Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Good News and More Good News

Oil closes below $60 a barrel. And the Saudis aren't looking to cut production yet. Just another Karl Rovian plot to try to keep the Republicans in power.

And now, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at a new all time high. It doesn't mean much in the great scheme of things, but it makes our deferred compensation statements look a helluva lot healthier than in the past few years.

It's the economy, stupid. And it's looking damn fine.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's true that our deferred comp statements are getting to look a little better but for those that want to play it a little safe, you'll notice that the fixed rate of return has gone down from 4.90% to 4.80% this quarter. I'm no financial genius but how can this be since the rate of return on bank certificates of deposit seem to keep rising. Maybe, I'd be smarter to invest in a CD within a 401k. Can anyone explain this to me?

10/04/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The economy is LOOKING better,but the country is still hemorraging jobs. Ford laid off over 14,000 in the last month alone. Even the low paying retail sector has seen upheaval. When Macy's bought Marshall Feild, many longtime employees were given pink slips. All the people employed by Cub Foods are about to be put on the street. If you're a investor,things are looking rosy. If you're a average working joe,those roses smell like s&#!

10/04/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger leftisthebest said...

More distractions to keep the public's view away from the true problem, our involvement in Iraq.

The reason gasoline prices are lower is because "suits" in the oil industry raised prices so high during summer. They figured people would still continue driving on vacation and such. They were wrong. People were pushed so far they fought back and did not drive. They have to get rid of the glut or lose their butts.

I bet a week after the November elections gasoline prices will rise again. The President and the GOP are running sacred about losing control of Congress.

It doesn't matter, they're toast.

10/04/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and there is NO housing bubble!

10/04/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BUT.... a growing economy means NEW JOBS!! So that means all is well!!

10/04/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALL GOOD!

Bernanke: Baby boomers will strain economy
Fed chief says Social Security, Medicare will need to be revamped

Updated: 43 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Unless Social Security and Medicare are revamped, the massive burden from retiring baby boomers will place major strains on the nation’s budget and the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

“Reform of our unsustainable entitlement programs” should be a priority, he said in prepared remarks to the Economics Club of Washington. “The imperative to undertake reform earlier rather than later is great,” Bernanke added.

It marked the Fed chief’s most extensive comments to date on the challenges facing the United States with the looming retirement of 78 million baby boomers.

10/04/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, the stock market is great!

Baley's Fitness is WAY up.

Top % gainer: up 36% all the way to $2.27 a share!!!!

WEEEEE!!!!

10/04/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Factory orders weak for second straight month
Service-sector growth slows more than economists had expected

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

Updated: 9:21 a.m. CT Oct 4, 2006
WASHINGTON - Orders to U.S. factories for manufactured goods were weak for a second consecutive month as the nation’s manufacturing sector sent signals it was shifting into a lower gear.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new orders were basically unchanged in August at $403.6 billion following a 1 percent decline in July. The weakness in August reflected big declines in demand for computers and commercial aircraft.

***Analysts believe that the slowing economy is beginning to have an impact on manufacturers, with the weakness apparently continuing in September.*** The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its closely watched gauge of manufacturing activity expanded in September at the slowest pace in more than a year.

***: Emphasis aded

10/04/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Dems win control the congress.there need to be checks and balances in government instead of one group controlling everything. Plus Bush is a oil man I think his friends can withstand a lower profit margin until after the election, when they can raise the prices to sustain the billion dollar profits for another year.

10/04/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Schicklegroover said...

"I'm no financial genius but how can this be since the rate of return on bank certificates of deposit seem to keep rising."

I can explain. You ARE getting screwed. Fixed income instruments (money market, money market mutual funds, C.Ds, short-intermediate term bonds and even online savings accounts) yield rates are and HAVE BEEN increasing for a while. If anything, the Chicago Blended Fixed option yields should be INcreasing. Note that there is no prospectus available so it’s anybody’s guess as to what your money is invested in. If they provided a prospectus listing the holdings, like any legitimately-run fund, we would be able to track down the rate of return on those holdings and consequently an expected rate of return for the entire fund. They don’t want us to do that because we may see they are and have been enjoying +6 or 7% yield and keeping the excess to the tune of millions. Even when the current inverted yield curve in the bond market is accounted for it still doesn’t make sense unless the fund is invested 100% in long-term bonds! But we cannot know what the fund invests in because it is the only fund option for which no online prospectus is available. I have called and requested a hard copy of the prospectus and am told there isn‘t one! Note that they also use this fund as a “sweep” fund. This means that certain transactions are held up while your money is put into the Chicago Blended Fixed for a day or two while they generate interest for themselves while you are out of the market completely. It is also where your money goes when you increase your deferral amount. They generate interest for themselves for up to 30 days in those cases also. I have posted about this before but there aren’t enough that care to create the outcry necessary to shine light on this.

