Lest You Be Lulled by the NFP Release: Employment Growth 1 yr before Recessions

Figure 1: M/m annualized growth rate in nonfarm payroll employment in the runup to 2007-09 recession (red), to 2001 recession (teal), and assumed 2020 recession starting in January (dark blue). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray, starting at peak. Source: BLS via FRED, ALFRED, and author’s calculation.

Update, 5:30pm Pacific:

Forward looking indicators continue to suggest a slowdown.

Figure 2: US economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index, 7 day centered moving average (gray, left scale), 10 year-3 month Treasury spread (blue, right scale), and 10 year-2 year Treasury spread (red, right scale), both in percentage points. Light orange shading denotes Trump administration, orange denotes Federal government closures. Source: policyuncertainty.com, and Federal Reserve Board via FRED, and Bloomberg (for 2/1).

59 thoughts on “Lest You Be Lulled by the NFP Release: Employment Growth 1 yr before Recessions

  1. pgl

    There was a twitter storm from those who looked deeply into this report’s numbers which is highlighted by Brad Delong:

    https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/02/the-important-takeaway-from-the-february-1-bls-employment-report-is-that-wage-growth-was-remarkably-low-no-one-data-point-sh.html

    It seems wages in the goods producing sector are falling. Brad notes that the employment to population ratio is still lower than where many of us hope it would be.

    Alas monetary policy may have become a bit too tight even if those who are screaming deflation are idiots.

    Reply
      1. pgl

        Lord – Princeton Stephen proves his incompetence once again. Do you even have a clue what this ratio was at the end of 2006? And do you have an inkling who the President was then?

        Reply
      2. pgl

        I looked at your clumsy graph (learn to use FRED someday) and yes in late 2006 even the 25-54 ratio was greater than 80% where it is below 80% now. Oh yea – you added one of your stupid pet peeve phrases (materially higher). Here is the ratio I was talking about:

        https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/EMRATIO

        63.4% is not materially higher than 60.7%? Princeton Stephen does have a flair for writing really stupid things!

        Reply
  2. Steven Kopits

    Not enough here to make a call, Menzie. Still better off using the yield spread and initial unemployment claims.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Steven Kopits: Yes, I know there’s not enough to make a call. In fact the whole point of the post is to highlight that just because employment is growing fast now, it doesn’t mean a recession isn’t around the corner. I’ve now added the spreads. You can see where we stand…

      Reply
  3. PeakTrader

    The Trump expansionary fiscal policy and the Powell Fed pausing in 2019 are not only finally getting us to full employment (we created 241,000 jobs on average the past three months), but they may also achieve a soft landing, as the recovery enters its 10th year soon.

    Of course, the liberal media will focus on fake news Republican hating nonsense rather than the great economic achievements under Trump and Powell.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Wages for the goods producing sector fell according to the latest release from http://www.bea.gov. Is that the fake news Stephen Moore asked you to criticize?

      Gee during the entire shut down, you were AWOL. Too bad Team Trump private contractors will not get paid for this period. So Peaky – do get back to the food bank!

      Reply
      1. PeakTrader

        Slow wage growth also suggests we haven’t closed the output gap and accelerating inflation isn’t a problem:

        https://www.frbatlanta.org/chcs/wage-growth-tracker.aspx

        The Fed is allowing $50 billion a month of bonds to mature and run-off its balance sheet. Along with pausing rate hikes, it should slow the run-off in bonds, since there are lags in the adjustment process, after Fed hikes.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          People’s Pundit Daily is your source? Lord – this discussion was tortured as hell. ECI did not rise by 3.1%. It rose by only 2.9%. Wages up by just over 3% in NOMINAL terms but NOMINAL benefits did not increase that much. As yea I am emphasizing that this is the NOMINAL increase as Team Trump keeps pretending inflation is zero. Of course they would be lying as inflation is still near 2% so REAL compensation is not up that much. Next time you talk to Stephen Moore – tell him we are not as stupid as he thinks we are.

          Reply
  4. Bruce Hall

    Economist Paul Samuelson used his Newsweek column of September 19, 1966 to show that the market and economists often get things wrong: “Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions.”

    Still trying I see.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: I’m talking the bond market and the yield curve. Look at this graph and tell me if you can see a “false positive” signalled by yield curve inversion. (And there is one missed call by the 10yr-3mo — but not the 10yr-2yr).

