ネバダ～ノース・カロライナ～オレゴンの失業率が１０％を超えた。ミシガン（１２％）～サウス・カロライナ（１１％）～オレゴン（１０．８％）～カリホルニア～ロードアイランドと、合計で７州が、１０％を超えたのだ。メリルリンチと、ワ子ビアのエコノミストらは、「中西部の自動車関連などの製造業が南部へ向かっている」と。理由はクレジットクランチと、消費者の購買意欲が落ちたことだ。ネブラスカを除いた４９州の失業率は上昇中なのだ。住宅価格が急落した地域の、ネバダは最悪だ。ネバダといえば、ラスベガス。オバマの“ＳＴＩＭＵＬＵＳ”には、カジノ産業はないのだ。世界一という米経済は、三月だけでも、６００，０００の失業者が発生した。この意味するところは、大学ローン～車ローン～クレジット不払い～ホームローン不払い、、「破産宣告者」が増えるということなのだ。米ドルは確実に下がると考えて良い。伊勢平次郎米失業率１０％を超えた州が増えるJobless Rate Exceeds 10% in Three More U.S. States
By Bob Willis
March 27 (Bloomberg) -- The number of U.S. states with a jobless rate exceeding 10 percent almost doubled in February as the worst employment slump in the postwar era spread.
Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon last month joined the four other states that had previously climbed above 10 percent, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Michigan, at 12 percent, remained the state with the highest unemployment rate, followed by South Carolina at 11 percent and Oregon at 10.8. California and Rhode Island bring the total number of states to seven.
Job losses have spread from areas battered by the housing recession and auto slump to states like the Carolinas where non- auto manufacturers and service companies are cutting staff. Economists at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York and Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina, are among those projecting joblessness nationwide will surpass 10 percent.
“We so seldom see an economy down so broadly,” said Steve Cochrane, a senior economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. ‘The impact from the downturn in manufacturing is heading south from the Midwest. Job losses have broadened out across all industries because of the credit crunch, the lack of consumer confidence and the global slump.”
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia registered increases in the unemployment rate last month, led by Oregon, North Carolina and New Jersey, the Labor Department said. Nebraska was the only state to post a decrease after the rate jumped the prior month.
The states where home prices surged and then crashed remain among the hardest hit, including Nevada, with its 10.1 percent joblessness. Nicole Wolf, 39, was working for Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. in Las Vegas for the human resources department until this month when she was laid off from her job that paid $94,000 a year.
With her home worth less than her mortgage, and paying $800 a month to cover student loans, Wolf is trying to find a job in marketing or communications before her severance pay runs out.
“I’m assuming I’ll have a job or declare bankruptcy,” Wolf said in a telephone interview.
The outlook for finding work this month hasn’t improved. The world’s largest economy probably lost more than 600,000 jobs in March for a fourth straight month, and the jobless rate jumped to a 25-year high of 8.5 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before next week’s report from Labor.
Bernanke on Unemployment
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in Washington March 10 that it was “certainly well within the realm of possibility” that unemployment nationwide could rise above 10 percent “for a period.”
With the recession already matching the longest in the postwar period, the jobless and the needy are becoming more evident across the country.
Gabriela Romero, who works for the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission, last month organized a food drive in Mendotta, California, a city where four of 10 workers are unemployed, and arrived to find a crush of people seeking assistance.
“It was just a free-for-all,” she said. “You have people waiting in line for hours, pregnant women, disabled people.”
Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost 4.4 million jobs, already more than the 3.5 million jobs President Barack Obama is targeting to save or create with his $787 billion recovery program.
Payroll employment in February decreased in 49 states and the District of Columbia, led by California’s loss of 116,000 jobs. Florida had the second-biggest drop with 49,500 workers dismissed, followed by 46,100 positions cut in Texas, 41,600 in Pennsylvania and 37,200 in Illinois.
