As regular readers will know, I’ve been warning for years that our economy is on a hiding to nowhere; that economic fundamentals are dismal, despite all the rosy articles in the mainstream media predicting years of milk and honey, wine and roses; and that we’re heading for a very serious correction – certainly a prolonged recession, more likely an outright and very severe depression.
The latest job figures merely underscore what I’ve been saying. Zero Hedge reports:
… the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 516,000 in one month, which in turn increased the total number of people outside the labor force to a record 90.5 million Americans.
And what is even worse, the Labor Force Participation Rate declined from 63.4% to 63.2%: the lowest point since August 1978!
There’s more at the link.
Despite this news, the big money investors, those who’ve outright bribed our politicians and insinuated their own people puppets into major financial institutions and the Fed . . . they’re completely ignoring economic reality, and partying like there’s no tomorrow. CNBC reports:
U.S. stock index futures spiked higher Friday as the weaker-than-expected jobs report raised questions over whether the Federal Reserve would delay pulling back on its easy-monetary policy.
“The report wasn’t that great and by the time markets open, we may see a slide lower,” said Lance Roberts, chief strategist at StreetTalk Advisors. “Again, we see that good news is bad news and bad news is good news—what we need the markets to be doing is going up because the economy is going up and not because we’re going to get more injections—we’re dependent on Dr. Bernanke to keep this life support going.”
. . .
“The jobs report is demoralizing and sad to the unemployed, as well as the underemployed, as the ongoing quantitative easing program has provided only drops of octane to stimulate the labor market,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital.
Again, more at the link.
The disconnect is utterly baffling. Rick Santelli put it very well this morning:
What he said.
Far too many investors, bankers and so-called ‘financial experts’ are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. The financial fundamentals are so far out of whack with what they’re saying and doing that it’s as if they’re living in another world. For example, they’re the ones claiming that there’s little or no inflation – but they aren’t the ones shopping every week for food and household essentials, and who see the contents of every package of cereal, or sausage, or tin of vegetables, getting smaller (or more and more adulterated with water or other fillers) for the same price. If the contents remain the same, the price goes up until it’s out of reach. Many consumers – even those with jobs, but particularly those deemed to be ‘not in the labor force’, whether they want to be or not – are having to decide every week whether to eat, or fill the car with gas, or pay the electricity bill. They may be able to afford one, or even two, but not all three things. The ‘experts’ tell us that inflation isn’t a problem . . . but I’m sure my readers, who are mostly ‘ordinary people’ just like me, know the reality of the situation as well as I do. After all, we do the shopping.
This is madness. Complete and utter madness. There’s no other way to describe it. Sooner or later, the ivory tower in which these ‘experts’ are living is going to come crashing down. I only hope that those of us living in the real world, who are already suffering under the economic malaise that’s infected our society, will be able to survive the crash.
EDITED TO ADD: Looks like the Washington Post’s Wonkblog agrees with me – about the job numbers, at any rate.