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Friday, September 23, 2011

Answers in 50 or fewer words

Here's a new segment which I cleverly call "Answers in 50 or fewer words" because I will attempt to do just that; answer complicated or technical questions on markets, finance and/or national & global economy in just 50 or fewer words.  My palms are already sweating in anticipation..  Here we go:

Q:  Why should Americans care about Greece?

A: American taxpayers are subsidizing 18% of all IMF loans; money we will never see again.  Also, European banks are exposed to Greek debt. US banks sold them derivatives or "insurance" to cover losses but if Greece defaults, US banks can't cover all its liabilities to Europe.

Q:  With the market so full of turbulence, where's the best place to put my money?

A:  Under your mattress.  Maybe in a coffee can.  You get absolutely no interest keeping money in a bank yet thanks to fractional reserve, they can lend out $10 for every $1 of yours the bank holds.  Stock market?  Ha! Twelve years later, market at 1999 prices; no real growth.

Q:  Why won't CNBC, Wall St Journal, etc Admit things are bad?

A:  Doesn't suit their purposes. They need their viewers and readers to Always Be Investing.  If your life savings isn't tied into the market, you'll have no reason to stay glued, meaning less advertiser dollars.  Never expect financial media to cover the economy honestly.

Q:  Is there any part of the world not feeling the affects of the on-going recession?

A: Sure.  Mostly you can tell by a nation's unemployment rate.  Hong Kong is at 3.3% and Vietnam is 2.9%.  Those nations are doing quite nicely.

Q: How much of recession is Obama's fault?

A:  Bush is 100% at fault for there being a recession but Obama is 50% for it continuing.  Waited two years too late to introduce jobs program.  Too trusting of advice of Wall St insiders.  Too idolizing of Reagan's economic policies. Other 50% beyond his control.

Q:  How so... explain?

A:  The President has no control over the Fed.  Obama renominated Bernanke but ultimately Ben did as he wished. Also the economic collapse of PIIGS nations and European Union is not Obama's fault.  No one person alone can fix the rots of housing market.

Q:  Give it to me straight- how bad are things out there?

A:  Pretty bad.  If not for food stamp cards, millions would be on street in line for food. People living in tent cities (not covered on TV).  Real US unemployment over 17%.  One in six Americans in poverty.  Housing market is dead. Government only helps Wall St.

Q:  Anything people can do about it?

A: Save money; shop thrifty and practical.  Get politically and civicly involved. Pay off debts or avoid acquiring new debt. Don't invest money in market or other risky scheme. Cash is king.

~ Whew that was tough.. more 'Answers in 50 or fewer words' at a future time.

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