Occasional bad econ news roundup | Bleader

Occasional bad econ news roundup

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* Motorola and Sears have had their bond ratings downgraded to junk.

* I don't think I can even listen to WBEZ's roundup of depressing letters to Santa.

* Virgin Airlines pulls out of O'Hare.

* The length of the typical workweek is down to 33.5 hours. Robert Reich: "That's the shortest number of hours since the Department of Labor began keeping records on hours worked, back in 1964. A significant number of people are working part-time who'd rather be working full time. Coupled with those who are too discouraged even to look for work, I'd estimate that the percentage of Americans who need work right now is approaching 11 percent of the workforce. And that percent is likely to raise." (h/t Tina)

* Kanye favorite Takashi Murakami is scaling back his product.

* We didn't just lose a lot of jobs in November (533,000); job loss estimates from September and October were revised down as well. Bonddad: "There is nothing good in this report -- every area of employment was hit hard."

* Brad DeLong: "We can only call it a depression when the headline unemployment rate--U3--kisses 12%, or when the headline unemployment rate stays above 10% for 36 consecutive months."

* There's a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about neo-Hooverite Republicans who want to purify the economy by fire.

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