Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweeping changes to Bush era secrecy doctrine

This may not get much of the attention it deserves and so I post it here. According to a NY Times report this morning, and I quote, " President Obama declared on Tuesday that 'no information may remain classified indefinitely' as part of a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch’s system for protecting classified national security information.

In an executive order and an accompanying presidential memorandum to agency heads, Mr. Obama signaled that the government should try harder to make information public if possible, including by requiring agencies to regularly review what kinds of information they classify and to eliminate any obsolete secrecy requirements."

This is a breakthrough in government openness and a major accomplishment for President Obama. This was a campaign pledge fulfilled as well. More excerpts from the NY Times article: He also established a new National Declassification Center at the National Archives to speed the process of declassifying historical documents by centralizing their review, rather than sending them in sequence to different agencies. He set a four-year deadline for processing a 400-million-page backlog of such records that includes archives related to military operations during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars."

Bravo Mr. President!!!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December's Consumer Confidence rises. And the point is?

Don't be fooled by the headlines about the rise in Consumer Confidence for this month. Here's a direct quote from one article from this headline. And I quote,"The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.9, up from a revised 50.6 in November, but the reading is still far short of the 90 that would signify a solid economy. In October, consumer confidence was 48.7." So you see yes, Consume Confidence is up in December, but let's face it a reading of 52.9 is a long was from 90. I can remember this Index was as high as the mid 140's. To see a chart from 1967 click on this link:

To put the numbers into a more provocative perspective, after 9/11 the index dropped to the mid 80's. We aren't yet up to post 9/11 levels. I just wish the media would not continue with the hype of an improved economy. We aren't all stupid you know! This hyping isn't working on me and I suspect not on you either. Tell me by making a comment.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sen. Al Franken's first piece of legislation puts off male GOP Senators. Read why!

Sen. Al Franken proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.” The amendment stems from this reported case In 2005, where Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.

Franken's measure passed on Dec. 3rd, 68 to 30. The 30 opponents -- representing 75% of the entire GOP Senate caucus -- were Republican men. This shouldn't be political, as this has nothing to do with politics, but it was. There were some Republican men who voted for the amendment like Sen. Dick Lugar and Florida Sen. George LeMieux as well as the 3 women Republican Senators, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins and Sen. Murkowski. Bravo!!!

But In a bizarre twist, those GOP senators who voted against the Franken amendment are now livid because they're facing criticism over the vote. Worse, they're furious with Franken for not defending them for having voted against his amendment. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) added, "I don't know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won't see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him. I think hopefully he'll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that's important to Minnesota."

All I can say is to reiterate earlier comments I have made, the Republicans are miscalculating their stance against anything the Democrats propose and it will cost them in future elections. What harm could it have done to have a unanimous support for this amendment in the hopes of creating more bipartisanship in the Senate. It wouldn't have cost them anything to do it. Another lost opportunity by most, but not all, Republican Senators. America is the loser here. What a shame! It was passed into law on Dec. 21st along with Defense Appropriations, while we were all preparing for Christmas. Here's something to be grateful for in 2009.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Concerns about the National Debt versus Healthcare reform: Are the Republicans right screaming about Democrats making the Country broke?

As you can see from the above chart, the data has the actual debt incurred by year and by President from Ronald Reagan's Presidency to 2006 year end of George W. Bush's Presidency. In adding up the debt incurred by Republican Presidents during that time, I get a total of 6.135 Trillion dollars were added to the National Debt by Republicans as compared to 1.820 Trillion dollars added by Democratic Presidents. This data does not include the debt added by George W. Bush for the years 2007 and 2008 of his presidency which amounted to about $2 Trillion dollars more, as the stimulus package of about $800 Billion was added during his last year, plus more because of the unfunded debt from both the war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan.

