Friday, April 5, 2013

March Payrolls Huge Miss; Economy a Pack of Lies, Rolling Over

Let's just get one thing straight: there are lies, statistics and more lies in their interpretation, and even worse prevarication when it comes to market response.

When today's March Non-Farm Payroll data was rolled out at 8:30 am EDT - an hour prior to the opening bell - the response in the futures was automatic and immediate.

On expectations that the recovering US economy was to have produced 197,000 new jobs during the month, the actual number - 88,000 - was a miss of such enormous magnitude that it begs for perspective.

The miss was the worst since December 2009, when the economy was still taking baby steps toward said recovery and it was the lowest number of new jobs since June of last year. Incredibly, the unemployment rate fell to 7.6%, though this was due to 663,000 individuals dropping out of the labor force, sending the labor participation rate to 63.3%, the lowest level since 1979, with a record 90 million Americans (aged 16 and up) out of the labor force.

Surely with numbers like these, the United States is on a sustainable path... to complete disintegration, anarchy and poverty. There simply is no way to get around how poorly the economy is performing, a full five years and three months after it entered recession in December 2007, and four years after it supposedly exited that recession (June 2009).

Whether or not one believes we ever exited the Great Recession (or, as some call it, the Greater Depression) is merely a matter of semantics, the truth is that the economy has been and is going nowhere fast. Growth is a chimera, more statistical noise boosted by inflation; jobs have been hard to come by and those that are available are mostly of the entry-level, burger-flipping variety. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to pump $85 billion into the banking system each and every month, and still, nothing.

The talking heads on CNBC and Bloomberg tried to blame it on everything from the weather to the sequester to the tax increase imposed in January to, probably, the phase of the moon, but the reality is that we have structural issues that are generational, worldwide and widely the cause of the gross inequalities between rich and poor, with the crony capitalists - in cahoots with cheap, shiftless politicians - pushing more and more debt onto a system already overburdened with it.

Anyone who purports to tell you that the economy is improving, ask them how and why, and wait for the usual non-answers that housing is improving (it's not), that there are more jobs (marginally, there are, but not enough to keep up with population growth) or, the usual, "this is America, and we are great," complete failure response.

The stock market took a huge dive at the open, the Dow losing as many as 172 points, the S&P off by 21 and the NASDAQ down a whopping 58 points before the riggers came in and bid up the whole complex - especially ramping it in the final half hour - to close down with losses erased by roughly two-thirds.

We are in a sad, sorry state of affairs, when what used to be the most efficient, dynamic markets in the world are now nothing more than a crooked casino, run by oligarchs, bankers and unseen hands that are both out of control and above the law.

Significantly, gold and silver were both up sharply on the day, as the flight to safety finally made an appearance.

This economy is rolling over, like a sick patient who hasn't received the correct treatment. We're about to go into a tailspin that will make 2008 look like a casual stroll along the beach. The bankers, politicians and the media continues to spin the happy "recovery" meme, when all data shows the economy going in reverse. Data-wise, the US was a woeful 0-for-6 the past eight days, with the Chicago PMI missing the mark, along with the ISM index, the ISM services index, the ADP employment report, initial unemployment claims and finally, today's non-farm payrolls.

How many misses and bad data points will it take for the politicians to admit their policies are failures, the media to admit they are blind and the bankers admit they've been robbing common people blind since time immemorial?

Nobody should be holding their breath waiting, that's for sure.

Dow 14,565.25, -40.86 (0.28%)
NASDAQ 3,203.86, -21.12 (0.65%)
S&P 500 1,553.28, -6.70 (0.43%)
NYSE Composite 9,000.24, -27.59 (0.31%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,608,289,875
NYSE Volume 3,788,675,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2866-3582
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 118-81
WTI crude oil: 92.70, -0.56
Gold: 1,575.90, +23.50
Silver: 27.22, +0.453

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