When your organic growth is over, your revenue just missed consensus expectations once again ($7.74Bn vs $7.77BN expected), your stock is trading near 4 years lows and and you are stuck in the imploding energy sector, what do you do? Why you announce a $10 billion stock buyback, but since you will have to fund it with more debt (whose cost in recent weeks has soared) you have to get rid of “overhead.” How do you do that? Simple: you announce you are firing 10,000 workers.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Seems the Americans, just like the Brits, are learning what it’s really like to be a MUSHROOM.
They keep us in total darkness, and occasionally feed us shit.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Update to BLS December Payroll Jobs Report: It is even worse than I reported
In my column on Friday I reported the unreported facts in the payroll jobs report. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/01/08/another-fabricated-jobs-report-paul-craig-roberts-2/ If we choose to believe the report, it is really very bad news. Good middle class jobs are continuing to decline. The new jobs are jobs that pay considerably less and often are part-time jobs devoid of benefits. Moreover, the new jobs are going to people outside the prime working age. The unavoidable conclusion is that for the majority of Americans, economic prospects are declining.
There is more bad news to be added to this dismal picture. The payroll jobs report provides both the actual numbers of jobs from the survey and the seasonally adjusted number. The news release is always the seasonally adjusted number, which is the number that my column examines. However, the seasonally adjusted number is concocted.
Perhaps in a recognition of the collapsing yield curve, and for sure in the face of the mainstream’s bullish narrative on US banks in a post-rate-hike paradigm, Citi has announced plans to cut at least 2,000 jobs starting next month. Despite exuberance over higher rates, it appears Citi’s CEO Michael Corbat wants to restructure some of the bank’s businesses.
One of the questions on analysts’ minds lately is whether stock prices can keep moving up when corporate sales and profits are falling. But the same can be asked about the overall economy. Why would companies hire more people if they’re selling less stuff? The answer is that they probably won’t. As the chart below — put together by good friend Michael Pollaro — illustrates, business sales and employment have tracked closely since at least the 1990s. When sales have fallen, companies have responded with less hiring and more firing.
But for the past year sales have declined while reported employment has risen.
Unless this relationship no longer holds, one of these lines will have to change course very soon. And since sales are beyond anyone’s control, it’s a safe bet that employment will be the one to give.
There has been a litany of layoff announcements recently: Biogen said yesterday that it would axe 11% of its people. ESPN would lay off 4% of its people. Twitter a couple of days ago said it would slash its workforce by 8%. Microsoft and HP are currently very busy shedding tens of thousands of workers.
Caterpillar announced over 10,000 layoffs last month. Intuit kicked off a new round of layoffs this summer. Permanently troubled former highflyer Groupon is laying of 1,100 folks. Even startups. Zomato, based in India, is laying of 300 folks, many of them in the US. Flipagram laid off 20% of its workers. And on and on. Even Snapchat.
Are you ready for this… are you sitting down… you better be sitting down. Here it comes
- BERNANKE SAYS BIGGEST IMPACT OF QE WAS TO ‘CREATE JOBS’
From “hope” to “nope”…
“Peak Self-Delusion” or just another Big Lie?
The federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation. For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy. If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth. Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that. The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248,000 jobs in September and the government added more than a million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category. When I first saw that number I truly believed that it was inaccurate. But you can find the raw figures right here. According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are “officially unemployed” and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”. That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.
That is not an economic recovery – that is an economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude.
Deutsche Bank has witnessed an exodus of executives this year in what’s been a tough stretch for the German lender. Here’s a brief recap of the bank’s recent trials and travails for those who need a refresher:
The bank, which has paid out more than $9 billion over the past three years alone to settle legacy litigation, has become something of a poster child for corrupt corporate culture.
In April, Deutsche settled rate rigging charges with the DoJ for $2.5 billion (or about $25,474 per employee) and subsequently paid $55 million to the SEC (an agency that’s been run by former Deutsche Bank employees and their close associates for years) in connection with allegations it deliberately mismarked its crisis-era LSS book to the tune of at least $5 billion.
– 698K Native-Born Americans Lost Their Job In August: Why This Suddenly Is The Most Important Jobs Chart (ZeroHedge, Sep 7, 2015):
After the Fed admitted over a year ago that the US unemployment rate (which in 2012 was supposed to be a rate hike “threshold” once it hit 6.5% and is now at 5.1%) has become irrelevant in a country where a record 94 million people have left the labor force, and with the Fed poised to hike rates even though US hourly wages have not only not increased for the past 7 years, but for the vast majority of the labor force continue to decline, some have asked – is there any labor-related chart that matters any more?
The answer: a resounding yes, only it is none of the conventional charts that algos and sometimes humans look at.
– Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977 (ZeroHedge, Sep 4, 2015):
While the kneejerk headling scanning algos are focusing on the seasonally-adjusted headline monthly NFP increase which came in a worse than expected 173K, the presidential candidates – especially the GOP – are far more focused on another data point: the labor force participation rate, and the number of Americans not in the labor force. Here, they will have some serious ammo, because according to the BLS, the main reason why the unemployment rate tumbled to the lowest since April 2008 is because another 261,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, as a result pushing the total number of US potential workers who are not in the labor force, to a record 94 million, an increase of 1.8 million in the past year, and a whopping 14.9 million since the start of the second great depression in December 2007 while only 4 million new jobs have been created.