So this morning to hear all the Republicans screaming that it is such a burden on the National Debt and for our children and grandchildren for generations to come, who must pay this eventually off, is morally abhorring as an argument given that over 82% of our National Debt has been incurred by Republican Presidents term in office. Don't let them get away with such disingenuous claims. It's a disgrace and morally reprehensible as well. Oh, and don't go trying to blame the Democratic controlled Congress during some of George W. Bush's years. Bush had the lowest number of Vetoes as President with 12 Vetoes during his 8 years as President, It wasn't since before Hoover,all the way to President Warren Harding, that a President had cast less vetoes, so he must have endorsed the spending. Where was the outrage by the Republican Senators then about what President Bush was doing. Where were the filibusters then to grind government to a halt when Senator Frist was Senate Majority leader? Where was Sen. John McCain back then? Where were the other Republican Senators like DeMint, Shelby, Grassley, Chambliss, McConnell, Cornyn etc., etc., etc.?

Where's the media calling them on this. Our media is part of the problem as well. I'm outraged! Aren't you? According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, this healthcare Legislation will REDUCE the National Debt!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

The last word on the Senate Healthcare Legislation and the affect it has had on theirstock prices

Well the data is now complete with today's action. As you can see from the 2 charts above, the Senate Bill has been a good thing for the Health Insurance companies and their shareholders and not so good for average Americans. I don't know where these two stocks go from here but I will track them until a Final Bill is passed by both the House and Senate and ready for the President's signature. I will not post any more on these two companies or the topic until then. I will return to writing about the stock market, politics and news items of personal interest but for now that's it on this topic.

I want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas as we are only a few days away. Whatever your faith, it is a time to enjoy loved ones and try to forget about other pressing matters. Remember to be generous to those in need more than just for Christmas as many need help. Local Food Banks are a good place to give as are local Shelters for the homeless.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

United Healthcare & Wellpoint win delay on healthcare tax

You read that headline correctly. They had it planned all along and that may be at the core of why United Healthcare, symbol UNH, stock moved up almost 18% in just 8 trading days. Here's some excerpts from the news out this morning from

Health Insurers Win Delay on Start of $70 Billion in Added Fees

By Alex Nussbaum

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc. and smaller U.S. insurers gained a year under Senate Democrats’ proposed health-care legislation before the start of a tax that industry lobbyists say will drive up premiums.

The measure proposed yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would also exempt some nonprofit insurers from the tax, shifting more of the burden to the for-profit companies, said Elizabeth Hall, a vice president at Indianapolis-based WellPoint.

The insurer tax, amounting to about $70 billion over 10 years, was to start next year under a previous version of the Senate measure. That would have forced insurers to take $6.7 billion out of profit, since they’ve already signed contracts setting rates for 2010, said Matthew Borsch, a New York-based analyst for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., in a Dec. 16 interview. The new version also postpones more of the tax until after other parts of the health overhaul kick in.

“We made some pretty salient arguments that people are going to be paying for something before they see any benefit,” Hall said in a telephone interview today. “There’s a policy logic behind it and also a political logic: Who wants to tax their constituents before they see any benefits?”

Without the change, Borsch said, 2010 earnings per share at UnitedHealth, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, would have been cut 25 percent, while those at WellPoint would have been diminished 28 percent.

I have said in previous posts to watch the stock prices of these healthcare stocks to see if these changes are good for average Americans. If the stock prices keep going up, it is good for their shareholders but bad for average Americans. If their stock price drops, it will be bad for shareholders and good for average Americans. Let's see where the price of the stocks go when the trading day closes on Monday.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Are the polls right on Healthcare and if so, what does it mean for 2010 midterm elections?

The media has used the healthcare debate to claim that Republicans stall tactics and Filibustering will result in them gaining about 25 to 30 seats from the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. So let's take a look at this claim and look at the polls as to where the Public is in the latest polls on Healthcare.

According to the Poll of Polls, dated 12/9/09, 54% of Americans are in support of the Public Option.

One Poll conducted from Dec. 16 to Dec. 17th asked this question:

Would you favor or oppose creating a public health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies? Here's the data breaKdown:

I think the data above is clear. As you can see, 57% of Independents favor the Public Option. All that nonsense you hear by Republican Senators, who are against the Public Option, that the majority of Americans are against it, is just plain bunk. Of course, you can see clearly those surveyed, who are Republicans, are against it. But Republicans are a minority Party today and between Democrats and Independents that represents about 75% of the population. It's a shame the Republicans can get the media to go along with their myths. Former Congressmen like Dick Armey spread the lies and the media doesn't call them on it often enough. It never used to be that way. As I have said here many times, I had voted for Reagan. There was more middle ground in politics then. It seems now that has changed for the foreseeable future. Where are those reasonable Republican Senators anymore? Only a few remain like Dick Lugar and Bob Dole. They are in high demand and that is the Republican which will eventually emerge if the Republicans are to once again become a relevant Party to jointly work for the common good and yet provide the necessary balance of power.

