Saturday, March 07, 2009

Summary Post: Unemployment Hits 8.1%

by Calculated Risk on 3/07/2009 12:44:00 AM

  • The employment (or unemployment!) report was the big story on Friday. The BLS reported payroll employment declined by 651 thousand jobs in February and the unemployment rate jumped to 8.1%. Here is a graph of unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment, and a graph comparing job losses in post WWII recessions, and a graph of the number of workers working part time for economic reasons.

  • In an interesting speech, Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig called for nationalization of insolvent banks: Too Big has Failed

  • The FDIC reported that the 17th bank failed this year: Freedom Bank of Georgia, Commerce, Georgia.

  • Meanwhile the Senate is considering a bill to temporarily allow the FDIC to borrow $500 billion from the Treasury. From the WSJ: FDIC Bill Dodges a New TARP Fight This sounds like some larger bank failures are coming.

  • And the House is considering a bill to make changes to mark-to-market accounting. From the LA Times: House bill would create panel to OK accounting rules
    Get ready for another push to suspend "mark-to-market" accounting rules.

    A bill introduced late Thursday by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) would create a federal board to "review the application" of accounting principles -- including controversial mark-to-market rules.
    Best to all.