Surprise, surprise… “Mortgage Delinquencies Hit Record High in First Quarter” reads a headline on CNBC.com.
CNBC’s Steve Liesman (there’s a name you can trust) reports, “Delinquency rates are up in 44 of the 50 states.”
An analyst for Moody’s Economy.com thinks that we are nowhere near the bottom of this housing free-fall – especially as the subprime and Alt-A loans reset at higher rates this year and next year.
“I think credit conditions are going to weaken considerably more,” he said. “The good news, economy-wide, is that the job market is strong. As long as the job market hangs tough, I think we’ll be okay outside of housing.”
A ‘strong’ job market, eh? Well, it would certainly seem that way, according to the report the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released on Friday. Apparently, the United States created 180K jobs in March – and the jobless rate fell 0.17%.
Chuck Butler, who monitors these reports (which he refers to as the ‘Jobs Jamboree’) very closely, and who generally views the BLS data as a load of…well…BS, had this to say:
“While the 180K jobs created looks good on the outside, you know that I would look further into the numbers to see the devil in the details, right? Of course! First of all, the manufacturing sector took another hit and lost 16K jobs in March. So, where did the 196K jobs come from?
“A simple check of the BLS website tells us that of the 180K so-called jobs created, 128K were added via the birth/death model…what I call ‘ghost jobs.’
“My trusty calculator tells me that 128K is 71% of the total. No wonder the media keeps asking the question, ‘Why isn’t the economy growing when the jobs market seems so tight?’ BECAUSE IT ISN’T! I truly wish someone in the media would get their head out of the ‘feel-good sand’ and talk about this discrepancy!”
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