Noteworthy commentary during last week included:
- Ben Bernanke - Chairman US Federal Reserve, speaking in London: “Today most advanced industrial economies remain, to varying extents, in the grip of slow recoveries from the Great Recession.“
- William C. Dudley - President New York Federal Reserve Bank, speaking at the Economic Club of New York: “The unemployment rate is modestly lower …. which is certainly welcome. However, other important indicators including the employment-to-population ratio and job-finding rates are essentially unchanged. This suggests that the labor market is far from healthy.”
- Mortimer Zuckerman - Chairman and Editor in Chief of U.S. News & World Report, in his article ‘The Great Recession Has Been Followed by the Grand Illusion’: “February's headline unemployment rate was portrayed as 7.7%, down from 7.9% in January… But if you account for the people who are excluded from that number—such as "discouraged workers" no longer looking for a job, involuntary part-time workers and others who are "marginally attached" to the labor force—then the real unemployment rate is somewhere between 14% and 15%.”
- Regarding the S&P 500 recovery – it has benefited from aggressive stimulus efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve and record corporate profits, driven by muted wage growth and limited employee hiring.
- Regarding U.S. unemployment trends – while the reality of this topic continues to be avoided by the media and many policy makers, it is an economic and social challenge that will likely persist for years to come.