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09-01-09, 20:26
Over 11 million Americans are out of work.

With December’s decline, reported by the BLS this morning, jobs were officially shed every single month in 2008. The U.S. hasn’t suffered 12 straight months of job losses since 2001, during the “recession” that followed the tech bust.
Not only did he U.S. economy lose another 524,000 jobs in December, but the BLS revised October and November numbers up by about 150,000.
Thus, the unemployment rate has “officially” climbed to 7.2% -- the highest rate sine 1993, and notably worse than the 7% consensus forecast.

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With 11 million people on the street, The U.S. Army War College is testing scenarios for “use of American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening economic crisis.” The Army believes “economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order,” says the Phoenix Business Journal, citing the USAWC, “are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.”

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The market collapse, credit crisis and soaring unemployment have finally caused consumers to stop borrowing … at least for now. Consumer borrowing fell by $8 billion in November, the Federal Reserve reported yesterday. That’s an annual rate of 3.7%, the biggest since 1998, three times larger than October’s contraction and far from the unchanged levels the Street anticipated. In dollar terms, November’s $8 billion decline is the largest since the Fed started keeping track in 1943.
Still, total U.S. consumer debt outstanding still dwarfs that of any society in human history. U.S. consumers collectively owe over $2.5 trillion, not including mortgages. That’s 18% of the annual GDP of the nation.