Really Strong, Really Uneven

Really Strong, Really Uneven

Despair, dear friends. Despair. US private sector employers added more jobs last month than any economist surveyed thought possible, underscoring a robust labor market, plentiful jobs and economic opportunity for the masses. It's a disastrous state of affairs, which is why the good folks who trade the stocks will be righteously (if only temporarily) aggrieved. I'm just joking. The muse "lived loudly in me" on Wednesday thanks, perhaps, to too much Major Dickasons. ADP said private sector hiri
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9 thoughts on “Really Strong, Really Uneven

    1. Yeah, and see this what so many people don’t seem to understand. This isn’t supposed to be an all or nothing type of deal. The idea, in a healthy economy, is that people have jobs, stocks go up steadily (but not crazily) over time, dividends get paid, you buy bonds for yield not capital appreciation, money market funds are a real source of income and (gasp) people can eke out a positive inflation-adjusted return on their savings accounts.

      Part of the struggle in getting back to that type of scenario is that no one believes it’s possible anymore, in part because no one remembers when such a conjuncture existed.

      1. If rates eventually go back down to the multi-year lows, I will not expect to get a positive inflation-adjusted return on savings accounts. It may happen because the world and our lives and economy are changing slowly, in real-time, before our eyes. But who knows what will become of the markets going forward.

        How it evolves remains to be seen. But our perspectives have been distorted: We really have been spoiled by success. The current levels of inflation give me pause, but it’s not in the least bit like the 70s. I can wait for the current state of affairs to resolve because I actually expect it eventually will. I also realize there are complicating factors in the world economy.

        The dialing down of globalization will be a weight on the US economy, as will the very tepid state of China relations. To the extent the US moves away from China, production costs will rise. In the meantime, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, especially Russia’s nuclear surprises, can dampen expectations across the world. I do not sympathize with Russia’s self-destructive and delusional actions, but we have to be wary of Putin and the country. They’re going down, and it is an ongoing hazard.

        To sum it up, with so many dangling questions, I’m not excited about the next 12 months. My small-cap tech stocks may experience some recovery, assuming the US turns the corner in regard to inflation. But if, in the US, we experience a recession, it may be a longer story. I invest for the long term and pick companies that have good plans, useful products, and strong balance sheets.

  1. The Fed can only do so much. We need a functioning Congress to resolve some significant problems. It seems that the majority of Americans are in agreement (or at least the majority are not at polar ends of the spectrum as the press would have us believe) on most social and economic issues- but neither political party wants to acknowledge and build on that midpoint.

    I am a long term fan of the Major. A few years ago, I discovered that there is a decaf version of the Major and also a half-caf blend of the Major – for when I start feeling too jumpy!

    1. The absolute worst problem in my view is the democratic party’s absolute ineptitude in using rhetoric. Human beings are combative by nature and irrational. US history is replete with irrational actions and words by both parties. The illusion of democrats is their self-perception: They are somehow more advanced, cultured, educated. This is not true. If they were truly cultured and educated, they would be able to assert themselves successfully in the public discourse and persuade republican hearts and minds to vote for them, even in an off-year election. I like Joe Biden, but he’s woefully passive, as if his age and position guarantee everyone’s respect for him. But that is a sad illusion. Bernie was spot-on accurate when he noted this past week that democrats have ceded the House of Representatives through (utterly ineffective – my words) messaging. I loathe their ineptitude and inaction.

        1. I 100% agree with ChgoDave. Dems shouldn’t say elections they lose were stolen, but we are in a space and time where taking the “high road” is not only counterproductive to progressing an agenda, it is down right political suicide!

          Dems can’t keep bringing rubber knives to a gun fight. Fight fire with fire at some point! Whether we like it or not the broader American politic respects/ supports strength, and all their high-falutin speeches and talk falls on the deaf ears of voters and Dems come off as though they are not up for a fight.

          To that end, who in the Democratic party would you consider a “Fire Brand?” As I type that question, a Democratic Firebrand almost sounds like an oxymoron.

          1. I agree with the request made of Democrats to turn up the heat in rhetoric and be more combative on their defense of, well, Democracy. Indeed that behavior polls well (Beto got higher approval ratings when he cursed at a heckler).

            I’m warning against saying their feeble rhetoric is “the absolute worst problem”. A passive response to egregious behavior is never worse than the egregious behavior itself.

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