Friday, May 3, 2013

Jobs report just out. Look at this nugget I observed in the report that you won't hear/read about in the analysis by "Real" Economists/Pundits today. And I think it is the underlying problem with tepid job creation.

The Jobs Report for April is JUST out.  With this months report AND upward revisions for the last 2 months, we are chugging along. The job situation IS improving! Not fast enough, but better than a sharp stick in the eye.

I want to make a longer term observation and pose the question: Are things REALLY getting better? And if so, for WHOM?

I am very interested in the relationship between education, employment and its impact on inequality.

Below I pasted the relevant part of today's job report that shows the relationship between educational attainment and employment.  I highlighted the relevant numbers (in the "Seasonably Adjusted" boxes) to show the change in employment in the PAST YEAR among the different educational attainment levels. (Click image to make larger)

Source: BLS
The change in the number of jobs in each category is off to the left (decreases in Red, increases in Black).

The combined loss in jobs in the Less Than High School AND High School Graduate categories is just about EQUAL to the increase in employment in the "Some College/Associate Degree".

Job creation in the last year has been carried by those with College Degrees and to a lesser extent those some advanced education beyond high school.

Job destruction has fallen on those with lower levels of education.

This long(er) term trend is what SHOULD concern people more.

A piece of the Income Inequality puzzle is right here.  Pretty sure you won't see THIS analysis today!

Your welcome.  :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Federal Budget in several easy to read graphs/charts as prepared by the Congressional Budget Office. I report, you decide...

The US Federal Budget in  current, easy to read graphs/charts.  If you are an econ teacher this presentation would be a nice addition to your Fiscal Policy Unit. If you are a student or just trying to learn more from a reasonably objective source, well, here you go.

I report, you decide.  :)

Ladies and Gentleman---Here is the most environmentally friendly product of the Century---Get your phone out now to take a picture!!

I was just admiring my Smartphone this morning (Samsung Galaxy 3). 

It reminds me that it is not only a labor saving device for me but an EXTREMELY environmentally friendly one as well.

With just a cursory look I found pictures of the various separate and distinct devices, products and services that are on the phone that I hold in the palm of my hand.  This is only a start.  With a little more thought and exploration of the phone I am sure I can add many more.  And I consider myself a light user of all its capabilities.

I am sure you have MANY more uses/applications on your phone.  Think of all the physical resources that are NOT being employed to make this short list of devices and products.

Yes, other resources are being used to produce the things/apps that go into your phone.  But I would have to say that the net benefits to reduces resource use have to be postive.  Right???

Look at you! You, You, You accidental environmentalist, You.  Now, good make the world a better place---send a text instead of a letter---without the paper, a pen, a stamp, planes, trains and automobiles to get it to its destination.  How wasteful is that!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nice (but HORRIBLE) graphic showing the trade-off that results from using food-for-fuel. 440 million MORE people (primarily the most vulnerable around the world) could be fed if we stopped this insane policy.

As seen at The Big Picture Agriculture....Here are a couple of graphics from THIS report by a private food id organization in Great Britain. I am sure they are biased BUT if even if these numbers 50% of the real impact, it is significant.

Using food for fuel is harmful in many ways, but the most harmful impact is no the food supply for the least of us in the world.  Support for corn-based bio-fuels is support for starvation at the margin (a quite a bit inside that margin).

See here how Mark Cuban's brillant play in the Foreign Exchange currency market is going to make the Mavericks a better team. The rich get richer, but this guy is CLEVER!!

Billionaire Mark Cuban is doing something interesting that makes a nice lesson in the Foreign Exchange Market.  See article HERE. He is converting his US debt held in US dollars to debt held in Japanese Yen:
"" early December, I went and took every penny of debt that I had – with the Mavericks, and personal debt, and everything – and converted it to a yen loan, when I think [the yen] was in the mid 80s [against the dollar]. So, I've been really happy with it.""
WHY would he do this??  Here is as easy an explanation as I can give...

Let's say I have $1 million US dollars of credit card debt.  That is a lot of debt, but assume my credit is excellent.

Today the Exchange Rate between the US Dollar and Japanese Yen is $1= 100. ($1.00 "buy" 100 Yen).  The reciprocal of this is the 1 Yen = $.01 (one cent).  In other words, 1 Yen "buys" one US Cent.

I go to my favorite Japanese bank and borrow the Yen equivalent of $1M US dollars. That would be 100,000,000 (100 million) Yen. 

I take that 100M Yen and exchange it for $1M US dollars (remember the exchange rate I put above)and pay off my loan. 

So far so good. I now have no debt in dollars BUT I have a big debt in Yen...

Assume that because of other things going on in the Japanese economy the exchange rate changes to $1.00 = 125 Yen overnight.  The reciprocal is 1 Yen "buys" $.008 cents (fraction of a penny).

This means the Yen has DEPRECIATED relative to the US Dollar.  It now takes FEWER dollars to buy Yen. More Yen to buy a US dollar.

Assume also the Japanese bank I borrowed the 100M Yen from wants me to pay it back NOW!

At the new exchange rate of $1.00 US dollar exchanging for 125 Yen, I have to come up with "only" $800,000 US dollars to pay back the loan I took out in Yen. ($800,000 X 125 Yen = 100M Yen)

While I put $800,000 back on my "credit card" notice it is $200,000 LESS than it was before. I hve no more debt in Yen and considerably less in US dollars.

Mark Cuban is betting that the Yen is going to DEPRECIATE relative to the US dollar and is using it as an opportunity to reduce his outstanding debt.

This may translate into more financial capital to improve the  Dallas Mavericks, the team he owns.

The rich get richer...

View My Stats