Friday, September 25, 2009

Geopolitical Risk Rises

Small wonder that the markets closed down for the day and the week.Yes,there were disappointing economic reports.Existing home sales and durable goods orders were down,while new home sales were up,but below expectations.Besides all this,however,tensions with Iran over its nuclear program are mounting;the Afghan war is going badly;and the first al-Qaida cell in the U.S. since 9-11 has been uncovered.Geopolitical risk is again a factor investors and businesses must take a hard look at before making a decision.BP has already stopped selling fuel to Iran in anticipation of tougher sanctions being imposed on the country.Defensive measures haven't looked this appealing in some time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Loneliest Man Club

I don't know who is loneliest:the late night worker or Senator Max Baucus,D-Montana,who,as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,unveiled his health care reform bill this week.The late night worker is really getting something done.No one is bothering him.As the others go to bed,as the lights go off on his street,he has the quiet and solitude he needs to get it completed.On the other hand,Senator Baucus' proposal will die on the vine without support from those around him.His is the only bill that would actually cut the federal deficit-by 49 billion dollars over 10 years.The other bills would increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.Nonetheless,Senator Baucus' moderate proposal is being criticized by both the right and the left.It is to be hoped that the senator will finally get enough help to move his bill to the senate floor and save the nation from fiscal calamity in the years ahead.As for the late night worker,he likes his quiet time just fine,thank you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dealing With Dead Ends

I just spent an hour of my life on that.I had a sense it wasn't gonna work,but I kept on anyway.Now I'm permanently short an hour.What did I do that for?Such are the thoughts of one who has reached a dead end.The only answer is to find some meaning in a dead end.There has to be some life at the end of the tunnel.At least you refined your skills somewhat.You got some more practice in.That will help when you find a true path.The adversity also strengthened you somewhat more.That is useful in any situation.There's some life in that dead end.You only need to reflect upon it for a little while.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Mixed Report

Today's employment report was mixed.While the number of August jobless claims was less than July's by 60,000,the unemployment rate was up to 9.7% from 9.4%.Fewer people were laid off,but the total number of job seekers was greater.The situation on the street was more difficult,not less.Only a trader could see that as good news.Such is the strange world of the financial markets.They are an endless calculus of past,present and future,at once fascinating intellectually and detached from daily life,while at the same time affecting the destiny of retirees and other investors.Those who participate in them can only have feelings as mixed as the recent data have been,excited by their work yet commiserating with their countrymen.