tagged w/ Recovery
Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) consistent with weak recovery and no sustained inflation accelerationBased on the 3-month average of the index, a sustained reading of above +0.20 that follows a period of recession has historically signaled the end of the recession. A sustained reading of greater than +0.70 more than two years into an expansion has signaled an increasing likelihood of a sustained acceleration in inflation. A sustained reading of less than -0.70 following a period of economic expansion is indicative that a recession has begun. The current signal is..... http://bit.ly/V16B9oBased on the 3-month average of the index, a sustained reading of above +0.20 that... more
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi visits his devastated hometown of Sayreville, NJ and then peforms at the Hurricane Sandy relief concertRocker Jon Bon Jovi visits his devastated hometown of Sayreville, NJ and then peforms... more
Introducing The Romnathon, Now At Mile 22 – Romney’s Honesty Rate For October, At 7.9%, Matches October’s Unemployment RateIn the home stretch . . . perhaps the finish line will be a rest home in Salt Lake City?
http://latestbloomer.uskoa.com/?p=1726In the home stretch . . . perhaps the finish line will be a rest home in Salt Lake... more
The president socked himself in the face during a press conference with an ill-advised remark about the economyThe president socked himself in the face during a press conference with an ill-advised... more
Via Think Progress: "In 2010, as the nation slowly ground its way from Great Recession to recovery, 93 percent of national income gains went to the richest 1 percent of Americans. As Reuters's David Cay Johnston pointed out today, this makes the 2010 recovery quite different from the recovery that followed the Great Depression, as then, income gains were widely shared by the population, not concentrated at the very top...".* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down and notes the importance of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20QF9jR-OUo&nomobile=1Via Think Progress: "In 2010, as the nation slowly ground its way from Great... more
On this week's show we continue to examine addiction and to see shining examples of those who have broken away from its grasps. Dr. Sherry Hoppe and her sister Sylvia Yates explain from the perspective of the addicted and the enabler how Sylvia eventually broke her addiction to prescription pills.
It was a long hard road and a road most of us have traveled. After fifteen years of humiliating arrests and failed therapy attempts, Sylvia finally got sober.
Now that your home, are you struggling with the addictions that cost you your freedom in the first place? I think you will find strength and practical ideas in this interview.
If you you would like more information on the Journey of Sylvia Yates and Dr. Sherry Hoppe, Check out their book by clicking here.
Remember, if God is for you, who can be against you?Welcome! On this week's show we continue to examine addiction and to see... more
Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity reports today that the state unemployment rate has fallen again to it's lowest point since before the Recession.Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity reports today that the state... more
Want to see how your tax dollars were used effectively in the weeks and months of the Haiti earthquake? How the United States made a profound difference to millions?Want to see how your tax dollars were used effectively in the weeks and months of the... more
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the official institution that dates recessions in the U.S., and on September 2010 they declared the recession that began in December 2007 officially ended on June 2009 and that a new expansion had begun. Despite the economy staging a decent bounce off lows in early 2009, one of the more notable members of the NBER business cycle dating committee, Martin Feldstein, was the main holdout for calling an end to the recession. The main reason was he didn’t think the recovery would take economic activity to new highs before another downturn would hit.
With the economy rolling over and at risk of moving into another recession, it looks like Mr. Feldstein’s original judgment has proven correct as most indicators of economic activity failed to exceed prior peaks. Thus, it is a fair argument to suggest the recession never ended and should be labeled “The Second Great Contraction,” with the first being the Great Recession. A pictorial review below shows what a feeble recovery this has been, particularly with massive fiscal and monetary stimulus.
Shown in the images to follow is the average recovery in various economic measures normalized to 100 at their peak versus time (months), and a figure showing the actual number of months it took to exceed the peak for past recoveries. First up is gross domestic product or GDP.
As most people know, the broadest measure of economic activity is GDP. Shown below is data going back to WW II with the average recovery taking 13.5 months to exceed its former peak. You can see that the recovery this time from the December 2007 peak has failed to exceed its former high after 42 months and still counting......
