Morning Report: Another strong jobs report

Vital Statistics:

Stocks are higher after the jobs report. Bonds and MBS are down.

The economy added 253,000 jobs in April, which came in above the 173k estimate. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, while average hourly earnings rose 4.4%. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.6% and the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 60.4%.

Overall, this report shows that the Fed’s tightening policy has yet to slow down the labor market much. That said, average hourly earnings and the CPI are trending downward.

Those hoping for the Fed to cut rates in response to the regional banking situation might be disappointed. Former Fed Governor Randy Krozner put it succinctly: The Fed won’t quit until the labor market quits.

The regional banks got slammed again yesterday, with PacWest down another 50% and Western Alliance down 38%. There was a piece in the Financial Times about Western Alliance supposedly exploring strategical alternatives, which the company denied. Given the strong liquidity of some of these banks, the rout in the regional banks seem to be overdone. The regional banks are up pre-market.

The Biden Administration is closely watching the situation in the regional banks looking for evidence of market manipulation by short-sellers. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler put out a statement saying: “As I’ve said, in times of increased volatility and uncertainty, the SEC is particularly focused on identifying and prosecuting any form of misconduct that might threaten investors, capital formation, or the markets more broadly.”

37 Responses

  1. Re: the recent NYC Subway death.

    It’s interesting to compare the politics and reactions to disruptive passengers on subways vs airplanes. The roles were a 180 when it was airline passengers being punished for refusing to comply with COVID mandates while flying.

    I’m also convinced that if the person who was killed on the subway had done the exact same thing on an airplane and been subdued, there would be much less controversy about it.


  2. Worth a read:


  3. Still my all time favorite tweet from Trump.

    Big dick energy.


    • More like bullshit energy. The guy is an absolute embarrassment. And I doubt he has a big dick! He spends too much time compensating for his inadequacies………………most women see that from a mile away!


      • I don’t find Trump embarrassing and am fascinated by those that do. You’re being embarrassed by Trump is interesting to me.

        As far as I know, Big Dick Energy is unrelated to actual dick size.


      • I doubt that you are embarrassed. But I agree with the sentiment that Trump should be an embarrassment for the USA, much as Berlusconi should have been an embarrassment for Italy.

        And I never understood how voters could support those governors of Illinois who eventually served time, or how NJ voters can support Menendez, another shady guy. And Texas has an AG who apparently committed a stock fraud.
        Both parties have had their share of candidates who won who had they not been successful politicians would have been indicted sooner rather than later. I see Trump in that category, and hope the Rs dump him. So far, my faves on that side are Sununu and the former governor of Arkansas.

        And my favorite D is not JB, but only because of his age. He is willing enough to deal across party lines and that holds my respect. I think Amy Klobuchar is my current favorite D – she has worked across party lines throughout.

        Using the debt ceiling to justify not paying obligations the Congress previously incurred has always been weird, considering that when the 14th A was passed the Congress was worried that after the soon to be former slaves were all full citizens the South could take over the House and disavow the obligations of the nation, but recognize the debts of the Confederacy. Yellen, and presumably Biden, don’t want to throw down that gauntlet, and that means Biden will have to actually talk to KM, as BHO had to talk to the Rs in 2011. We shall see. Time’s a-wasting.


        • Trump should be an embarrassment for the USA, much as Berlusconi should have been an embarrassment for Italy.

          Why? Was LBJ an embarrassment? If not, why not? Carter? Kennedy? What specifically did Trump do that was embarrassing versus the others?

          And I never understood how voters could support those governors of Illinois who eventually served time, or how NJ voters can support Menendez, another shady guy.

          You’re content with the legitimacy of Illinois and New Jersey’s election integrity? Really? As for Paxton, come on Mark, you’re smarter than that. Why believe the headline when it’s almost always wrong?

          Re debt ceiling, do you see current tax and spending as sustainable in the long run? If not, name something that will change that trajectory besides reducing spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling or reducing borrowing because interest rates make it prohibitive due to credit downgrade due to a (snicker) “default”? There’s congressional control in one, where spending is Constitutionally centered and the other puts it in the hands of the Executive, which seems to violate the constitution.


