June 1. Job increases last month were below every prediction of the Bloomberg business news experts. And it was worse, because the figures for the two months earlier were revised and pulled down by tens of thousands of jobs. The (king of the hill) German stock market fell nearly 3.5% in one day. US stocks were almost as bad. All the talk about housing reviving evaporated and US housing stocks fell 7%.
There is such nervousness that money around the world is being poured into US Treasury bonds. That makes the interest rate lower. It’s now at 1.465% on a ten year bond. That means you give the US money for ten years and you get a measly 1.46% a year. That’s a record low. It’s also less than the yearly increase in prices. So people with money are willing to lose money in real terms every year for the indefinite future. Why? Because the alternative is so risky.
Bloomberg News put it mildly: “The American jobs engine sputtered in May…” All that stock broker happy talk about “slow progress”. Where is it now?
And when the experts are asked what the President and Congress might do to fix things they say, “nothing”. There’s a logjam. The Republicans won’t pass anything Obama wants. (And to tell the truth Obama has nothing in mind either except some more of the same)
The money men’s hope is the Federal Reserve Bank. They hope they’ll dream up some new way to lower interest rates even more so that business will start hiring. The last exercise was called the Twist so perhaps its time to Twist Again (does someone have Chubby Checker’s phone number?)
Interestingly Bloomberg news had an article about the Bonus Army on its site. The Bonus Army was made up of World War I veterans who had been issued a cash earning life insurance policy for their service. But they couldn’t cash it in until 1945. Well, in the Great Depression the veterans were desperate and they wanted the money right then and there. In June 1932 thousands were on their way to Washington by boxcar or by hitchhiking determined to get their money. “Bonus or Bust” was the slogan. They did camp out in the Annacostia Flats until Hoover sent the US Army against them. Douglas McArthur, George Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower led the troops that drove them out and burned down their shacks.
They were defeated, but working people came up with lots more actions, including sit-down strikes that scared the bejeesus out of the bankers and once Roosevelt got it there were lots of programs to help working people that altogether were called the New Deal. One of the most important programs was direct hiring of out of work people by the Federal Government. Millions were put on US payrolls.
What do we have now? Half a million cut from US Federal government payrolls and the dumb ass union leadership spending millions to get the same anti-worker politicians elected again.