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I watched Dan Rather last night(38 posts)

I watched Dan Rather last nightmoneyman
Oct 3, 2003 7:53 AM
for the first time in years, for about ten minutes. That was enough. Spy scandal. Economy in the toilet. Job losses. Bush's numbers way down in the polls. It made me want to slit my wrists, so I turned off Dan.

Then I thought "Wait a minute." The economy is growing at a rate of 3.3% through the second quarter with a number of economists saying 5% in the third, non-farm payrolls are up 57,000, August job losses were revised down from 93,000 to 41,000, the unemployment rate stayed at 6.1% versus a consensus estimate of 6.2%, and the S&P 500, NASDAQ and DJIA (very good leading economic indicators) are up 12%, 33%, and 12% respectively from the beginning of the year.

I think I'll save my wrists.

$$
isn't that just a bit naive?mohair_chair
Oct 3, 2003 8:04 AM
I'm sure your numbers are correct, but there are still an awful lot of people without jobs, or doing jobs way beneath their skills because it's the only job available. Some work the same job they were layed off from, only at much lower pay and without benefits such as health insurance. To them, and everyone who knows them (like me), it is clear that the economy is in the toilet. True, no one owes them a living, but I'm sure as they pull on their Burger King uniform, straighten their collar, and adjust their name tag, they'll take great comfort in knowing that they, and we, are all wrong. Yes, yes, the economy is fine. Would you like fries with that?
You're right. All those ecomists are liars.moneyman
Oct 3, 2003 8:29 AM
I don't know what I was thinking. If the investing world finds out, things will tank. I think I'll sell everything short.

Thanks for your help.

$$
come down from the ivory towermohair_chair
Oct 3, 2003 8:39 AM
There's numbers, and there's real life. Choose one.

You've obviously made your choice.
re: come down from the ivory towerloki_1
Oct 3, 2003 8:43 AM
The numbers tend to show the whole picture, not just one (or a few) very specific instances. It wasnt said that the economy has recovered, just that the indicators are showing a turn around.
I agreemohair_chair
Oct 3, 2003 9:39 AM
The original post seemed rather head in the sand to me. The economy is in the toilet, like it or not, but there are definitely indications (numbers AND real life), that there is improvement. I don't deny that. I'm just not going to join moneyman walking around town with a smiley face T-shirt, whistling a happy tune, and greeting everyone with "Aren't things just going rosy?"
If this is the toilet, I'm impressed by your bathroomTJeanloz
Oct 3, 2003 9:43 AM
The economy, while not in an overheated 1999-type state, is not in the toilet. Not even in the bidet. I'd say were at pretty average economic levels across the board - not in great shape, but not bad enough to be complaining about.
bathroom is only as good as the house it's inmohair_chair
Oct 3, 2003 9:57 AM
Don't know about Boston, but in California things seem a lot worse than anywhere else. Things have definitely improved, but there's a long way to go. From what I understand, the Washington DC area is doing very well in comparison. It all depends on where you live.
The bigger they are, the harder they fallTJeanloz
Oct 3, 2003 10:03 AM
I continue to not have much sympathy for California. I would suspect that the numbers aren't so bad in California as they are impossible to live up to. California was driving a Rolls Royce economy for 5 years, now they have a brand new Toyota, and are complaining that it's a peice of junk.

There's no doubt that California has issues, but I believe a lot of them are related to overinflated expectations.
You're right again. Twice in one day.moneyman
Oct 3, 2003 8:57 AM
Anecdotal evidence from your friends beats nationwide surveys by private economists and government record keepers any day.

Behind every silver lining is a dark cloud.

$$
Silver liningfiltersweep
Oct 3, 2003 9:09 AM
While I hate the current administation (and I doubt hate is too strong a word), if I look at the economy from a purely objective perspective (meaning, how does it affect me, me, and me), it really isn't that bad.

I don't know what to believe- it is undeniable that interest rates are next to nothing- we just purchased another new car last weekend because with dealer-backed promotional financing, it was almost a cheap as buying a used car... we purchased a house a few months ago...

There is virtually no inflation going on...

I have two real complaints: the debt we owe through
european banks is a bit expensive to pay off with the weak US dollar.

Health care costs are getting out of hand- my benefits keep eroding and withering away. I don't need them now, per se, but the day will come.

Other than that...