How fitting that the fund is titled with the words “Chicago” and “Fixed!”
This city cracks me up!

10/04/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Coldtype said...

The shell game continues I see, and the gullible are still lapping it up.

Get back to me after the elections in November before we talk about gas prices.

The economy? Stupid? So let me get this straight. I should interpret the fact that real wages (i.e, what the earned dollar will purchase realative to inflation) for the overwhelming majority of Americans have declined--right through the "economic boom"--over the past 20 years as a GOOD thing?
Polls indicate that most Americans beg to differ.

Here's what else the polls indicate across the political spectrum:

1. Most Americans believe that a nationalized heath care system, along the lines of what is taken for granted in Canada and Europe should be a fact of life here.
[note: it should be a national scandal that the best heath care in the Western Hemisphere is obtained in Cuba and not in the weathiest nation on earth].

2. Most Americans want our forces out of the quagmire that is the Bush administration's illegal war of choice in Iraq. That conflict and its step-sister in Afganistan costs the US taxpayer over 300 million dollars PER DAY! All for the privilge of making us less safe the we were on 9/10/01.

Don't believe me? Then believe the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, which merely confirms what intelligence analysts had warned the Bush administration prior to the Iraq invasion.

Are you not the least bit curious that the same sector of American society that most benefits from the disaster in Iraq (energy corporations and major investors), is also the sector that sings the praises of the "economic boom"? The so-called economic recovery reflects the profits and capital gains of the top 10% of earners, not most Americans who, more than ever, struggle to make ends meet and are a paycheck or two from poverty.

Bush has seen to the needs of his "base" (conventionally understood to be the wealthy) by slashing taxes during "war time", an action without historical precedent.

If Katrina and its aftermath has not shown you where the Bush admninstration's priorities lie then nothing will. Stay safe.

10/04/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baby Boomers who worked their productive lives and earned SS should get it....don't blame it on the boomers....blame the die-hard liberals who allow the life-long welfare recipients and now the illegal immigrants who are economically draining this country for every hand-out there is. Anyone take notice of all the new public schools in the spanish-speaking areas??? Our kids get stuffed in over-crowded 80 year old schools with some 20 y/o trailers parked outside as secondary classrooms....check out Edgebrook school.....oh yea, and how about those property taxes around there, obviously not going to the local schools.

How could illegal immigrants who have no SS# or are using an American's SS# illegally be allowed to receive government benefits??? This is what they are voting on in our own Crook County. Yesterday's Trib in Metro section...they are voting to have Cook County as a sanctuary for illegal citizens....they will be allowed to get govenment benefits....no questions asked....F*ck! All because of some idiot CC security/police who roughed up some latino...you know the lawsuit is coming. They cite this nitwit's actions as reason for more handouts that will economically strain a system that is already millions in the red. You can bet that any hard-working middle class citizen in this county will be paying more taxes through the nose if this happens. City taxes are already busting at the seams.

All this bullshit is also being bantered around in DC with allowing all 11 million illegals to gain citizenship and further drain our SS system - and they haven't even contributed!....and people have the gall to be angry at the boomers? What the f*ck is wrong with this?

I pray that the morons who are running this country realize what they are doing. I also pray that we get people in DC who are looking out for Americans and have the balls to say and actually do something about it.

PS anyone notice while driving around the city that many advertisements are all in Spanish? No English at all...I thought we speak English in this country.To all latinos, polish, arabs, etc. if you want to be here so bad, take the time to learn our language. Perhaps the "English Only" laws should really be enforced...start with advertising companies, start fining them up the ass...hey city hall that will bring in some income for the city. If you want to be in America so bad, enter here legally, go through the system to become a citizen, adhere to the laws in place, learn the language, get a job that will support your family (which means don't be having 10 kids you can't afford to raise)and contribute to our tax sytem. Pay your bills and stop blaming everyone else if you didn't pay your utilities and some tragedy happens cause you are burning candles.

