Friday, July 3, 2009

Financial Sector Survives Crisis OK

Wall Street Still Near Full-Employment: How Can That Be?
Les Leopold, Huffington Post
July 2, 2009

"...Not only did all boats fail to rise on the way up, but all boats are not sinking as fast on the way down. Contrary to media portrayals, Wall Street is still doing quite well compared to other sectors. We all know about the million-dollar bonuses financial management is paying itself out of taxpayer bailouts, but also consider the unemployment situation. According to the latest BLS data, the unemployment rate for "Financial Activities" was only 5.5 percent--that's the kind of unemployment rate most of us associate with boom times, not deep recessions. Meanwhile, construction workers face a 17.4 percent unemployment rate (and this is the building season), while 12.6 percent of all manufacturing workers were out of jobs. Even the "information" sector is suffering with a 11.1 percent unemployment rate. (Table A-11,

So why hasn't the crash devastated employment in the financial sector? One big reason is that we put the entire sector on welfare. We pumped in several trillion dollars of cash and asset guarantees to keep the entire sector afloat. You would think Wall Street would be thanking us all for taking the hit while they roll along. Nope. Instead they are doing all they can to gut each and every regulation that might protect us against their fantasy finance schemes. They are even mounting a full scale attack (using our resources) against the proposed Financial Consumer Protection Agency. (See "Redefining Chutzpah: Wall Street Uses Bailout Money to Kill Financial Consumer Protection Agency" at

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