2012 January 09 | timiacono.com

Some women in the U.S. are apparently a bit miffed at having participated so little in the jobs recovery over the last couple of years, this New York Post story citing a study by the National Women’s Law Center that looked at job creation between June of 2009 (when the recession ended) and December of last year. They came away wanting.

The report indicated men have claimed all but 43,000 of the 1.4 million jobs created over that time – a whopping 97 percent of the total – however, as Jake at EconomPicData shows in the chart below, this is a good example of how one can create very misleading headlines based on the selection of a start date for a data series.

Admittedly, the end of a recession is not just an arbitrary starting point, but, still, you get a completely different picture when going back a little bit further.

Though you’d think that women would have done a little better in adding jobs in recent years, men have lost nearly a million more jobs than the fairer sex since the wheels came off the global financial system back in 2008.

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Though not quite at the same level of hysteria that was generated a few years ago when it was announced that Iran was in the process of setting up its own oil bourse and, as a result, severely impacting (or much worse) the reserve currency status of the U.S. dollar, word over the weekend that Iran’s trade with Russian will now be conducted using rubles rather than dollars, according to this story at Fars News Agency, is nonetheless interesting.

Iran and Russia have replaced US Dollar with their own currencies in their trade ties, a senior Iranian diplomat announced on Saturday.

Speaking to FNA, Tehran’s Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Reza Sajjadi said that the proposal for replacing US Dollar with Ruble and Rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting.

“Since then, we have acted on this basis and a part of our interactions is done in Ruble now,” Sajjadi stated, adding that many Iranian traders are using Ruble for their trade deals.

“There is a similar interest in the Russian side,” the envoy stated, adding that that Moscow is against unilateral sanctions on Iran outside the UN Security Council, specially the recent sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank (CBI).

This follows a number of similar moves by Iran in recent months with other trading partners and China’s ongoing efforts to establish currency agreements with many other nations, most recently Japan, a reminder that currencies such as the U.S. dollar loser their “reserve” status very slowly, but, in this case, apparently very surely.

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Ron Paul Continues to Confound

Not having watched much of the back-to-back debates for the GOP presidential nomination over the weekend, it’s just a guess (but a pretty safe one) that Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) continued to be a great source of cognitive dissonance for anyone watching. For those finding a way to avoid completely dismissing his views out of hand, this story at Mother Jones provides a handy  Venn Diagram that can be used to sort things out.

This related item at lewrockwell.com indicates some of the nation’s brightest business minds aren’t that confused about Paul, CNN’s Erin Burnett recently noting an “astounding number of top business leaders were OK with the idea of a Ron Paul presidency”. Pimco’s Bill Gross was the only name mentioned, though, I’d love to hear who the others are.

Monday Morning Links

MUST READS
Merkel, Sarkozy hold key talks – Irish Times
China’s Central Bank Promises Pro-Growth Policies – AP
Draghi May Copy Bernanke on Path to Low Rates – Bloomberg
Greece should quit euro unless “massive” funding given: Czech – Reuters
Action on Stalled Housing Market Vital for Economic Expansion – Bloomberg
Clinton urges efforts to address struggling housing market – Washington Post
Freddie Mac Now Permits Up To 12 Months Forbearance To Unemployed – Freddie Mac
Top business leaders including Pimco’s Bill Gross support Ron Paul – examiner.com
The Great Leading Indicator Smackdown: ECRI Vs. WLI – Business Insider
Leading Indicators and the Risk of a Blindside Recession – Hussman Funds
How Wall Street Turned a Crisis Into a Cartel – Cohan, Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs partners could see pay cuts: report – Reuters

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil hovers below $102 ahead of Europe meeting – AP
Gold recovers from lows as dollar retreats – Reuters
Year of the Yo-Yo Stock Market – Surowiecki, The New Yorker
How Conflict With Iran Can Send Oil Prices Above $200 – HAI
Happy New Year? Gas prices on the rise again – CNN/Money
Shale Bubble Inflates on Near-Record Prices – Bloomberg
Forecasts for gold still very positive for 2012 – Mineweb
PSLV Bulls In Deep Space 9-9-9 – Daily Capitalist
Gold loses sheen in Vietnam – Bullion Street
Markets Vanish – “In a Flash” – aucontrarian

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Current economic conditions – EconBrowser
Forget inflation: Is deflation the real threat? – USA Today
Unemployment rate: How low can it go by Election Day? – CSM
Men have scored 97 percent of new jobs since mid-2009 – NY Post
Hungary Runs Out of Options in Row With IMF – Bloomberg
Iran, Russia Replace Dollar with National Currencies for Trade – FARS
The untold story of General Electric’s subprime debacle – iwatchnews
REO inventory at the GSEs and FHA growing out of control – OC Housing News
Fedwire says keep an eye on Williams, who is handy with a printer – FT Alphaville
Encouraging the Right Kind of Greed Among Banks – Ratigan, Bloomberg
Ultimately, It’s About the Inflation Target – EconoMonitor
QE3 or Not? – FedWatch

 
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