Wake up America, it's time to really take notice of what is happening to this country.... if anything, do it for the sake of your kids.

10/04/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger SCC said...

Once again, you are quoting polls that have no basis in reality. The economy is booming along. A rising tide lifts all boats? Everyone is doing better. In fact, realistic polls show that Americans feel they are doing better, they just don't think anyone else is doing better - which shows how half assed these polls from the main stream media truly are.

Canada and Europe are BLEEDING money on entitlement spending and the so called healthcare systems. Why do you think Canadians are all coming here to have procedures done? Why does it take 6 months to a year to see a doctor in Britain for a cancer diagnosis? And Cuba? Give me a freaking break - have you seen the hospitals there? Stop believing your own propoganda.

Most Americans want us out of Iraq - but NOT before the job is done. Read the entire poll before you cherry pick your quotes. Cut and run is not a winning strategy.

And Bush released the NIE that proved the left was picking and chosing certain points for political gain. And as to your arguement that we are less safe - less safe where? We can't seem to recall too many mass murders of American citizens on American soil in the past 5 years. can you? Could you define this "less safe" talking point you are so hung up on?

Oh, and Katrina was a failure of local government. The Feds never mobilize local resources to deliver aid - the aid sat at the airports because Ray Nagin failed to gather buses and trucks for delivery and evacuations.

10/04/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Westcide Dog said...

Ever notice how the lib's are quoting Al Franken like he's the be all/ end all of liberal thought and commentary? (Check his commentaries at his show's website.) The real question I have is that why is a half assed comedian that was a bit player on a third-rate tv show considered relavent to American politics? Why are the Hollyweirds considered to be top-notch political analysts?

As far as I'm concerned Joe McCarthy was stopped short of ridding the entertainment industry of known communists and socialists.

10/04/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COLDTYPE: Typical Liberal Dem. President Bush is Bad, bad, bad as are the Republicans.

Give the power back to the Liberals and they will take care of us from cradle to grave.

National Health Insurance? Are you willing to pay 66 percent tax like they do in europe to get it?

Oooops, I forgot, you are a Liberal, so you probably dont have a real job.

The entire Liberal platform is, Bush is bad. They have no programs, no plans, no honor, and most of all, no patriotism. I was a long time Dem. but that party of Kennedys, Jacksons, Sharptons, Pelosis' will never speak for me.

Your comments belong PRAVDA rather in this site for working police officers.

10/05/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where would you work if you were not a cop? There are no more high paying blue collar jobs. CONCLUSION -> The economy sucks cock.

10/05/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and there is NO housing bubble!

Not true ... Read The Housing Bubble (book)

Early 1990's Japan suffered housing bubble ... real bad one ... the book blames Greenspan

10/05/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phenominal article about America.

http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=120

10/05/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Coldtype said...

Sorry about the delay in my response.

Denial does not protect us from reality. Pretending that the "war" in Iraq, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and corporate welfare in the form of massive public subsidies designed to protect and/or enhance profit margins, does not negatively effect the overwhelming majority of Americans changes nothing at all.

THE ECONOMY

I strongly suggest that you re-read my first post on this subject then check the facts as reported by leading economists as to who most benefits from the "economic boom".

"A rising tide lifts all boats".

What have you been smoking friend? This sounds dangerously close to the discredited Reagan era "trickle down" economic theory. What economist have long recognized is that capital gains tend to trickle down into investment portfolios, super-yachts, and summer homes in the Hamptons--not to the general public. How does your "rising tide" theory address the dicotomy between the record profits corporations now enjoy during this so-called "boom", and falling or stagnating wages? Why haven't those profits trickled down to workers in the form of either wages or benefits? I'm sure your answers will be entertaining.

