Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rollercoaster Ho-Hum

Here is my opening monologue from today's The Roderic Deane Show.
The title for today’s show is “Rollercoaster Ho-Hum”. It comes from two observations I had of last week’s events. The first relates to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. I was prepared to see a gloomy Monday and predicted that the DOW would not react well to Standard and Poor’s debt downgrade from Friday after the markets closed. Man, I was right on that one as the DOW dropped almost 635 points. I can’t begin to understand what happened over the rest of the week. On Tuesday it was up 430, on Wednesday, down 520, Thursday, up 423 and on Friday it was up again, 126 points. If that ain’t the definition of a rollercoaster ride, I don’t know what is.

A Friday article by Kate Gibson from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch had this to say:
U.S. stocks dialed back on [early] Friday gains after a [report was published that showed a] gauge of consumer confidence illustrated a sharp fall in sentiment early this month, curbing enthusiasm that came with an encouraging report on the nation’s retail sales.

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters index of consumer sentiment dropped to 54.9 in August — the lowest in 31 years.

The preliminary figure “mostly captures the craziness of the week and certainly the week before as the survey likely ended this Wednesday,” [blah, blah, blah].
In other words, just when the markets begin to gain a little traction, some other bad news comes out and rattles the market again. But let’s take another look at that index of consumer sentiment. “The lowest in 31 years”! Let’s see, that would take us back to who’s presidency? You guessed it: Jimmy Carter. Coincidence? I think not.

I’ve long believed that the present economic environment could only be compared to the economy during the Carter years from the perspective of my lifetime, but keep one thing in mind. Carter hit that low point 51.7 in his 4th year. Barack Obama has managed to pull it off in his 3rd. And the news just isn’t getting better.

Of course, we are constantly told by Obama himself that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. Although he may have inherited a lousy economy, he sure hasn’t helped it in any way. Consider this: at this same point in Reagan’s first term, the consumer confidence index had risen to 90.9. It remained above 90 for the remainder of Reagan’s time in office, with the exception of just a handful of months.

Now, let’s look at something different. Carter inherited a consumer confidence index of 87.1, Reagan inherited 66.9 and Barack Obama 56.3. So, three years into their presidencies, Carter saw a 26% decline in consumer confidence, Reagan saw a 36% increase and Obama has remained fairly steady with a 2% decline.

I’ll provide a link to the historical data on my blog.

Now for the Ho-Hum part. The announced Republican candidates squared off in a debate in Ames, Iowa last Thursday night. I didn’t watch it, because I was totally absorbed in configuring a new website. I’ll tell you more about the new website when I’m ready. As for the Ames debate, I was underwhelmed by the reports I read after it ended. I posted my impressions on my blog and forwarded that blog post to Conservatives4Palin. The next morning, I saw that Nicole Coulter had written C4P’s immediate reaction to the debate in a post titled “My Ridiculous Summary of the Fox News GOP Debate From Iowa”. As I read her post, to my surprise, she had included my entire post in hers! Good Grief, I was just hoping that C4P would consider my post as a reader submission.

You can read what I posted here.

Friends, the campaign season is just beginning. Enjoy the ride. It should be a good one!

...and that my two-cents worth for the week.
Featured items:

Historical trends of the Consumer Confidence Index

Iowa Straw Poll results, from Hot Air

Rick Perry's announcement in South Carolina, from PalinTV

Cross-posted on Roderic Deane.

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