Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Expendables

When I learned my governor was returning to the big screen in an upcoming action flick, I just had to make this fake trailer:

The Expendables from steve proffitt on Vimeo.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grand Theft Oscar

Last night, my NPR colleague Brian Unger and I got to go to the Oscars. Instead of press passes, we had actual tickets, which allowed us to stroll down the red carpet, hobnob with the stars, and eat really tasty hors d'oeuvres.

Get the full story here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two Billion Simoleans A Week?

Let me begin with full disclosure: I was an art major.

The Labor Department announced today that more than five million Americans are currently receiving unemployment insurance compensation. So I did a quick napkin calculation.

Assume an average payout of $400 a week per claimant, and you get - check me on this - $2,000,000,000 a week.

I suppose it's better than the government spending that money on ICBM's, but that's a lotta dough.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Scary Chart O' The Day

Click on the chart for a larger view. Thanks to Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture. Check out the discussion about this chart there.

"That Would Look Like The End Of The World"

The End of the World
A sobering story from Time Magazine's Doug McIntyre:
"In January, the economy lost 600,000 jobs. There is no reason to think that the monthly number will be any smaller between now and the end of April. The biggest concern will be whether the near-term future looks so grim to managements that they will begin another substantial round of cuts as they look at their likely second quarter results. This would indicate that the total job loss for 2009 could move above six million. To economists, that would look like the end of the world."

Read the entire article.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just Not Hiring

Tomorrow the BLS will release it's hiring survey, which reflects how many actual jobs are open and available in this dismal economy. A survey by Gallup doesn't suggest the numbers will offer job seekers much hope.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stand Up Economist

Yoram Bauman translates the ten principles of economics.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Taking Some of the Bite Out of COBRA

Last month we posted an item about the high cost of COBRA, the program that allows you to temporarily keep the health insurance you had at your last employer after you've lost your job. Both the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus package contain a provision that will help recently laid off workers with those big COBRA bills.

The plan offers a subsidy, probably in the form of a tax credit, of about 65% of the cost of the COBRA coverage. In many cases that's more than the share your former employer may have paid of your health care costs.

Layoffs hit home