Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunshine and lollipops.

Listen - I know you don't come here to be bummed out. I will have have some interesting stuff for you soon.

Yet, I was wondering... is the stock market making you feel all fine and rosy? Is the administration soothing your nerves that everything is going to be okay? Companies are reporting better then expected profits? Well, cut it the hell out. I don't say this to shit on your parade. However, I've been watching in a highly perplexed fashion companies report a decrease in profits from 25% all the way to 91%.

Sure, you say, these people are still making a profit. Not so fast optimist one. These kind of hits in profit only spell one thing. More layoffs. Don't believe me?

It was either yesterday or today that I heard a small blip that oil companies are laying off staff. Despite the high oil price right now, these companies have taken a big hit in profits. It turns out there are actually a lot of layoffs in the queue, but companies are doing it in a fashion that doesn't draw attention. Smaller, with gag orders and the like.

The other peculiar item is - a lot of the companies that make green jobs are also laying off. Siemens, GE. Which is odd. As a solid moderate - I'm left to decide if the administration doesn't see whats happening, or is purposely running us into a ditch. Because, you know, if I'm the president my top priority is to make sure that people get back to work. They sort of start getting hostile after a while. When you stray from that purpose, it makes people a little paranoid. Especially when jobs are being cut from both sides of the energy equation. People who work in energy make a pretty good living after all. And not all those evil corporate CEO's. All the union guys.

If all that doesn't make you feel like jumping off a bridge (don't by the way), I flashed on growing up in the 70's. A time of plentiful layoffs. They always used to layoff right before Christmas. Always. Even though I was super young, it has always stuck with me. Poor people are always laid off first, and the kids would always not get any toys.

It stuck with me enough that every time there has been a recession and people got laid off around Christmas I would flash back and think "man it just sucks - they always do this right before Christmas". It is as consistent as the day is long.

Maybe I'm crying about the sky falling, and it really won't. Stroll through layoff tracker and see if you still feel the same. From what I see, manufacturing is going to take a pretty bad hit. All of a sudden you'll hear stock market guys talking about a "sudden and severe correction".

Just sayin. Besides - if you squirrel away a little cash and it doesn't happen, what harm is done?


  1. Green doesn't work until the tech gets better or oil goes over $80 per barrel. When people have to finance an upgrade with property liens it's clear that this isn't ready for prime time whether the US wants to be politically correct or not. Give it five more years and we'll be at a point where the tech can start to challenge the current grid.

    As far as the economy goes, the increase in corporate bond prices tells us that credit has unfrozen, but I'm still buried in a bunker until I see the sky go splat again. The recent price gains feel more like inflation than any type of recovery. Hopefully, main st will be fooled by the head fake and start buying and hiring again. Would be pretty terrible if we had 10% unemployment and another 10% inflation on top of it. For the life of me, can't figure out why CPI is down ytd.

  2. Oh crap. I was just speculating today if they were talking up the economy so they could start raising rates. When gold and oil production is way down, and they are still at the prices they are - that sounds inflation-ey to me as well.

    Despite what they tell us - it has to be coming. I can't figure out why they say it's impossible with so much "slack" in the workforce. In the 70's there was high unemployment and high inflation.

    It also confuses me why they think it will be very successful to paint a rosier picture. How are they going to hide the 1.5 mil falling off the unemployment rolls by end of year? I'm normally a purma bull, but I just don't see how this gets better any time soon.

    And the distressing thing is - I always thought new technology would lead us out of everything.

    Yet if you think about it - most of the companies we take for granted would have never been started in this environment. There would have never been a tivo. They would have never gotten funding.

    They are crushing the very thing that leads us out.

  3. (This may be a repost?, it's acting screwy)

    I'm not surprised by the "green" layoffs. The only way that green makes money is as the poster abopbe says, traditional energy gets expensive or the government (us?) subsidizes it. Look at that big company in Colorado, I think, that 6 months agop was going to revolutionalize the solar power thingie. The only way they were keeping going was because of all the tax breaks that went with "Green Power."

    The oil companies laying off is scary. After all, who else has something that everyone else has to have? Gas prices have gone down a bit again here in SE Washington/Idaho panhandle. I've been paying in the $2.60 range for regular for the last couple of weeks.


    p.s. It's good to see you posting more again. I check in 2-3 times a week and really enjoy your postings.

  4. Aw. That is really nice of you to say.

    I pretty much think in real terms that gas has to become way higher than 4.50 a gallon if consumers are paying on their own dime.

    It is fascinating that the government subsidized the Prius for ages, effectively bringing the price down - but it doesn't matter in the end. Toyota is no longer profitable in NAmerica. Even in their prime market. San Fransisco Bay Area.

    Sadly the people loosing their jobs at our only car plant will only blame greed and not government intervention.