        • Mark:

          And my favorite D is not JB, but only because of his age.

          So his apparent corruption doesn’t bother you in the same way that the corruption of others does? Why is that?


        • What is Biden’s apparent corruption? I’m willing to be persuaded.


        • Mark:

          What is Biden’s apparent corruption?

          I am not sure I can catch you up on 3 years worth of revelations in single comment, but try these on for starters.

          House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer revealed on Thursday that on March 1, 2017 — less than two months after Joe Biden left office as Barack Obama’s vice president — State Energy HK Limited, a firm affiliated with Chinese Communist Party-backed energy company CEFC China Energy, wired $3 million to Biden family associate Rob Walker.

          The windfall was subsequently divvied up over a period of about three months to at least three members of the Biden clan, and two Biden family associates.

          From 2013 through 2018 Hunter Biden and his company brought in about $11 million via his roles as an attorney and a board member with a Ukrainian firm accused of bribery and his work with a Chinese businessman now accused of fraud, according to an NBC News analysis of a copy of Biden’s hard drive and iCloud account and documents released by Republicans on two Senate committees.

          The documents and the analysis, which don’t show what he did to earn millions from his Chinese partners, raise questions about national security, business ethics and potential legal exposure.

          Then-Vice President Joe Biden visited Ukraine on a mission to bolster the country’s energy industry days after his son Hunter joined the board of natural gas company Burisma in 2014 — which a former White House stenographer claims implicates the now-80-year-old in a foreign influence-peddling “kickback scheme.”

          Mike McCormick says he was with current national security adviser Jake Sullivan — then a Biden aide — in the press cabin of Air Force Two en route to Kyiv on April 21, 2014, as he outlined how the world’s wealthiest country would help the deeply corrupt post-Soviet state build its gas industry…

          Now, McCormick tells The Post that he wants to testify before the federal grand jury in Delaware considering charges against Hunter — saying he has relevant information that the FBI ignored.

          “They’ve been looking at Hunter Biden, but this ties Joe Biden and [Sullivan] into promoting a kickback scheme with Ukraine,” he said. “It’s the timeline that does it.”

          First son Hunter Biden kept his business partners apprised of at least two scheduled one-on-one meetings with Antony Blinken, emails reviewed by The Post show.

          The decade-plus-long relationship between Blinken and Hunter made headlines last week after the House Judiciary Committee revealed that former CIA acting director Michael Morell testified in private that Blinken — then a Biden 2020 campaign adviser — “triggered” a letter from 51 ex-intelligence officials that sought to discredit The Post’s reporting on bombshell emails from the first son’s abandoned laptop.

          At some point the Biden White House will have to confront evidence of the president’s involvement in his son Hunter’s shady overseas business dealings.

          Joe Biden insists he never knew a thing about Hunter’s lucrative deals in countries where he wielded influence as vice president.

          But evidence abounds on Hunter’s abandoned laptop of Joe’s involvement.

          For instance, Joe invited Hunter’s foreign associates to breakfast meetings at his vice presidential residence and to his office in the White House, the laptop shows. He took his son on Air Force Two to countries where Hunter was doing deals, and on at least one occasion, included one of Hunter’s business partners on the trip.

          Tony Bobulinski, listed as one of the recipients of an email detailing an apparent business deal between a Chinese company and Hunter Biden, said that the message is “genuine” and that “the big guy” mentioned is a reference to Hunter’s father, former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, whom he claims Hunter Biden asked for business advice.

          His statement, obtained by the Washington Examiner, came hours ahead of the final debate between the elder Biden and President Trump, and less than two weeks before Election Day.

          “The facts set forth below are true and accurate,” Bobulinski said. “They are not any form of domestic or foreign disinformation. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and offensive. I am the recipient of the email published seven days ago by the New York Post which showed a copy to Hunter Biden and Rob Walker. That email is genuine.”

          The email he was referring to is from James Gilliar, a member of the J2CR international consulting firm, to Hunter Biden and others, dated May 13, 2017, and it discusses “expectations” of an as-of-yet-unclear deal while claiming that, “we have discussed and agreed the following renumeration packages.” The email notes that “Hunter” would receive “850” (in context, this appears to mean $850,000) and lists him as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC” — the China Energy Fund Committee.

