Fed Chair Yellen Admits Labor Market Struggling, More Stimulus Needed, Equities Soar

According to Reuters, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a strong defense of the central bank’s easy-money policies on Monday, saying its “extraordinary” commitment to boosting the economy, especially the still struggling labor market, will be needed for some time to come.

“I think this extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policy-makers at the Fed,” Yellen said at a community reinvestment conference.

Yes, the labor market is TERRIBLE! On her statement, the Dow Industrials jumped over 100 points.

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Here is what concerns Chair Yellen.

Declining labor force participation and real median household income.

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Absurdly high U6 unemployment rate and the long duration of unemployment.

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Crashing M1 Money Multiplier and M2 Money Velocity with zero interest rate and a growing Fed Balance Sheet.

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But the S&P 500 index keeps on chugging with with The Fed’s easy money policies.

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Let me sum this up.

Winners: stock market investors
Losers: employment, wages

Yellen said “… the economy and the job market are not back to normal health.”

Ya think, Janet?

Ay Carumba! ISM Services Index Plunges To Lowest Level Since February 2010

Ay Carumba! The ISM Non-manufacturing index NMI plunged to its lowest level since February 2010.

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Even more dramatic, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Report on Business Employment SA plunged to by the most since the recession (allegedly) ended in June 2009.

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Here is a breakdown of the numbers.

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Sorry, it’s not the weather. Other economic indicators were crashing prior to this winter’s colder than normal temperatures on in the midwest and eastern seaboard.

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Got jobs?

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A Tale of Two Countries: France Jobseekers Soar While German Unemployment Remains Low (6.8%)

One year ago, France’s President Francois Hollande promised create jobs by the end of 2013. Unfortunately, job seekers have grown steadily since 2008 and are now higher than any point since 1996.

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Now comes the news that French Jobseekers rose more than expected for the 3rd month in a row to a new record high of 3.316 million. Joblessness has now risen for 30 of the last 32 months. The last 5 months have seen jobseekers accelerate, surging by 2.5% (the most in 6 months). Too bad, France is the Eurozone’s 2nd largest economy.

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If we compare the largest economy, Germany, with the second largest economy, France, we see a Tale of Two Cities Countries. Germany is going the right way, France is going the wrong way.

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Of course, France’s real GDP growth rate is only 0.80% YoY compared to Germany’s 1.40% YoY.

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Mr. Hollande, avoid speaking in public in France if the stage looks like this:

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Financial Situation Expectations Hold Back Refis, Fannie Mae Analyst Says (Real Median Household Income Stagnant)

A Fannie Mae analyst states that borrower’s expectations about their financial situation and too much debt can explain the lack of mortgage refinancings.

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -By Christopher Maloney and Jody Shenn- Borrowers’ expectations of their future financial situation, stress over debt-paying ability and unsuccessful past refi attempts are among factors that have kept ~40%-50% of borrowers from refinancing, according to Fannie Mae analyst Li-Ning Huang.
• “Life cycle” factors such as years owning home, marriage status, education level primary drivers of past refis
• As borrowers’ financial literacy, financial experience possibly play a role as well in future refi decisions, resources and tools to help build them may lead to higher refi rates
• Other factors cited as barriers to refis include lack of savings, cost of closing

Declining/stagnant real median household income is part of the problem too.

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Of course, the same can be said about mortgage purchase applications as well.

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