Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, August 05, 2011

Early Frost

“To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt…I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple.”  - Thomas Jefferson

Autumn is arriving early this year.  The leaves around the pond are dropping from the trees (albeit, due to lack of rain) and the Dow Jones is dropping precipitously early this year as well.  Usually, though it’s not unheard of, we only see these kinds of jaw-dropping, fall-off-the-cliff drops around the end of October, when companies put out their third quarter reports.

Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services told CNBC, “We’re not steering this bus; it’s all coming from Europe.  We’re hearing reports of funds drawing out of European banks and we’re pretty close to something that might turn ugly.  It may translate into a strain on the financials system and earnings on the multinationals, which have been carrying the load for Wall Street.”

Wall Street is worried about the jobs reports due out today; word is, it too, is ugly.  No one has to tell anyone how ugly it is in this office; they’ve already been given the bad news.  While the company has given us plenty of time to figure out what to do about, what can they do when there are so few jobs out there?  Companies are abandoning our state in droves.

While I can sympathize with my co-workers, what I can’t understand is their attitudes.  Instead of battening down the hatches and preparing for a storm, they’re going on expensive holidays, taking “weekenders” in the City.  Flying to the Caribbean and Cancun.  Mom called up last night asking if I was watching Tale of Two Cities on TCM.  I had to remind her that I had cancelled all but my basic cable.

I probably could have found the movie on NetFlix, but the truth is I was engrossed in finishing Reckless Endangerment.  She tisked at me sadly and hung up.  I don’t dare tell her how many books I’ve purchased.  She was always disappointed that I wasn’t a better student and doesn’t think I’m really very smart.  Wouldn’t she rather I improve my mind than let the television eviscerate what’s left of it?

Mom cheerfully announced at dinner last night that General Motors’ stock was up, even though the Dow Jones dipped so far down that all the past years’ earnings were wiped out.  Gee, that’s great that GM is on the mend.  Too bad it took billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to rescue companies like GM from their conscienceless unions.

We wondered if my brother hadn’t jumped off the roof of his office building yesterday at the news.  Wall Street panicked at the notion that the unemployment rate is still rising.  What did they expect when we have an idiot president who, one day after signing a bill that will leave us in perpetual debt, announces that he believes the wealthy ($250K and up) and businesses should pay their “fair share” – 50 percent of the budget.  Did Obama expect employers to hold an office party at this “good news?”  “It’s only a correction,” said some unknown economics pundit.  “Don’t panic.”

Well, he needn’t worry.  My co-workers aren’t panicking; they’re planning vacations.  Tequila, anyone?


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