          CEFC China Energy is a multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate founded by Ye Jianming, a Chinese Communist Party-linked business tycoon who has since disappeared in China but with whom Hunter Biden had attempted to work out numerous deals. The email goes on to say that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate” and that “at the moment there’s a provisional agreement that the equity will be distributed as follows,” including “20” (likely 20%) for “H” (Hunter). The email also asks about “10 held by H for the big guy” as well as “10” for “Jim.” The email also listed “20” for “RW” or Rob Walker. Gilliar added that he was “happy to raise any detail with Zang if there is [sic] shortfalls” — a likely reference to Zang Jianjun, the former executive chairman of CEFC.

          Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., along with House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced Wednesday that a whistleblower is claiming the DOJ and FBI possess a file describing an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national.

          “This comes from a credible and unclassified whistleblower disclosures of this possible criminal activity when Biden was vice president,” Grassley told Fox News’ Sandra Smith on “America Reports.”


        • Mark:

          Using the debt ceiling to justify not paying obligations the Congress previously incurred has always been weird

          I am not sure how it could always be weird when it has never actually happened. Who in our history has ever used the debt ceiling to justify not paying obligations? When have we ever not paid our obligations such that it needed to be justified?

          The debt ceiling is only ever used as leverage to attempt to get (much needed) spending reductions. I am not aware of it ever being used as a justification for not paying obligations.


        • “And I never understood how voters could support those governors of Illinois who eventually served time, or how NJ voters can support Menendez, another shady guy.”

          I didn’t vote for him either time but watching Trump win finally did explain to me why people would do that and also vote for Marion Barry.

          It’s because having someone on your side who is willing to fight is more important than perceived corruption. No one is being fooled, they just don’t prioritize the corruption issues the same way that others do vs what they consider more important considerations. This is especially the case when politics becomes about cultural issues and perceived extensional threats vs where to build the next road.


        • jnc:

          No one is being fooled, they just don’t prioritize the corruption issues the same way that others do

          I think most people prioritize corruption only as a matter of convenience, ie as an easy way to condemn politicians that they would object to already for other, mostly policy related, reasons. Especially at the federal level. Hence the existence of so many people who condemn Trump for alleged corruption but have nothing at all to say about Biden’s alleged corruption.


        • Guess I am old school on corruption issues. And yes, some folks I thought were not corrupt turned out to be corrupt after a later revelation.


        • I believe a certain cynicism has set in that they are all corrupt and self dealing to one degree or another compared to regular people.

          Whether it crosses the line into illegality is secondary. In some cases, the scandal is about what’s legal.


        • “markinaustin, on May 8, 2023 at 3:14 pm said: Edit Comment

          What is Biden’s apparent corruption? I’m willing to be persuaded.”

          For the family background see here to start:

          There’s also the various Hunter Biden E-mails indicating that money from various business deals was held back for “the big guy”.

          See also:

          More recent allegations:


        • JNCP and Scott – thanks for the cites on Biden. I have started on them.

          All: In 48 years I never saw a defendant win a civil trial without calling any witnesses or testifying. Trump was offered the opportunity to testify before and even during the trial [which is an extraordinary courtesy] but he did not and he lied on his twitter and wrote he was NOT allowed to testify. The important thing is that silence of a party in a civil case can be argued raises an inference against him, unlike silence in a criminal case.

          I could not have been a defendant in this case, not testify, and hope to win it – how could a man who publicly bragged he could grab pussy because he was a star?

          The appeal will be interesting.


        • mark:

          Trump was offered the opportunity to testify before and even during the trial [which is an extraordinary courtesy]…

          How is that a courtesy at all, much less an “extraordinary” one? Surely everyone has the right to testify in one’s own defense, even in a civil trial.


        • Do you believe that Trump testifying could have changed the verdict? For the record, in Democratic areas, I do not.


        • mark:

          he lied on his twitter and wrote he was NOT allowed to testify.

