Bill Dunkelberg, the chairman of a community bank in New Jersey who is better known as the chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, has penned a short note railing against the Barclays LIBOR rate-fixing scandal that led to the resignation of CEO Bob Diamond. Dunkelberg's chief beef is with the power that the world's largest banks have amassed.
Not that smaller banks have no “crooks”, I am sure they do, but those crooks don’t have the leverage of the Diamonds and Corzines, the power in their greed and arrogance to damage millions of people and impair the operation of our financial system, to make bets with billions, trillions of dollars which can go wrong and do.
The latest Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business doesn't make for joyous reading. Small firm owners are growing more negative about most parts of their businesses and NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg says they don't see D.C. helping at all. In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, he says the recovery is as shaky as ever: "When you're riding really slowly on a bicycle, it's easy to fall over."
Those are the two words NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg used last week to sum up the state of small-business hiring. Only one in six small companies — traditionally an engine for post-recession employment growth — plans to add jobs in the next six months.
Politicians continue to say we must raise taxes to support what government is doing but not asking if what government is doing is appropriate or helpful. The tax rates currently in place have been there for 10 years, but continuing these is labeled as giving billions to rich people and we are told how much larger the deficit will be if we don’t have the rich pay more in taxes. Democrats have been able to raise taxes on the rich for two years now with their super majorities, why didn’t they act if that was the way to lower the deficit? Because it would likely not have passed. Raising taxes, especially in a recession, is just bad policy. The political posturing is creating a mess in trying to develop good tax policies. But it needn’t be if everyone wasn’t in constant campaign mode. Amazing how this prevents us from doing sensible things.
Plans to add to inventories were unchanged at a negative 7 percent of all firms (seasonally adjusted) – still more owners planning to reduce stocks than planning new orders. Only a pick-up in sales will turn this around. Seasonally unadjusted, 13 percent plan to add to stocks while 15 percent will reduce them.SEE ALSO: Just how low the NFIB's readings are on a historical basis
And lest you think you can sneak part-time workers under that radar, another provision imposes a "full-time equivalents" formula which requires "dividing the aggregate number of hours of service of employees who are not full-time employees for the month by 120." Do the math and you'll find that a full-time equivalent comes to just 27.7 hours a week (120 hours divided by the average of 4.33 weeks in a month).