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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New York Times agrees with 'Ants & Grasshoppers'

We've said repeatedly the stock market is not an accurate barometer of the national economy, especially concerning the bottom 98%.  We've also compared the markets to a thermometer reading 72 degrees on a snowy, blistery cold day.   So it was nice to see the Times agree with us in a commentary the other day...

February 13, 2011 -- New York Times

Wall Street's Dead End - "Look at America’s stock exchanges more closely... In truth, the stock market is becoming increasingly irrelevant — a trend that threatens the core principles of American capitalism. These days a healthy stock market doesn’t mean a healthy economy, as a glance at the high unemployment rate or the low labor-market participation rate will show. The Tea Party is right about one thing: What’s good for Wall Street isn’t necessarily good for Main Street. And the Germans aren’t buying the New York Stock Exchange for its commoditized, highly competitive and ultra-low-margin stock business, but rather for its lucrative derivatives operations."

"But the glory days of publicly traded companies dominating the American business landscape may be over. The number of companies listed on the major domestic exchanges peaked in 1997 at more than 7,000, and it has been falling ever since. It’s now down to about 4,000 companies, and given its steep downward trend will surely continue to shrink...  Innovative American companies like Apple and Google may be worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but most of them don’t pay dividends or employ many Americans, and their shares are essentially speculative investments for people making a bet on how we’re going to live in the future. "

Of course, as 'nice' as it was to see a major news publication agree with A&G, it would be far nicer if the Federal Reserve would STOP giving Wall St. all those free trillions of dollars and devote its resources to sincere job creation enterprises.  But A&G doesn't hold out much 'Hope'.

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