KATRINA & HEALTH CARE

The US annual budget exceeds 2 trillion dollars a year. Well over two thirds of this amount is directed in service to elite interests. For example, the US military budget outstrips that of the next 12 countries combined on the list. What does this buy us? over 700 military installations straddling the globe protecting "American interests" (i.e, the oil fields of the Middle
East for US energy corporations, tyrannical dictatorships whose policies reflect the priorities of US corporations and major investors at expense of their own people, etc).

The Bush administration's tax policies are designed to benefit the top 10% of earners and corporations, all of which amounts to a massive public subsidy. None of this benefts the general public.

Examples:

Pharmaceutical companies, arguably the most profitable business in existence, are provided grants by the US government (read: taxpayer)via the university system for the prohibitively expensive research and development phase of drug development, then given exclusive patents to what has been developed on the public dime.

Are these drugs, literally created at public expense, provided for free or even at substantial discount? Need I remind you that Americans pay more for drugs products than any people in the industrialized world?

How did computer technology come about? Why through the Pentagon System of course. Most of our high tech products are the result of military development--once again by the use of massive government subsidies--the fruits of which were turned over private corporations for massive private profit.

"Katrina was a failure of local government".

Realy? It was the local government that was responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the levees? I always assumed that the Army Corp of Engineers was a federal outfit. Furthermore, it has always been my understanding that FEMA was also a federal program, charged with the responsibility of protecting the public during natural disasters and their aftermath.

As you should no doubt be aware, the Bush administration radically cut funding for the upkeep of the levees and gutted FEMA itself while loading that once proud organization with unqualified hacks (seen Brownie lately?).

After Katrina struck the entire world witnessed, to our shame, the spectacle of American citizens stranded on their roof tops for up to 5 days in some cases.

Where was the National Guard? Oh yes, it was stretched to the breaking point protecting the interests of Haliburton and Exxon/Mobil in Iraq.

Look at this way, the resouces and policies of the US government serve the interests of the elite sectors of this society, not the general population. This is why an overwhelming majority of American citizens can wish for nationalized health care yet the corporate media will characterize the lack of progress in this direction as due to its "political unfeasability". Interesting. The American people are calling for one thing yet Big Pharma, the insurance lobby, and HMOs are dead set against it so it isn't politically feasible. Quite a democracy we've got here if the will of the people can be checked by the necessities (i.e, profit margins) of a handful of corporations.

Your comments on Cuba's heathcare system betray (yet again) what little you know. By the way, Cuba can move up 2 million of its citzens at a moments notice when hurricanes threaten the island. This is a matter of public policy, so the resources are allocated to carry out this task season after season [note: 100,000 American citizens without the means to escape Katrina were left to their fate in New Orleans--this in the weathiest nation on earth].

Much more later. Stay safe.

10/05/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger SCC said...

Discredit Reagan era "trickle down" theory? Um, excuse us? IT WORKED. We had the longest most prosperous peacetime expansion of the economy is history. Evidently, you are too young to remember the Carter years. Reagan and his team not only proved "trickle down" worked, it actually reduced the number of poor and proved the "Laffer Curve" theory that tax cuts provided impetus to lifting the economy out of its doldrums. Stop rewriting history.

The Army Corps of Engineers builds the levees then turns them over to local government to run. All the inspections of the levees that for YEARS showed them to be failing and leaking into nearby basements were done at the state level. New Orleans ignored this and spent money earmarked for levee upkeep on a host of other programs. New Orleans failed to keep up the levees. The left knows this which is why you don't see the Corps being crucified for the failures.

How many buses does FEMA own? It's a number between ZERO and NONE. Go look at the photos of hundreds of buses in flooded parking lots across New Orleans. Nagin failed to follow his own evacuation plan and supply buses that could have evacuated the Superdome 10 times over to run people out of town. The Feds and FEMA don't supply bus drivers - local issue. FEMA doesn't supply trucks either. They airlift supplies in via military and chartered flights to predetermined delivery points. The supplies were there. The buses and trucks weren't.

Cuba can move 2 million people? In what? 1950's DeSoto's? And where are they going to move them? It's a freaking island. And a tiny island at that. They certainly aren't moving them out of harms way. Making people walk to higher ground isn't really a marvel of communist efficiency. Give us a break. And give us another break about their glorious health care system. If it had to compete on a level playing field, it'd fail miserably. We certainly don't see Canadians and European elites flying to Cuba for surgeries - they're flying here and in greater and greater numbers. You are blind to reality.