The original post sort of implicated Dan Rather... he has nothing to do with it ;)
There's numbers, and there's real lifeLive Steam
Oct 3, 2003 9:02 AM
The real life I see is more and more people own their own homes. Home prices are through the roof. Most, if not everyone I know is working in the same job for years and is in the upper income bracket in their field - teachers, lawyers, doctors, industry, self employed business owners, etc. I see plenty of new immigrants that are moving here with CASH to spend and are opening up their own business. Building is happening everywhere. So some techies lost their jobs in the tech bust and everyone is working in a job they are over qualified for? I don't think that should be the only measuring stick. Their market is starting to expand again, so I think they too will have more opportunities.
Obviously you have not seen the housing market here...Tri_Rich
Oct 3, 2003 10:36 AM
...nor are you married to a Realtor. People are not buying houses despite the low interest rates, new jobs are not being created and people who have good jobs are either nervous about their job or have watched their investments dwindle and are unsure of the future.
You should do better research before ...Live Steam
Oct 3, 2003 12:39 PM
posting on a World Wide Web forum. To begin with my wife is a licensed RE broker - not sales associate, but broker. The primary source of my income is from RE holdings and RE development. Lastly, if you look at national numbers for new home sales, existing home sales, construction starts and filings, you will see they are at record, all time highs.

I don't know what market you are in for this not to be the case. Even in CA where the economy took a good hit and where you hear many on this board complain about - housing prices are up exponentially there. If you know anything about RE or supply and demand concepts, price is driven by demand. You should do better research before posting! You don't want to look silly now do you?
Techies losing their jobs...loki_1
Oct 3, 2003 10:53 AM
I have been in the IT industry for some time now... It was crazy during the late 90's with people switching jobs for that dream job with twice as much pay. We had a hard time finding qualified people to hire. I resisted the temptation to switch jobs based on pay and stayed with my current (very stable, 5-12% raises in each of the last 10 years with no lay-offs) company. We are still hiring and the big problem is weeding through all the applications to find the people who's skill sets best match what we are looking for. Many many qualified people. I have also seen more than a few resumes lately of people that had left this company for that dot com that went dot bomb.

The techie bubble has burst. Are they "overqualified"? No, they just have unrealistic views of what they are worth due to the dot-coms paying way over market value.
I'll bet you're real fun at parties - nmfiltersweep
Oct 3, 2003 8:53 AM
I don't go to parties.moneyman
Oct 3, 2003 8:58 AM
But I used to. And I was a lot of fun. You should hear me sing songs from my old college rugby days.

$$
Somebody's got to get me my double whopper,TJeanloz
Oct 3, 2003 9:13 AM
Even in the best economy, the jobs at the BK don't go away. Even in the best economy, people never make what they think their worth. The situation you describe happens regardless of economic conditions.

The economy is improving. And has been for some time. The real problem here is how good this will be for GWB, because if you take the economy bullet out of the Democrats' gun, there isn't much for them to talk about - poor foreign policy isn't going to lose an election.
isn't that just a bit naive?BikeViking
Oct 3, 2003 9:17 AM
Life is hard...then you die. WHile I empathize with those who have lost their jobs, to expect "Uncle Sugar" (the Feds)to come and "save" them is comical. The Feds are way too busy wasting taxpayer dollars to worry about a few people shuffling burgers.

I had a stint during my life where I was working nights as a janitor...sometimes you have to buckle down and play the cards you were dealt.

Scott
economics is called the dismal science for a reason.dr hoo
Oct 3, 2003 12:03 PM
"The economy is growing at a rate of 3.3% through the second quarter"

seems to be. But how much of that boost is government military spending? And tax rebate spending? And refinancing freeing up cash flow (which is going down dramatically)?

" with a number of economists saying 5% in the third,"

A number of economists will say anything.

"non-farm payrolls are up 57,000, August job losses were revised down from 93,000 to 41,000, the unemployment rate stayed at 6.1% versus a consensus estimate of 6.2%"

That does look like things are looking up. But the measures have their problems. And it is up from a very low low, when we were losing jobs at an astounding rate. What is it, 2, 3 million jobs lost in a couple years?

Additionally, when health costs rise 17%, and employers pass along more and more costs to employees, HUGE numbers of people see a decline in their paycheck. 1-2k/yr might not be a big hit for you, but for a multitude of workers that is what they will face in the coming year. And the next year too. This is a big drag on our economy, and getting worse imo.