          Where did you hear that? From what I can find, he wrote:

          “Waiting for a jury in a False Accusation where I, despite being a current political candidate and leading all others in both parties, am not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about the case at me.”

          Obviously (to me anyway) he was talking about the judge’s criticism of Trump’s previous social media comments where the judge rebuked him for making “entirely inappropriate comments” and suggested that if he continued, he would be putting himself in greater legal jeopardy. He wasn’t claiming that he wasn’t allowed to “testify”, which doesn’t happen as a result of “hard nosed reporters” screaming out questions.

          It never ceases to amaze me that, no matter how bad or stupid what Trump says or does actually is, it is never bad or stupid enough for his critics, and must always be represented as something worse that he didn’t actually say or do.


        • Or that people accept the criticism of Trump at face value even after the Russia hoax, the pee tape, etc. At some point, when most things you read about Trump end up being wrong or highly misleading, you should step back and examine every new claim.


        • That’s what made me check. I haven’t really followed the trial at all, but when I heard that, I had to check to see what he actually said. The comment about “even as journalists scream questions at me” made me wonder if somehow the judge had put a gag order on him. Turns out it wasn’t actually a gag order, but he was rebuked for making comments. But every single news story that I read about it framed it in the same way…that he said he “wasn’t allowed to speak or defend himself” in court, with the “in court” always added after the portion in quotation marks. When I saw that, I knew it wasn’t being framed honestly.


        • Trump’s actual flaws are self-evident and frankly non-trivial. Adding all this bullshit is just the try-hard obsessiveness of zealots attacking an imagined Devil.


        • mark:

          More out today on Biden family corruption that you may not have seen in your normal info feed.


  4. I don’t know if you guys read substack or not but this was a very powerful essay from a former religious right conservative pastor who changed over the Trump years. I grew up in a conservative religious family myself and while I was still singing in the choir I was also rebelling behind the scenes and marching for values my family did not support.

    I saw Donald as the savior of my conservatism.

    As such, I was on the Trump bandwagon before he was ever an official candidate. I had been a fan of The Apprentice, and I appreciated his no-nonsense style. I got caught up in his political-outsider tone, his style of rhetoric, and ashamedly, the barely-veiled hate and toxicity he wielded.

    In retrospect, I can see that Trump stroked the same strings on the guitar played by my childhood fundamentalist icons. He tapped into the same rhetoric, fears, and bigotry that was embedded in the bedrock of my foundation.

    Trump’s voice resonated in the depths of my dark soul.

    … it resonated in places that I thought were redeemed and controlled by Christ, but I was wrong. There was no Christ in those caverns. I had walled them off from Him.

    Trump masterfully stoked and rekindled the fires of my conservatism, … not my Christianity, but my Conservatism.

    I simply could not tell the difference between the two …yet.

    So I supported Trump blindly, without question, because I needed to.

    I needed him.

    He was the only thing that stood in between me and the collapse of my wall.

    Too many bricks had been removed from it over the years, and I simply wasn’t ready to deal with the ramifications of its collapse.

    So to be clear: In the 2016 Presidential Election, I cast my vote for Donald J. Trump in both the Primary and General Election.


    I did my best to support and defend Trump in the years that followed, but my conservatism was increasingly at odds with how Jesus treated marginalized communities… and it was increasingly at odds with Trump’s bombastic behavior.

    Compassionate Conservatism was out, having been replaced by a more caustic brand of conservatism within the Republican Party.

    As COVID took hold in 2020, I didn’t recognize my Christian and Conservative brother and sisters. Their callous response to the health of others shocked me. All told, I lost 19 people to COVID. All of them would be alive had Conservatives and Christians practiced “Love Thy Neighbor.”

    Though I could not see it at the time, the wall that had taken a lifetime to erect was dangerously close to collapse.

    The Brick That Toppled The Wall

    It took 8 minutes and 46 seconds for my wall to be reduced to rubble.

    The exact length of time that a white police officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck.


    One man, Officer Derik Chauvin, pulled a brick and the wall came down.

    Even now, that moment reduces me to tears.

    “I can’t breathe.”

