Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Market's Mixed Messages

The inquiring public is getting bombarded from all sides from the financial pundits about where our future economic stability is headed. It drives me to drink.

[Thanks to thefreedictionary.com for the image.]

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of reading one day that the housing slow-down is bottoming out, and the next that it has just begun; that the Fed must lower rates to combat the coming recession, and then that it must not do so because of signs of rising inflation; that the credit crunch is winding down now that the huge financial houses have admitted some of their shortcomings by writing off a few billion each, and then that the credit earthquake has only begun; that Countrywide is fine, and then no, maybe it's going bankrupt; that GDP will slow only slightly this year, and then that the government must find ways of halting the coming recessionary carnage.

Make up your minds, folks. Stop whipping us around. Shut up, for once.

All this makes me realize that we'd be a lot better off: (1) if the government were too small to do anything about this crisis; (2) if Countrywide had declared Chapter 11 many months ago instead of borrowing money from Bank of America and the Federal Home Loan Bank (i.e. you and me); (3) if the Fed had no hands on interest rates or "monetary equilibrium," but instead concentrated on maintaining the clearing house aspect of their job and on protecting the consumer through education and oversight; (4) if we Americans got a little religion about credit and how to manage it, how not to live above our means, and how to save instead of spend ourselves into trouble; (5) if we Americans stopped having faith in politicians and pseudo-scholars to cure all our ills, but instead simply studied the intent of those who wrote the Constitution; (6) if gold could be used as legal tender.

Thank goodness I've got my sedative: I relax just watching the metal as it shines. Once again, folks:

You can take gold out of the standard, but you can't take the standard out of gold.

Okay, it may turn into a bubble, but it's always the last bubble, and the biggest one before we move into the inebriate's perennial hangover mode.

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