      Now go back to your misguided non-empirical rant. Better yet, pick up a macro textbook (I beg you, for the love of God, any macro textbook…)

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        My personal favorite: Baumol and Blinder, 5th edition. OK, OK, OK, Uncle Moses is showing his age here.
        https://www.amazon.com/Macroeconomics-Principles-William-J-Baumol/dp/015518864X

        But can you beat those prices kids?? And Uncle Moses likes the pretty glossy cover. Sometimes….. very substantive and complex things are inside gorgeous and sumptuous covers. Like Gita Gopinath for example. (See what I did there kids?? I’m doing my best so Menzie doesn’t filter these. It takes extra work being a perv sicko sometimes)

        Reply
    2. JBH

      Bruce Hall: Nothing has a better track record in getting it right ahead of time than the stock market. Time to put Samuelson’s never right in the first place and much hackneyed canard to rest. Bear markets lead to recessions. The art is in knowing when stocks have entered a bear market vs. a mere correction. Currently, we are almost certainly a bear market.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        You pretend to know more about financial economics and macroeconomics than Paul Samuelson? That is making us all laugh – hint we are laughing at you (not with you).

        Reply
      2. pgl

        ‘Economist Paul Samuelson used his Newsweek column of September 19, 1966 to show that the market and economists often get things wrong: “Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions.”’

        This was the quote that launched your last piece of idiocy. A bear market is defined as the stock market falling by 20% or more. Let’s see – since 1966 we have seen both the 1978 and 1987 bear markets which did not lead to recessions. Oh gee JBH – as usual you have no clue what you are babbling about.

        Reply
      3. noneconomist

        JBH: speaking of getting it right ahead of time, oh Great and Powerful Oz, please update on the tens of thousands of forthcoming indictments that will shake the western world at its core.
        And, please, tell us how you know what you know (unless doing so would subject you to danger from the Illuminati or the Society of the Cincinnati or whomever).
        Please, no more IF’S. Anyone with your “insights” should be very hesitant to use such a word.

        Reply
    3. MichiganCPA

      Moody’s predicted back in 2016 that if Trump does exactly what he has done (they’re “Trump Lite” prediction), we would be in recession, we’d have stagflation and the Fed would initiate QE3 and QE4 by now. I don’t think they did anything wrong in their modeling, I just think that there is no way to predict anything where Trump is involved. Luckily, they got it wrong in the right direction.

      Reply
    1. macroduck

      Yeah, but…no. The confidence index ratio he highlights is weak, but it is not a reliable indicator by itself. If you look at the underlying series, the typical pattern before recession is for both sides of the ratio to be falling. Right now, only one side is falling. There may be a recession lurking out there (nobody really knows), but Gundlach hasn’t highlighted a recession signal in the confidence data.

      Reply
  5. PeakTrader

    In the mid-‘90s, it looked like the yield curve would soon invert. Yet, we were on the verge of powerful economic growth.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/T10Y2Y

    We’re in uncharted territory with the weakest or slowest economic recovery in U.S. history, quantitative easings, the 10 year yield persistently below 3%, and perhaps a neutral Fed Funds Rate slightly less than 3%.

    We may be heading into a short and mild cyclical downturn, but economic growth may re-accelerate later this year. Low interest rates have kept interest payments on the National Debt low, and kept business and consumer borrowing costs low. The 9 1/2 year expansion may extend for several more years.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      “We’re in uncharted territory with the weakest or slowest economic recovery in U.S. history”.

      The recovery is weak even under the Great and Powerful Trump? Ah Peaky – you have not only contradicted your unending praise of the DONALD – you’ve also about to get fired from Team Trump. Oh well – at least you know where the food banks are!

      Reply
      1. PeakTrader

        Pgl, I see, you continue to produce only nonsense.

        Trump hasn’t entirely reversed the massive restructuring by Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Dodd-Frank-Warren, etc..

        We should’ve closed the output gap by the end of 2011, although I’d expect slightly slower growth thereafter.

        It all turned out even worse than I predicted.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          “Trump hasn’t entirely reversed the massive restructuring by Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Dodd-Frank-Warren, etc..”

          When it comes to nonsense, you are THE MASTER!

          “We should’ve closed the output gap by the end of 2011”.

          Two reasons why we did not: (1) Mitch McConnell who effectively blocked what Christina Romer wanted in terms of fiscal stimulus; and (2) stupid state austerity ala a bunch of Republican governors.

          And yet PeakNonsense continues to play on Team Republican. Go figure!

          Reply
        2. PeakTrader

          We may recover part of the trillions of dollars in lost output during the slow recovery, after the recession, through an extended expansion (i.e. 2% to 3% real growth each year for 15 to 20 years).

          Reply
          1. pgl

            My Lord – your latest comment is pure gibberish. It is very well established that potential output is expected to grow by 2% per year. So yea 2% growth for the next 15 years is not only plausible but expected. If you are expecting 3% growth for 15 – you must be smoking something.

            C’mon Peaky – stop embarrassing your poor mother with such incessant gibberish.