"and the S&P 500, NASDAQ and DJIA (very good leading economic indicators) are up 12%, 33%, and 12% respectively from the beginning of the year. "

Again, off of VERY low lows. They can be good leading indicators, but they can be misleading. Are they showing a long term uptrend? Or will we bounce around in a 1000 point range for years? It might be up double digits now, but it might be where it is now 5 years from now. Or 10. If we see more movement in the indexes I'll start to lean towards saying it is a recovery. But I need it to punch up a bit more before I make the call.
We are at a crossroadLive Steam
Oct 3, 2003 1:09 PM
There is no doubt that the economy fell off significantly, but there are a lot of positive things occurring in our economy. This is a weekly chart for the Dow for the past five years. As you can see we are at a level of resistance and support. I am very optimistic about the direction and have planned accordingly :O)

Say what is wrong with govt. mil. spending. It effects a lot of other sectors and is generally considered good for the economy. The same goes for the other issues you brought up. Refinancing to improve cash flow is not a bad thing and the tax incentives Bush put in place are beginning to work. I am optimistic about our economic future.
We are at a crossroaddr hoo
Oct 3, 2003 4:12 PM
"Say what is wrong with govt. mil. spending. It effects a lot of other sectors and is generally considered good for the economy. "

Nothing is wrong per se. However, given that a huge amount of military spending took place, you cannot say the other parts of the economy are booming. What is a better number, 3% with 0.5% military, or 3% with 2.5% military? If the sudden spike in GDP happened without the military spending I would be far more optimistic.

"The same goes for the other issues you brought up. Refinancing to improve cash flow is not a bad thing and the tax incentives Bush put in place are beginning to work. "

Do you every read what is written, and not what you WISH was written? I SAID that tax checks and more refi money was stimulative. My point was that 1) those checks are spent, and no new checks are coming in the mail, and 2) refi rates are going up, so the stimulative effect of lower interest rates has pretty much ended. Everyone has refinanced to about the lowest rate they are going to see.

"As you can see we are at a level of resistance and support. "

Isn't that what I said? That we might be on the way up, or we might bounce around for years? If we break through the resistance, AND GDP continues to grow a couple more quarters, then I'll believe the turn around. Until then I am skeptical.

And why am I not suprised that you are into technical analysis? It certainly saves time on all that thinking. Just remember, technical analysis assumes that what happened in the past will happen in the future. Sometimes it doesn't.
You're a funny guyLive Steam
Oct 3, 2003 4:46 PM
You respond to someone about economic indicators and don't expect to look at the technicals? How else does one review these? Charts? Or do you use tea leaves?

I really don't like what you implied. It was kind of snotty. Wasn't it? I guess you are above TA. Along with FA, TA is used by pretty much every investment firm in the world. Far greater financial minds than yours have accepted the validity of TA and have accepted it as a valuable tool.

Maybe you should say what you mean and not leave anything to the imagination. The statement that you made about the checks that are already spent with no new checks forthcoming, is incorrect. The Bush package calls for a tax reduction. The checks were issued retroactively which means that future taxes will be based on the new structure. Take home for many will be greater and thus will put more money in the pockets of many people. This is ongoing and not a one time deal. Maybe interest rates are not going lower and they may even go up, but the benefits the economy has and will experience from the multitudes that refinanced, will be lasting. Household cash flow is less restricted because of lower housing payments. This frees cash for savings or for other discretionary spending. Many that refinanced and took equity our of their homes, reinvested in other properties and ventures. This is simulative for the economy and not a one shot deal.

You want to be cautious and say we are not yet in recovery, fine. I'm with moneyman on this. Yes I look at charts to see where we were. I look at other indicators in addition to this and make assumptions. I'm doing pretty well with my investments and my finances, thank you. I hope you do as well.
I bet I understand TA a lot better than you.dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 4:47 AM
If you say things are AT resistance, you have no TECHNICAL reason to assume that it will BREAK that resistance. You should say "I am ready to jump IF it goes through this level, otherwise it will pull back." Funny, that sounds like what I said!

I doubt you have the statistics to get into TA past the "look at the lines and bumps on the chart" stage. I do. I don't want to get into it here for that reason.

However, TA is backwards looking, just as all economic models are. It is useful, and many people make money (and lose money) using it. But just because models fit past data very well does NOT mean it will fit future data just as well.

TA is far more useful to me as a psychological indicator than a financial one. Lots of people use it, so when something happens (like a breakthrough of a resistance level) people act on it. I see a great deal of validity in using this short terms.

Yes, tax rates are lower. And the wealthy are getting wealthier. The number of millionaires went up last year by 14% or something like that.

And the poverty rate is going up as well. And the middle class is getting more and more squeezed by things like health care costs.

Mixed signals.

The lower tax rates are ongoing, you are right. Those tax rates are relatively small AT THIS POINT. Yeah, take home pay is higher. For people making median incomes with no kids, the take home pay is not THAT much higher. Maybe an extra dinner out a month?

