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Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Bernanke--'Pushing On A String'

As cross-posted in TradingGoddess:

I join with other investors in disappointment of seeing a 1/4% drop in the Fed Discount Rate.

The market didn't like it and turned from about a 50 point gain in the Dow to a 220 point loss. And the market has another hour to trade.

But what can Bernanke do? Rate cuts drive the dollar down in value. And raise the risk of inflation as imported products climb in price.

The interest rate supports the value of the dollar which has plunged approximately 44% against the Euro in the past 7 years under President Bush's leadership.

5-Yr $-Euro Chart 

 

That means that in a global economy, the value of everything we own has been devalued by about 1/2. When we travel abroad, we can see the effect of the weak dollar when it takes $5 to buy a Coke in Italy.

With the subprime mortgage mess unraveling and the derivatives and hedge funds shenanigans continuing to come to light, our economy needs a stimulus like a rate cut. But if we fail to support the dollar, the Chinese are likely to resist continuing to fund our debt instead turning to Euro-backed securities and the OPEC folks are likely to once again consider pricing oil in Euros and not dollars.

I am greatly concerned for our economic vitality and prosperity.

We have unfortunately continued to be led by politicians who subscribe to the Grover Norquist pledge of 'no new taxes'. Why 'taxes are bad--aren't they?'

But can we continue to cut taxes and pour money and resources into military activity without paying the piper somehow? Should we really believe that tax cuts are essential to grow the economy when this endless printing of dollars in terms of an expanding budget deficit is a threat to our well-being.

Should we be concerned about the ever-growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor?
Even Henry Ford knew he needed to pay workers enough so they could buy a Model T.

We cannot depend solely on high-end retailers catering to the wealthy to sustain this economy.

Balancing the budget needs to be a national priority. Tax policy must not work to encourage the continued outsourcing of quality jobs overseas. Efforts to repeal the Estate Tax will only insure more of a continued Plutocracy in America with the wealthy getting richer and the poor poorer and out economy will suffer. Cuts to education will not help the poor rise up out of their economic morass.

This country has been headed in the wrong direction under this President and we are all paying the piper.

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 3:21 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 4:44 PM CST

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 - 12:40 AM CST

Name: "rob tossberg"
Home Page: http://www.planitgreenprinting.com

Hi Bob,

I've read your site for the last few years and we corresponded a bit, you even posted my comment (and inflated my ego beyond all proportion).  Anyways, I have noticed your blog has ventured into political commentary more and more.  I must say, it's very welcome and appreciated.

I would like to refer you to this link.

http://hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc071210.htm.

Much of this is beyond my understanding, but this guy has been pointing out the same things you state in your blog.  BUT, one very important point -- Dr. Hussman believes the Fed is powerless and Fed rate cuts, in fact, add very little liquidity to the market. 

I hope you find this article interesting and hopefully, enlightening! 

Best wishes,

Rob Tossberg 

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 - 5:09 AM CST

Name: "Robert Freedland"
Home Page: http://bobsadviceforstocks.tripod.com/bobsadviceforstoc

Rob,

I get into political discussions with a bit of trepidation, so I am glad you approve of this move.  Investing has always been my greatest love in life.  However, that doesn't mean that I do not find myself fascinated with political issues concerning the well-being of all of us.

Bob 

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 - 2:15 PM CST

Name: "anonymous"

I have no problem with policial commentary, yet is really annoying you subscribe a left wing view that taxes need to be raised and those with wealth should be stripped of their property. If you believe that, then perhaps we should start with wealthy Democrats like the Kennedy's and Clintons that tax working people like me oppressively and then babble nonsense about caring about working people. Not that the Republicans are any better.

I'm for abolishing the SS tax, income tax, and various other federal agencies not required by the US Constitution. Of course, this means socialist would have to grow up and realize that they have no business stealing other's wealth because of that nebulous "poor" people BS. That is a job for local and regional charities. I have no moral obligation supporting public housing or socialized medicine.