Many examples and charts at:
http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/chris-puplava/2011/09/16/a-pictorial-review-of-the-weakest-recovery-since-the-great-depressionThe National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the official institution that dates... more
It was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Then a major earthquake decimated Haiti's capital. See how an unusual USAID project served so many needs, so quickly.It was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Then a major earthquake... more
A health check of European banks is expected to show that as many as 15 lenders need more capital to withstand a prolonged recession, with criticism growing that Europe has been too slow to repair the industry.A health check of European banks is expected to show that as many as 15 lenders need... more
Corporate profits are better than ever. So why are you - and pretty much everyone else - having to work harder and harder, for less and less.......Except what's good for American business isn't necessarily good for Americans. We're not just working smarter, but harder. And harder. And harder, to the point where the driver is no longer American industriousness, but something much more predatory. Increasingly, American workers are falling prey to WHAT WE'LL CALL OFFLOADING: cutting jobs and dumping the work ONTO THE REMAINING STAFF. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/42974-the-speedup-Corporate profits are better than ever. So why are you - and pretty much everyone else... more
Indian-origin man of science and his squad have unraveled the secrets behindhand why the human brain recalls past affairs best at times than at other people.
“It’s been assumed that the process of retrieving a memory is prompted by an external stimulus. But we found that the charges of brain activity ahead items came up were correlate with memory,”Indian-origin man of science and his squad have unraveled the secrets behindhand why... more
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
The latest contrived showdown between Congressional Republicans and the White House is over what concessions the GOP will demand in order to increase the federal debt ceiling.
George Zornick of The Nation explains how the shakedown works:
Congress now needs to approve any borrowing past the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, which the United States will reach “no later” than May 16, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the government would have to stop spending—including stopping interest payments on those Treasury bonds, meaning that the United States would effectively default on its debt.
The debt ceiling has to be raised and everyone knows it. Surely the Republicans knew it when they voted for tax cuts for the rich with borrowed money. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States will default on some of its obligations. Just like what happens after you miss a credit card payment, the country’s creditors will demand higher interest in order to lend to us in the future.
Playing chicken with the debt ceiling is a recipe for increasing the national debt. Paul Waldman argues in The American Prospect that the Republicans hate government so much that they are willing to declare war on the economy in a quixotic bid to smash the state:
The reason we’re now seeing an unprecedented amount of attention paid to a vote that ordinarily passes with little notice is that the Republican Party’s agenda is being set by a group of ideological radicals who seem quite willing to cripple the American economy if that’s what it takes to strike a blow against the government they hate so much.
At AlterNet, Joshua Holland explains why failure to raise the debt ceiling would be an economic catastrophe that could jeopardize the economic recovery. “Peak Crazy,” he calls it.
However, Holland notes that a showdown over the debt ceiling does not risk an immediate government shutdown, like the one we faced over the budget battle. Borrowing isn’t the only way that government agencies are funded. The government could still spend the $150 billion or so it takes in every month in tax revenue, for example.
Yet, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has announced that 47 GOP senators oppose raising the debt ceiling unless “credible attempts” are made to cut federal spending. Meanwhile the Tea Party is launching an all-out lobbying effort to urge House Republicans not to raise the debt ceiling without major spending cuts.
The Tea Party’s wish list includes some total pipe dreams like a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, and a law to require a two-thirds majority for all future tax increases. Former senator and current U.S. presidential hopeful Rick Santorum cheerfully announced that he would let the United States default on its debt if health care reform is not repealed. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) helpfully suggests paying the interest on Treasury Bills using money that would otherwise go to Social Security.
Shoot the hostage
Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks argues that Democrats are panicking needlessly and, once again, offering needless preemptive concessions to the Republican fringe in the form of a proposed “hard cap” on government spending, which would cap new government spending, and subtract any overruns from social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security.
The truth, Uygur notes, is that Wall Street has already told the Republicans in no uncertain terms that the debt ceiling will be raised. The economic consequences of doing anything else would be unthinkable. The Tea Party can yell and scream, but the adults have already made the decision. Knowing this, Democrats should not be trying to placate the Republicans so as to induce them to do something they will ultimately end up doing.
Digby on Social Security
Democrats are wavering in their decades-long commitment to defend Social Security, Heather Digby Parton (a.k.a., “Digby”) writes in In These Times:
In a quixotic attempt to fix the problems in the current economy without confronting the plutocrats, the Democrats are using the illogical argument that since Social Security is projected to have a shortfall in 35 years, we must cut benefits now. And they seek to prove to “the market” that the government is fiscally responsible by showing it’s willing to inflict pain on its citizens—in the future.
