It was good that Stan reserved the right to change his mind after the news this morning. From the BLS, we learn that the forecasters had it right and the employment picture is not pretty -- another 663,000 net jobs lost, a jump in the unemployment rate from 8.1 to 8.5 percent, an employment-to-population ratio now below 60 percent at 59.9 percent, and the most comprehensive unemployment measure (U-6) now above 15 percent at 15.6 percent. A President can have many successes, but if the events that still seem beyond his control are this bad, then it is very hard for those successes to build much momentum.
Also this morning, Phill Swagel, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, will present "The Financial Crisis: An Inside View" at the Brookings Institution. Get a preview in The Washington Post or read the whole document here.