I personally believe today's Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell, John Kyle, Richard Shelby, Saxby Chambliss, Chuck Grassley, Sam Brownback, John Cornyn, David Vitter and others in the House of Representatives have miscalculated. I can't see Independents voting for Republicans in midterm elections given the poll data above on the Public Option. It does appeal to their base but their base has shrunk. So while popular with the base, they will lose more seats in 2010 if this fails to get approved and it will make Democrats more determined than ever to get a more than 60 vote majority in the Senate. What do you think?

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

United Healthcare gains 17.1% in just 8 days. I wonder why?

I had to post another chart and comment on the Health Insurance companies and how far their stock price has advanced. I am not going to repeat myself here so if you want the background read the previous several posts. But in summary, United Healthcare's stock has advanced 17.1% since the company knew the Public Option was going out of the Senate Bill on Dec. 6th and then the option to have people 55 and older get a chance to buy in to the Medicare program died on Dec 14th. Can you imagine a stock gaining 17.1% in just 8 days!!!! Unbelievable! And the volume went up a factor of 2.5 times to 3 times the previous 20 days. So this move up is for real and not just a blip on the charts.

I also was keeping track of Wellpoint to see how their stock moved. Well the verdict is in, Wellpoint has gained 10.4%. Now you know how the Insurance companies view this legislation. It is a boon for them and their shareholders and it is going to hurt the average American and the country as Healthcare costs are going to rise for the country.

All I can say is that this is disgusting.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on Health Insurance stocks and the Senate Legislation's expected impact

In keeping track of the Health Insurance companies of United Healthcare and Wellpoint's stock price to give us average Americans insight as to whether the proposed changes to the Healthcare legislation will be good for us. Well last night word came down that now the Senate has decided to eliminate the 55 year old Medicare idea, which was to help the Bill's passage instead of the Public Option. Senator Joe Lieberman was the one who again said he was not for it, even while, in September, he came out with the idea himself, as a way forward. Now he has gone back to his masters in CT and gotten more new instructions. So now he opposes it. I think Joe is looking to retire from the Senate when his term ends. Gee, I wonder what Industry he is going to work for? Any guesses?

Anyway, the charts above show that since the Public Option got scrapped, the Healthcare companies stocks have soared. In the case of United Healthcare, with the market gains including today so far, the stock is up 13.8% in just 7 business day. That is an unbelievable climb. Wellpoint has gained 9.8% during the same period. It too is a remarkable gain. The overall market has gained 0.7% in the same time period. It has been basically flat. So there is no doubt the Health Insurance public companies are thrilled at the idea of mandating insurance for everyone and subsidized by the government and no restrictions to contain costs in effect, for these companies. Bravo Congress! You are screwing up again to try to get a 60 vote majority to get this through. The Republicans wouldn't be so accommodating if they were in the drivers seat here. If they didn't have the 60 votes and they were in control of the Congress and it was a particular piece of legislation which would reduce taxes or something, they would go to reconciliation if they didn't have the votes and ramrod it through. I have always said the Democrats have the best teachers right next to them in how to wield power in Congress. It is the Republican Party. The problem is that the Democrats are made up of a lot of weak people.

UPDATE: 4:00pm PST

Well now you know we are losing as average Americans. The Democrats are trying to put lipstick on this pig and sell it to the public. It doesn't work for me. There are not real cost controls and we will be back dealing with this in 4 years after 2012 election. You just wait and see.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gold or Silver? Long or Short?

I thought that since there has been much made recently of the move of Gold this past 6 months to a year, that I would comment on it as a current market play. And, I can't talk about Gold without talking about Silver because over the past 5-10 years, when Gold moves up, Silver moves up at a faster rate, and if Gold moves down, Silver moves down at a faster rate. So as far as I am concerned, the play when considering either as a stock play, Silver is the one to consider.

