Friday, March 5

In The Making: A Campaign In Panic Mode

Flashback, March 2, 2004:

"If the Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two or three years, the kind of tax increases that both Kerry and Edwards have talked about, we would not have had the kind of job growth that we've had."

- Vice President Dick Cheney
Flash forward to today, from The Financial Times:

Dollar falls as US fails to create new jobs

The dollar tumbled on Friday as new data revealed that the US economy failed to create any new private sector jobs last month.

Against the background of a presidential campaign increasingly marked by protectionist rhetoric, total employment rose by just 21,000 in February, well below forecasts of around 150,000.

Even this modest job creation was entirely accounted for by a 21,000 increase in the government payroll. The figures raise questions about the sustainability of the US recovery and will alarm President George W. Bush.

The sluggish labour market has become a focus for Senator John Kerry, his Democrat challenger in November, who seized on the figures as evidence that Mr Bush's policies were failing.

Financial markets reacted swiftly to the disappointing data, pushing the dollar lower against the euro, which climbed briskly from $1.218 to $1.241.