I see positive signs. However, I would have been surprised not to see upturns in numbers given a huge stimulus. The economy got a big kick from war spending, tax rebates, the refi boom. The question is: will the economy keep growing with the lower rate of stimulus? Have we gotten over the hump?

I don't think so. When people get take home checks that are a bit bigger it does help, but lots of people are starting to see LESS take home pay. Throw a 1-2k increase in health insurance onto you check, and the benefits of lower tax rates disappear pretty quick. Average people will NOT have more disposable income unless these costs are contained.

What about the wars? Expensive. Distracting from good economic production. Potential international conflicts add cost to transactions, as well as potentially interfering with trade talks if things get nasty.

Debt? Deficit? Growing at huge rates. If the economy is flat, this will be a VERY big problem going forward in the next 5 years.

Like I said, two more quarters and I will agree we are going up. Right now I am biased towards flat to slightly down over the next year.
I bet I understand TA a lot better than you.Live Steam
Oct 4, 2003 6:37 AM
"If you say things are AT resistance, you have no TECHNICAL reason to assume that it will BREAK that resistance. You should say "I am ready to jump IF it goes through this level, otherwise it will pull back." Funny, that sounds like what I said!"

I really didn't say any of that. I said I am optimistic, which infers that I believe it will go through resistance and form a new level of support. I use other indicators as well, that have reinforced my optimistic view. The Dow has already moved more than 2000 points off of it's low. The over-inflated numbers reached during the late 90s is not going to happen again or at least not for quite a while. Too bad you missed out on that 2000 point move. I hope you didn't wait for a 2000 point decline before you realized that the market was turning for the worse.

You threw a lot of other garbage out there in this post about "international trade being interfered with because of nasty dealings caused by the war". (paraphrased) That is such a bogus argument. Besides the international community is already trying to make nice. They were hurt economically because of the position they assumed regarding the conflict in Iraq, not us.

As for the rise in health costs, blame your buddies Clinton and Gore for that. They fought torte reform tooth and nail. You can attribute much of the escalation in health care costs to two major issues - sue happy lawyers and fraud. Both of these issues need to be dealt with before we will see health care costs come under control.

I still don't like what you implied in your previous post. What do you know about my work ethic? I have done pretty well for myself. It has all come as a product of hard work. I believe you claim to be a psychologist or something of the sort. You wouldn't be the first psychologist I have come across this is a condescending a$$hole! What does that say about your psychological makeup?
You guys are funny,TJeanloz
Oct 4, 2003 7:06 AM
With the exception of a relatively small group of short term traders, the financial community on the whole mostly believes that technical analysis is about as reliable as a '74 Yugo. It's easy to look back and spot trend, which technical analysts do pretty well. It's hard to project those trends forward. If people could do it with any accuracy, the market would hardly move at all. I'll give you that technical analysis can work for short-term "momentum" type incidents, because momentum in the market clearly exists due to some imperfections. But using technical analysis to predict long term economics is downright funny. Actually, using the stock market as an indicator of the economy is pretty funny in and of itself.
Us GUYS are funny?dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 8:25 AM
Strange, what you said is pretty much what I said. So to be correct, you should say Steam is funny :)
He's not funny, he's mentally imbalanced - more sad really (nm)TJeanloz
Oct 4, 2003 8:30 AM
And not exactly,TJeanloz
Oct 4, 2003 8:35 AM
Anybody who gives any credence (as you do by explaining how much better you understand it than Steam) to long-term technical analysis loses points in my book. You'd be just as well off throwing darts. Maybe better off.

BTW, I'm not saying fundamental analysis is per se better, but technical analysis is a joke thought up by the high-school dropouts on the NYSE trading floor who make money on volitility.
I did not say I BELIEVE in it.dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 12:17 PM
I said I understood it. Which is why I don't believe in it.

They do have pretty charts though.
More proof you don't pay attention.dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 8:23 AM
I did not miss out on any of the market moves, thank you very much. I shorted a few things at the market peak, and bought value all the way down. I'm not saying I have not made mistakes. I shifted some stuff around and felt really good about my positions... on 9-10-01!

It is pretty clear your understaning of TA is shallow. As long as it makes you feel good.

"You threw a lot of other garbage out there in this post about "international trade being interfered with because of nasty dealings caused by the war". (paraphrased) That is such a bogus argument."

Time will tell if it is bogus or not.

"As for the rise in health costs, blame your buddies Clinton and Gore for that. "

My buddies? Really? When have I posted anything praising them? Looks like a pretty big assumption on your part.

