A few facts:
Unemployment rate hits 5-year high of 6.1%
Wednesday September 10, 2007
By Chris Isidore, senior writer
The unemployment rate soared to a nearly five-year high in August as employers trimmed jobs for the eighth straight month, the government reported Friday.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, the highest level since September 2003. That’s up from 5.7% in July and 4.7% a year ago.
The U.S. economy has lost 605,000 jobs so far this year.
Retailers trimmed 20,000 jobs despite the back-to-school shopping season, which for many stores is typically second in sales only to the holiday period.
Manufacturing lost 61,000 jobs, while construction employment fell by 8,000.
Confidence could also be hurt by another report Friday from the Mortgage Bankers Association showing a rec ord 1.2 million home foreclosures during the second quarter.
And recent filings for initial jobless benefits by the newly unemployed is now running at more than 400,000 a week, a level typically associated with a recession.
Cost of the Iraq war
Source: The Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index, and mainstream media sources. Data is presented as of September 3, 2008.
Spent & Approved War-Spending – About $600 billion of US taxpayers’ funds. In June 2008.
President Bush signed a bill approving about 200 billion more for 2008, which brings the cumulative total to close to $800 billion.
U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq – $12 billion in 2008
The lack of infrastructure investment in America’s bridges, roads, and levee systems. As billions of dollars have been spent on the unnecessary war in Ira q.
The June 2008 Midwestern United States floods
After months of heavy precipitation a number of rivers overflowed their banks for several weeks at a time and broke through levees at numerous locations. Flooding continued into July. States affected by the flooding included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
This all while billions have been spent on the war in Iraq.
The flood left thirteen dead and damage region-wide was estimated to be in the $10s of billions.
Hurricane Katrina Failure
FEMA and US Federal response
The federal flood protection system in New Orleans failed at more than 50 spots. Nearly every levee in metro New Orleans was breached as Hurricane Katrina passed just east of the city limits. Eventually 80% of the city became flooded.
Investigations were launched into response of the federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of the Republican Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown.
The federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was jointly announced on September 7, 2008, by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the director of the recently-established Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
The combined GSE losses of $14.9 billion and market concerns about their ability to raise capital and debt threatened to disrupt the U.S. housing financial market. The Treasury committed to invest as much as $200 billion in preferred stock and extend credit through 2009 to keep the GSEs solvent and operating. The two GSE have outstanding more than US$ 5 trillion in mortgage backed securities (MBS) and debt; the debt portion alone is $1.6 trillion.
Missing – $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grena des and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)
Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported – $1.4 billion
Portion of the $20 billion paid to KBR that Pentagon auditors deem “questionable or supportable” – $3.2 billion
Journalists killed – 132, 88 by murder and 44 by acts of war
Journalists killed by US Forces – 14
Iraqi Police and Soldiers Killed – 8,593
Iraqi Insurgents Killed, Roughly Estimated – 55,000
Non-Iraqi Contractors and Civilian Workers Killed – 554
Unemployment among women rising sharply
Job losses in August echo 2001 recession, and one-month spike is the worst in 33 years.
By Tony Pugh
Saturday, Sep. 13, 2008
A sharp monthly rise in unemployment for women could be a sign that the economic slowdown has begun to h it working women with a force not seen since the 2001 recession.
When the unemployment rate for women jumped to 5.3percent in August from 4.6percent in July, it was the largest one-month spike in the jobless rate for women in more than 33 years.
Black women were hit even harder, as their unemployment rate leapt 21 percent, to 9.1 percent in August from 7.5 percent in July.
Among single mothers and women with families, unemployment climbed to 9.6 percent in August – the highest level in 15 years.
If the economic slump continues to echo the 2001 recession, the effect on working women will only worsen, according to a recent report by the Joint Economic Committee, a panel that includes Democratic and Republican members of Congress and studies U.S. economic issues.
About 43 percent of all working women earn half or more of their family’s income.
During recessions prior to 2001, stay-at-home moms and other women family members would often get jobs when men were laid off. But as more women entered the work force – and into male-dominated industries such as manufacturing – they became much more vulnerable to layoffs, wage cuts and other vagaries of economic downturns.
Government, Wall Street race to try to save Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. founded in 1850, was a diversified, global financial-services firm. Until its collapse on September 13, 2008. At one time it was the country’s 4th-largest investment bank, behind Salomon Brothers, Goldman Sachs and First Boston
By JEANNINE AVERSA and JOE BEL BRUNO
Associated Press Writers
NEW YORK – The field of possible buyers for Lehman Brothers narrowed Saturday, but the parties involved in the discussions over the wounded investment bank’s future were at loggerheads over how to finance the rescue.
