Category Archives: Economics

My new job

So let me tell you a bit about my new job.
First, I am extremely fortunate, in this economy and market to have gotten a job 30 days after the loss of my job at the Fed. I feel and am pretty damned lucky.
Anyway, I am now a Warranty Administrator (in training…) at Horton, Inc.
“Horton is a leading provider of value-added engine cooling solutions worldwide”
What this means is that Horton is and for a half century has made fan drives and fans for trucks and other equipment. I will be helping administer warranty claims on that equipment. So, I am being immersed in a sea of information on fan drives and the like.
In point of fact, proof that they take the education of their staff seriously, tomorrow I get to fly out to the physical plant in Britton, SD (on the company plane) to see how product is built, and more importantly, how its torn apart and analyzed when it fails. I have to be conversant with this for when they put me on phones talking to vendors and customers!
Besides Britton, SD, there is also a manufacturing plant in Carmel, Indiana. The company has sales offices and partners in Mexico, São Paulo, Seoul and Australia, and a manufacturing plant/sales office in Germany. (its extremely unlikely I’ll ever get to go *there*, but I can hope!)

Unemployed and seeking new opportunities.

To Whom it may concern
In the modern workforce world, there are things that are central, that matter, that are true. These are the things that make a company succeed in a cutthroat state, regional, national and international environment.
Attention to the little and large details that make a difference in a company’s bottom line is essential. The necessity of Good Service: be it service to outside Customers, inside Customers, or even simply to other departments within an organization, cannot be overstated or underestimated. We all have to get along in this world to get along.
This world is also becoming ever more complex, and employees who can handle, or even relish tackling that complexity, even as it continually changes, is a must.
With my attention to detail, familiarity with complex and changing information, and strong customer service skills, I can help you succeed in that world. You can help me succeed in my career goals. Let’s work together.
Sincerely,
Paul Weimer

Blogger-Endorsers Must Disclose Their Freebies

Bloggers who favorably review companies’ products and receive benefits, like a free game console, for those reviews need to disclose to their readers such ties, the Federal Trade Commission has ruled.
For what it is worth, if I receive a book for free to review, I *always* mention that in the review, and I always will. I think my reputation is such that I don’t necessarily give a fluff review to something I have received for free, anyway, but I always make it clear if I have received an ARC, promotional copy, or what have you.

From the Fed: Better Late Than Never: Addressing Too-Big-To-Fail


From the Fed: Better Late Than Never: Addressing Too-Big-To-Fail by Gary Stern

Destiny did not require society to bear the cost of the current financial crisis. To at least some extent, the outcome reflects decisions, implicit or explicit, to ignore warnings of the large and growing too-big-to-fail problem and a failure to prepare for and address potential spillovers. While I am, as usual, speaking only for myself, there is now I think broad agreement that policymakers vastly underestimated the scale and scope of too-big-to-fail and that addressing it should be among our highest priorities.

From the Fed: Why the Bank Holiday Succeeded

http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/epr/forthcoming/0906silb.html
After a month-long run on American banks, Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed a Bank Holiday, beginning March 6, 1933, that shut down the banking system. When the banks reopened on March 13, depositors stood in line to return their hoarded cash. This article attributes the success of the Bank Holiday and the remarkable turnaround in the public’s confidence to the Emergency Banking Act, passed by Congress on March 9, 1933. Roosevelt used the emergency currency provisions of the Act to encourage the Federal Reserve to create de facto 100 percent deposit insurance in the reopened banks. The contemporary press confirms that the public recognized the implicit guarantee and, as a result, believed that the reopened banks would be safe, as the President explained in his first Fireside Chat on March 12, 1933. Americans responded by returning more than half of their hoarded cash to the banks within two weeks and by bidding up stock prices by the largest ever one-day percentage price increase on March 15–the first trading day after the Bank Holiday ended. The study concludes that the Bank Holiday and the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 reestablished the integrity of the U.S. payments system and demonstrated the power of credible regime-shifting policies.

I’m going to get a new Boss

Head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve to retire
The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is retiring. Gary Stern will leave his position as president and CEO of the Minneapolis Fed this summer. He reaches the Fed’s mandatory retirement age of 65 in November.***
Stern will leave behind many legacies, including his almost prophetic writings about banks that are believed to be “too big to fail.”
He’s been at the Minneapolis Fed for 24 years, a pretty long tenure and the longest amongst the current Federal Reserve Branch heads.
***The MPR article is slightly incorrect here. The limit of 65 applies to voting members of the Federal Reserve Board, which is chosen on a rotating basis from the 12 member branch banks. Mr. Stern, if he wanted, could continue in his post, but he (and thus the Minneapolis Fed) could not be chosen as a voting member again.
I also need to read his book, he did come up with the phrase “too big to fail” a few years before it became common parlance.

From the Fed: Business Outlook

Philadelphia Fed Business outlook
The region’s manufacturing sector continued to contract this month, according to firms polled for the March Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment remained significantly negative. Employment losses were substantial again this month, with over half of the surveyed firms reporting declines. Firms continued to report declines in input prices and prices for their own manufactured goods. Most of the indicators of future activity suggest that the region’s manufacturing executives expect declines to bottom out over the next six months, but the firms’ employment forecasts suggest continued weakness.

Krugman on the Obama Budget

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/opinion/27krugman.html?_r=2
Krugman on Obama’s Budget
Elections have consequences. President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break, not just with the policies of the past eight years, but with policy trends over the past 30 years. If he can get anything like the plan he announced on Thursday through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course.

My friends on the left (hi, !) will say that it doesn’t go far enough, that its too timid, too centrist, too rooted in current politics. My acquaintances and friends on the right will say that its Obamageddon.
And of course, the question is how will all of this get through Congress, and how will the final product actually look.