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Old 12-02-2015, 06:49 AM   #21
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Hmmm, you think maybe economic data might be a tad more indicative of what is happening in the economy than CNBC's dribblings or some anecdotal observations?
No kidding. Employment is rising steadily, auto manufacturing is solid, spending on construction is rising, and the single most forward looking indicator for future economic performance, new home construction, is positive and trending up. No recession on the horizon.

This is definitely the Rodney Dangerfield economic expansion - can't get no respect.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:23 AM   #22
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Hmmm, you think maybe economic data might be a tad more indicative of what is happening in the economy than CNBC's dribblings or some anecdotal observations?


Just asking...
I do generally, but that wasn't the question. Looking at the data you still have to allow for many intangibles. Oh, wait I guess there's "data" for that too.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:56 AM   #23
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I do generally, but that wasn't the question. Looking at the data you still have to allow for many intangibles. Oh, wait I guess there's "data" for that too.
This isn't China or north Korea. The data are not just made up. Is it incomplete and somewhat contradictory at the moment? Sure. But it is a lot more credible than anecdotes. I will see your doom and gloom and raise you an overheating. Local to me they cannot build fast enough, all I see are new cars with prices over 30k, stores are busy and you cannot get anyone to work on your house. Everywhere is hiring and judging by all the job listings banks are actively lending.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:33 AM   #24
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To borrow from William Gibson, I see the economy as doing well, "but it's just unevenly distributed".

Some places and people are doing very well, others not so much but it is not a zero sum game as the media would like to have you believe. I suspect many/most folks on this forum have done quite well in the market since the end of the recession.

What I do see is a lot of young folks who should be going to trade schools to become plumbers and electricians are being brow-beaten into going to college, taking on huge student debt and end up dropping out. Now you end up with a 22 year old who's "done with school forever" and has no skills at all and giant debt on his shoulders.

One thing for sure: I can't drive 2 miles without running into a construction site...somebody is making money.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:38 AM   #25
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Economy is chugging along just fine, it's not gangbusters but growing slowly. We have seen our volume in units up by 4.6% thru November 2015 compared to the same period last year. Traffic on I-70 seems good as well including truck traffic---good for the economy. Unfortunately there is a shortage of low skilled workers, truck drivers etc.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:04 AM   #26
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Our local economy in my part of North Texas seems robust. We have an Amazon distribution center nearby and they are going gang busters with packages shipping. I think there has been a paradigm shift away from retail shopping to buying on the net, so no big surprise as to big box stores reporting lower sales. I expect this trend to continue.

The one part of the economy that is a concern to me, is the labor participation rate and many well educated folks being stuck in low paying jobs. To me, this has been most noticeable since 2008. I hope interest rates do rise, and that companies start to pay better wages, and again start to train people (the intelligent and motivated variety) on the job for entry and early career opportunities instead of saying we can't find qualified candidates for our open positions.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:52 AM   #27
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The one part of the economy that is a concern to me, is the labor participation rate and many well educated folks being stuck in low paying jobs. To me, this has been most noticeable since 2008. I hope interest rates do rise, and that companies start to pay better wages, and again start to train people (the intelligent and motivated variety) on the job for entry and early career opportunities instead of saying we can't find qualified candidates for our open positions.
The participation rate is a conundrum. I tend to think that it is a combination of an aging population and the theory of increasing uselessness as propounded by Fred here Fred On Everything

I assume that the unwillingness to train or hire entry level employees on the part of employers is simply a feature of the way the labor market is. When I started my career a little over 20 years ago, there were still a few large banks that ran "credit training" programs but they were in the process of being wound down, and by the time they would have been a good match for me they were all gone. You will still see the occasional job opening listing credit training as a desired characteristic, but we would be talking about people 45 and older at this point so I am always surprised when I see it listed. But since all employees (with a very few exceptions) are effectively treated as independent contractors in the private sector whether they are "permanent" employees or not, it should not be a shock that employees are much more willing to be mercenary just like employers are. Shut off the nerd visas and some of this might change, but I doubt it would make a real impact.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:22 AM   #28
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Baton Rouge has the worst traffic that I have seen in years, and I don't associate it with the low price of gas.
It's that darn I-10 bridge that causes the traffic jams!
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:24 AM   #29
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The participation rate is a conundrum. I tend to think that it is a combination of an aging population and the theory of increasing uselessness as propounded by Fred here Fred On Everything

But since all employees (with a very few exceptions) are effectively treated as independent contractors in the private sector whether they are "permanent" employees or not, it should not be a shock that employees are much more willing to be mercenary just like employers are. Shut off the nerd visas and some of this might change, but I doubt it would make a real impact.
I've been out of the software development space for many years, but the influx of the nerd visas started back when I was involved. Often times, I found their technical skills to be overstated, but the real killer was inability to communicate with and translate end user requirements into solid products. The prior generation of home grown (developed on the job) programmer/analysts was much better. Maybe times have changed, but I dunno.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:39 AM   #30
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FOX news is best "watched" with the volume turned off.
Fify...