Let's start by looking at the 1 year chart of both precious metals below. The first chart is the 1 year Gold chart. It had a low of $815 and a high of about $1225/ounce for a gain of $410 from the low or 50.3% for Gold.

The second chart is the 1 year Silver chart. It had a low of $10.50 and a high of about $19.50/ounce for a gain of $9 from the low or 85.7% for Silver. You getting my drift here and why I have always written here that Silver is the play overall when considering the greatest gains during times of significant movement in price? Hope so!

Ok, now let's take a broader look at both metals on a 5 year chart for each. The first chart is the 5 year Gold chart. It had a low of $400 and a high of about $1225/ounce for a gain of $825 from the low or 206% for Gold.

The second chart is the 5 year Silver chart. It had a low of $6.50 and a high of about $20.90/ounce for a gain of $14.40 from the low or 222% for Silver. When comparing both precious metals now for both periods, it is clear that over the longer haul, Silver still outpaces the gains in Gold as a trade and particularly over the past year, while Gold has gotten all the attention, Silver was the trade play to make for the move up. You still with me? Ok, now to the final point of this post.

This last chart shows an ETF Ultra Short of Silver, symbol ZSL for the past year. You will notice it has had the inverse move of Silver to the downside. It had a high of $23.75 and a low of $3.66 for a loss of 84.6%. I bought the Ultra Short ETF, ZSL, because I expect that Silver is going to drop again and settle back to a more normal level and that the gains in this should far outpace any other investment. The reason is that if it goes back to where it was a year ago, you do the math. I just bought it at $4.24/share and if it goes back to its former 1 year high of $23.75, that's a gain of $19.51 or 460%. Now you get it! Even if it goes only half way back to where Silver drops back to only half of its price move, say around $13-$14/ounce, it is a huge percentage gain for this investment trade. Many say inflation is on the horizon. I say not for quite a while and this play will be over before that happens in my humble opinion. We still have some deflation out there. I think it's a no brainer.

And if you look carefully at the last 5 data points of ZSL on the 2 month chart below, you will notice it is headed up and the volume is strong. I think the case to consider this as an ETF stock to trade is strong. The three trend lines, the 9 day Moving average line as well as the 18 and 27 day resistance lines, have all fallen. We closed also above the 50 day Moving average line on Friday. Have I built a strong enough case fpr you yet to consider this?

Remember, I do not now your own financial situation and can't advise anyone as to what to do as you are responsible for your own investments and I am not a licensed financial advisor. I'm just someone trying to stimulate your thinking about your investments. But I would certainly talk this over with your own personal financial advisor and get some expert advice. Ok, I have given the obligatory cautionary note. The rest is up to you to check out.

Consider being a Follower of this Blog by clicking on the word "Follower" at the top of this page just above the WETHEPEOPLE title. Wishing you more prosperity and good health in the New Year.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

How will the Healthcare legislation work for the average American? Watch the stock price!

Well, several days have passed since I posted about the Healthcare Bill that the Senate committee of 10 approved and that we are waiting for the CBO scoring on the idea. Remember I said, the word has already been leaked to their patrons, the healthcare company execs and they know how it will affect them. I said we had no clue as to whether the new compromise to kill the Public Option vs. expanded Medicare for those age 55 and above w/o any insurance, was good for the average American. But I said to watch the stock price of the Heath Insurance companies to get a read. If the stocks went up, then it was bad for the average American, but good for shareholders and if the price of their stocks went down, it was bad for shareholders and good for average Americans. Well, the data is in on at least the past 4 days when the healthcare Insurance bill has been announced, even though we don't know any details.

Looking at the charts above for the last 4 data points, what do you conclude? To me it is obvious but I would like you to state it clearly here. For example, United Healthcare has gained 10.2% since the deal was known 4 days ago. Wellpoint gained 6.8% in those same 4 days. Do you have ANY stocks which have gained that amount in just the past 4 days? I doubt it! It's because many see the healthcare insurance companies still able to reap big profits, at the expense of average Americans. They like not having competition. The Public Option would have given them good competition. Now there isn't any.

Thanks for any comments posted.

