If you own stocks in banking, give the field a holla, I know the number of a very good suicide hot line here in Philly. Seriously, WTF? That 504 figure is not Jimmy Rollin's batting average, or a new area code, it's how much points the Dow lost today. The most since September 11.
All this on a day when Mr. Morton made the astonishing statement that the "fundamentals" of the economy is still "strong". Huh? I wonder if someone told him how totally ridiculous that statement was. Oh, apparently they did, because later in the day he tried to say that he meant the American workers are the fundamentals.....What? I guess they will no better than to let Mr. Morton give speeches without a script in front of him next time, the man is losing it.
Look, I have a confession to make: I do alright money wise. Between me and Mrs. Field, I am pretty much in that percentile that his O ness wants to increase taxes on. So I am not one to panic over money, or the lack of it. Unlike Mrs. Field (who has a lifetime subscription to Kiplinger's), I honestly don't follow the markets that much. I rely on my city pension fund, and Mrs. Field to read my deferred compensation statements. Mrs. Field reads her 401-K statements like you would read your bible. She knows all about large company growth funds, emerging growth funds, diversified international funds, value funds, and blend funds. She has us diversified in Janus Oversees, Columbia Acorn, Fidelity, Meridian Growth, Vanguard, Harbor Capitol Appreciation, Franklin Templeton...ahh shit my head is spinning. But you get the point.
So anyway, today, for the first time since I have known her, Mrs Field was talking about the stock market, and just how fucked we all might be. And seriously, when you read stuff like this, how can you blame her? "Wait a minute", I ask her. "I thought you were the one who always said that we should be patient investors, and that you invest for the long term. Don't panic with the rise and fall of the markets you always say, right? ""Yeah field but this isn't looking good. The Dow lost over 500 points today, and the banking sectors are getting hammered." "Sooo, what does that mean for the kid? ""It means the kid's stock portfolios and his wife's retirement is taking a beating. It means the kid's home probably lost about 10% of it's value within the last few days, that's what." She is being sarcastic when she says "kid", and she is not a happy camper. "See field, you have your little pension with the city, and it's pretty much guaranteed, so I am sure you don't worry about these things like the rest of us." Memo to all husbands out there: when your wife starts referring to your pension plan as "little", you might have some issues.
But, as is always the case, I blame the frat boy for this mess. These damn republicans with their leave the corporations alone, laissez faire attitude towards financial regulations in this country, have caused us to be in this mess. They are not laissez faire economist, they are fucking "Market Anarchist", and we are paying for it.
I was reading about Princeton economist, Robert Shiller, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he was basically saying the same thing that Mrs. Field is: we are fucked. And no one in government is doing anything to save us. Shiller says that the "the immediate fix that is needed is similar to that called for by the Great Depression, but unlike the 1930s, nothing fundamental is being done." This gloom and doom guy (I wonder if he would like a nice African American woman to marry)actually said that "home prices have sunk 30% since 2006, and that we could go back to a 25% unemployment rate like it was from 1925-1933." Gloom and doom to be sure, but the guy is no dummy. He helped to develop the "Standard and Poor's Case Shiller (that's his name in there) Home Price Index" for ten large metro markets, so he knows what he is talking about. But at least he has some solutions. He thinks, for instance, that "the government should replace Fannie Mae with an overseer and guarantor of mortgage loans, and that it should bail out lenders and borrowers to keep them from dragging others down." But he even admits that this is a "stopgap measure" which would just be designed to shrink the company's loss exposure until the next administration (sure you want this presidency thing O man?) figures out a more permanent way to fund home loans. Shiller wants the government's goal to be "pushing home prices back up while preventing a fundamental loss of economic confidence in our institutions and in each other, while preventing distress among people of modest means. He also wants a 'Financial Product Safety Commission' tracking loan and investment products, promoting fee only financial planners, to reach lower income people." Gee, there is a novel concept, making financial planners more affordable to everyone. And get this; the guy wants to "detach loan and bond prices from the U.S. dollar, whose steady erosion by inflation gives a false sense of its value." Gee, again, what a novel concept. "Loan prices", he argues, "should rise and fall with the value of goods produced and consumed in an economy, while bond prices should be tied to national economic output". Now I am no economic expert, but hell, that makes sense too.
And my question again is this: who in the frat boys administration was thinking these things out? Why were they just letting the financial sectors and the markets police themselves while they lived high on the hog, and drained our 401-K accounts? That was a rhetorical question. I am quite sure that you all know the answer. And now we have Mr.Morton, a man with no clue about our economy, ( he doesn't have to, his wife is worth a hundred million) promising us that he will fix this mess. Yeah right, and guess how is he going to do it? By cutting corporate taxes, and bailing out speculators, that's how. Nice. You gotta love those republicans. Destroy the country with their economic policies, and demand that we give them four more years to run it.
Anyway, enough of this financial talk, I am looking down at my butt and my calves, and the spinning hasn't stopped. Mrs. Field is on the phone with her sister, and she is telling her that she has to get off because she has to get on her computer. I will give you one guess what she is going to go and check on. If you don't get a post from the kid tomorrow, it's because I am out looking for a third job. I mean I know I am a Jamaican, and as the joke goes, we are used to working multiple jobs; but damn!
I am going back to the game now, my birds are up at the half.