A plethora of things to discuss today. Yes, El Guapo, we have a plethora. (ref)
The Fed Chair position is up for grabs. Let us be the first to cast our vote solidly with Robert McTeer, ex-Dallas Fed Chair and a strong friend of the idea that if everyone is producing, everyone gets rich. I am a proponent, as most of you know, of Paul Craig Roberts-style supply-side economics, and McTeer appears to me to be the best available guy among those likely to be considered. But given how Bush makes his appointments, I suppose I’ll have to get used to the idea of Bernanke or Hubbard or Feldstein, none of whom appear to me to be likely to reverse any of the current insanity.
The bond market finished a miserable week with a tiny ray of hope for Monday. Employment numbers were not off nearly as much as forecast (adjusted for Katrina), but there is a good deal of economic uncertainty due to lingering hurricane effects and the warning of terrorist attacks in New York. This warning, incidentally, came from captured documents in Iraq. So much for the “there’s no link between Iraq and terrorism” idea, a truly, truly kooky one to start with. Remember, a falling 10-year bond means rising mortgage interest rates.
The stock market got leveled this week, which means that everyone was selling both stocks AND bonds. Where all the money is going, I can’t say. I’m not getting much of it. And what I am getting is going right back out into circulation, believe you me.
Maybe it’s your fault.
The Dow Industrials, bellweather of the broader market, are trading at 10,323. One year ago, they were trading at 10,310. The five-year chart shows the Dow at 10,200 and change in 2000. In other words, the stock market has been flat for five years, with a really ugly trough in the middle. The economy is growing at a good pace and the recovery has been in full swing since early in ’03. Look at the chart. Things were cooking along until spring of ’04. What happened in ’04 that could have stalled us out?
Monday or Tuesday we’ll have a guest article by Geoff Beckstrom, a client and smart financial guy, whose website is linked to the right on the blogroll.
I spent a very pleasant lunch (without the food) at the Apollo Dance Hall in American Fork. It’s owned by a fellow named Osmond, whom I did not know, but it is run by Toni Sly, who is the person that recruited me into the American Cancer Society, and one of my favorite people. The Osmonds and Toni and lots of volunteers from the local deaf community (Verl Osmond has deep connections in that community and has done a great deal of work there) have fully renovated the old building and have invited the friends of The Chris Jones Group to come dancing tomorrow night. 8:00pm, the address is 50 East 50 North in AF. If you mention that you’re with me, you get in free. No fooling.
Twelfth Night, which will be on January 6, will be held at the Apollo. We’re considering a murder for that evening, but rest assured it will be something to see, whatever we end up doing. You’re invited. You have to RSVP, and we will have space considerations this year, so do it early.
Predictions for the weekend:
BYU will beat New Mexico by 3.
Colorado State will return a fumble for a touchdown against Utah, but will lose.
Boston will be beaten in 5 games by Chicago.
New York will beat the Angels in 4.
The Bengals will reach 5-0 and no one will care.
The USA will tie Costa Rica 1-1 on Saturday. And even more no one will care. Except me.
There will be no terrorist attacks in New York – or anywhere else in the USA – for the 1489th consecutive day since 9/11.