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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- September 11, 2011

Bob Chapman - The International Forecaster - September 10, 2011 - Bank of America Corp officials have discussed slashing roughly 40,000 jobs during the first wave of a restructuring, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the plans... The number of job cuts are not final and could change. The restructuring aims to reduce the bank's workforce of 280,000 over a period of years, the Journal said.

BofA to cut at least 40,000 jobs
- The layoffs reflect Bank of America's deepening woes and are likely to take a heavy toll on its California operations. - Los Angeles Times - Walter Hamilton and E. Scott Reckard - September 10, 2011 - Bank of America Corp. is preparing to slash 40,000 or more jobs nationwide, a dramatic retrenchment that reflects the deepening woes of the country's largest bank and the magnitude of the U.S. economic slowdown...  The layoffs will come mainly from the BofA's sprawling consumer-banking operations, which will take a heavy toll on branches, loan centers and other offices throughout California...  Bank of America has 45,000 employees in the state, about 1 in 6 of its nearly 300,000-person workforce, and is expected to roll out the job cuts over the next several years. The company, which for years was based in San Francisco and maintains its huge mortgage unit in Calabasas, also is in the process of closing 10% of its branches nationwide.

Bob Chapman - The International Forecaster - September 10, 2011 - In the past decade, the number of seniors in the labor force has grown nearly 60 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2018, the number of workers 65 or older is projected to climb to 11 million, from 6.5 million today... So employers face a dual challenge. They have to keep older workers productive and then, when those workers do leave, find qualified people to replace them. In 22 industries among them engineering, agriculture, real estate and health care more than three in 10 workers are 50 or older, according to a 2007 study from the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. “Companies are not very long-term-oriented,” he added. “They don’t spend much time worrying about what might be coming down the pipe in the future.” ... “It’s been mitigated a little because of the economy, but I think it’s a huge problem for us,” Redlo said. In Texas, home to Dow and the Lockheed unit, public schools have de-emphasized vocational education, said John Ray, dean of information and community resources at Brazosport College. “Today, you don’t have students with experience in working with their hands,” Ray said.

As workforce ages, industries struggle to prepare for wave of retirements - Washington Post - Jason Alcorn and Jason Tomassini - September 2, 2011 - human resources experts, workers and executives from a range of industries say businesses are largely unprepared to accommodate an aging workforce or to cope with its eventual retirement... “They are oblivious,” said economist Steven Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College... Many industries find themselves in a quandary. They often need older workers for their expertise, yet they also may need to accommodate their physical disabilities and their desire for more flexible schedules. And as workers stay on the job longer, they may need training in new technologies or work procedures... In the past decade, the number of seniors in the labor force has grown nearly 60 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2018, the number of workers 65 or older is projected to climb to 11 million, from 6.5 million today... Baby boomers are fueling the trend. Healthier and better educated than any previous generation, many plan to continue working, at least part time, well past traditional retirement age. Human resources managers say voluntary retirement nearly stopped after the stock market collapse in 2007.

Goldman Head Gold Trader Speculates About "Authority" Intervention In Gold, Sees Precious Metal Pushing Higher - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - September 8, 2011 - From Goldman's head gold trader Zak Dhabalia (i.e., someone that can not be found on 360) who says what only fringe blogosphere dares to speculate: namely that central banks and/or metals excahnges (CME/LBMA) openly intervene at key inflection point to slam the price of gold down. More importantly, according to Zak, now that the latest "authority" intervention has been priced in, it is up, up and away for the yellow metal yet again... After rallying nearly 100 usd last week from 1795 to 1895 with demand coming from the official sector and some leveraged players rebuilding length following the severe prior correction we traded to new all time highs of 1922 on Tuesday shortly before the Swiss Franc intervention. The immediate aftermath was in complete contradiction to prior recent episodes of intervention and what anyone would have expected. Instead of spurring a further gold price rally on the basis that it was one of the few remaining safe haven “currencies” we saw a 50 usd collapse in minutes. The source of this flow seems hard to pin down with some speculating over whether “authorities” were concerned about the signals of an accelerating gold price and its impact on other fragile markets. Soon after, much of the losses were recovered but the psychological damage had been done and there followed a series of liquidations from within the leverage space with gold closing down 50 usd on the day. This was then exacerbated by a near 60 usd flash crash within 2 minutes during the Asian session... However official sector activity, and PWM is already using this latest dip to re-accumulate and it may be the case the market is already close to clean positions at ever higher prices...

The Obama Presidency by the Numbers - The president constantly reminds us that he was dealt a difficult hand. But the evidence is overwhelming that he played it poorly. - Wall Street Journal - Michael Boskin - September 8, 2011

Damon Vickers interview on Coast to Coast AM speaking about creating jobs by building an Entrepreneurial Economy. - Damon Vickers is a Seattle-based investor. He is also a periodic commentator on investments and social and economic trends in the general and financial press, maintains an investment-oriented channel on YouTube, and is the author of the New York Times business best-seller, The Day After the Dollar Crashes.

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