02 June 2010

Obama Gives Us a Hint: Look for a Hot Jobs Number on Friday - Mission Accomplished

Since he is the commander-in-chief of the Washington bureaucracy that churns out government statistics, it is a good bet that the boss' expectations will be met by those who serve him. So watch those short positions into this Friday's Non-Farm Payrolls report. The President has declared that an economic recovery is at hand.

Obama gave a longish speech at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh today blaming most of the problems in the US on the Republicans and a few greedy Banks, extolling the reforms in healthcare and the financial system that he has been able to push through despite the minority opposition, and recalcitrant leftish supporters, after he saved the country by the unfortunate but unavoidably necessary bank bailouts.

His speech sounded good. And if you do not look too closely at what is going on, and how things are being run, and the lack of actual reform, you might have had a feel good moment. It was about as effectively staged as the case that George W made to the American people for the invasion of Iraq. And it was probably just as phony and self-serving.

I come away feeling that Lincoln had it exactly right. There will be a die hard group who will never lose faith in their party, or any of their chosen leaders, and will find desperate comfort in partisan blindness.

"If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Abraham Lincoln
But the great majority of the American people are waking up, and that spells trouble in the November elections for most incumbent politicians. So the pace and velocity of the spin will have to be adjusted. Hence the speech today. And the outlook for the tortured American economic system, and the official descriptions of it.

For a refresher, here is Matt Taibbi's caustic expose of the financial reform process. Wall Street's War

Dow Jones Newswire
Obama Says He Expects Strong US Jobs Report Friday
By Jared A. Favole

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- President Barack Obama, speaking Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University on the economy, said he expects strong job growth to be reported Friday.

The Labor Department is scheduled to report May's employment statistics Friday. Economists expect the unemployment rate to slide to 9.7% from 9.9% in April and for the report to show the U.S. added as many as 515,000 jobs last month after non farm payrolls rose by 290,000 in April.

Obama said an economy that was "once shrinking at an alarming rate" has now grown for three consecutive quarters and is moving in the right direction.

I watched this speech live on Bloomberg television. It is no exaggeration. Obama was declaring mission accomplished, for the record. So if something beyond his control should happen to derail the recovery, well, that could not be his fault.