Last week was a quiet one for the equity markets in general, down slightly on continued bad news regarding the global economy. Retail sales were bad ( down 8% yr over yr in dec) , as expected, witht the luxery goods sector getting hammered ( down 21%). If my visit to the mall yesterday was any indication of what to expect in Jan and Feb… expect a lot of store closures, bankruptcies, and more. What struck me driving in to Stamford was that EVERY building was advertising space available. This was simply not true a year ago.
I am gathering my thoughts and material to both do a 2008 review and a 2009 outlook, but here are a few pieces to get you thinking.
Printing Money and It’s Price – This feature in the NYT Week in Review speaks to one of the biggest themes of the year: America’s credit addiction. Back on January 22nd of this year I wrote this:
“His ( Hank Paulson ) advice to spend our way out of this temporary problem may well prove a ridiculous suggestion for an economy diseased from extreme over-consumption in part caused by a lack of appropriate financial oversight as well as overly stimulating monetary policy. Who ultimately will claim responsibility for America’s addiction to buying stuff, made possible by cheap money and corner-store credit dealers? Though I am not quick to blame any one party, the first step in our collective healing process, as any AA member will tell you, is to admit you have a problem.”
For an entry back in NOV on a similar topic – Too Much Debt! Click here.
The second piece worth a read is one my Ben Stein – “They Told Me He Never Lost Money.” Yes he is talking about Madoff but his real point is this. “We are more than our investments. We are more than the year-to-year or day-to-day changes inour net worth. We Are what we do for charity. We are how we treat our family and friends. We are what we do for our community and our nation.” I like that!
This is a glimpse of what is to come in my year end newsletter – sign up on the right if you have not already. Yes it has been a horrible year but there is HOPE. Hope comes from realizing what is important and taking action. Have a great day.