Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Jones Industrial Average

click for comic

The Dow Jones reached record highs last week! The recovery’s over … for the rich. The rest of us have had more productivity squeezed out of us for the same, or even lower wages, or are one of the 12 million or so who want a job but can’t find one.

February’s jobs numbers were pretty decent, for an average month in the 90’s. But to make a dent in unemployment, those numbers would have to be significantly higher than that for a year just to bring us back to 2007’s not-so-great numbers. Unfortunately, it’s easier to report on the Dow with a green or red arrow and a number, than to explain the fall in median incomes and household wealth. It’s not impossible though. This video was everywhere last week, which shows the public actually wants to hear about this stuff:

And the stupidity of austerity, which we’re euphemistically calling “the sequester” because everyone knows austerity doesn’t work, won’t begin to gum up our already shitty economy until the end of this month. FUN TIMES.

I don’t own a portfolio, so I generally don’t read The Wall Street Journal, but this article about the poor, long-suffering banks is an example of how far up its own ass the financial sector is, five years after ruining everything:

Moreover, as investors chase stock returns, they are dumping fixed-income products, which will likely put pressure on interest rates. Over time, this will help the lending side of the ledger, which has been squeezed by razor-thin interest margins.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that even when all of the financial-crisis overhang subsides and the economy is thriving, it is unlikely that banks will be able to engage in the level of leverage that created outsize profits and stock valuations of the bubble days. U.S. regulators might not be able to rein in pay incentives as their European counterparts have, but they have been aggressive on balance-sheet risk.

Aw, those poor banks! They won’t be able to repeat the same disaster we’re still living through! They’ll have to come up with new bullshit schemes to extract wealth from ordinary Americans. And even though it’s a given that the U.S. won’t cut the bankers’ balls off like the Swiss did, there’ll be some unpleasant rules to make sure their balance-sheets are slightly grounded in reality. Fuck those guys.

Lastly, Eric Holder admits he’s a wuss.