Anecdotally, the stores, highways, restaurants, etc. around these parts are crowded. Of course, the great recession was barely discernible, based on those criteria.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:45 AM   #31
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Out here in flyover country the farm economy is dragging everything down with it. Farmers tend to be permanently optimistic and spend like crazy in good years, so they don't have much salted away when prices and profits are low. Spending will definitely be down this year in everything from farm machinery to Christmas.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #32
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Out here in flyover country the farm economy is dragging everything down with it. Farmers tend to be permanently optimistic and spend like crazy in good years, so they don't have much salted away when prices and profits are low. Spending will definitely be down this year in everything from farm machinery to Christmas.
There must be a big difference between the rural economy and the urban economy. Where my Dad lives in the southeast, it seems as if farm land is not really selling, most of the small towns are dying if they can't be a bedroom community for an urban area not too distant.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:04 PM   #33
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I've been out of the software development space for many years, but the influx of the nerd visas started back when I was involved. Often times, I found their technical skills to be overstated, but the real killer was inability to communicate with and translate end user requirements into solid products. The prior generation of home grown (developed on the job) programmer/analysts was much better. Maybe times have changed, but I dunno.
Cannot speak to the tech end of things, but the big banks have been offshoring the simpler credit analysis and other tasks for years, usually with the idea that the grunt work they do is reviewed by more senior people onshore. Countless times I have seen the work poorly done, missing something central to the credit, or just screwed up generally. Waste of time, but since everyone keeps doing it either they are all nuts or they are actually saving money on it. It does mean that in 10 or 15 years it will be hard to find anyone at mid-level in this type of career since there are very few entry level jobs for someone to learn and move up from.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:11 PM   #34
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Mrs. Yellen giving another speech...Yak, Yak, Yak. I think she reads the same speech over and over. And if she doesn't she should. If I was her I would just say, "Im not even going to bother to speak, as it is the same message I have said 100 times in a row."
If I had a dollar for every time she said "2% inflation goal" I would have so much money I would never have to worry about inflation again.


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Old 12-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #35
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Yellen, a lot of words, have no idea what she said.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:28 PM   #36
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Yellen, a lot of words, have no idea what she said.

She is very brilliant. She speaks in such a monotone voice when she is done you don't even care what she said. You are just glad its over.


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Old 12-02-2015, 12:29 PM   #37
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A long time ago, I was speaking with an Economics Professor about how television affects the economy. The jest of the conversation is that the talking heads tell us things are getting better or worse, and the population responds to this constant stream of anecdotal and spun economic data thus becoming a self full filling prophecy. He stated that it was what economist call the 'expectation theory', we expect an upturn we get an upturn.

The question was "What are you seeing in the economy?" As I have far better things to do with my time than study dry economic data, my answer was based on 'What I saw in the economy", and that is based on anecdotal evidence, radio/tv news, traffic at local stores, and local print. (with an occasional input from this board).
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:41 PM   #38
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The US economy is doing better than flat - more like (very) slow and steady. It is doing much better than the rest of the world, and I don't see that changing real soon. Strong dollar and low commodity prices are helping the consumer.
Strong dollar hurts us as lot of our customers are exporters.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:45 PM   #39
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Yellen, a lot of words, have no idea what she said.
Neither did she.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:48 PM   #40
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To borrow from William Gibson, I see the economy as doing well, "but it's just unevenly distributed".

Some places and people are doing very well, others not so much but it is not a zero sum game as the media would like to have you believe. I suspect many/most folks on this forum have done quite well in the market since the end of the recession.

What I do see is a lot of young folks who should be going to trade schools to become plumbers and electricians are being brow-beaten into going to college, taking on huge student debt and end up dropping out. Now you end up with a 22 year old who's "done with school forever" and has no skills at all and giant debt on his shoulders.

One thing for sure: I can't drive 2 miles without running into a construction site...somebody is making money.
+1
In my w*rking past, I rubbed shoulders with a lot of construction trades, and the wages readily available within some specific trades were amazing. Easily obtainable six figures in a low COL area for those that were physically able to do the job. If they combined that with enough sense to handle their finances properly they could easily enter middle age with a very good stash set aside - and no student loans. And they had the sense to steer their kids to trade schools instead of chasing college degrees.
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