  6. Moses Herzog

    Meet the first nominee for the Bruce Dogberry and CoRev sponsored “Man of High Character” award for 2019.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/01/virginia-governor-apologizes-for-racist-yearbook-photo-1144007

    *this award is partly sponsored by MAGA with an underlying grant from Gary Cohn’s and Steven Mnuchin’s “The Two Schlemiels, ‘Uuuuuuhh, What Nazis???’ ” Fund.
    https://goo.gl/images/1CbSoE

    NOTE: All of the above comment is made in satire. Like Johnnie Cochran once said: “If the swastika doesn’t fit, why’d you join trump’s cab-i-nit??”

    Reply
  7. Bruce Hall

    On a more serious note, many others have been writing about the likelihood of a recession in the near term. This article covers the bond situation of the 3-year and 10-year yields plus five more indicators. https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/08/28/6-signs-were-closer-to-the-next-recession-than-you.aspx. Note that it was written last August, so “closer” is always true the longer the good economy lasts.

    The question is not whether or when we will have a recession, but rather will it be more of a correction than a crash like the last one. Other than the stock market’s inflated values, I tend to think that other factors are not as skewed as they were in 2008, especially housing and banking. Nevertheless, prognosticators can be a bit off: https://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/15/a-recession-worse-than-2008-is-coming-commentary.html (Jan. 2016).

    Reply
  8. AS

    Professor Chinn,
    For those who have had a course in beginning macro, what intermediate text would you recommend for self-study?
    Also, I really appreciate it when you post your models with data, allowing for us to learn new methods or reinforce prior presented methods.

    Thanks,
    AS

    Reply
      1. AS

        I notice on Amazon there is a paperback” Macroeconomics Global Edition”. accessible from the same page as the hardcopy “Macroeconomics 7th ed. “. Is the Macroeconomics Global Edition the same or substantially the same as the hard copy edition, titled “Macroeconomics 7th ed.? The paper back Global Edition sells for $58 compared to $210 for the hard copy Macroeconomics.

        Reply
    1. 2slugbaits

      AS Personally, I especially like this one. Simon Wren-Lewis strongly recommended it, so I read it. It also costs a lot less than Blanchard’s textbook! Textbook prices are a pet peeve of mine. The only downside is that a lot of the examples have a UK/Euro flavor.
      https://www.amazon.com/Macroeconomics-Institutions-Instability-Financial-System/dp/0199655790

      There’s also a companion website for student resources, lecturer resources and various macro simulators:
      https://global.oup.com/uk/orc/busecon/economics/carlin_soskice/

      Reply
      1. Alan Goldhammer

        “Textbook prices are a pet peeve of mine.” Yes, they are indeed pricey. However, one can usually purchase a used copy of the previous edition which is ‘almost’ as good as the newer version depending on the subject. I just glanced at Amazon and the 6th edition of Blanchard’s book can be had for $31. Macro is not my area of expertise, but has the field really changed much between the publication of the two editions?

        Reply
    2. Moses Herzog

      Former Chief Economist at the IMF and close friends with the Fischmeister himself. Hard to go wrong there. And similar to our man Professor Chinn who used to wander near the Rhine river, Blanchard is “a man of international mystery”.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6gdRqNYiSA

      Somehow I had Blanchard working at the Bank of Israel for a short stint in my head, but I must have got Fischer’s bio sloshed together with his in my head. This is an extra long profile of Blanchard, so you better have some time on your hands if you wanna read all of it.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-smartest-economist-youve-never-heard-of/2015/10/02/8659bcf2-6786-11e5-8325-a42b5a459b1e_story.html

      Reply
  9. Moses Herzog

    I don’t know if Chuck Hoskin Jr. Checked with Barkley Rosser jr. before titling this Editorial. Hoskin should have had Barkley Jr at least proofread this right?? So Barkley Jr. could be their “white hero”??

    “However, every day, people make claims of native heritage and Cherokee ancestry across the country to take advantage of laws intended to level the playing field for Indian Country. These claims, made for personal advancements by profiteers, are like a guest at my table saying they’ve had a seat there all along.”
    …… Hoskin continues
    “When someone boasts they are Native American due to the results of a DNA test, it perpetuates the general public’s misunderstanding about what it means to be a tribal citizen.”

    Well, Chuck Hoskin is “only” the Cherokee Nation Secretary of State, so WTF would he know without checking with Barkley Jr first??