An investment banking official said Bank of America Corp. and B ritain’s Barclays Plc have emerged as the front runners for Lehman Brothers after a possible cash injection from its rival Wall Street banks and brokerages.
Top officials from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department and executives from several Wall Street banks met at the New York Fed’s downtown Manhattan headquarters Saturday for the second day in a row try to hash out a deal to rescue Lehman Brothers.
The financial world was watching. Failure could prompt skittish investors to unload shares of financial companies, a contagion that might affect stock markets at home and abroad when they reopen Monday.
In August 2007, the firm closed its subprime lender, BNC Mortgage, eliminating 1,200 positions, in 23 locations and took an after-tax charge of $25 million and a $27-million reduction in goodwill.
In 2008, Lehman faced an unprecedented loss to the continuing subprime mortgage crisis. Lehman’s loss was apparently a result o f having held on to large positions in subprime and other lower-rated mortgage tranches.
On September 10, 2008, Lehman announced a loss of $3.9 billion.
Gas prices since the Republicans have been in The White House
George W. Bush assumed office January 20, 2001.
January 22, 2001
Gas prices up nearly 4 cents a gallon
CNN -The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline rose 3.84 cents to $1.45 over the past two weeks, ending an 11-week downward trend.
Here are average prices for a gallon of self-serve regular in a few U.S. cities:
Los Angeles: $1.48
St. Louis: $1.48
Pre Katrina avg. gas price $2.60 per gallon 2005
Pre Gustav avg. gas price $3.66 per gallon 2008
Retail regular grade gasoline prices moved up from about $2.12 per gallon at the beginning of June 2005 to $2.33 on July 11, 2005.
Gasoline prices climbed to a new high, above $2.60 per gallon Monday August 22, 2005. The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hit $2.614, up from $2.601 Friday, August 19, 2005.
Gas prices rise as Ike hits Texas
The average price of gas surged nearly 6 cents nationwide as Hurricane Ike hits Gulf Coast and analysts fear more increases
Gas prices rose for the fourth straight day as Hurricane Ike slammed the Texas Gulf Coast early Saturday morning.
According to a nationwide survey released by the motorist group AAA Saturday, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline edged up 5.8 cents to $3.73 a gallon, from $3.675 a day earlier.
Far from Ike’s path, an aftershock is felt: $5 gas
By JOHN PORRETTO and MARK WILLIAMS
Associated Press Business Writers
Saturday, Sep. 13, 2008
The price of regular gasoline soared as high as $4.99 a gallon in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, up from $3.66 a day earlier.
In Florida, the attorney general’s office reported prices as high as $5.50 a gallon in Tallahassee and said it had received 186 gouging complaints.
Prices in California on Saturday ranged from $3.49 to $4.39 per gallon. In the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, gasoline jumped from $3.55 early in the week to $3.79. Regular gasoline at Chicago-area stations averaged $4.12 a gallon.
Gas prices nationwide rose an average of nearly 6 cents a gallon to $3.733, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Overnight changes in the national average for gas are usually measured by tenths of a cent.
The subprime mortgage crisis
Major banks and other financial institutions around the world have reported losses of approximately U.S. $435 billion as of 17 July 2008.
During 2007, nearly 1.3 million properties were subject to 2.2 million foreclosure filings, up 79% and 75% respectively versus 2006.
The estimated value of subprime adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) resetting at higher interest rates is U.S. $400 billion for 2007 and $500 billion for 2008. Reset activity is expected to increase to a monthly peak in March 2008 of nearly $100 billion, before declining.
July 15, 2008
US News & Word Report
With an estimated $32 billion in assets, IndyMac Bank of Pasadena, Calif., which federal regulators seized Friday, is poised to become the 3rd-largest bank failure in American history
Troubled US bank list grows to 117: regulator
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The number of US banks on a “problem list” grew to 117 in the second quarter from 90 in the first three months of the year, the banking industry regulator said.
The list of troubled banks is now the largest since mid-2003, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank deposits and can take over insolvent banks.
Total assets of problem institutions increased to 78 billion dollars by June 30 from 26 billion in the first quarter, according to the FDIC, which noted that 32 billion of that total came from California-based IndyMac Bank, taken over by the regulator in July.
The FDIC said profits for its 8,400 member banks plunged 86.5 percent in the second quarter compared with a year ago to 5.0 billion dollars.
Also, wouldn’t be funny if this was a real photo? Great photoshopped image!