Go to Google. Type in "green shoots." In about a 10th of a second you will find 28,900,000 references. Scrolling through a few pages, you find a lot of references to the beginning of the end of the recession. Today we look at some data to see if we can indeed see the end. Most readers will be surprised to know that the number of people employed in the US went up (!) in April. Yet so did the unemployment rate. Is that green shoot just another dandelion weed in our economic garden?
We'll jump into that and more, but first let me quickly mention the new subscription service that we began offering this year, called "Conversations with John Mauldin." One of my "secrets" is that I have a very powerful rolodex (or, for the younger crowd, my contacts list). In this new project, each month I call up one or two of my special contacts in the investment and economic world and hold a conversation with them about the important topics of the day -- where the US and global economies are going, how we should be investing, what opportunities and pitfalls are out there, etc. Some will be names you recognize, and others will be names you will want to know. You get to listen in, download to your computer, or read a transcript -- whichever you prefer.
The reviews from subscribers have been more than excellent. Over the top, actually. You can read some of them at the website below.
I just recorded a Conversation with Donald Coxe and Gary Shilling. Both men are among my favorite analysts, and have been remarkably right with their calls for a long time. However, their views on how commodity prices will develop over the next few years differ considerably. Mischievously, I thought it would be fun to get them together. Neither are shy or retiring men, and both can articulate their views very well, thank you. The conversation turned into a lively debate, one in which I did not get to say as much as I do in a normal Conversation. I think subscribers will find it one of the best we have done. I certainly came away with a lot to think about.
The Conversation will be posted next week. Subscribers will get an email notifying you when it is up. Also, George Friedman of Stratfor and I are going to start doing a regular quarterly Conversation that will be a separate product, but if you subscribe today you will get it as part of the regular service for a year.
Right now, we are offering a subscription for $109, $90 off the regular $199 price. To…