    Also some older quotes from Chuck Hoskin I lifted out of Washington Post:
    “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement at the time. “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

    Well, this seems like a tough thing for our “white hero” Barkley Jr to catch on to. I still have hopes for Barkley on figuring out the difference between a skewed distribution and a uniform distribution, which is how a paper Barkley Jr. quoted himself described how native American ancestry was distributed in America’s white population—UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED. #BarkleyJrFAIL

    Barkley Jr. might also explain why someone would apologize (like Miss Warren did Thursday, over the phone) after having done nothing wrong?? The mysteries of the world waiting to be solved by our “white hero” Barkley Jr.
    https://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/columnists/chuck-hoskin-jr-elizabeth-warren-can-be-a-friend-but/article_8c4b4d62-15be-536d-bb96-f33368a4488b.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/02/01/sen-elizabeth-warren-called-cherokee-nation-chief-apologize-dna-test-tribe-says/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c9b8e05da68e

    Will Elizabeth Warren apologize on the Senate floor—in public? (as she should)?? It depends on if she now views herself as Hillary Clinton style royalty yet—and follows her royal lineage into the same campaign failure. Or does she honestly view herself as a “working class” person who can look into a TV camera and say genuinely “I was wrong, and I’m sorry” and feel the cleaning effects of straightforward honesty and a fresh start?? That’s her choice. I suggest she do it now, not during a televised debate.

    Reply
    1. Barkley Rosser

      You are back on this irrelevant peripheral nonsense again, Moses? And throwing in your tried and true inaccurate sexism to boot. Note that Elizabeth Warren is married. She is not “Miss Watten.” Perhaps you should apologize to her. And, yes, we have known for quite some time that the Cherokee leaders thinkk that only people they say are Cherokee can call themselves Cherokee. This is not news.

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        I did do Miss Warren the favor of spelling her last name correctly. Can you tell me when she started using two t’s in her last name?? Does this brain glitch of yours in spelling names have any relation to your problem identifying the difference between skewed distributions and things that are uniformly distributed??

        BTW, Barkley Junior, you still have a problem with proper citations/quotations, as your only misspelling in your comment is your quotation of me. Another sign of an academic who doesn’t (or can’t??) manage to follow the most basic rules of his own profession.

        Did your father teach you to misquote people in your arguments??

        Reply
        1. Barkley Rosser

          I am not going to debate again what has previously been debated regarding Senator Warren and he Native American ancestry. But do note, Moses, since you seem insistent on repeating the use of “Miss” in front of her name, that it is simply inaccurate. “Senator” or “Ms.” or “Mrs.” woild be more appropriate, as well as accurate, than “Miss..”

          Oh, btw, have you realized yet how wrong you were about claiming Nancy Pelosi shuld not be made Speaker of the House because of her alleged lack of intelligence and competence? Dont bother replying on that one as it is also a disteaction from what this thread is supposed to be about, besides being just embarrassingly sillly and sexist. Really, I am not sure what your problem is with these women, but it is not funny.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Barkley Junior
            How about “skewed” vs uniformly distributed as related Native American admixture in the white population. Have you figured out the difference between a “skewed” distribution and something that is uniformly distributed?? I think as a numbers guy your father would be so proud to know you can finally figure that one out. Shall I present my argument again with a quote from the same reference you used where you misquoted the authors that they said it was skewed?? Yes?? OK. Because, “strangely”, in a long paper they never once used the word skewed to describe the data.

            It may be fascinating for regular readers of Econbrowser to note, that the very same research paper that Barkley Rosser quotes, if we use the journal page numbers you can go to the first paragraph of page 50 and read the following that is listed under this major sub-topic headline of the paper starting back on page 49 “Robust Estimates of African and Native American Ancestry in African Americans and European Americans”
            The inferred segments of African and Native American are UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED across the genome. Although we expect that some of the inferred ancestry might arise from difficulties in assigning ancestry in complex regions of the genome, only a small fraction of the estimated African and Native American ancestry in European Americans can be explained through such biases and is not expected to give rise to any substantial (more than 1%) ancestry from any population.

            That does not agree with or even be slightly consistent with Barkley Rosser’s assertion the the data are “skewed”. It is also interesting to observe that the word “skewed” is never used once in the paper Barkley Rosser finally got around to quoting.

            When Barkley Junior stated that the data (the % of European Americans with Native American ancestry) was “skewed” I was completely baffled how that could be after so many generations of what I term “interracial relations” and the the research paper labels “admixture”. As the paper states the only thing that could drastically change it after that many generations of “admixture” are major historical migration events and or what they term “settlement patterns” such as the “Trail of Tears” migration of the 1830s. Indeed, this had minor effects on the distribution of Native American ancestry, and did NOT make the distribution “skewed” as Barkley Junior had stated on more than one post.

            By the way, the authors of the paper Barkley Rosser quotes estimate that initial admixture between Europeans and Native Americans occurred 12 generations ago,
            Draw your own conclusions.

