Key News
- [Canadian] Employment declined for the second consecutive month in December (-34,000), the result of a large drop in full-time work. (Statistics Canada)

- Bundesbank President Axel Weber signaled that Germany's economy may contract by more than the central bank previously forecast as a recession worsens. (Bloomberg)

- The Fed's balance sheet stood at $2.14 trillion Wednesday, down from nearly $2.3 trillion the previous week, according to the latest data released Thursday. That doesn't include the latest purchases of mortgage bonds. The balance sheet could eventually climb toward $3 trillion once the Fed's new programs are fully implemented. The balance sheet was under $900 billion at the end of 2007 and was still less than $1 trillion as recently as mid-September. (WSJ)

Key Reports (WSJ):
8:30 a.m. Dec Non-Farm Payrolls: Expected: -500K. Previous: -533K.
8:30 a.m. Dec Unemployment Rate: Expected: 7.0%. Previous: 6.7%.
10:00 a.m. Nov Wholesale Trade: Expected: -0.7%. Previous: -1.1%.


Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there's always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.

Benoit Mandelbrot

FX Trading – Comment Hodgepodge Jobs Friday:

Let's get ready to rumble Get ready for the buffer to fill, as Mr. Mandelbrot calls it. To say it might be a volatile day because US non-farm payrolls will be reported at 8:30 is to say—dah!!! Seemingly each day now in the new world of foreign exchange is volatile, or to use the more scientific terminology—volatilus humongus!

These jobs days are always tricky. You got expectations and whisper numbers and relatively in the market. Yesterday, we got buy the news (BOE rate cut) on the pound; but even there the volatility has been huge. Traders believe on relative basis the pound has been pounded enough for a while—at least that's the view today.

Socialism by another name

Given the Obama spend our way to prosperity speech yesterday, one begins to wonder why the dollar hasn't cratered and gold isn't soaring to new heights (we know the jury is still out)?

Maybe watching Sarkozy, Blair, and Merkel directly attack the hand that feeds them—the capitalist system—in order to create a market more to their liking (read steal more from producers and increase state control over everything) makes the US look relatively better than Europe; but one wonders. Isn't the massive increase in US spending outright socialism by another name only? It makes us shrug! Atlas, please call your office.