Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Our Wonderful Economy

This morning's NY Times presents some miserable news in a wonderful way.

Make sure you visit The Geography of a Recession. The map shows every county in the country. Move your cursor over the county, and it tells you the unemployment rate there in December 2008. Cook County had an unemployment rate of 7.1% (it has certainly gone up since then!), while Bremer Co., Iowa (to choose one at random), had a rate of 3.6%. Mackinac Co., Michigan, was the highest I could find, at 24.2%.

I know I'm tempting fate here, but I think the market is near it's bottom. I just can't see the DOW going below 6,000. When it was near 14,000, a change of 100 in a day was la-de-da, ho-hum. At 7,000, a drop of 100 is serious business. The question is, are we starting to see the bottom of the bottomless pit that is the banking system? We'll see.

Needless to say, I don't know what I'm talking about. Make any decisions based on the last paragraph, and you deserve whatever happens to you! Are we taking money out of cash and buying stocks? Not yet.

I saw a clip of my favorite idiot, Jim Cramer, bemoaning the fact that the stock market has no confidence in Obama because he's raising taxes on the wealthy. Cramer is the best contrarian indicator I've ever come across. His high-pitched, high volume endorsement of Bear Stearns just days before it went belly-up is a classic. When the market was bloated with worthless crap, he saw no danger. Now that the market is down 50%, he's finally crying "The sky is falling!" Not the kind of person you want anywhere near you in a crisis.

And on that note, I need to get ready for work at the food pantry. Have a good day.


troutay said...

Let us hope that it is not some sort of black hole, but just a little too dark to actually see the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think the bottom is yet to come. If you are lucky enough to actually have cash to put in the market right now, just be happy. As more and more people lose their jobs, they will be pulling their money out of the stock market to pay their mortgages. This will hold the market in a downward trend for some time, I believe. You'd be better to take that cash and bet that the lines get longer at the food pantry.

Sempringham said...

Troutay: I sure am hoping that!

Anonymous: I AM lucky, and I never forget it. You could be right. I sure hope not (and I'm sure you'd be happy to be wrong, too).

Jeannelle said...

Thanks for the link to that map.....very interesting.

Things will probably get worse in Bremer County.....Terex Manufacturing in Waverly is laying off many. Looks like the Central Great Plains is the place to be.

Sempringham said...


Here's hoping the lay-off is short.