            Here is a link to the paper Barkley Junior referenced. Junior said it was the “leading” paper on the topic, so I’m not going to argue that since it supports the argument I was making on the distribution, before I had even seen the paper, that it was more apt to be normally or even more to my argument’s favor—-UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289685/

            And I’d like to thank Barkley Junior for being that honest (or was he unaware??) to share a paper that TOTALLY contradicts his own argument that the distribution was/is “skewed”.

          2. Moses Herzog

            Is all of this included in your fictional world where you said that the paper said the distribution is “skewed”??

            Am I against Pelosi as House Speaker?? YES. She has failed at her job over many years. She is no better at doing her job at age 78 than when she started it, how many years ago?? U.S. Legislators don’t get tenure like some incompetent professors that can’t even handle references/citations correctly. I can think of many good quality female candidates for House Speaker, if you’d like me to provide you with a list in this thread, I would be more than happy to do so.

            Just out of curiosity Barkley Junior, Pelosi isn’t your Bingo or bridge games partner, is she?? I don’t think that bodes well as a partnership, so don’t bring to much cash to those bridge games, OK??

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: I seem to recall that Pelosi managed to get ARRA and the ACA through the House, despite unified Republican opposition. It seems to me thta she can be credited with substantial successes.

          4. Moses Herzog

            With all due respect Menzie, the argument seems to be “She’s done some good things”. HOW MANY YEARS HAS SHE BEEN SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE??? Lets look at her impact on America (negative or positive aside, we’re talking pure legislative impact). Can you honestly say she has had a bigger legislative impact on American than ANY of these 4 men??

            1) John Boehner
            2) Newt Gingrich
            3) Mitch McConnell
            4) Paul Ryan

            Menzie, if I was near Madison right now, could you look me straight deadcenter in the eye and tell me Pelosi has had a bigger legislative impact (negative impact or positive impact held aside, only pure impact) than ANY of those 4 men?? just tell me one you honestly believe and I’ll go mute for this thread.

          5. Barkley Rosser

            Moses,

            Speaker Pelosi has certainly had a more positive impact than all four of those male clowns you listed, and she seems to be handling Trump quite masterfully.

            As it is, I have long been impressed by Kamala Harris. That is partly because I happen to know her dad, Donald Harris, originally from Jamaica and now a retired econ prof at Stanford. He is a very smart guy.

            For Menzie, did you know that Don Harris was at UW 1968-72?

  10. Moses Herzog

    Barkley Junior, you are a good example of why we are where we are now in America. You present the choice that a person is “anti-female” if they don’t support your favorite senile incompetent candidate. And that is a false choice. There are many qualified women for the job. Only they cannot present themselves as candidates for House Speaker, when the senile woman of low capability, Pelosi, is offering pork and/or the legislator’s behind the scenes version of a nun’s ruler on the knuckles of their hand. That is Pelosi’s version of “leadership”.

    Here is some gender equality education for you Barkley Junior, from “The Hill” website:
    “Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), one Pelosi detractor, hammered the argument that the California Democrat’s promotion is the only way to secure female leadership at the very top of the party. ‘To those who say that this is an issue of gender, that’s just not true. I’m a woman, and a lot of our new members are women, and they should not be made to feel that they are anti-woman if they don’t want to vote for Nancy Pelosi,’ Rice said Wednesday, leaving a closed-door Democratic meeting in the Capitol. ‘We have an enormous number of talented women in the caucus — an enormous number.’ ”
    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/416836-insurgents-seek-female-challenger-to-replace-pelosi

    Kathleen Rice would make an excellent candidate for House Speaker

    Marcia Fudge (of Ohio) would make a solid House Speaker

    Cheryl Lea Bustos (of Illinois) would make a great House Speaker

    And yes, even at her young age, I might not make her House Speaker yet, but Ocasio-Cortez would make a great Majority Caucus Chair, and she should be given a leadership position in which she can exhibit her charismatic abilities and social media skills which far outshine most or her legislative colleagues. That includes also, important committee seats or even Chairmanships.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up21TVsEFQc

    If legislators are handpicked by Pelosi to fill in leadership roles based on ONE litmus test, the ability to suck up to Nancy Pelosi, you have what we have now. An incompetent and nearly senile House Speaker, clutching onto power with ghost white knuckles, with legislative deputies nearly as incompetent as herself because they have one “qualification” for the job: filial piety to Grandma Pelosi.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/24/pelosi-democrats-women-caucus-831542

    Here is Nancy Pelosi’s version of “leadership”: When much needed new blood enters the party, you cry tears and hold a memorial service for Joseph Crowley, a man Pelosi calls “a very valued member of Congress” and “a great gentleman” and “we’ll miss him”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGOkVXeraZM

    But what was Joe Crowley’s record?? Cronyism, pillaging of New York state assets and dead people’s estate assets, and a man up on multiple ethics investigations. And I quote and lift some parts verbatim from The Intercept, and The New York Daily News:

    “As the New York Daily News wrote in 2017:
    For 30 years, the same three men have effectively controlled one of the largest Democratic organizations in America. They are Gerard Sweeney, Michael Reich and Frank Bolz, the powerful attorneys who serve Rep. Joe Crowley, the chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party. Reich is the executive secretary of the party, a spokesperson and wrangler of district leaders. Bolz is the law chairman, entrusted with keeping county-approved candidates on the ballot and knocking their rivals off.

