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Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:02 PM


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In my previous post Desperation Bazooka Tactics; Gold Soars Following Huge Headfake, I mentioned "This seems like desperation bazooka tactics. Specifically, the Fed is in a panic state over jobs."

I am not the only one to come to that conclusion. Saxo Bank economist Steen Jakobsen sent out a post moments ago, FED Did Panic......

They are now doing 'open ended' bond buying - no finite time or amount...hence this will go down as QE Extreme.

I remain of the view this is final phase...

I'm long stocks, gold, short us dollars next 24-48 hours but ..on the anniversary for LEHMAN... tonight could be the day where FED did too much.

Low yield and monetary policy stopped having an impact two years ago, tonight could be the night where after the rally low rates no longer impact stock and risky asset - the only cheap asset right now is: money ...every time this has been the case in history it has ended in bubble and tears.
Congratulations to Steen for predicting this outcome today. On a podcast with Chris Martenson yesterday, both of us stated the Fed would not do much this month but would at some point panic.

Well, panic the Fed did, and sooner rather than later.

Mish Interview With Eric King

Last evening, I had the pleasure of chatting with Eric King for about an hour regarding the state of the global economy and how central bankers would react.

The results are on King World News in a post released today before the FOMC announcement: Global Economic Plunge, Money Creation & Soaring Gold
Today Mish warned King World News that investors should prepare, “... for a big plunge in economic growth worldwide.” Mish also said that despite the plunge in the global economy, “I expect to see gold breakout to the upside and I think we are starting to see that right now. The same thing is true for silver.”

But first, here is what Mish, who runs the Global Economic Analysis site, had to say regarding the plunge in economic activity: “We are seeing a decline in the global economy. China has slowed down dramatically, so any commodity exporters which export to China are slowing down as well. We’re already seeing this happen in countries like Australia. We are also starting to see the Australian housing market begin to crash.”

Mish had this to say regarding gold: “I think that gold is about ready to blast higher. Now, the Fed has managed to stoke the stock market as well as inflate the corporate bond market.

But they [corporations] are not doing any more hiring, and Bernanke is puzzled over this. Well, he’s puzzled over pushing on a string because people are still saddled with debt. Students are graduating with debt, but they are still unable to get jobs, so they are simply moving back home.

But Bernanke has ignited a rally in gold from around $800, to over $1,700 now. And we’ve seen the same thing in silver. We’ve also seen this in energy and food.  But other commodities such as steel have plunged. This will impact the economies of exporting nations such as Australia and Canada very badly.

The bottom line is the monetary printing is out there, and gold is going to be the big beneficiary, and possibly silver as well. The chart of gold is beautiful. We have seen a perfect consolidation wedge forming for about a little over a year now.

I expect to see gold breakout to the upside and I think we are starting to see that right now. The same thing is true for silver. This big lift in gold recently has been because of what they are doing in the ECB.

God only knows what we are going to see from China.  I expect all of the central banks to push on the string once more, but I don’t expect to see any job creation as a result of that. Investors don’t realize that we are in a global recession, but they will shortly.
Panic Over Jobs

So what is Bernanke panicked about? One word: "jobs". If you want a second word it's "recession".

I covered both aspects last Friday in "Yes Virginia, It's a Recession".
Recession Numbers Second Consecutive Month

Yesterday I was asked if the services ISM changed my view about the US being in recession. I responded that I wanted to see today's job report first.

Well I have seen it and the report is nothing short of a certified disaster.

Yes, Virginia, based on the household survey, and manufacturing reports, the regional Fed surveys the US is in recession.

The one survey that is different is the ISM services report. The question is why? This is speculation, but I believe ISM has too few companies in the survey, and perhaps large companies are still growing while medium and small-sized firms are not. The other possibility is the ISM report is an outlier for another reason.

Regardless, last month the the household survey had a decline of 195,000 jobs and this month the decline is 119,000. Thus, in the last two months, there are 314,000 fewer employed.

At turns, the household survey leads. I strongly suggest the economy has turned.

  • US Unemployment Rate -.2 to 8.1% 
  • This month the number of people employed fell by 119,000.
  • In the last two months, the number of people employed fell by 314,000!
  •  In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,695,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 971,000.
  • This month the Civilian Labor Force fell by 368,000.
  • Last month, those "not" in the labor force increased by 348,000 to 88,340,000, another record high. 
  • This month we set another record high with a whopping 581,000 dropping out of the labor force. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed. 
  • In the last year, those "not" in the labor force rose by 2,723,000 
  • Over the course of the last year, the number of people employed rose by 2,347,000. 
  • Participation Rate fell .02 to 63.5%;
  • There are 8,031,000 workers who are working part-time but want full-time work, a decrease of 215,00. This one the only bright spot in the report.
  • Long-Term unemployment (27 weeks and over) was 5.033 million a decline of 152,000 (likely an artifact of the decline in the labor force).
  • Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.

Over the past several years people have dropped out of the labor force at an astounding, almost unbelievable rate, holding the unemployment rate artificially low. Some of this was due to major revisions last month on account of the 2010 census finally factored in. However, most of it is simply economic weakness.
I am going to reiterate my belief that the household survey tends to lead and today's panic suggests the Fed believes that as well. Here are two key Household Survey figures.

  1. In the last two months employment dropped by 314,000.
  2. In the last two months the labor force fell by 518,000 while those not in the labor force rose by an amazing 929,000!

Household Survey Data

click on chart for sharper image

In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,695,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 971,000.

Those not in the labor force rose by 2,723,000 to yet another record high 88,921,000.

That is an amazing "achievement" to say the least, and one that has the Fed in panic mode.


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Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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