Even if we do nothing, Social Security can pay out full benefits for the next 35 years. There is no crisis. A small increase on the payroll cap on Social Security could shore up the program for generations to come. Republicans oppose Social Security because they are ideologically opposed to social welfare programs, not because Social Security is broken.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Audit for a complete list of articles on economic issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Mulch, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger The latest contrived showdown... more
The surging stock market and metals market has given the wealthy the liquidity it takes to buy lots of bling - but a the cost of giving the money to police, firemen, and teachers to keep them employed or helping families keep their homes from being taken by the bank. If anyone's keeping score, the greedy rich have declared war on the rest of us and right now are winning.The surging stock market and metals market has given the wealthy the liquidity it... more
In a one-line film remark as surprisingly concise as it is political and timely, a American blue collar woman explains to her son why they've permanently moved to China.
"There's nothing left for us in Detroit," she tells her son (played by Jaden Smith, the main character). The film is not Stephen Gaghan's 2005 film Syriana, it's Harald Zwart's 2010 remake of The Karate Kid.
Robert Kuttner (more to come)In a one-line film remark as surprisingly concise as it is political and timely, a... more
The New York Times
February 13, 2011
Word and Lyric, Giffords Labors to Speak Again
By MARC LACEY and JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
PHOENIX — Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an eloquent speaker before she was shot in the head last month, is relearning the skill — progressing from mouthing words and lip-syncing songs to talking briefly by telephone to her brother-in-law in space.
With a group of friends and family members acting as a backup chorus, Ms. Giffords has been mouthing the lyrics to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby.” And as a surprise for her husband, who is celebrating his birthday this month, a longtime friend who has been helping her through her rehabilitation videotaped her mouthing the words to “Happy Birthday to You.”
“It’s not like she’s speaking the way she spoke, but she is vocalizing and making progress every day,” Pia Carusone, Ms. Giffords’s chief of staff, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “She’s working very hard. She’s determined. It’s a tight schedule. A copy of it is hanging on her door.”
Outside specialists say it remains unclear, despite the hopeful early signs, what functions in Ms. Giffords’s mind were affected by the traumatic injuries she suffered when she was shot at point-blank range on Jan. 8 at a constituent event in Tucson.
It is not uncommon for patients with a similar injury to have trouble communicating or undergo personality changes, brain specialists say. Everything from ambition and concentration to short-term memory and social inhibitions can be affected, doctors say.
But relatives and friends who have been at Ms. Giffords’s side as she undergoes rehabilitation at a hospital in Houston said in interviews and e-mail exchanges that though her recovery was slow and exhausting, it was marked by significant progress.
Ms. Carusone said that on Sunday afternoon, Ms. Giffords’s husband, Capt. Mark E. Kelly, put the congresswoman on the phone to talk to his twin brother and fellow astronaut, Scott, who is aboard the International Space Station.
“She said, ‘Hi, I’m good,’ ” Ms. Carusone said.
With the help of therapists at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, the congresswoman known for her active, outdoorsy ways now labors through the halls clutching a shopping cart and does squats and repetitive motions to build her muscles, her mother, Gloria, said in an enthusiastic e-mail she sent about a week ago to friends that recounted her daughter’s progress. Others who have visited Ms. Giffords recently have left similarly upbeat.
Aides conduct bedside briefings for her, telling her about the events unfolding in Egypt, for instance, and the decision by Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, not to run for re-election next year.
“We tell her everything that’s going on,” Ms. Carusone said. “Don’t get the idea she’s speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we’re saying and she’s verbalizing.”
In long days that begin with breakfast at 7, Ms. Giffords, 40, has beaten one of her nurses at tic-tac-toe and transformed herself, her mother wrote, from “kind of a limp noodle” to someone who is “alert, sits up straight with good posture (in fact anyone in the room observing unconsciously sucks it up and throws back their shoulders) and is working very hard.”
Ms. Giffords’s mother says doctors are regularly surprised by her latest achievement. They say, “She did WHAT?” she wrote in her e-mail, adding that “Little Miss Overachiever is healing very fast.”
Reached by telephone on Sunday, the congresswoman’s mother offered a one-word assessment of her daughter’s road to recovery. “As far as Gabby’s progress, you can quote me as saying, ‘Yippee!’ ” she said.
The rehabilitation center referred requests for comment to Ms. Giffords’s staff.
CONTINUED...The New York Times February 13, 2011 Word and Lyric, Giffords Labors to Speak... more