Can you spare some Change?

The Obama Report card

January 2009

TODAY

% chg

Source

Avg.. Retail price/gallon gas in U.S.

$1.83

$3.44

84%

1

Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)

$43.48

$99.02

127.7%

2

Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)

$38.74

$91.38

135.9%

2

Gold: London (per troy oz.)

$853.25

$1,369.50

60.5%

2

Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL

$3.56

$6.33

78.1%

2

Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL

$9.66

$13.75

42.3%

2

Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. Fob

$13.37

$35.39

164.7%

2

Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall

7.6%

9.4%

23.7%

3

Unemployment rate, blacks

12.6%

15.8%

25.4%

3

Number of unemployed

11,616,000

14,485,000

24.7%

3

Number of fed. Employees

2,779,000

2,840,000

2.2%

3

Real median household
income

$50,112

$49,777

-0.7%

4

Number of food stamp
recipients

31,983,716

43,200,878

35.1%

5

Number of unemployment benefit
recipients

7,526,598

9,193,838

22.2%

6

Number of long-term unemployed

2,600,000

6,400,000

146.2%

3

Poverty rate, individuals

13.2%

14.3%

8.3%

4

People in poverty in U.S.

39,800,000

43,600,000

9.5%

4

U.S.. Rank in Economic
Freedom World Rankings

5

9

n/a

10

Present Situation Index

29.9

23.5

-21.4%

11

Failed banks

140

164

17.1%

12

U.S.. Dollar versusJapanese yen exchange rate

89.76

82.03

-8.6%

2

U.S.. Money supply, M1, in billions

1,575.1

1,865.7

18.4%

13

U.S.. Money supply, M2,
in billions

8,310.9

8,852.3

6.5%

13

National debt, in trillions

$10.627

$14.052

32.2%

14

Sources:

(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration

(2) Wall Street Journal

(3)Bureau of Labor Statistics

(4) Census Bureau

(5) USDA

(6) U.S. Dept. Of Labor

(7) FHFA

(8) Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller

(9) RealtyTrac

(10)Heritage Foundation and WSJ

(11) The Conference Board

(12) FDIC

(13) Federal Reserve

(14) U.S. Treasury

3 thoughts on “Can you spare some Change?

  1. I think you could easily spread the blame around to include Bernanke. The question is, where would we be had Bernanke not acted? So hard to know. Obama doesn’t get off the hook here though. Clearly in over his head and has been focused on the wrong things from the get go. How different would we feel had he homed in on Jobs?

  2. Yea, I happen to agree with you on that. I remember great promises of rebuilding the infrastructure as a cure all for the unemployed when he was stumping to be elected. Nothing at all appears to have come from that. I recently saw that a bridge under construction in San Fran was actually built in China. So go figure. There was a zen like high of goodwill and cheer when he was first elected from those that believed that change would occur and that has transpired into a hangover because it seems as the saying goes “After everything is said and done. More is said than is actually done”

    As for the question, I don’t know. You hear things would have been dramatically worse if Bernanke hadn’t reacted but we’ll never know. My take is that the TARP and QE1&2 have been great for equities but downright terrible for those that will not under any circumstance get into the stock market and like to save. The savers have been indirectly punished. Retired people come to mind. The ones I know are not interested in throwing the dice one more time in their golden years in order to supplement their income.

    I tell you what aggravates me though is that the US $ has all but tanked. The country I live in the currency has strengthened 25% in 3 years. Read that line again. 25%! Meanwhile, everything has gone up. That’s due to the commodities rampaging like an angry bull in a china shop. That’s was the end result of a weaker US$ right? I’m actually asking that question because I don’t know the answer to it.

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