As Lee noted in his Wall Street Examiner:I've been screaming for at least two years that the employment numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor were fraudulent...and now...now we have this.
The annual rate of change in withholding taxes for collections through Thursday, February 18, approached a level which signals not just recession but is within a couple of percent of indicating a full fledged economic depression. As of February 18, 2016, the annual rate of change was -5.6% in nominal terms versus the corresponding period a year ago. That’s down from -3.7% a week before, +0.6% a month before, +5.8% three months ago, and down from a peak of +8.7% in early February 2015…….Adjusted for the nominal growth rate of employee compensation, the implied annual real rate of change is now roughly –7.5 to -8% year over year.
My guess? The stock market will trundle along for a few more months. All the talk about oil dragging the market down is just another cover. The reality is that demand has fallen and the bubble that propped it up during the "hey days" right after the great recession has finally burst (it made no sense for oil to rise during a time of economic distress). By the time the Presidential election rolls around we'll be hip deep into an acknowledged worldwide recession. The worst thing? Federal Reserve Banks worldwide have no bullets. This is gonna hurt.