    And then, there’s the Queens County Surrogate’s Court, which has a long history of corruption.

    Ocasio-Cortez had only a faint impression that something was off in the Westchester Surrogate Court where her family did battle for four years. The more she learned about the Queens one, the more convinced she was that her hunch about the lawyers who profited off of probate proceedings had been correct. Here’s how the New York Times described the Queen’s court in a 2011 account, in which Crowley is dubbed “the party boss in Queens”:

    Power and money are found not so much in the voting booth as in the machine-controlled judicial conventions that pick judges, and in the courthouse on Sutphin Boulevard.

    That is where you find Surrogate’s Court, otherwise known as widows and orphans court. This court appoints guardians who make handsome fees processing the estates of those Queens residents who die without wills.

    To enter this court is to stumble upon Ponce de Leon’s own spring, an eternal source of easy money for the politically wired.

    Sweeney’s office, according to the Daily News, made $30 million as counsel to the public administrator of the court from 2006 to 2017, administering the estates of people who died without wills. He did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment, and he declined to comment to the Daily News last year about his work. Scott Kaufman, who served as Crowley’s campaign treasurer for 17 years, made almost half a million dollars from assignments by the court from 2006 to 2017, the New York Post reported last June. Kaufman’s haul prompted a state probe into possible pay violations. He did not return The Intercept’s request for comment, but he told the Post last year that he was in compliance with state rules on court appointments. “Any review will conclude that the rules have been complied with,” Kaufman said. A spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration declined to comment on the investigation, but noted that “Scott Kaufman is currently eligible for appointments,” meaning he is still able to accept court appointments as a public administrator.

    Crowley’s allies in the machine, Ocasio-Cortez charged, “defend him in court and they bump his opponents off the ballot,” referring to ballot challenges filed with the Board of Elections against candidates Crowley did not support or who oppose the machine. Last year, as DNAInfo reported, a candidate in a City Council primary was booted from the ballot for not having enough valid signatures; she said she was bullied for not “kissing the ring” of the party boss, Crowley. In that race, Crowley supported Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who went on to defeat Hiram Monserrate, a former council member and state senator who was expelled from the legislature after a 2009 conviction for assaulting his girlfriend.

    The machine has a tight relationship with developers. Ocasio-Cortez noted in a follow-up email that Crowley’s organization reaped large sums of real estate money before the Queens machine installed the new City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, who has since “led the council in rezoning neighborhoods for luxury developments — pricing out local families and constructing high rises when the city already has 275k vacant units.”
    https://theintercept.com/2018/05/22/joseph-crowley-alexandra-ocasio-cortez-new-york-primary/
    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lawyers-controlled-queens-dems-party-30-years-article-1.3017007

    Is that your “pro-female” House Speaker Barkley Junior?? The one crying for the white male party boss robbing dead people’s assets?? Barkley Junior, read some newspapers or send off your application to the local nursing home. Whichever you deem more suitable in your case.

    Reply
    1. Alan Goldhammer

      Your comments about Speaker Pelosi clearly point out that you have no clue about her past record and current effectiveness as a foil to President Trump. That you cite Congresswomen Rice and Fudge as good candidates for Speaker is laughable. I really don’t understand your propensity to try to hijack every thread Professor Chinn posts. You should take a month sabbatical from posting.

      Reply
    2. Barkley Rosser

      BTW, I shall simply note that I am not going to comment further on the various other items you are bringing up again after having done so many times and having had it explained repeatedly to you why your arguments are just bogus. I am not going to repeat any of that further, no matter how much you attempt to personally insult me, mostly making yourself look just silly and obnoxious in the eyes of most observers here.

      Hey, why don’t you take to calling me, “Miss Rosser”? Oh, that will really make me say that you have been right about all these matters.

      Reply
  11. Julian Silk

    Dear Menzie,

    2 things.

    1) You want to be somewhat more careful in calling recessions. If a recession starts anywhere from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, that would be a valid forecast. But people will think you are saying it will start in Spring 2020, and I do not think it will. We are dealing with people here, and with the Republicans in the White House, they will spend like crazy in the Spring of 2020, in what John Kenneth Galbraith called “The Liberal Hour”. So I think that is too soon. And yes, of course, this forecast could be wrong as well.

