Market commentary

Anemic Job Outlook

A month has passed since my last jobs posting, so I thought an update would be useful.  For those who like to jump to the punchline: the hemorrhaging of jobs has ceased, but significant job growth isn’t going to appear this year.  This means housing prices will stay under pressure and inflation and [...]

Financial Reform Summary

It looks like the senate and house have finished their conferencing so we can look at what changes will likely be coming down.  Here are the highlights that I noticed.  The bill is huge.  So I’m sure we will be discovering lots of little gotchas for quite some time. $250K FDIC made permanent — [...]

New Credit Card Rules

Rules for implementing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 are slowing being written and released. Here are some of the latest. These rules go into affect Aug 22. Inactivity fees are banned Penalty fee (e.g., late fee) cannot be more than the required minimum [...]

Real Estate – Partly Cloudy with a chance of further decline

The combination of record low mortgage rates and housing prices that have fallen significantly over the last two years means many people are asking themselves if now is the right time to buy.  This is an attempt to provide some perspective on that questions. 1. Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates are [...]

Unemployment Graphs 4/5/10

Another month has passed, so I thought I would share some unemployment graphs that look at things a bit differently. Employment-to-Population Ratio: Men (25-54 Years) Clearly there is a long term structural trend of men participating in the workforce less and less (for women it has been the [...]

Bank Fees

One of the arguments for big banks is that their size allows them to scale and be more efficient.  Unfortunately, it looks like what they become more efficient at is extracting money from their customers. Here is the most disturbing quote for me. But rather than allow the evidence in favor of [...]

State Financial Health

A study cam out analyzing the funding status of each state’s pension funds.  It is not pretty.  And these are funding levels using assumptions like 8% or 8.5% portfolio returns.  If the returns are lower, the funding shortfall will be worse. NPR has a nice graphic of the data you can play [...]

Unemployment 3/5/10

Since the latest unemployment number of 9.7% came out today, I thought I would send some of CalculatedRisk‘s wonderful graphs to help put it in context. In terms of percentage of lost jobs compared to previous recessions we have the following updated graph. Besides the clear trend of more and more [...]

Housing – Negative Equity

Hhere is a graph that shows the percentage of mortgages that have negative ranked by state.  The number in the bubble states are truly staggering. And this next graph gives an idea of what percentage are deeply underwater (i.e., > 25% under water) in the bubble states. With unemployment likely to [...]

State of Economy — 2/1/2010

4th quarter GDP came in at 5.7%.  To see why people are not excited about this number check out the following graph. If you look closely, you will see that imports and exports mostly balance each other and resdential and nonresidential investment are still lacking.  This leaves inventory changes [...]
Go to Top