February 6th, 2009
12:12 PM ET

As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force

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Catherine Rampell
New York Times

With the recession on the brink of becoming the longest in the postwar era, a milestone may be at hand: Women are poised to surpass men on the nation’s payrolls, taking the majority for the first time in American history.

The reason has less to do with gender equality than with where the ax is falling.The proportion of women who are working has changed very little since the recession started.


Filed under: Economy • Job Market
February 6th, 2009
12:06 PM ET

States' Jobless Funds Run Low

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Valerie Bauerlein
Wall Street Journal

A growing number of states are running out of cash to pay unemployment benefits, a sign of how far social-welfare systems are being stretched by the swelling ranks of the jobless in the deteriorating U.S. economy.

Unemployment filings have soared so high in recent months that seven states have already emptied their unemployment-insurance trust funds, which were supposed to see them through recessionary periods. Another 11 states are in jeopardy of depleting reserves by year's end, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which published a January report entitled "The Crisis in State Unemployment Trust Funds."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
February 6th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Mr. President, Where are the nails and hammers?

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Ed Lavandera | BIO
CNN Correspondent

I always imagined the life of a former president as the perfect retirement. You sit around, exercise, read great books and get the best tables at the best restaurants. And when the bank account gets a little low, you give a speech to some group willing to write a check for a million dollars. And start the cycle over again, sit, run, read, eat, then work again. Not bad, right?

I assume President George W. Bush is pouring over hundreds of lucrative offers. But I find this offer much more interesting. Elliott’s Hardware is a Dallas institution and just a few miles away from President Bush’s Dallas home. The store is offering the former president a job as a greeter. I know many of you are probably thinking this is a cheap publicity stunt. Perhaps, but it’s a good one.

“It’s a sincere offer, we’ll make the arrangements,” Elliott’s P.R. man Jef Tingley told me. The company says the job perks include flexible hours, plenty of parking for security detail, short commute from his new home and it’s a low-stress environment to interact with people.

I”ll leave the jokes to all of you. I’m just going to wish this actually happens. Jef Tingley tells me they sent the job offer to the President’s home earlier this week and still haven’t heard a response. Now, I’m sitting here looking at the phone number I have for President Bush’s office and wondering if should call Mr. Bush’s people and get a comment.

February 6th, 2009
11:35 AM ET

Morning Buzz: This Is Not A Game

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

President Barack Obama was fired up last night during his address at the House Democratic Caucus in Virginia. In speaking about the importance of passing the stimulus bill, he said, “This is not a game, this is not a contest for who’s in power, who’s up and who’s down, these are your constituents…it is important for us to set aside some of the gamesmanship in this town (Washington, D.C.) and get something done.”

He also said, “I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or SUV, if you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction." And by cliff, I guess he meant things like the job report out today, which shows the rate jumping to 7.6%, up from 7.2% last month. The U.S. lost 598,000 jobs in January, the 2nd worst month of job loss in history.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
February 6th, 2009
11:28 AM ET

Critics blast foreign policy transition

Ben Smith

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Democratic foreign policy hands say that a senior Marine general's public frustration with Obama's top aides is a symptom of a national security transition that has been historically speedy—and at times opaque, chaotic, and deeply frustrating for some of Obama's supporters and would-be aides.

Retired General Anthony Zinni told Foreign Policy that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor James Jones had both indicated to him that he would be Ambassador to Iraq, and that Vice President Joe Biden "called and congratulated me" on getting the job.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
February 6th, 2009
11:04 AM ET

Please Raise My Taxes

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Reed Hastings
New York Times

I’m the chief executive of a publicly traded company and, like my peers, I’m very highly paid. The difference between salaries like mine and those of average Americans creates a lot of tension, and I’d like to offer a suggestion. President Obama should celebrate our success, rather than trying to shame us or cap our pay. But he should also take half of our huge earnings in taxes, instead of the current one-third.

Then, the next time a chief executive earns an eye-popping amount of money, we can cheer that half of it is going to pay for our soldiers, schools and security. Higher taxes on huge pay days can finance opportunity for the next generation of Americans. Clearly, the efforts over the past few decades to control executive compensation haven’t accomplished much. Improved public disclosure was supposed to shame companies into lowering salaries, and it obviously hasn’t worked.


Filed under: Economy
February 6th, 2009
11:01 AM ET

Life and death - but is it a stimulus?

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Steve Brusk
CNN Senior National Editor

The call came in to the Kansas City, Missouri fire dispatch center at 3:44am. A blind resident reported his three-story apartment building was on fire, and feeling heat on the other side of his door, was unable to escape.

“This is the scary time for fire departments”, Kansas City Fire Chief Smokey Dyer said. Middle of the night fire calls mean the greatest danger, especially in large apartment buildings, with residents often asleep.

Operators using the public safety radio system immediately sent 22 firefighters to help, dispatching three engine and two ladder companies to the scene in the city’s Westport neighborhood. At least they thought they did.


Filed under: Economy • Unemployment
February 6th, 2009
10:52 AM ET

Let's Start Brand New Banks

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Paul Romer
Wall Street Journal

Everyone agrees that the United States urgently needs a few good banks. Turning bad banks into good banks is a difficult and risky way to get them. It's simpler and safer to start entirely new banks.

In this context, "good" means a bank with assets and liabilities that are easy to value using market prices. At a good bank, officers, regulators and investors can be confident about the value of the bank's capital.

Filed under: Economy • Wall St.
February 6th, 2009
10:19 AM ET

Worst Monthly Job Losses

Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

June 1956 - 629,000

Dec. 1974 - 602,000

Jan. 2009 - 598,000

Nov. 2008 - 597,000

Feb. 1946 - 589,000

Dec. 2008 - 577,000

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Unemployment
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