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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How Interesting

France contemplates rules for non-official press:
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
...
The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
Sounds very Chinese to me. I keep trying to have confidence in the Euro sector, but when I read stuff like this my confidence takes a hit.

A very, very unbalanced pilot filed a lawsuit:
The lawsuit, filed last week, claims Boeing Co. and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) can’t assure him that B747-400 planes are safe. McConnell, who is the process of seeking an early retirement from Northwest, claims the planes are rigged by Boeing and can be remotely detonated.
Needless to say, the lawsuit claims a 911 connection, which, of course, has nothing to do with Muslims at all. Read it for yourself. All I want to know is that this guy isn't still flying. Btw, the lawsuit is asking for 4.5 million. There's money in conspiracy theories nowdays.

While the Treasury and Fed officials are trying to convince us all of a rosy future, this morning Boeing's shares are down.... Could it be this article yesterday, which reviewed load factors for airlines? We will have ups and we will have downs, but overall we are due for a substantial decline in stocks due to economic weakness. Still waiting for consumer credit.

Tomorrow we get the initial claims from DOLETA, and on Friday we get the full employment report. Today's futures nerves might be based on the ADP payroll report. It has been dicey lately, so I don't put that much weight on it, but ADP expanded its sample size for this report:
In February, employment in goods-producing industries cut 43,000 jobs, including 29,000 fewer jobs in manufacturing. It was the largest loss in the goods-producing sector since September. Job losses had averaged 4,000 over the previous three months.
Services-producing firms created 100,000, the weakest since April. Job gains had averaged 171,000 over the previous three months.
Small- and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 500 employees) created 86,000 jobs in February, while large businesses lost 29,000, the most since mid-2003, ADP said.
To me this report seems consistent with the ISM Manufacturing report, which did look like a small business expansion to me. The constraining factors on small businesses at this point seem to be qualified employees, cost pressures and inability to compete for the employees they need with large businesses. As the year wears on, small businesses should get some benefits from the employment weakness in large firms. We have to hope that corporate credit doesn't tighten enough to throttle this trend off. Large companies will be fighting for profits this year in order to maintain their stock prices, which will prevent them from expanding employment as they have recently - so we urgently need small business expansion to offset that trend and the continued decline in housing.

I don't take these ADP reports too seriously for their absolute numbers (ADP says employment growth dropped to about a third of recent numbers), but I do think they track the small/large business employment trends pretty well.


Comments:
That comment by the CEO of DR Horton pretty much sums up the happy world of home building right now. Suck is as suck does.

ed in texas
 
That was a rare moment of honesty.
 
Their justification on this- the "happy slapping" seems weak. After all, the perpetrators of that crime are hanging themselves with their own evidence.
 
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