Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's bad

From Grog's Gamut, an Ozzie political blog, I got these two interesting charts.  He in turn got them here.

The chart shows the percentage change in employment (so comparisons over long periods are possible, even though the US population has tripled over sixty years) with the deepest point of the downturn shown as month zero.  This is the worst post WWII downturn, without any question.  But we already knew that.  What is scary is that the gap between the experience this cycle and most previous cycles is widening.  Yes, employment is rising, but at the rate typical of a moderate downturn not the severe one we had.  And of course, that's because the US has far, far too much debt, which in turn means that housing, which typically rebounds sharply during the recovery, hasn't this time.

The comparison with Australia is interesting though probably not instructive.  For a long time we had a higher unemployment rate than the US.  Now our rate is lower than the US's.  The lucky country, indeed.  Thanks for all our raw materials.  And thank you China.

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