A recent zero-hedge article rightly questioned the reliability of the reported unemployment figures by comparing the reported increase in the unemployment benefits paid with the reported increase in the number of insured unemployed. According to the figures reported by Department of Labor (DOL), the total number of insured unemployed in the US has risen by nearly 400% since September 2007 and has reached nearly 10.5 million as of Dec 19, 2009. However, if we look at the monthly withdrawals on the unemployment insurance account (according to the Daily Treasury Statement prepared by the Financial Management Service), the expenditure has risen by nearly 550%. The difference has been widening since April 2009 (coincidentally, right about the time the S&P 500 rocketed skywards, and the housing market made several month to month gains [see If Anybody Bothered to Take a Close Look at the Latest Housing Numbers..."]) and has increased substantially in Dec 2009.

 

A recent zero-hedge article rightly questioned the reliability of the reported unemployment figures by comparing the reported increase in the unemployment benefits paid with the reported increase in the number of insured unemployed. According to the figures reported by Department of Labor (DOL), the total number of insured unemployed in the US has risen by nearly 400% since September 2007 and has reached nearly 10.5 million as of Dec 19, 2009. However, if we look at the monthly withdrawals on the unemployment insurance account (according to the Daily Treasury Statement prepared by the Financial Management Service), the expenditure has risen by nearly 550%. The difference has been widening since April 2009 (coincidentally, right about the time the S&P 500 rocketed skywards, and the housing market made several month to month gains [see If Anybody Bothered to Take a Close Look at the Latest Housing Numbers..."]) and has increased substantially in Dec 2009.

 

As a Memorial Day gift to paying subscribers, I am offering a 22 page recession comparative analysis that shows specifically which indicators led the S&P 500 into an out of the last three recessions (of course, we are out of the last one yet, so the exit is incomplete). I noticed many people simply regurgitate what they hear in the media or from XYZ renowned pundit, in lieu of looking the data up for themselves. Many may be shocked to find out exactly what is a leading vs. a lagging indicator, and which indicators actually indicate nothing at all. This work should also go a long way in helping many discern whether we are in a bear market rally or the beginning of a new bull market, which is the reason why I commissioned it in the first place. I've always have to stress test my thesis!

Subscribers should feel free to discuss this (and only this) macro analysis openly in the public comments section, if they so desire. It can be downloaded here: An unbiased, independent retrospective comparative review - April 2009 An unbiased, independent retrospective comparative review - April 2009 2009-05-22 11:26:07 781.96 Kb. Professional/institutional subscribers also have access to the data-heavy 7.5 megabyte spreadsheet that was used to power the the analysis. Yes, I am feeling particularly generous today: Business Cycle Comparison Business Cycle Comparison 2009-05-22 11:17:12 7.44 Mb.

As a Memorial Day gift to paying subscribers, I am offering a 22 page recession comparative analysis that shows specifically which indicators led the S&P 500 into an out of the last three recessions (of course, we are out of the last one yet, so the exit is incomplete). I noticed many people simply regurgitate what they hear in the media or from XYZ renowned pundit, in lieu of looking the data up for themselves. Many may be shocked to find out exactly what is a leading vs. a lagging indicator, and which indicators actually indicate nothing at all. This work should also go a long way in helping many discern whether we are in a bear market rally or the beginning of a new bull market, which is the reason why I commissioned it in the first place. I've always have to stress test my thesis!

Subscribers should feel free to discuss this (and only this) macro analysis openly in the public comments section, if they so desire. It can be downloaded here: An unbiased, independent retrospective comparative review - April 2009 An unbiased, independent retrospective comparative review - April 2009 2009-05-22 11:26:07 781.96 Kb. Professional/institutional subscribers also have access to the data-heavy 7.5 megabyte spreadsheet that was used to power the the analysis. Yes, I am feeling particularly generous today: Business Cycle Comparison Business Cycle Comparison 2009-05-22 11:17:12 7.44 Mb.

... but are resuming there slide downward. I have attached a (dated) spreadsheet that decomposes the US publicly traded Asian ETFs that may be of interest to those who want exposure to this sector but don't want to go through the trouble of individual stock. The sheet breaks down sector concentrations and top 10 holdings for each fund.

China

In China, inflation declined from a 12-year high of 8.7% in February 2008 to 4.9% in August. Though inflation has come off highs, it is mainly driven by food prices. The growth in food prices declined to 10.3% y-o-y in August 2008 from 14.4% in July, keeping inflation high. Inflation is likely to decline further as commodity and fuel prices across the globe regress. The caveat is that we see China's growth slowing much faster than the reprieve in inflation. See the China-specific sections of The Butterfly is released!, Global Recession - an economic reality, and my China Macro update accented by media accounts.

  pdf  Asian ETF Spreadsheet (91 kB 2008-11-07 04:23:32)