    2) The Federal Reserve bowing to Trump will make this recession worse. You want to look at my favorite Table, 1.1.5 of the Gross Domestic Product. Gross Domestic Private Investment had a nice little gain. But the things that stick out at you are much of the gain was in Inventories, and 2017:3 to 2018:3 Nonresidential Structures investment. The Inventory gain is much less than in 2015 and 2016. Equipment is up a little, but the rise is very slow. And yes, for 2015 and 2016, Equipment was wobbling around. So unless there is another Shutdown, it is still too early.

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  12. sammy

    Barkley Jr.
    I was roughly a peer or Mrs. Warren, and at the time it was commonly known that “checking the box” as an Indian was pretty much guaranteed to admittance to an elite institution of higher knowledge. Most had the decency to not do that. However Elizabeth Warren did not have that decency gene. She checked the box. If she had not checked the box, it is likely we would never heard of Elizabeth Warren. She would be an obscure Prof at U of Oklahoma or whatever. So her entire resume is built on a lie.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      sammy: Are you writing from personal experience gaining attendance to an elite institution.
      Am wondering if her so called indecency is comparable to getting that “bone spurs” diagnosis…

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        @ Menzie
        If you could hear me speak this out, instead of type it, you would hear me speak in a very civil reduced tone (with the possible exception of my last 2–3 sentences at the end)—–

        I’ve made it clear I’m a Democrat. Rightward leaning on a few issues. Gender issues…some others more towards “the right” politically—but pretty strongly across the board Democrat. I could conceivably vote for the woman, and in fact at one time was a big fan of Miss Warren’s. But here is the problem, she LIES and then makes it worse by CONTINUING the LIE. This is the exact same thing Hillary did. In fact, no one on this blog, including our resident Gender Studies “expert” Barkley Jr, will believe this, that I am trying to do the woman a favor by having her clear up all this crap NOW instead of going months and months and months into November 2020 having to answer the same dumb-ass question (like our little emails and home server SAGA). She needs to come clean and get it over with. I’m laying 85% she won’t—because Elizabeth Warren has the same exact problem Hillary did, a FALSE sense of VANITY as it regards her own personal ethics. Which aren’t even close to as good as she imagines.

        She’s afraid to get “embarrassed”. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit you did something wrong. But which is more embarrassing?? To admit something everyone already knows (just as everyone knew Hillary was full of crap on her servers and “lost emails”) on the Senate floor in February 2019?? Or in 2021 in the post-operative of her campaign admit “yeah, I F’ed up, I should have just said yes, I filled out the form to enhance my job chances, and it was a 300 pound bowling ball on my neck for 22+ months” Which one would be the better route??? SHE’S NOT FOOLING ANYONE with the possible exception of BarkleySkewedBrain and the kids at your local Madison kindergarten.

        How does avoiding/evading taking direct questions from the press such as “Did you label yourself Native American when filling out any job application forms or bios for yourself??” during a presidential campaign work out politically??
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/24/hillary-clinton-still-has-no-good-answer-on-why-she-hasnt-held-a-press-conference-in-263-days/?utm_term=.e3520f8eb57d

        Ask the worst national campaigner in the modern political era how that works out. Her next stop on her “How to Blame Others for Personal Failures and Charge Overpriced Tickets to Schmucks” tour continues in April in a theatre in New York that seats 2900 and then it’s off to the cosmopolitan hub of Detroit.

        Reply
  13. PeakTrader

    Menzie Chinn, there’s no proof a doctor lied about Trump having bone spurs. And, the Vietnam War was unpopular at the time. Many Americans got deferments.

    There can be a difference between lying not to lose something and lying to gain something. If Trump lied, it was to prevent himself from going to Vietnam. Warren lied to gain admission to a better school and possibly better grades.

    Reply
    1. Barkley Rosser

      Oh, PT, count on you to jump in supporting Moses’s nonsense.

      A relative of the doctor said he lied about the bone spurs as a favor to the family, but I guess that is not “proof.”

      As it is, Warren has apparently apologized to the Cherokee leader for her past listing of herself as an American Indian and for confusing mere descent with being a tribal member, which is something fully under the control of tribal leaders (something she should always have understood, especially given that she claimed descent from two different tribes, which is well known to complicate tribal membership claims).

      As it is, you are otherwise completely off about Warren. Warren was not making any claims about her Native ancestry when she was going to school or getting grades. It came later, and the accusations have been that she did it to get her appointments at Penn and Harvard as a professor. However, despite repeated claims by her critics, those involved in her hiring at both places said she was viewed as white by them and this matter had nothing to do with her hiring. Also, she happens to have a distinguished and highly influential publication record. She clearly was qualified to be on the faculty of highly prestigious universities on her own merits without any affirmative action.

