Mark Gongloff is off the newsletter this morning, so today's 7.5 Things are brought to you by Jillian Berman.
Thing One: Jobless Get Their Moment, Sort Of: If Wednesday night wasn’t enough political circus for you, have no fear because it’s jobs day today. And while this morning’s report will indicate how many ordinary Americans are struggling to find work, most of the conversation surrounding the report will likely be about whether the numbers will give Mitt Romney the opportunity to gloat some more.
Economists estimate that employers added 113,000 jobs last month, according to The New York Times. Not a terrible number, but not enough to get the employment rate to budge below 8 percent where it has hovered for months.
If the jobs report turns out to be as disappointing as predicted, Romney will have the chance to keep riding his debate boost. Though Romney has failed to capitalize on the many disappointing jobs reports that have come in since he became the presumptive Republican nominee, his campaign is hoping to change that, according to the Financial Times. That’s right, the campaign is hoping to find opportunity in some pretty bad news for American workers.
“Friday’s number is likely to provide another proof point for Romney to continue articulating the need for a new direction,” Matt McDonald, an outside advisor to the Romney campaign told the FT.
Thing Two: In Europe, "Meh" Equals Good: A poor eurozone economy has become such a fact of life that characterizing the situation as “so, not bad,” can be described as optimism. Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, used the “so, not bad” phrase to describe the eurozone economy in what The New York Times called “guardedly upbeat” comments following a meeting of the central bank’s governing council Thursday.
Draghi also said Thursday that bank is prepared to undertake a new round of bond-buying, but it won’t move to help until struggling countries countries like Spain beg for economic mercy by asking for a bailout, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Spain is already using $130 billion in aid to repair its banks, but its government is getting pressured to seek a broader bailout, according to Bloomberg. In addition, the European Commission allegedly told Spanish officials that the country’s plan to slash its deficit to 4.5 percent of GDP may be a bit too optimistic.
Thing Three: Gotchya, Years Later: Those securities backed by terrible subprime mortgages that helped to blow up the economy may actually come back to haunt another bank. The Justice Department and the New York Attorney General’s office are investigating Credit Suisse over the mortgage-backed securities of less-than-stellar quality, packaged and sold by the bank during the housing boom, according to Reuters. The news comes just a few days after the NYAG filed a lawsuit -- a whopping four years after the crisis -- against JPMorgan Chase alleging that Bear Stearns, which is now owned by JPMorgan, “kept investors in the dark” about the terrible quality of their mortgage-backed bonds.
Thing Four: Everyone Agrees Wall Street Pay Is Too High: People on Wall Street are getting paid too much, according to people on Wall Street. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman warned Thursday that the bank will probably need to sacrifice some workers and lower compensation in order to cut costs. “As a shareholder I’m sort of sympathetic to the shareholder view that the industry is still overpaid,” Gorman told the Financial Times. And he’s not the only one voicing concern about high Wall Street pay, pensions and big mutual funds are becoming more vocal at the banks where they invest and urging them to curb pay, according to Reuters.
Thing Five: Fed Minutes Released: The economic recovery is moving so slowly that nearly all members of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors agreed last month that it needed a boost. Every member except one supported the Fed’s decision to start a new round of bond buying to stimulate the economy, according to minutes from the central bank’s last policy meeting cited by The New York Times. Many were also concerned about high levels of unemployment and the economic uncertainty caused by issues like the never-ending European Debt Crisis and the possibility of the fiscal cliff. The Fed also debated including a trigger, like lower levels of unemployment, for raising interest rates instead of promising to keep rates at record lows until 2015, according to the Financial Times.
Thing Six: You Know What's Cool: Everybody and their mother is on Facebook, but really probably literally. The social network now has more than 1 billion active monthly users. But the news may not be all good; the majority of Facebook’s users access the site through their mobile devices, a platform that advertisers and investors are concerned the company won’t be able to turn into a viable platform for selling ads. Even on regular computers, Facebook has had trouble monetizing our need to look at photos of high school classmates. Google and Yahoo make about $88 per user on average, while Facebook only makes about $15, according to eMarketer data cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Thing Seven: Big Bank Learns How To Use Twitter: Citibank is learning how to use the Twitters! The Wall Street Journal reports that the bank has been working over the past two years to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter well enough to respond to customers’ complaints on social media. As the WSJ aptly notes “Big banks are notoriously bad at keeping their customers happy” and the social media push is part of an aim to keep customers satisfied. But big banks are also notoriously bad at the internet so we’ll see how the whole thing goes.
Thing Seven And A Half: Presidents On TV: Still not tired of hearing about presidents? You’re in luck. On this date in 1947, Harry Truman gave the first televised presidential speech. In it he asked Americans to cut back on their grain consumption to help starving Europeans.
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Calendar Du Jour:
8:30 a.m. ET: Unemployment Rate and Nonfarm Payrolls for Septemer
3:00 p.m. ET: Consumer Credit for August
Before Market Open: Constellation Brands
Heard On The Tweets:
@ReformedBroker: Zynga guides lower as parents find better credit card hiding spots in Q3. $ZNGA
@BuzzFeedAndrew: Wow, 10.3 million Tweets sent in 90 minutes last night about the debate. A record for a political event.
@mattyglesias: A Bullard-Evans debate would tell us a lot more about economic policy than Romney and Obama going on about tax plans.
@matthewstoller: The criticism "it looked like Obama didn't want to be there" is stupid. Of course he didn't want to be there. It was his anniversary.
@FireMeElmo: Elmo have 1,099 followers but @MittRomney aint one. Elmo loves his friends. They will help Elmo find a home and job!