Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Leader took his oath of office for his second term yesterday.  For those looking for an extended hand of reconciliation with political opponents they were sorely disappointed.  The extended hand appears to be more for Iranians than Republicans and so for the next four year we can expect the same fiscal battles we have witnessed in term #1.  Too bad.  We deserve better, I think, but he won and can set the agenda.  All of this is going to play out against the background of a sour outlook for the world-wide economy and with the almost certainty of a currency was involving Euroland, Japan and the U.S. who started it all in the first place.  And yet the S & P hit a five year high today so if you have any money left it appears you have to put it at risk in the stock markets of the world 'cause you sure as hell aint gonna make it anywhere else which is not good news for grandma or grandpa...or, to put it another way...ME!

Out here in the fly-over zone folks are fairly resigned to the "new normal" which is the newly designated term invented by the media for what would otherwise be known as a  $%^&&* Economy, so as not to offend The Leader who is trying so hard to improve things.  Darn right noble it is.  I was speaking to one of our area's leading bankers whose institution is doing OK but not great and he was wondering about all the liquidity that has been created and where it has gone.  "Charlie, says he, "the deleveraging has slowed down quite a bit but it seems to me that when people have a few extra bucks it's off to Wal Mart for the cheapest deal they can find.  No more free spenders out there, no great expectations.  No multiplier effect either.  They buy it and off to China goes the cash."

I actually hadn't thought in those terms before and he may well be right, but what you can see out here is the lack of dynamism in the marketplace.  Times are better than a few years ago but the confidence in the future is not yet returned.  People are for the most part hanging on, thinking of the present and viewing the future with nervousness rather than anticipation.  It's really not a good picture.  As we start this new year there seems to be more of a hope that nothing goes wrong rather than a real, aggressive stance of expansion.  I hope this is but a regional thing  or I am wrong in my assessment but the path we are on seems to be one of fulfilling this view.  More and more one hears of predictions of growth rates being revised downward and with the wrong kind of competition occurring on the international scene one must wonder from where will come the growth to the economy that will be needed for the bold plans The Leader outlined yesterday to be accomplished.  He is not one who appears to be good at the fast pivot; he doesn't change horses in mid-stream real well and for better or worse his vision will probably be a continuing one for the next four years.  We'll try to observe the financial world and the interplay with the political realities as the scenarios play out.  No more musing as today but I must admit I enjoyed it!  Back to finance tomorrow.

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