    The wall that had taken 43 years to build took 8 minutes and 46 seconds to come crashing down.

    The life that I once knew was gone in a moment.

    It was as if everything that I had believed, known, and professed clicked like a gear into a different setting and then fell back into place.

    Everything shifted.

    I was in a new place. I had a new way of seeing. I was a new person who I did not recognize.

    The old life passed away; all things became new.

    George Floyd’s story wrecked me, and it wrecked my belief system.

    I have never watched something so egregious, so inhumane, so sinful in real time. I recognize now that this is because my blinders were on. I had built my wall so high as to be unable to see the world on the other side of it. My wall wasn’t protecting me, it was hiding me… insulating me… preventing me from seeing the reality of the oppressed and the marginalized.

    And I am convinced that Jesus—as he always was in the Bible—was on the other side of the wall, with the hurting, not with me.

    My wall had been so high as to have prevented me from seeing the effects that my decisions, my votes, and my thinking had on the very people that Jesus loved most.

    In the aftermath, I took to Facebook and made a post about George Floyd that now seems quite saccharin, but at the time it was radical for me.

    A few days later I pulled together some of my Black friends and asked them to dialogue with me. It resulted in this live conversation. That talk was a gut punch to me. I knew these people, but I had never heard their stories. I couldn’t believe what they were telling me about racism and fear.

    Why hadn’t they told me before about their oppression?

    The answer was obvious. I wasn’t safe space… nor would I have listened anyway. My conservative constructs had me believing I was right

    It was gut punch after gut punch.

    And like a flood, the wall that had been a dam against the greater reality I had been actively avoiding now crushed me underneath its weight, threatening to drown me.

    Ahmaud Arbery

    Breonna Taylor

    Colin Kaepernick

    The Summer of the Black Lives Matter Protests

    As each of these stories, and others, returned to the news cycle, I realized that I had changed. I no longer saw the world through a conservative lens, I was seeing the world through a more Jesus-centric lens.

    I was seeing the world in color first the first time, no longer whitewashed.

    Beautiful, brilliant living color.

    I cried and cried realizing the ignorance in how I had lived and thought and taught. I was ashamed at so much of who I had been.
    A Switch Flipped

    It wasn’t until I entered the voting booth in November of the Year of George Floyd that I realized how much I had changed… and not just on race. The shifts in my thinking, I soon realized, were tectonic.

    I had never before voted for a Democrat. But there I stood, ready to face the world (and my history) as the person I felt Christ compelled me to be,

    Joe Biden was the first bubble under a blue candidate I had ever darkened.

    It felt like catharsis.

    I admit that it felt so freeing that I darkened every single one of those damn blue bubbles and danced my way to the Ballot Return.

    I don’t consider myself a Democrat or a Progressive, and I certainly don’t see myself as a Republican or Conservative.


    • While there are a lot of factual problems with essay, and an amazingly identitarian perspective for a Christian or conservative, I also never had his apparent love for Trump (cults of personality are always a negative, IMO) and I also don’t see myself as a Democrat or a Republican so I’m simpatico there.

      I presume he also hopes Trump loses the primary or otherwise just goes away.


    • All of them would be alive had Conservatives and Christians practiced “Love Thy Neighbor.”



  5. And Hah, here’s that asshole work again……………from a Republican woman no less!

    Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina is calling on her GOP colleagues to adopt a more centrist approach to abortion ahead of the 2024 election cycle.

    “I know that if we’re going to win hearts and minds, we can’t be assholes to women,” Mace said during an interview with Yahoo News this week. She argued that Republicans should, instead, embrace a more “compassionate and compelling message” that is both “pro-woman and pro-life.”

    “They can do both,” she said.


  6. The game of musical migrants continues:

    “Eric Adams blasts FEMA for limited asylum-seeker funds, will move migrants out of NYC

    “We desperately need federal and state support to manage this crisis,” a mayoral spokesperson said.

    By Joe Anuta
    05/05/2023 05:29 PM EDT”


  7. I agree with this.

    A-B needs to lean in more and defend their actions and their allies. No respect until they do.


  8. This is good:


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