Surpassing 10 percent unemployment has a psychological impact and may further curtail spending, said Doug Woodward, a University of South Carolina regional economist in Columbia.
“It’s creating more anxiety and more fear,” he said. “It’s feeding on itself.”
Job losses are spreading from manufacturers such as General Motors Corp., Caterpillar Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. to other firms like lumber producer Weyerhaeuser Co., media companies like the New York Times Co. and even the U.S. Postal Service. They are affecting all income brackets and professions.
Fred Herrmann, 33, of Minneapolis, lost his job as a mortgage broker making $250,000 a year in December when his company folded. He said he’s applied for 25 finance and sales jobs, each making $14 to $18 an hour plus commission.
“There’s not a whole lot of high-paying jobs,” he said. “When you go from making a quarter of a million a year to 15 bucks an hour, that’s not good.”
On the lower end of the scale, Arthur Bolden, 61, is finding it harder than ever to get a job as a day laborer.
While he used to get $10 an hour, the prevailing wage now is $7 or $8 an hour, he said, as he waited for work outside of a Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, social services building. “People don’t even have money to pay for landscaping or to cut grass.”
The jobless rates in North Carolina, at 10.7 percent, and Rhode Island, at 10.5, were the highest for those states since records began in 1976. Georgia, at 9.3 percent, also set a new high mark.
Re-emerging As an Emerging Market
By Desmond Lachman
Sunday, March 29, 2009; Page B01
Back in the spring of 1998, when Boris Yeltsin was still at Russia's helm, I led a group of global investors to Moscow to find out firsthand where the Russian economy was headed. My long career with the International Monetary Fund and on Wall Street had taken me to "emerging markets" throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and I thought I'd seen it all. Yet I still recall the shock I felt at a meeting in Russia's dingy Ministry of Finance, where I finally realized how a handful of young oligarchs were bringing Russia's economy to ruin in the pursuit of their own selfish interests, despite the supposed brilliance of Anatoly Chubais, Russia's economic czar at the time.
At the time, I could not imagine that anything remotely similar could happen in the United States. Indeed, I shared the American conceit that most emerging-market nations had poorly developed institutions and would do well to emulate Washington and Wall Street. These days, though, I'm hardly so confident. Many economists and analysts are worrying that the United States might go the way of Japan, which suffered a "lost decade" after its own real estate market fell apart in the early 1990s. But I'm more concerned that the United States is coming to resemble Argentina, Russia and other so-called emerging markets, both in what led us to the crisis, and in how we're trying to fix it.
Over the past year, I've been getting Russia flashbacks as I witness the AIG debacle as well as the collapse of Bear Sterns and a host of other financial institutions. Much like the oligarchs did in Russia, a small group of traders and executives at onetime venerable institutions have brought the U.S. and global financial systems to their knees with their reckless risk-taking -- with other people's money -- for their personal gain.
Negotiating with Argentina's top officials during their multiple financial crises in the 1990s was always an ordeal, and sparring with Domingo Cavallo, the country's Harvard-trained finance minister at the time, was particularly trying. One always had the sense that, despite their supreme arrogance, the country's leaders never had a coherent economic strategy and that major decisions were always made on the run. I never thought that was how policy was made in the United States -- until, that is, I saw how totally at sea Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy F. Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke have appeared so many times during our country's ongoing economic and financial storm.
The parallels between U.S. policymaking and what we see in emerging markets are clearest in how we've mishandled the banking crisis. We delude ourselves that our banks face liquidity problems, rather than deeper solvency problems, and we try to fix it all on the cheap just like any run-of-the-mill emerging market economy would try to do. And after years of lecturing Asian and Latin American leaders about the importance of consistency and transparency in sorting out financial crises, we fail on both counts: In March 2008, one investment bank, Bear Stearns, is bailed out because it is thought to be too interconnected with the rest of the banking system to fail. However, six months later, another investment bank, Lehman Brothers -- for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from Bear Stearns in its financial market inter-connectedness -- is allowed to fail, with catastrophic effects on global financial markets.