At the state and local level, I'm for abolishing state and local taxes mainly for schools since I have no business supporting others in this endeavor. The drop out rates are atrocious anyway. These days, you can't even get a job as a custodian without a highschool diploma. I really fail to see how poor are being screwed when then are so job opportunities available, especially in the trades in some parts of the country. All you need to do is go to school, pass the pee test, and show up on time.

If you are concerned about wealth disparity, then you would be for Ron Paul who wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and help return us to a precious metals backed monetary system. The US Constitution implicitly requires gold and silver as money. Go read Rothbard's WHAT HAS THE GOVERNMENT DONE TO OUR MONEY for a good explanation in laymen's terms. What you are complaining about is inflation, and the federal government is responsible. Inflation hurts the poor the most followed by those in the mid income ranges. Eventually, it even hurts the rich.

I make less than the national median income yet have 1/3 of my labor confiscated by federal, state, and local government. For those who spout nonsense about roads and a court system or whatever, not all of that money goes to those things, so please find other rational reason why the looting should continue unabated. I would argue that 50% of income is looted by the time you include minimum wage, SS tax employer's pay, corporate income tax and property taxes businesses pay. Remember, corporations and your mom and pop dry cleaner do not pay those taxes; those are taxes you are paying for every time buy their product or service.

Want a healthy economy, abolish as much government as possible!

Why the Rich Leave

 http://www.lewrockwell.com/archives/fm/9-95.html

 

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 - 2:56 PM CST

Name: bobsadviceforstocks
Home Page: http://bobsadviceforstocks.tripod.com

Dear anonymous,

Please leave a name next time you comment.  That way I can know you are back again commenting, if that is what you would like to do.

Unlike you, I do not believe that government is evil.  I do not believe we need to shrink it down to the size that we can drown it in a bathtub. 

You see, government isn't anyone but us.

We are a nation run for and by the people.

Social Security isn't evil.  It keeps people out of poverty.

Same with medicare, public schools, and yes those on healthcare benefits.  It is the cost of civilization.

My point is that you can be progressive and still want to invest your money wisely.  Occasionally I digress and inject a little politics into the blog.  You are more than welcome to respond.

But I would love to have a first name.  Makes the whole thing more personal.

Bob

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 - 3:36 PM CST

Name: "sth_txs"

I was the anonymous. I rushed a bit because I had to fight the pic code a couple of times by cutting/pasting my post until the pic code would submit.

Sorry Bob, but all the problems you cited are because of government. I urge you read up on Austrian economics at Mises.org.

I pay 1/3 of my income to support government before and after my check. I'm being eaten up by inflation and have to cut back on things I would like to have which would have provided jobs to more people instead of handouts. This is money I could use to buy supplemental health insurance, pay off my mortgage faster, invest to make my life better and maybe donate what I want to the cause I believe in.

 I don't fault the truly needy like those with real medical issues or genuine mental illness, but I don't have much sympathy for a healthy looking person standing on the street corner with "work for food" or a healthy person that sees the need to live as  a criminal. I believe too many bum off the system.

The top 1% to 5% pay most of the taxes in this country. Over the last 10 years, a number of these people are expatriating from the US because of honerous taxation and abusive misrule by the IRS.

The founders, perhaps other Hamilton, would be appallled at what America has degenerated to. If I won a few million from a lotto, I would be working to move some of my wealth offshore as soon as possible.

I see no need for state intervention in eduation, housing, money system, what drugs I can or cannot take, child protective services. At a minimum, government should provide a system for crimes against person or property and enforce contact law and prosecute fraud.

 Here a report with some interesting notes about the growth of government over the last 50 years. He makes a good case that the American economy is at least 45% government. This is simply unsustainable.

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/

 Unlike you, I'm tired of the government telling me how much of my property I"m entiltled to keep. SS and Medicare are bankrupt. SS keeping people out of poverty is a total myth. If SS is insurance, then why do I have to show almost total liquidation of my assets before I'm entitled to receive the benefit?

It is too bad there not more Ron Paul's in this country. What is stopping you from taking your money and forming a charity to resolve alleged social ills?  

 

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