In the US in January.

Too soon to blame Obama? Well maybe. This crisis is a direct result of intervention in domestic lending markets by the Carter and Clinton administrations. Bush’s attempts to get more accountability from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were blocked. But no, that’s not Obama’s fault.

When I heard the story of this explosion in unemployment on the TV news last night, the reporter offered her opinion that we would see a change once the ‘stimulus’ package got started. I agree there is likely to be a change, but I doubt it will be positive.

Increased unemployment levels are indicative of a lack of business confidence. If business owners believe things are going to be get better, they don’t lay people off. Good staff are hard to find, and take time and money to train.

One of the reasons I thought Obama’s election would be a mistake was his utter lack of experience in running anything. The stimulus package reflects this lack of understanding of both business practice and basic economics. In these circumstances it is hard for the business-owners who power the economy to feel anything other than concern.