– Total 2015 Job Cuts To Be Biggest Since 2009: Challenger (ZeroHedge, Sept 3, 2015):
Moments ago Challenger reported August job cuts, which at 41,186 were a 60% drop from the 115,730 reported last month (the highest since September 2011), which however was driven by a one-time mass layoffs last month in military staffing. Putting August in its correct perspective, the number was 2.9% higher than the same month a year ago, when 40,010 planned job cuts were announced.
What is troubling is that this marks the seventh month this year that the job-cut total was higher than the comparable month from 2014.
What is worse is that for all the euphoria about initial claims printing at or near record lows, the reality as measured from the bottom-up, is far different and as Challenger notes, so far in 2015 employers have announced 434,554 job cuts: that is up 31 percent from the 332,931 planned layoffs in the first eight months of 2014.
– ConocoPhillips Fires 10% Of Global Workforce, Warns Of “Dramatic Downturn” To Oil Industry (ZeroHedge, Sept 1, 2015):
Where the great oil crash hits close to home for most Americans, is when firms such as Houston based ConocoPhillips announce that the E&P giant is about to terminate 10%, or 1,800 people, of its global workforce, in the next several weeks as it copes with low oil prices. “Our industry is undergoing a dramatic downturn, which has caused us to look at our future workforce needs. As we have assessed the implications of lower prices on our business, we’ve made the difficult decision that workforce reductions will be necessary.”
Brazil’s flagging economy, which is mired in stagflation and remains a slave both to China and to what looks like intractable political turmoil, has destroyed nearly 550,000 jobs YTD. As Barclays notes, ” [the July] print is compatible with 140,939 job eliminations, pretty close to the historical low of -154,355 in June.”
In more ways than one (or two, or three) Brazil is the poster child for the global emerging market unwind that, thanks to China’s yuan devaluation, has accelerated dramatically over the course of the last week.
– Obamanomics – Union Pacific Cuts 100s Of Jobs On Coal Shipments Collapse (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2015):
There will be more Americans tonight newly questioning President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, as NBCNews reports, Union Pacific will cut hundreds of management jobs as the amount of coal shipped by railroads continues to plunge.
Coal carloads down YoY 25 weeks in a row…
– Uncle Warren Strikes Again: Kraft Heinz Cuts 2,500 Jobs (ZeroHedge, Aug 12, 2015):
Thanks, Uncle Warren.
The Kraft-Heinz merger engineered earlier this year by everyone’s favorite folksy octogenarian billionaire along with 3G will cost some 2,500 people their jobs, as the combined entity looks to cut costs.
CEO (and 3G partner) Bernardo Hees has already slashed jobs on the Heinz side of things, so now it’s apparently time for Kraft employees to do their part to facilitate merger “synergies.”
… which perfectly explains that …
– Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 93.8 Million, Participation Rate At 1977 Level (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2015):
While the Fed is digesting what the X-13 Arima seasonally adjusted payrolls number means for the future of US interest rates, the devastation of the US labor force continues.
In what was an “modestly” unpleasant July payrolls report, yet somewhat better than June’s flagrant disappointment, the fact is that the number of Americans not in the labor force rose once again, this time by 144,000 to a record 93,770,000 million, with the result a participation rate of 62.6% which remains at a level more indicative of the September 1977 economy.
– Explain This… (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2015):
Initial jobless claims rose modestly this week but remain near 40 year lows as hoarding continues, and job cuts are at 4-year highs. So, we ask, just what is going on in this chart?
– Job Cuts Soar To Highest Since September 2011 After Mass Army Terminations, Highest YTD Layoffs Since 2009 (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2015):
While we await for the BLS to report another seasonally adjusted Initial Claims report which will be near multi-decade lows, a far more disturbing report was released moments ago by outplacement consultancy Challenger Gray, which has done a far better job of compiling true layoff data, and which reported that in July there was a whopping 105,696, up 136% from the 44,842 job cuts in June, and the highest in nearly four years, or since September 2011, which the last time there were more than more than 100,000 layoffs.
– Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44.2%, Concerns Rising “Recession Exit May Be Unsustainable” (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):
While the overall unemployment rate for the Eurozone also unchanged at 11.1%, it was renewed concern about what is going on in Italy, where unemployment rose from 12.5% to 12.7%, while Italy’s youth unemployment rate, which surprisingly jumped by nearly 2% to 44.2%, a record level. As Bloomberg put it, “Italy’s jobless rate unexpectedly rose in June as businesses continue to dismiss workers amid concerns that the country’s exit from recession may not be sustainable.”
– The Layoffs Return: Energy Giants Chevron, Saipem To Fire Over 10,000 Workers (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):
In the beginning of 2015 the biggest threat to the economy as a result of the collapse in oil prices, both in the US and worldwide, was the surge in layoffs among highly-paid energy sector job. This was confirmed in April when we showed the Challenger layoffs data for the energy-heavy state of Texas, and the energy sector in general where the 37,811 job cuts in Q1 were some 3,900% higher than a year earlier.
Then in Q2, after the price of oil staged a substantial rebound of about 50% from the year to date lows in the $40’s, energy-related layoffs trickled to a halt as corporations hoped the worst is behind them, and as a result would merely bide their time before redeploying their workforce toward exploration and production.