The plunge in the stock indices in today's trading has wiped out the entirety of paper gains for the year. There are several things I wish to note about this.
The first is that the so-called "debt ceiling agreement" was supposed to be friendly towards stocks. Remember the soaring indices in Sunday evening trade as the news broke that the agreement had been reached. The market has put all that behind it and is now focusing on the pathetic growth rate in the US economy and the fact that lawmakers and the administration will now proceed to saddle this generation of Americans and the next with even more debt. That debt weighs like an anchor on future economic growth and this is not being lost on traders/investors. As I said in a previous post - only in modern day America could a bunch of hapless politicians congratulate themselves for sinking their nation and their countrymen deeper into a morass of indebtedness. Words cannot express my contempt and disdain for this bunch of pitiful "statesmen". They make Nero look like a genuine patriot by comparison. He at least did something constructive while his city burned. He played his fiddle. Our jokers played us instead.
Secondly - I made a point a while back that the one relatively bright spot for consumers was that even though gasoline prices were soaring higher and still remain stubbornly high, even though food prices continue to trek upwards and consumers leave the grocery stores with fewer goods in their bags for the same amount of money spent, even though medical costs continue to rocket higher, even though their home values continue to sink lower leaving more and more mortgages underwater, even though the employment situation reeks to high heaven, at least, at least, their 401K's and retirement plans were a bit in the black for the year. That has now evaporated like the morning dew. Can you even imagine what the next Consumer Confidence numbers are going to look like?
Friends and readers - this week will be one for the history books in my opinion as it will mark the beginning of the steady decline of the US economic might unless there is a drastic, and I do mean "drastic" change at the ballot box next year. It might even possibly be too late for even that to do any good at this point as the mathematics is now working against us all.
The markets are said to illustrate the combined wisdom of a host of individual traders/investors/players, who survey the current scene and then based on that survey, make decisions accordingly. Based on that alone the markets are saying that looking ahead, the environment for stocks in general is rapidly deteriorating and that we are heading back into Recession.
All eyes will then turn to the Fed for some further round of QE although I doubt it will be called that for political reasons. Either way, should that indeed happen, the floor under the Dollar will collapse.
"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput
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