Wolf Richter

In the Bowels the Jobs Report: 15.4 Million Missing Jobs

The long-term problem in the horrendous jobs report is the strangely inconspicuous “Employment-Population Ratio” that has been nosediving for over a decade. It’s the definition of a comatose economy.

Yakuza: ‘We Have To Evolve Our Business Model’

“And we have to improve our image,” said Masatoshi Kumagai, one of the bosses of the Japanese yakuza, in an interview with French reporters. Yakuza are on decline, he said, and if they don’t change their business model, they might cease to exist.

Tokyo Tidbit: Disaster Specials

An earthquake struck Tokyo around noon on September 1, 1923, while people were cooking lunch over open fires: Over 100,000 people burned to death in the city “built of wood and paper.” Now, September 1 is “Disaster Prevention Day.” And it’s time to go shopping for foldable helmets.

The inexplicable American Consumer

Consumer confidence fell off a cliff and hit levels not seen since April 2009, and yet, consumers spent with abandon and made up the difference by piling on debt, at least for now. What gives?

Dear Ben, Please Print us More Money

We want you to prop up the stock market. Everybody knows it’s a Ponzi scheme that will collapse without your support. You don’t want us to end up like Bernie Madoff’s clients. No, Ben, we love Ponzi schemes. We get in early and get out before they collapse. That’s why we’re rich. The bad thing is that they sometimes collapse before we can get out. But you’ve bailed us out twice in the last couple of years….

Tokyo Tidbit: Permit Required For Deadly Pitfall

Birthday surprise for her husband: a woman and five friends dug a deep hole on a beach in Ishikawa Prefecture, put mattresses at the bottom, covered the hole with a plastic sheet, and sprinkled sand on it. Her husband would fall in and everyone would have a grand old time. The outcome was tragic. And they didn’t even have the required permit.

Oh No, The Inventory Correction Is Confirmed

Awful economic data and corporate announcements confirm: orders are plummeting, the dreaded inventory correction is here, and a recession is now guaranteed. In our already miserable economy, this is going to be a rough ride. Fasten your seatbelt.

Knife Drawn, the Bundesbank Attacks the ECB, and German Industrialists Tremble

The Bundesbank lashes out at the ECB for its decision to print money and buy crappy bonds of eurozone countries that lived high on the hog for years but are crumbling under a pile of debt. This puts it on collision course with the German industrialists that got rich off those countries. Angela Merkel is caught in between.

Swiss Franc Wreaks Havoc In Switzerland

The run-up of the Swiss franc entailed a stock-market crash, gigantic hits to wealth invested overseas, and big losses in Swiss pension funds. Companies are reeling. Layoffs and a recession are next. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) flooded the market with francs, intervened in the currency markets, and forced real interest rates into negative territory. Without much success.