Where are Mike Doyle, Mike Hynson, Skip Frye, Joe Roper,Chris O'Rourke, Chris Godfrey, Larry Gordon, Tom Bessell now?
Chris Ahrens 8 a.m., June 25
U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged 533,000 in November -- far worse than economists expected. They used words such as "almost indescribably terrible" and "dreadful" to describe the numbers, because they were much worse below the surface. Job losses in September and October were revised downward by a total of 199,000. A gauge of unemployment that takes into account discouraged workers and those whose hours have been cut back shot up to 12.5 percent. The average workweek fell to a record low of 33.5 hours in November. That's the equivalent of a loss of 300,000 jobs, according to David Rosenberg of Merrill Lynch, who has had this economic calamity accurately pegged for many months. The data suggest that the economy will contract at a 5 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, he says. If the price of gas had not declined from $4 to below $2 a gallon, the contraction would have been 10 percent, he says. "Never before has the economy been so weak with such a de facto tax cut from lower energy prices," he says. Bottom line: this is very, very bad. (Pay no attention to the sharp rise in the stock market today. Steep bear markets, particularly in depressions, are marked by huge one-week and one-day rises or declines. It's known as panic.)