Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Week in Review

  • The DJIA rose 54.40 points, .75% to close Friday at 77278.38
  • The Nasdaq Composite gained 25.77 points, 1.80% to finish the week at 1457.27
  • The S & P 500 rose 11.99, 1.58% to 768.54
  • The 10-Year Treasury yield fell 0.263 percentage points to 2.626%
  • Crude oil rose $4.81, 10.4% to $51.06
The markets had a second consecutive week of gains and are showing signs that we may have the first monthly gain in stocks since August.  The last two days of the trading week had investors trying to interpret the Fed's plan to buy treasuries.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Week in Review

  • The DJIA rose 597.04 points, 9.01%% to close Friday at 7223.98
  • Crude oil rose $0.73, 1.60% to $46.25

The absence of profit taking on Friday should be taken as a good sign as investors continued to buy on four consecutive days after setting 12-year lows on Monday. Oil prices have firmed and are up 43% in the last four weeks indicating that the economic shock of the last several months might be wearing off. But there's still lots of bad economic news ahead.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Let 'em fail

From The New York Times:
John McCain and Richard C. Shelby, two high-profile Republican senators, said on Sunday that the government should allow a number of the biggest American banks to fail, The New York Times’s J. David Goodman and Brian Knowlton report.

“Close them down, get them out of business,” Mr. Shelby, the senior Republican on the Banking Committee, told ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “If they’re dead, they ought to be buried.”

While the Alabama senator did not say which banks to shutter, he suggested that Citigroup might be on that list, saying the bank has “always been a problem child.”

Mr. McCain, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” echoed that sentiment without identifying any banks. Mr. McCain, who lost the presidential election last November, also accused the Treasury Department of avoiding the “hard decision” to let “these banks fail.”
Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Week in Review

  • The DJIA dropped 435.99 points, 6.17%% to close Friday at 6626.94
  • Crude oil rose $0.76, 1.70% to $45.52
Just for grins, check out the last post before the hiatus, The Week in Review on August 26th, 2007, about six weeks before the market peaked in mid-October. Puts things in perspective, don't it?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Obama--already setting records

From Fox News:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen faster under President Obama than under any new president in at least 90 years, according to a review conducted by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reports that since Inauguration Day, the Dow has fallen 20 percent, leading at least one investor to dub this the "Obama bear market." The Dow has also dropped 31 percent since Election Day.

Despite a string of government bailout offers and Obama's advice earlier this week that Americans should be buying stock while shares are low, the Dow has continued to freefall.

At what point does Obama actually start to take some responsibility for this?

Who's big mess?

President Obama keeps reminding us that it's not his fault. Again today at a police acadamy graduation in Ohio, he said, "We inherited a big mess." It seems to be his favorite line.

It is, after all, George Bush's recession, right? Sure, some of the pieces were put into motion long before W took office, but he didn't do anything to correct the developing sub-prime mess or the impending housing market collapse that triggered this recession. So, most of the blame should rightfully be placed squarely on Bush's shoulders.

Most of it.

But shouldn't others share some of the blame? What about Congress? What about the Clinton administration where it all started?

President Obama was a U.S. Senator for four years before being elected President. (Even if he did spend most of that time campaigning for his new job). And Joe Biden served in the Senate for 36 years.

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton and then worked as an investment banker. Hmmm.

Obama's Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, besides being a tax cheat, worked in the Treasury Department under Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin during the Clinton administration.

Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General, served as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton and was deeply involved in Clinton's controversial pardon of Marc Rich.

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, a U.S. Senator for eight years and First Lady during the Clinton administration.

So when President Obama says "we" inherited a big mess, just exactly who is he referring to?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Barney Frank and The Young Liberal

The Young Liberal in our office approached me the other day and started a conversation about the pitiful mess our economy and stock market are in and asked some pretty good questions about sub-prime mortgages and and the collapse of housing markets. I was so encouraged when he seemed to come to the realization that government meddling had a significant role in our present lot. There's hope for The Young Liberal, I thought.

Then he ruined it all. He said, "I've been seeing a lot of Barney Frank on the news. He's a pretty sharp Congressman."


Sunday, March 01, 2009

The hiatus is over

So, The Happy Capitalist has been on a little hiatus. Okay, not so little. It's been a year and a half. Everyone needs a little time off, right?

Anyway, this seems to be a good time to bring back The Happy Capitalist as American capitalism and it's future are in question. We are caught in the midst of a painful recession, the likes of which have not been seen since the early 1980s. Our new President believes that the way out is through massive government spending in the form of bailouts, social programs and the nationalization of American businesses. His administration is rapidly moving away from the basic tenets of capitalism and individual productivity and responsibility.

In posts that follow we'll take a good hard look at Obama's programs and the other goings-on in his administration with a critical eye. We'll explore how the U.S. and global economies got to this point and who's responsible, anyway. We'll follow economic news, the stock market and changes in taxes, Social Security, Medicare and housing. It should be fun.