      As it is, I do not think anybody will be needing to worry about this regarding her as the Dem nominee as I think she will not get the nomination, and not just because of this Native ancestry controversy, which is certainly not helping her (and clearly why she has now been issuing apologies). I have all along said I lacked enthusiasm for her for various reasons, although I think she is mostly very smart and has put forward some admirable policy proposals.

      On the matter of bringing up Hillary, this is just hilarious and partisan drivel. She did nothing not done by her two predecessors, with reportedly Colin Powell doing even more technically illegal things than she did. But if you are not calling for them to be prosecuted, then you have no cred whining about Hillary’s emails, although I realize that Sean Hannity goes berserk about them about every other evening. For most Dems (and me also), her bigger problem was her money grubbing and giving high paid lectures before Wall Street investment banking firms, although that was not illegal. And, yeah, she lied about a few things, a biggie was her claim that in 1995 she landed in Bosnia in a helicopter. But then we have Trump who is now lying about 15 times per day on average and who just made a rather long series of lies in his SOTU. So, please, PT, if you want to pick on Hillary for the fairly small number of lies she made, what do you have to say about the thousands Trump has made, with many of them far bigger whoppers than anything she said (including going all the way back to the claim that he had bone spurs, for which there has been zero evidence before or since his family doc reportedly made such a false claim to get him out of the draft so he could have his own “personal Vietnam” avoiding getting a sexually transmitted disease)?

      Reply
    2. 2slugbaits

      PeakTrader Barkley’s got it exactly right. Trump bragged about being a star athlete when he was a teenager. He even said he was the best baseball player in NYC, including any of the Yankees. And each year he got a student deferment his medical tests did not indicate any “bone spurs.” The only time this “bone spur” diagnosis popped up was after he had exhausted his student deferments and was liable for the draft. By a happy coincidence Trump’s father happened to recommend a doctor who was one of the Trump’s tenants. And by an even happier coincidence that doctor got all kinds of special breaks and considerations from his landlord (i.e., Trump’s father) after (but not before!) this mysterious diagnosis of “bone spurs” popped up. Even more miraculously, those “bone spurs” just disappeared (along with all of the supporting documentation) shortly after Donald Trump’s exposure to the draft passed. Some folks are stupid enough to believe that all of this is just a happy coincidence. Or if you’re Sarah Huckabee Sanders you might say it was all part of God’s plan to give us Donald Trump in our time of need. But if you’ve got more than half a brain you’d probably say that Ly’in Donald pulled another fast one on the gullible rubes.

      BTW, what do you have against the Univ of Oklahoma law school? It’s reputation is one of the most “originalist” schools out there. For example, it was the Univ of Oklahoma press that published a book that is considered sacred by the Federalist crowd and lovers of the 9th & 10th Amendments: Raoul Berger’s “Federalism: The Founders’ Design”. Even I’ve read it, and I’m hardly a fan of “originalist” and Federalist crapola…even though my nephew is a research fellow with the Federalist Society…a true family embarrassment.

      Reply
  14. Barkley Rosser

    Having agreed with quite a bit of the criticism of Elizabeth Warren and also basically forecasting that she is unlikely to be the Dem prez nominee, although that cannot be completely ruled out yet, I want to mention some reasons why she deserves respect, especiallly in the face of what have been largely politically motivated claims that she got specil treatment at certain points of time that she supposedly did not deserve. This involves in particular her special role in bringing into existence the now damaged Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, something that I think was worthwhile and desrves to be rehabilitated from the damge done to it by Donald J. Trump. In particular I would note, as an academic myself, that the CFPB to a large extent rose out of published research by Warren from her academic career at Harvard. All of those who sneer at her claiming she only got there because she claimed to be a Native American Indian must recognize that she did very serious research that led to the creation of a very useful agency, with all this tied up with her political career. Veery few academics pull this off as successfully as she has.

    And again, it must be noted that Warren had stopped all of her listing of herself as Native and was simply not talking about it at all when she began running for office. However, it was at this point that her political opponents dredged all this stuff up and began spreading all these rumors that she only got where she was because of these claims, as well as engaging in all the “Pocahontas” name calling. Given how most of the population simply lacks any sympathey for her on all this, she set herself up a long time ago to be damaged politically due to this, quite irrespective od how much or how she apologizes now, for better or worse.

    I could say more things that have not been said on this here, both more and less favorable to her. But I frankly think it is time to retire this topic once and for all from this site. After all, it has never been the subject of a post by Menzies and discussion of it has never really belonged here.

    Reply

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