In kitchen news, the counter tops should be installed Monday and my contractor is firm that by Thursday all will be complete! I have lost about 6 pounds over the past weeks due to not eating dinner much. I hate microwave food and getting a cook set up is really a hassle. When all is normal I think it will be a Big Steel Keg marathon.
A couple of financial thoughts tonight.
Rough Day for Markets
I am used to the futures being down big, it actually happens plenty. What the norm is a big gap down on heavy volume followed by a merciless melt up on about 5 shares traded to close the day either even or a little positive. Today was ugly going in and a late day high volume selloff closed the show (yes Mr Pisani, plenty of volume!). Ugly all around.
Culprits? Always a few:
-Markets throwing a hissy fit at Bernanke's "pittance" of help announced yesterday
-A memo somehow made the rounds that the on track recovery was perhaps more of a pipe dream and smoke and mirrors that anything substantial
-In a game ,understood by many that play, is built on confidence the rush to the door is always going to get a little crowded
In the end I of course have no idea exactly why the big drop today. I think a combination of the first and third reasons are most applicable. It is likely the markets want more action out of the FED, but what if the FED wants more action from Washington (as I wrote a few posts ago)? If a hack like me can see low volume ramp ups and headline euphoria trading then you can be sure the big boys (ha ha, I am inserting SMART MONEY tag here!) know sentiment can change in a hurry. Either way, this could be the start of a moderate sell off in an effort to pressure policy makers to do more "stuff" whatever shape that takes. I would not get too worried until S&P 1040 if you are playing in this sandbox, but that is quite a drop from here.
Can You make Do with Less?
Everything I see and everything I think can be summed up in the following question, the answer to which will dictate your wants for things going forward:
Can you make do with less?Poor investment has created a supersized financial sector of the US economy that generally benefits very few. Poor investment turned homes, once a long term saving plan for those unable to save otherwise, into scratch tickets and ATMS. The acceptance of absolute maximum consumption has resulted in a service sector filled with lower paying jobs geared mainly at food and entertainment. Government salaries and pensions are massive pits for future capital that will have to be filled or renegotiated on. These are all structural issues that cannot be resolved quickly or easily.
The policy thus far has been to prop things up and hope all returns to "normal" but this expected recovery is running slow and running late (hat tip to "Ending" by Gavin Ewart). Wow, here at Economic Disconnect you even get poetry!
One of the reasons I have had the long term belief that we will see some kind of insane actions out of someone (D.C, FED, Treasury; take your pick) is the recognition of this fact. The bond market has been happy to go along with things so far, and I have my questions (and ideas) as to why this is so. This adds to the probability that something dangerous will be attempted as it has worked so far.
This post got a little big on the macro type view, but that is what I am putting together right now. The key idea to take home is time is an important factor here. The acknowledgement by the FED that things have slowed down after a year of saying how good things were is a punch in the face to the millions that never saw any recovery at all. Summer is almost over.
Have a good night.