Jobs will grow in 2010, but then what? and Big issues, be gone!

The reason the economy on Main Street feels so dismal is that while the revival is well underway, sustained job growth hasn’t happened yet. Just like when you take a headlong dive into the deep end of a pool, you kick off the bottom and start climbing quickly, but there’s the inevitable moment of doubt just before you break the surface.

With 5.7% GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, following 2.2% in the third quarter, this recovery is already stronger than the last two. We are also on the cusp of sustained positive job growth only a couple of quarters after the end of recession. That’s just one-third of the 21 months it took for job growth to resume after the 2001 recession.

Still, recovering is a far cry from recovered. And while the economy will certainly get better in 2010, the real problem is the long-term outlook for jobs. [Read the full article]

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(Fortune Magazine) — You will notice, if you scan, troll, or cruise the global super-database these days, that nobody knows where the big machine is headed in the new decade, in spite of all the gas expended on the subject. Is the economy getting better? Worse? We try to see the future, or at least get some visibility a couple of weeks out. But none is to be had.

This is not because we are stupid. It is, rather, because several big, hairy conceptual monsters stand in the way of the horizon. Until we wrestle them to the ground, or at least shave them a bit, our vision will remain cloudy with no chance of meatballs. Here they are:

A few years ago, in Tokyo, I noticed that the city had hired people to escort subway riders on and off escalators. These citizens simply gestured us on and off the moving stairways. It seemed silly at the time. Now I don’t know. [Read the full article]

But one economist says the administration has gotten Keynes only half right. Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon is one of the most influential monetarists of the past 50 years. He has served in the Department of the Treasury under President Kennedy and on the Council of Economic Advisors during the Reagan Administration. He also authored the book, Keynes’s Monetary Theory: A Different Interpretation.

While the Obama team is laying out huge sums of money, Meltzer says it’s neglecting a key part of Keynes’ plan: You can’t run up a debt without a way to cover it.

Meltzer recently sat down with Fortune editor-at-large Shawn Tully. Below are edited excerpts from their conversation.

He would roll over in his grave if he could see the things being done in his name. Keynes was opposed to large structural deficits. He thought that they chilled rather than stimulated the economy. It’s true that we’re stuck with large deficits now. [Read the full article]

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon will take home a nearly $16 million bonus in restricted stock and options for leading the bank to a big profit last year.

In a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, the New York City-based bank said Dimon would collect nearly 200,000 shares of restricted stock and more than a half million in options.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Dimon did not receive a cash bonus. Wall Street firms in general have migrated from paying their employees large cash bonuses to stock and options in response to public outcry over bonuses and in an effort to tie employee compensation to company performance.

Based on Thursday’s closing price of $38.35 per share, Dimon’s restricted stock payment would be worth about $7.5 million. [Read the full article]

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