In visits to Asian capitals during the region's financial crisis in the late 1990s, I often heard Asian reformers such as Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew or Japan's Eisuke Sakakibara complain about how the incestuous relationship between governments and large Asian corporate conglomerates stymied real economic change. How fortunate, I thought then, that the United States was not similarly plagued by crony capitalism! However, watching Goldman Sachs's seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs as well as the way that Republicans and Democrats alike tiptoed around reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- among the largest campaign contributors to Congress -- made me wonder if the differences between the United States and the Asian economies were only a matter of degree.
On Wall Street there is an old joke that the longest river in the emerging-market economies is "de Nile." Yet how often do U.S. leaders respond to growing signs of economic dysfunctionality by spouting nationalistic rhetoric that echoes the speeches of Latin American demagogues like Peru's Alan Garcia in the 1980s and Argentina's Carlos Menem in the 1990s? (Even Garcia, currently in his second go-around as Peru's president, seems to have grown up somewhat.) But instead of facing our problems we extol the resilience of the U.S. economy, praise the most productive workers in the world, and go on and on about America's inherent ability to extricate itself from any crisis. And we ignore our proclivity as a nation to spend, year in year out, more than we produce, to put off dealing with long-term problems, and to engage in grandiose long-term programs that as a nation we can ill afford.
A singular characteristic of an emerging market heading for deep trouble is a seemingly suicidal tendency to become overly indebted to foreign creditors. That tendency underlay the spectacular collapse of the Thai, Indonesian and Korean currencies in 1997. It also led Russia to default on its debt in 1998 and plunged Argentina into its economic depression in 2001. Yet we too seem to have little difficulty becoming increasingly indebted to the tune of a few hundred billion dollars a year. To make matters worse, we do so to countries like China, Russia and an assortment of Middle Eastern oil producers -- none of which is particularly well disposed to us.
Like Argentina in its worst moments, we never seem to question whether it is reasonable to expect foreigners to keep financing our extravagance, and we forget the bad things that happen to the Argentinas or Hungarys of the world when foreigners stop financing their excesses. So instead of laying out a realistic plan for increasing our national savings, we choose not to face up to the Social Security and Medicare crises that lie ahead, embarking instead on massive spending programs that -- whatever their long-run merits might be -- we simply cannot afford.
After experiencing a few emerging-market crises, I get the sense of watching the same movie over and over. All too often, a tragic part of that movie is the failure of the countries' policymakers to hear the loud cries of canaries in the coal mine. Before running up further outsized budget deficits, should we not heed the markets that now see a 10 percent probability that the U.S. government will default on its sovereign debt in the next five years? And should we not be paying close attention to the Chinese central bank governor's musings that he does not feel comfortable with the $1 trillion of U.S. government debt that the Chinese central bank already owns, let alone adding to those holdings?
In the twilight of my career, when I am hopefully wiser than before, I have come to regret how the IMF and the U.S. Treasury all too often lectured leaders in emerging markets on how to "get their house in order" -- without the slightest thought that the United States might fare no better when facing a major economic crisis. Now, I fear time is running out for our own policymakers to mend their ways and offer real leadership to extricate the United States from its worst economic calamity since the 1930s. If we insist on improvising and not facing our real problems, we might soon lose our status as a country to be emulated and join the ranks of those nations we have patronized for so long.
（Desmond Lachman, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was previously chief emerging market strategist at Salomon Smith Barney and deputy director of the International Monetary Fund's Policy and Review Department. ）
Stiglitz: Geithner Plan Will Rob Taxpayers
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The U.S. government plan to rid banks of toxic assets will rob American taxpayers by exposing them to too much risk and is unlikely to work as long as the economy remains weak, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday.
