January 22, 2016
False positives can't keep us going forever . . .
Every day we hear announcements about unemployment and continuing layoffs. Now Shell has announced 10,000 layoffs. Rig counts continue to come down. We have the lowest level of recounts in America since 1990, causing an enormous number of layoffs. The oil industry here in America alone has already eliminated 250,000 jobs. Parsons - one of the larger firms in Europe - is squeezing out another 4,000. JP Morgan has announced layoffs. More financial institutions around the globe are announcing layoffs. Manufacturing has been in contraction mode for the last six months, leading to layoffs since no expansion is in sight.
American WorkforceCould we see the labor participation rate go down even below 1977? This is an employment rate that our President continues to boast about, yet over the last two months we have seen no movement-even after over 400,000 jobs have been lost. These people may be truly gone - perhaps they are not looking for other jobs. Maybe they are just sitting tight and falling off the radar screen, becoming a part of the Obama perfect storm.This helps him continue his massive deception teeming with false positives that will certainly lead to mass hysteria if we continue moving in this same direction.
Company layoffs are only half the problem. We are likely to see - maybe even by the end of this month - bankruptcies filed throughout some of the small or micro oil companies. It is unlikely they will continue to survive, or even want to survive, in this current environment. This will create more layoffs. More than that, it will hurt the banks and financial institutions that have supported their bond issues - high-yield bonds - and begin to create more problems for the high-yield bond sector.
It is getting more and more difficult for analysts (both in the government and private sectors) to continue hiding this deception. Maybe some of them have come to understand you can only cook the books and put out deceitful data (allowing false positives to be created) for so long. Eventually you have to sit back and realize that all this has not created a wealth effect, has not created confidence, has not brought people or businesses back into the markets as we continue to see the fear that has permeated individuals and now haunts Corporate America.
I said a couple of years ago that the question was not whether we needed a new president and a new Washington. The answer to that was - and is - obvious. The question was - and is - Can we survive until January 2017?

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