Monday, March 29, 2010

Recession's Over?

I realize the Fed, Wall St. and the boobs and boobs on CNBC truly believe the recession is over. Unfortunately I simply do not. Now the Fed, Wall St. and the propaganda-in-chief CNBC will throw chart after graph after ratio to show that it is and you're a tea bagger to think any different. A campaign of what I like to call "baffle em' with bullshit". I, instead, prefer the more mundane mainstreet evidence that a simpleton's simpleton, like myself, can understand.

Information like this story courtesy of Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times Recession's Untold Story. It surrounds a job vacancy as a dog-kennel assistant.

There are bad hours (lots of weekends and holidays). There's low-as-it-goes pay — as in minimum wage, $8.55 an hour.

"It's not most people's dream job," Palumbo laughs. "Usually I get high-school kids applying. Or maybe a college kid for the summer. I've never seen anything like this."

Two weeks ago Palumbo posted a want ad on Craigslist for a part-time dog-kennel assistant.

So far, 260 people have applied.

I remember a few years ago when farms, kennels and horse outfits had trouble finding any workers, other than undocumented immigrants. So Palumbo went through the résumés with me, obscuring the names. I wanted to know: Who now wants to be a dog-kennel assistant?

A laid-off graphic designer applied. So did a freelance photographer. Two out-of-work teachers sent résumés. Remarkably, so did someone in their mid-40s who had worked as a financial controller at an environmental-services company.

"There are a few people in here, such as accountants, who are so overqualified for this job," Palumbo said. "I know people just want to work but I don't think it would make much sense for me to hire them."


The rest of the applicants read like a recession roll call.

There are past customer-service reps from WaMu, AT&T, J.C. Penney and Sprint. A slew of retail clerks and cashiers, as well as out-of-work waiters. The biggest group, by far, is dozens of laborers, construction workers, landscapers and maintenance workers.

And the money quote

"It's simply amazing to me, and I still can't believe it," he said, "that from age 14 up into their 60s this many people are dying to be a minimum-wage dog-kennel assistant."

Yup, Bernanke must be right, recession's over! Move along readers, nothing to see here.

Good speculating to you all and please remember to never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 1 unit Direxion Large Cap 3X Bear ticker BGZ @ $19.34
Long 2 units Direxion Small Cap 3X Bear ticker TZA @ $12.06
Long 1 unit Direxion Emerging Mkts 3X Bear ticker EDZ @ $60.50
Long 2 units Direxion Financial 3X Bear ticker FAZ @ $19.65
Long 2 units Ultrashort Xinhua China ticker FXP @ $8.49
Long 1 unit Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $9.82
Long 2 units Direxion Tech 3X Bear ticker TYP @ $10.52
Long 1 unit US Dollar Bull ticker UUP @ $22.52 stop @ $21.97
Short 1 unit Daimler ticker DAI @ $52.23 stop @ $52.23

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