I'm Betting on Steve Poizner and Chuck de Vore to Win the Republican Primaries in California...
The United States Is Not Greece

The Labor Market Puts Down Its Mat and Stops Walking...

Jeffry Bartash:

U.S. jobless claims climb 25,000 to 471,000: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits shot up 25,000 in the latest week to 471,000, the highest level in a month, according to the Labor Department.... A Labor Department official said there were no unusual factors to explain the increase...

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser

And, from Beijing, Mark Thoma emails that he made the mistake of reading the New York Times, and is going to recover his psychological equilibrium by going to view the Temple of Heaven...

For some reason they waste their ink, their newsprint, their electrons, and my time on Rob Cox. Rob: Sales of Whole Foods's products is not a piece of information in addition to the disappointing macroeconomic aggregates. Sales of Whole Foods's products are part of the disappointing macro aggregates. There is no statistical evidence that a V-shaped recovery is coming. And each anecdote showing strength above the average story told by the macroeconomic aggregates is balanced by another anecdote showing weakness below the average story stold by the macroeconomic aggregates: that is, after all, why the average is the average--it is the average. And the average does not look like a "V" at all:

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser

Rob Cox:

Is Fed Missing Early Signs of Recovery?: The rich may be... a leading economic indicator. The corridors of wealth and finance are alive with new optimism. The Federal Reserve, though, doesn’t seem to share it. The central bank has not indicated any intention of raising interest rates soon.. if the Fed is behind the game, there’s a good chance everyone will suffer. All seems well indeed atop the food chain. Whole Foods, purveyor of richly priced organic onions and other groceries, last week raised its best estimate for same-store sales growth this year to as much as 7 percent from as little as half that. Its shares have gained 45 percent this year.... The chief executive of one of America’s biggest banks contends that the strength of the American economy will surprise everyone. The hedge fund manager John A. Paulson has been busy telling investors he is seeing the upward side of a V-shaped recovery.... These could be the observations of a cloistered few.... Then again, Mr. Paulson’s arguments, echoed in big company boardrooms, have evidence. Indicators including California housing prices, American household net worth and bank lending practices back up the idea of a sharp recovery.... If robust growth is just below the surface, a failure to bring interest rates into line early enough could bring about an inflationary cycle. That wouldn’t just hurt the rich, but everyone else, too.

And no, the Federal Reserve does not need to raise interest rates right now.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?