Thursday Numbers

You are free to choose, but you are not free to alter the consequences of your decisions. ― Ezra Taft Benson

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include Bill Simmons, Academy Awards, unemployment claims, a milestone, age of Presidential candidates, confidence in the next presidential election, the federal deficit, and much more!


Sports media founder Bill Simmons scored a massive payout from Spotify, who purchased Simmons’ publication The Ringer for a reported $250 million. (Business Insider)

Simmons started as a sports blogger.


That’s how many people (23.6 million) watched the Academy Awards Sunday night – an all-time low. (Deadline)

The show is too long.


In the week ending February 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 205,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 202,000 to 203,000. The 4-week moving average was 212,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 211,750 to 212,000. (


Pop the cork – this is the 430th “Thursday Numbers” column.

The first “Thursday Numbers” column was posted on June 9, 2011. It was about the unemployment numbers in the news. That day the number of unemployed was 427,000. Today the number of unemployed is 205,000. I was unemployed back then and those numbers were important to me. I still post the unemployment numbers today.


Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is 78 years old.
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is 77 years old. He will be 78 on Friday.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden is 77 years old.
President Donald Trump is 73 years old.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is 70 years old.

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer is 62 years old.
Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar is 59 years old.
Presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg is 38 years old.
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is 38 years old.

The oldest five are too old to be President, IMHO.


Gallup reports that Americans are heading into their next presidential election with relatively little confidence in the honesty of the process. Four in 10 Americans (40%) interviewed in 2019 said they are confident in the honesty of elections in the country, while the majority (59%) said they are not. (Gallup)


The federal deficit through January climbed to $389 billion, a 25 percent spike over the same period last year, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday. The Treasury estimates the deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year for the first time since 2012. (The Hill)

Debt is money owed, and the deficit is net money taken in (if negative). Debt and deficit are two of the most common terms in all of macro-finance, and they’re also one of the most politically relevant, inspiring legislation and executive decisions that affect many people. (Investopedia)