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Coming home now…

September 30, 2009

I’m moving back to Bloggy – http://perspace.blogspot.com

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Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess

September 16, 2009

Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess

Posted using ShareThis

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Is it getting better

July 31, 2009

The answer is no…

I’m so disappointed with the market, the economy, the job market and most importantly with the people who never respond to emails… everything is going bad for me right now… just like the City of Detroit… first your car companies are doing bad, then the Lions go through a 0-16 season and then the Red Wings (supposedly the best team in NHL) lose to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup… there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

So let’s look at the recent numbers:

US GDP, fell at a 1.0 percent annual rate, after tumbling 6.4 percent in the January-March quarter, the biggest decline since a matching fall in the first quarter of 1982. It was previously reported as a 5.5 percent drop. With the contraction in the second quarter, U.S. GDP has fallen for four straight quarters for the first time since government records started in 1947.

The CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.9 percent in June before seasonal adjustment. Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in June (-467,000),and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.5 percent. Job losses were widespread across the major industry sectors, with large declines occurring in manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction.

The revised productivity data–as measured by output per hour of all persons–for the first quarter of 2009 were:

1.8 percent in the business sector and

1.6 percent in the nonfarm business sector.

In both sectors, the first-quarter productivity gains were greater than the preliminary estimates reported on May 7, due solely to revisions to output growth.

In manufacturing, the revised productivity changes in the first quarter were:

-2.7 percent in manufacturing,

-10.4 percent in durable goods manufacturing, and

1.9 percent in nondurable goods manufacturing.

Manufacturing productivity in the first quarter of 2009 fell at a slower rate than was reported on May 7. Output and hours in manufacturing, which includes about 11 percent of U.S. business-sector employment, tend to vary more from quarter to quarter than data for the aggregate business and nonfarm business sectors.

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Twitter’s value proposition

July 10, 2009

During my discussions with one very smart and experienced gentleman, I came across this puzzling question. What is the economic value of twitter? How would you make money out of a service that allows you to broadcast 140 character of less of anything on their cell phone?

I think there is a lot of value in the service provided it is packaged in a way that makes its use in the right context targeted at the right audience. Some of the ideas I can think of:

Reminder Services – broadcast text reminders to students/travelers/employees/etc. Gives higher level of customer services, and hence satisfaction.

Information Services – text when a stock (market) goes above/below some level, or some other temporal news…

Remote auctions on the go…

What else?

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Unemployment Claims Report

July 2, 2009

Is less bad news a good news? Some might say last week’s unemployment claims report might seem like it is. The figure for initial claims was down 16K from the previous week to 614,000. The four week moving average tumbled at a lower pace, and the figure came out to 615,250, down by 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 618,000.

On the other hand, not all’s good with the report. The unemployment rate has gone up from 9.4% to 9.5%, so already unemployed people like me have been joined by more and more people last week.

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Jobless Claims Report 06/18/2009

June 18, 2009

Finally some good news…

The Labor Department said Thursday that the total unemployment insurance rolls fell last week by 148,000 to 6.76 million, the largest drop in more than seven years and an indication that layoffs may be easing (or may be that excessive capacity is shrinking to a level where “easy” layoffs are no longer possible).

Also, the initial claims rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 608,000 last week, above analysts’ expectations. The four-week average fell by 7,000 to 615,750.

The drop in continuing claims could signal a slowing in the rise of the unemployment rate (which means we haven’t bottomed out yet, and there is more bad news to come), which reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent in May. Many economists forecast the rate could reach 10 percent by the end of the year (that could be the bad news).

Economists also are closely watching the level of first-time claims for signs the economy will recover by mid-summer (which I believe is a highly optimistic view of current trends), as many analysts predict.

First-time jobless claims are a measure of the pace of layoffs and are seen as a timely, if volatile, indicator of the economy’s health. Initial claims stood at 390,000 a year ago (remember, they are at 608,000 right now, so a long way to go back to the normal levels around 400K).

Among the states, Pennsylvania (followed by Florida, Ohio, California, New York, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nebraska) reported the largest increase in initial claims for the week ending June 6. (I wonder where is Michigan in all this, oh… I forgot, MI already has the highest unemployment rate in the country, so not many jobs to lose anymore… and I’m seeing this first hand).

So I were I (which I am), I would not put all my hopes on getting a job very quickly. Another couple of months in hibernation could cool things down.

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CPI for May 2009

June 17, 2009

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by households.

How is it calculated: The CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 50,000 housing units and approximately 23,000 retail establishments-department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index. Prices of fuels and a few other items are obtained every month in all 87 locations. Prices of most other commodities and services are collected every month in the three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas. Prices of most goods and services are obtained by personal visits or telephone calls of the Bureau’s trained representatives.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights, which represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average.

The latest report can be found here. Here is a snapshot of the latest figures:

cpi20090617