latest RealtyTrac numbers are stark. 4,981 new home foreclosures and a total of 37,207 since this recession began. That depresses not just the sale of housing but also the value of homes on the market. With a large number or ARM’s about to be re-set over the next 60 days and with even more mortgages about to go “under water”, that will impact future foreclosures amongst many who are currently in default.

In conclusion, we are lagging the rest of the country, still struggling with what is being referred to as a “modest recovery”. Many analysts conclude that the three states on the West Coast are all suffering a double dip recession to include Oregon and California. Alan Greenspan has commented on the problems with the nation’s economy and his candid assessment is not very positive.
Editor's notes: With regard to the Sunday Seattle Times story about problems with the “Monster Can” that the moron Democrats have “kicked down the road”; It is nothing but a pack of lies. The real numbers: 20 Billion dollars in unfunded liabilities for the “Union” pension plans; and many other lies that exist only to confuse the voters in this state who ARE OBLIGATED TO PAY FOR THESE EXPENDITURES BY WAY OF TAXES! As for the reporter Mr. Andrew Garber, he obviously has a very low IQ or he is a liar! You decide! My blog on the matter is correct.

Friday, March 4, 2011



Candid Comments from the Former Fed Chief!

In a remarkable interview that occurred on CNBC early on Friday 3/4; Alan Greenspan made a number of comments that I doubt will ever be published (except by me) but here is what he said according to my notes.

“QE2 may have harmed the US economy, but we won’t know for a while just how much damage has been done!” Bernanke disagrees.

“The Todd-Frank Bill is very problematic and needs major changes. They need to be done ASAP. The US Regulatory environment is hurting the US economic recovery and that includes the Financial Reform Law (Todd-Frank).”

“Distressed home sales are dragging the economy down. When the subprime loans go underwater they default, leading to declines in prices brought about by foreclosures and short sales. Those price declines simply drag even more homes into default.” He also said, “Conventional loans rarely default when they go underwater.”

Food price inflation will continue because as the emerging markets change their diets from grains to meat; supply and demand causes prices to rise. There is a finite amount of land on earth to grow grains to feed animals.”

A number of comments he made with regard to oil prices:

1. “Brent sea crude is the benchmark for oil prices.”
2. “$100 plus per barrel oil might derail the economic recovery.”

He also commented that the price of gold had to do with the number of corporations and individuals who are “concerned that the economy may not recover from the recession and are buying gold as a hedge.”

He said that, “Problems in Europe with the Euro could also derail a US economic recovery.”

Unemployment: Greenspan said that the “reason we are having a continued high unemployment rate has to do with the fact that before the recession businesses simply had to spend money to increase market share to improve earnings. After the recession companies began investing in ways to REDUCE COSTS. With productivity improvements they don’t have to have as many employees to do the same amount of work.”

Editor’s notes: Frankly this is the first time I have ever heard Greenspan this candid about much of anything. I was particularly stunned by his comments that seemed to me to be VERY NEGATIVE about the prospects of an economic recovery anytime soon.