We don't know enough about the pharmecuetical business to argue with you, but based on everything else you've typed, we're sure you are about 100% wrong and 100% deluded. Be sure you clear out those evil corporate types hiding in your closet and under your bed. And don't forget to change the tinfoil daily - the CIA mind rays can work their way through it within 24 hours if is isn't kept fresh.

10/05/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COLDTYPE bitches about "massive tax cuts for the wealthy"

Ummmm, I'm a policeman and the GOP gave me a nice tax cut, we all got one. I knew the job paid OK but I never realized that I was among the "wealthy."

When you boil it all down it comes to this: Liberals think that they know how to spend YOUR money better than you do!

10/05/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Coldtype said...

"...I'm a policeman and the GOP gave me a nice tax cut, we all got one..."
-10:04:54

Softball, I'm also a policeman and the pebbles we were tossed don't amount to anything. You see, the nation cannot afford the luxury of tax cuts for the following reasons:

1. Maintaining our aggressive military stance around the globe costs more than the government currently collects in tax revenues.

2. We are running the largest budget deficit in our nation's history.

3. The Bush administration is financing its fantasies of US world hegemony with massive foreign debt that we (the taxpayer) have no hope of ever paying off. This puts our future in hock to China and other emerging powers that hold the notes on that debt.

SCC, I haven't forgotten you fellas. As usual, your astounding vacuity will force me to expand my response to a degree I don't wish to attempt here. In a few days I'll address each of your distortions and evasions in detail on my own blog.

Once again you've chosen to engage me on an issue that is demonstrably beyond your depth. Unlike our last tussle which was more personal in nature, however, I would prefer that my full response this time be available to the viewing public if you don't mind. Since so much of your recent output ties into what I will address, expect the prompt for my response to appear on one of those threads. For now be secure in your ignorance. Stay safe.

10/06/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger leftisthebest said...

Hey Coldie, don't be upset by the banter of our dear Moderator (M to me), as like most (and I hate this term) neo-cons, he has an allusion of the greatness of the Ray-gun Administration.

What programs did "Dutch" implement to promote this fiscal upheavel? None. He just happened to be in power at a time when things were good.

I am tired of hearing co-workers (1004 p.m.) speak of the "nice tax cut." Listen pal, we'll all be paying for that in a few years. Our national debt is out-of-control. If you have bills of $500 at home do you go out and spend another $200 or do you pay your debt? That's what YOUR president is doing.

The next President be he a Republican (shutter!) or Green Party (hurray!) will have to pay the piper. Think about that when there is a nice big tax hike. Meanwhile, YOUR boy Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Halliburton crowd will sipping cocktails on their yachts.

10/06/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger SCC said...

Lefty, your communist streak is showing again. Don't hate because Reagan exposed and destroyed the myth of the USSR's superiority. And remember, Clinton never would have been able to launch his illegal war of aggression in Yugoslavia to save the muslims if he didn't have Readan's military around to do the job.

It's amazing how you leftists always think that Republicans just happen to stumble into "good economic times" and only the democrats know how to run a "planned economy." Your lack of grasp of simple economics is astounding - which is saying something as our fine mayor understood the basic principles when he vetoes the "big box" ordinance.

Oh, and tax receipts collected by the government? Bigger than ever thanks to the tax cuts. Now if we could just get a fiscal conservative in the White House instead of a big government republican, the debt would be gone in under a generation.

Coldtype? We've stated before we aren't in the business of publishing essays - post it on your blog and link it here. If people are interested, they will stop by. But as an aside, we're betting that they won't.

10/06/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude

10/06/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT ECONOMY:

October 06, 2006 10:20 AM ET

September job growth below expectations

All Reuters NewsWASHINGTON

(Reuters) - U.S. employers added a scant 51,000 jobs in September, far below market expectations, according to a government report on Friday that showed broad weakness in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

10/06/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Coldtype said...

Will do.

10/06/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COLDTYPE says he's a cop. Highly doubtful. But if he is indeed on a police payroll, he surely doesn't and never has worked the street.

Just like there are no atheists in foxholes the are no liberal cops who work the street.

10/08/2006 12:02:00 AM  

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