Clinton TRIED to do something about health costs, universal coverage. It failed. If it had passed, costs would be lower. We would have other health issues to deal with.

"I still don't like what you implied in your previous post. What do you know about my work ethic?"

What did I say about your work ethic? I said I doubted you have the stats to understand TA. I still do. I did not say you are incapable of learning. I said nothing about you personally working, or why you are where you are.

If I *were* a psychologist, I would drop the term "projection" into the thread. Someone seems a bit insecure.

For the record, I am a social psychologist, but I come at things from the sociology side. I don't condesend to you because of my education, but rather because you show no desire to engage in meaninful debate. You are looking for a tussle, you like to put on a show, and argue. Fine, so do I at times, which is the only reason I engage you instead of ignoring you.

You can't get up on your high horse when you get what you are looking for.
Look I am not trying to engage in a ...Live Steam
Oct 4, 2003 9:31 AM
meaningless argument. What would be the point of that? To quote you "And why am I not surprised that you are into technical analysis? It certainly saves time on all that thinking." How should I have taken that statement? In what way do I exhibit that I do not desire to engage in meaningful debate? I made a statement about how I perceived the near term future of the markets and post a chart that lends "some" support to that assertion, and you choose to insult me. That is meaningful debate?

You did it again in this post. "It is pretty clear your understanding of TA is shallow. As long as it makes you feel good." OK show me what I posted that can support your assumption. Aside from that I did state that TA is not the only criteria I use to evaluate the markets and individual equities. Again that was an assumption on your part. Both you and TJ come off as being very pompous and condescending. That says a lot to me about your insecurities.

TJ I'm mentally imbalanced? Gee that comes from some sort of expertise in the area? That's a nice civil way to deal with people - call them mentally imbalanced. To me, it sounds like you are the one with the problem. I gave you no cause for that response from you.

It appears that if you posses and opposing opinion or make a statement that someone doesn't agree with here, you open yourself up to insults and ridicule. I ask anyone here to go back and find an example where I initiated that sort of behavior. I will engage it if confronted with it, but I have never initiated it as both of you superior intellectuals have.
From what I have seen, you do not...dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 12:29 PM
... apply enough critique to your own positions. Sad, but common. You may be able to think in a critial manner, but you mostly seem merely to parrot other's opinions. So you flocking to something you really don't understand in depth (TA) is part of your larger pattern of looking for things that agree with you and make you feel RIGHT, and discounting things that that might weaken your dearly held beliefs.

I happen to like TJ. He is conservative, and holds to his opinion strongly. However, he is willing to grant good faith to other positions, and deal with them on a rational basis. You are not. Go back and see if I was condesending to TJ in any of our protracted discussions. Ask yourself why the difference exists. Then think some more about insecurities.

BTW, I make fun of you because it's easy and fun. But like any new toy that gets played with a lot, you are starting to become boring.
Now you admit to "making fun"Live Steam
Oct 4, 2003 1:06 PM
You are a pretty demented person. You make assumptions that you have no idea of or support for, such as my capabilities regarding TA. It sounds to me that you want to be right no matter what the facts are.

This statement says everything I need to know about you - "I did not miss out on any of the market moves, thank you very much. I shorted a few things at the market peak, and bought value all the way down." Heck you should be running our economy if you are that good. How do you recognize a "market peak" without TA. You are a liar my friend. "Shorted a few things and bought value all the way down". LOL That's a good one. How did you know it was going down and not sideways without TA? What were your key indicators? To me it sounds like you got your a$$ handed to you and haven't reconciled that fact yet. You should have said you were "catching a falling knife" or were "cost averaging down" - now that would be believable. What a loser :O)
oh, I have not started on that yet.dr hoo
Oct 4, 2003 3:24 PM
Believe me, if i go after you you will know it.

You have demonstrated a lack of anything more than superficial knowledge about TA. Among other things.

I recognized the market peak after the fact, not at the time. Backwards looking. (and to be accurate, I should say I shorted some things AROUND the peak. A bit before, and a bit after.)

As for your opinion about my investing skills, you are right to be skeptical. Anyone can be a financial genius on the net. I won't be proving my performance to you by sending you my financial statements any time soon.

Now go mis-read some more things you don't want to believe.
OK! You "shorted some things" LOL! Not even worth replying to!!Live Steam
Oct 4, 2003 4:15 PM
Me! Me! You always insult me unprovoked! :-( nmOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 5:19 AM
Not trying to insult, just stating my opinion (nm)TJeanloz
Oct 6, 2003 5:47 AM
And my opinion, having read your posts despite my better judgement, is that you are mentally imbalanced.