On The Economic Populist you might have noticed the middle column. We try to list other sites and blogs who have exceptional insight and writing on what is happening in the U.S. economy.
Sometimes though, one cannot say it better but miss those who did.
Must Read #1
A new research piece, by Asha G. Bangalore, Northern TrustGlobal Economic Research, states that just to maintain the current unemployment rate, the United States must create between 86,600 and 140,000 jobs per month. It's due to the average and then a slightly below average labor force growth rate of the last 20 years. So next time you see someone cheering that the U.S. only lost 11,000 jobs this month, consider these numbers. Also next time you see someone saying the United States should ignore immigration factors in the current labor market situation....think of these numbers.
Must Read #2
Naked Capitalism overviews some recent articles calling for action against China. It's one stop shopping for the implications of letting the trade deficit with China continue. Yves sums up the dire nature of our trade deficit situation:
The US will not be able to deleverage (absent explicit default) unless we move to a trade surplus. As long as we run a current account deficit, we need to run a capital account surplus. That means (if the deficit and therefore corresponding surplus are more than trivial) rising levels of debt, and high odds of speculative asset bubbles.
Must Read #3
The Atlanta Fed blog has a post, Jobs and the potential commercial real estate problem: Still keeping us up at night detailing the correlation between small business access to credit and the growing commercial real estate crisis. (Talk about a dog chasing it's tail in consequences!)
One area where bank loan losses are potentially high and uncertain is commercial real estate (CRE). As highlighted in a macroblog post from October, if the CRE problem falls disproportionately on financial institutions that also finance small business activity, we will be all the more worried that "the post-recession employment boost [small] firms typically provide may be less robust than in previous recoveries."
Small businesses that rely on bank loans for credit are much more likely to be affected by a bank's CRE exposure than in the past. In 1993, banks with CRE loan books more than three times their Tier 1 capital accounted for just 11 percent of total small business C&I loans. But this share increased to 42 percent in 2008 and stood at 38 percent in June 2009 (of a total of $281 billion of C&I loans to small businesses).
Must Read #4
Paul Volcker gave two speeches this week, summarized in the Time of London, Wake up gentlemen. Volcker is slamming many of the issues most of America is, the refusal to reinstate glass-steagall, executive pay and absurd "financial innovation" that is not based on sound models.
Must Read #5
Propublica.org article, Thousands of Stimulus Reports Missing, Resulting in Potential Undercount of Jobs Created details once more how jobs are not being tallied correctly. While we believe the Stimulus did not create jobs that $787 Billion should, the number's are seriously skewed the opposite direction. Many recipients did not file reports! Another post, Stimulus contracts going to companies under criminal investigation, show the never ending manipulation of large corporations to claim they are a small, minority owned business to gain access to contracts.
The Department of Defense awarded nearly $30 million in stimulus contracts to six companies while they were under federal criminal investigation on suspicion of defrauding the government.
Propublica is great site overall, with a lot of details in tracking the bailouts and stimulus.
Must Read #6
The Wall Street Journal has detailed the new American Dream, Default, then Rent.
Finally some cracks in the ceiling and acknowlgement owning the American home has turned out to be a very expensive proposition. (h/t Calculated Risk).