Saturday, April 04, 2009

CNN "Your Money" wraps up on grim unemployment report; some practical advice given

CNN’s “Your Money” show on Saturday, April 4 at 1 PM, with Ali Velshi, went through all of the major components of the economic crisis.

It started with an assessment from Richard Quest at the G-20 conference. Quest said, it’s not the economic stimulus that Sarkozy and other ministers object to; it’s that the “era of unfettered capitalism is over.”

The show went on to cover the now frightening 8.5% unemployment rate, the highest since 1982. The rate breaks down as: men 8.7%, women 7.0%; whites: 7.9%, African Americans, 13.3%, Hispanics 11.4%.

Lashman Achuthan said that the worst of the economic shocks may have bottomed at the end of 2008, and that after some number of months a normal business cycle recovery should start, perhaps before the end of 2009. Unemployment tends to reverse relatively late in a recovery cycle, as the stock market usually starts to recover first.

In all recessions, blue collar employment is hit hardest first, but this time, because so many banks and Wall Street were involved, white collar employment dived quickly too.

Brad Karsh gave advice as to how to keep your job. The first point was make yourself indispensable. The second point is to “volunteer” for more work (like in Army Basic when the drill sergeant screams in the snow flurries on a Sunday afternoon, “I need some volunteers”). The third part was to "look forward". He didn't say take down your Myspace page, but I was afraid he would. Employers may demand Faustian loyalty now.

This is not a time for self-indulgence. This is a time for discipline. That seemed to be the message. We have lived beyond our means too long.

Louis Barajas gave some advice to the newly unemployed.

There was a brief report on how long it will take California to recover. The report showed an 84 year old woman still waiting on tables to supplement her social security, but her house was paid for. People with little debt and simpler lifestyles came out of this recession with much less harm, the show said.

The last part of the show indicated that Hollywood is doing relatively well in the recession, and the movie business typically has done better, even if the Suze Orman’s of the world go around telling people not to spend money on guilty pleasures.

Anderson Cooper followed with am AC360 segment (at 2 PM Saturday) about President Obama’s European tour, and Obama’s “Blunt Speech” Friday. Obama warned that Europe could be the next target of Al Qaeda.

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