You can view it here.

1. 85,000 job losses was much worse than expected.
2. Temp jobs continue to rise. I think companies are slowly gaining more confidence, and hiring ‘just-in-time labor’ is a good indicator. Hopefully most of these temporary jobs become permanent.
3. Unemployment staying above 10% is a big psychological factor. If it had dipped below double-digits more unemployed workers would be encouraged to start looking for work again (which would likely bring the unemployment rate back over 10% next month, so c’est la vie).
4. Democrats can’t sustain too many reports like this one. If unemployment remains above 10% in November I’d bet the GOP takes back the House.


Rents Signal Rise of D.C., Fall of N.Y.

Rent prices in New York and Washington have long outpaced the rest of the nation — and by a wide margin. In the past, usually after recessions that shrink business and expand government, Washington has moved ahead. But this time, the gap has narrowed sharply and quickly. As recently as two years ago, average rent in midtown Manhattan was $61 per square foot, nearly $20 per square foot higher than the average in Washington’s prime downtown area. According to most commercial-real-estate brokers, the gap has nearly disappeared.

Current estimates put average rents in Manhattan at $60 per sq ft, so the collapse hasn’t been that bad there. But NYC rents fell almost at a 20% annual rate compared to 3% for D.C.

Last month the country became the first South American state to join the OECD…

Invenstor Business Daily

It’s not like Chile was born lucky. Only 30 years ago, it was an impoverished country with per capita GDP of $1,300. Its distant geography, irresponsible neighbors and tiny population were significant obstacles to investment and growth. And its economy, dominated by labor unions, wasn’t just closed, but sealed tight. In the Cato Institute’s 1975 Economic Freedom of the World Report it ranked a wretched 71 out of 72 countries evaluated.

Today it’s a different country altogether. Embracing markets has made it one of the most open economies in the world, ranking third on Cato’s index, just behind Hong Kong and Singapore. Per capita GDP has soared to $15,000. Besides its embrace of free trade, other reforms — including pension privatization, tax cuts, respect for property rights and cutting of red tape helped the country grow not only richer but more democratic, says Cato Institute trade expert Daniel Griswold. “Chile’s economy is set apart from its neighbors, because they have pursued market policies consistently over a long period,” he said. “Free trade has been a central part of Chile’s success.”

The marvels of trade liberalisation on display once again. There is a sense of rising anti-globalisation in this country and we need more stories such as this one in our newspapers and editorial pages (not just the WSJ).

No Pessimists Allowed!

For all the advances of information technology, big economic turns always take us unawares. In 2007, all indicators flashed green—until the bottom suddenly fell out. In this environment, things can look awful, until a new order unexpectedly comes in or a few deals break in your firm’s favor. All of a sudden, things seem much better. We’re in a Missouri economy now, one in which recovery has to be shown, not told. Economic conditions may be improving, but it still may take more than a few quarters of growth before people fully commit to recovery, both financially and psychologically. If credit means belief, since the credit crisis began two years ago, belief has been in short supply. Maybe it’s time for a little blind faith.

A little too ‘goldilocks’ to me, but keep an eye on the personal savings rate to see where 2010 economy is headed.

The Benefits of Buying a House
Megan McArdle

But if we owned our house, I might be able to hope that someday we would acquire a water heater bigger than a thimble, rather than hopelessly resigning myself to shallow, lukewarm baths. I might also be able to sink screws into the ceiling for a hanging potrack, install blackout curtains so that I could sleep later than 6 am in the summer, and otherwise make the house over more to my specifications. But the owners are fond of their home the way it is, so it stays.

For a long time, I didn’t care so much about this. I liked the freedom renting gave me. But once you’re committed to a city, and another person, that freedom starts looking overrated.

A previous post of mine on homeownership

I am curious myself if my views will change when I’m ready to settle down and start a family. I’m also sure my friends will get tired of helping me move every year and I’ll have to deal with a moving company.

The resurrection of Howard Dean

“A lot of establishment people might laugh at that, but there’s angst in the progressive wing of the party, and it matters that Howard Dean is emerging as the leading voice of that angst,” said Trippi. “It could matter on a number of other issues, and it could lead to another Howard Dean campaign for president,” said Trippi, who had a falling out with his old boss toward the end of the campaign but would not rule out signing on to a Dean 2016 campaign.

“There’s a real chance that if progressives feel at the end of the Obama era that there wasn’t enough movement on issues they care about, then somebody will emerge out of the progressive wing of the Party as a leading contender. If you follow that logic, then you have to conclude that it could be Howard Dean.”

There are opinion polls out there suggesting that a fictional third party of Teabaggers would receive more political support than Republicans in the coming 2010 elections. This would surely do some harm to any GOP hopes of a rehash of the 1994 midterms. But don’t count out Howard Dean and his progressives doing the same to the Democrats.

Below are my top 15 albums of the decade. Going back and listening to all these albums was such a thrill. Make sure to check out my Top 10 albums of 2009 too.

15. The Strokes - Is This It

14. The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

13. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

12. Future of the Left - Travels with Myself and Another

11. TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

10. The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me

9. The White Stripes - De Stijl

8. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

7. Brian Wilson - SMiLE

6. The National - Alligator

5. Arcade Fire - Funeral

4. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

3. Radiohead - Kid A

2. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People

1. The Hold Steady - Seperation Sunday