"The Geithner plan is very badly flawed," Stiglitz told Reuters in an interview during a Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan to wipe up to US$1 trillion in bad debt off banks' balance sheets, unveiled on Monday, offered "perverse incentives," Stiglitz said.
The U.S. government is basically using the taxpayer to guarantee against downside risk on the value of these assets, while giving the upside, or potential profits, to private investors, he said.
"Quite frankly, this amounts to robbery of the American people. I don't think it's going to work because I think there'll be a lot of anger about putting the losses so much on the shoulder of the American taxpayer."
Even if the plan clears banks of massive toxic debt, worries about the economic outlook mean banks could still be unwilling to make fresh loans, while the prospect of a higher tax burden to pay for various government stimulus plans could further undermine U.S. consumers, he said.
Some Republican lawmakers have also expressed concern over the incentives offered by the government, which could end up providing private investors with more than 90 percent of the funds to buy the troubled assets. But President Barack Obama has said the plan was critical to a U.S. economic recovery.
Stiglitz, a professor at New York's Columbia University and a former World Bank chief economist, also urged G20 leaders at their London summit next month to commit to providing greater resources to developing countries and said China should be given bigger voting rights in the International Monetary Fund.
"The voices of developing countries, and countries like China that will provide a lot of the money, are not heard."
China would be hard pushed to reach its targeted 8 percent economic growth this year, but the important thing was that at least the Chinese economy was still growing, he said.
Stiglitz welcomed China's proposal on Monday for an overhaul of the world monetary system in which Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said the IMF's Special Drawing Right has the potential to become a super-sovereign reserve currency.
Stiglitz has long called for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the only reserve currency. Basing a reserve system on a single currency whose strength depends on confidence its own economy is not a good basis for a global system, he says.
"We may be at the beginning of a loss of confidence (in the U.S. dollar reserve system)," he said. "I think there is support for some sort of global reserve system."
Paul, my neighbor, came to dinner last night. He said “Hey, Nobu, I read in the Washington Post that Japan is in serious trouble.
Washington Post’s Foreign Correspondent, Blaine Harden, wrote that Japan is in a serious economic crisis. Among his many false reports I would like to advise Mr. Harden not to mislead American readers regarding our economy.
Japan must buy oil, gas, grains, beef and raw materials from overseas. These imports cost Japan about 260 billion USD annually. Roughly, Japan consumes 200 billion dollars of oil and 60 billion dollars of imported foods a year. Japan’s export is 15% of her GDP which is relatively smaller than European nations or China which is 36% to 40 % of their GDP. However, Japan does not have natural resources such as oil and gas. Thus Japan has to export 260 billion dollars worth of their products overseas.
If the trade balance is even, then it’s OK. Question is how long the Japanese can stay alive without exporting their products. Answer is they can survive for a very long time. In exchange for beef and grains the Japanese have invested their cash surplus in Brazil and Argentina to build giant fertilizer plants and steel mills. These projects have already been launched. As for oil and gas, Russia wants cash and technology from Japan in order to develop Sakhalin 2 Gas liquidation plants. The same day Hillary Clinton left Tokyo for Beijing, our Prime Minister Taro Aso flew to Sakhalin to meet with the Russian President Medvedev to normalize relationship between our two countries.
This January Japan’s trade deficit was recorded at 9,526 million USD. If the current economic recession lasts for two more years, the trade deficit would rise to 228,624 million USD.
How can Japan survive these two years of recession? Japan has 14 trillion dollars in savings. It is three times larger than her GDP and growing. This does not include 1.1 trillion dollars US treasury bonds. In 2002, Japan Central Bank estimated 26,400 Million USD worth JPY in “Tansu” savings, hoarded cash saving in Japanese wooden chests and it is growing.
Now, can you finally understand how the Japanese are cash rich? We are not in such deep trouble as you wish to think. I think Americans are facing serious cash shortage very soon and you gotta go where the money is. The place could be our country Japan.