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50,000 Visitors

Thanks to all my Visitors and Friends. Today this site reached a new milestone with 50,000 Visitors having read 80,000 pages. It has been a lot of fun writing this Blog and receiving comments from the readers as to what their reaction is to my point of view. No time to rest on this accomplishment, as I go to the next major milestone, 100,000 visitors. Thanks again!

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Is the proposed Healthcare Legislation good for us? Watch healthcare stocks!

I was wondering what the reaction would be to the latest Senate move to drop the Public Option from the proposed Healthcare legislation. A group of 10 Senate Democrats, under the direction of Sen. Harry Reid, were asked to try to craft a compromise bill on the question of how to resolve the "Public Option" issue, which the House had passed in its legislation. There were 5 Progressives in the group and 5 Moderate Senators. They reached agreement to drop the "Public Option" in favor of extending Medicare Benefits to make people 55 years or older eligible for the program. I was wondering whether this is a sellout of those Americans who want the Public Option, because they feel it is the only way for true competition to keep costs down in Healthcare, or whether they would view this as a net positive to do this. I didn't know where to look as this idea has floated around in the news media since the weekend publicly. Where should I look for that tidbit of a clue as to the answer to that question? I found it. It was to look at the change in price of healthcare stocks!

So I looked at the stocks of WellPoint and United Healthcare to give me the answer. In the 1 month chart above you can see the answer to that question if you look at the last 2 trading days. I think that the United Healthcare 1 month chart above is the most revealing, as it clearly shows a reversal in the price of the stock in the past few days. Now it is heading up. The Wellpoint 1 month chart shows more upward movement as well, the past 2 days. So, if you think this proposed Healthcare Legislation banging around in the Senate is good for the average American, you are wrong.

It will be good for the Health Insurance companies and so those owning their stocks will benefit. There will be a lot of smoke and mirrors, used by the Senate, to sell this as "good for America" but I am not going to believe it. The stock market response is a reasonable way to determine whether this is good for the average American and the data is already in. Don't wait for the Congressional Budget office data to say anything to the contrary. They will show this helps reduce costs in some fashion.

As to the Healthcare companies stocks, I'll bet that today both of those stocks rise again. Check back tomorrow and watch for the overall stock market to rise as well as there is more at stake than just these two companies. The healthcare sector will be one sector of several which leads the markets higher today .

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bad economy, jobs lost, huge government debt: Do you want this to change? Then wake up and pay attention to what has happened!

Ok, I am on a rant and while I am at it I wanted to comment again about why we are in trouble as a country and how each political Party over the past 25 years has advanced or tried to eliminate some of the problems. As I said in my last post, Republicans say they are against big government. I don't think any Republican out there would argue against that claim. But as you can see from the chart above, (and please click on it to enlarge it and take a real good look at it), it is much worse than even this chart has shown, the Republicans have created most of the debt of this country. This is indisputable and based on the facts. Now they tell him to "Reduce the burden on our children and grandchildren (which they created). It makes sense they would do this from a values perspective when you think about it. What better way to shrink the size of all government than borrowing money for things like tax cuts and wars of choice (Iraq) and putting the government into a debt so large that the only thing anyone can do is either raise taxes, which Republicans are so much against, or shrink the size of government. That has been their strategy for the past 25 years. The Republicans have deliberately raised the debt so there isn't any money available to solve problems like healthcare for all or paying teachers a decent wage based on how important it is to be able to compete in the world with a first rate education.

President Obama and the Fed are trying to do everything they can to help get us out of the most recent mess, which by the way wasn't created by most Americans. It was created by the Free Enterprise program run amuck by a relatively small number of greedy individuals through a push for deregulation in both Banking and Insurance. It is those same greedy people who want as many tax breaks as they can get, some not even willing to pay their fair share of taxes. For them, it's all about me philosophy. Most of the social change that has happened in this country has been the result of the Democratic Party, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

So I guess I am more of a Democrat these days than a Republican. I am more left than right leaning and I voted for Reagan when he ran for President. But the Republican party of the past 25 years is nothing like the Republican Party of 25-50 years ago. They were more rational, tried to do the right thing for Americans and were more willing to work in the middle of the spectrum with Democrats. Those days are over as is the former Republican Party. We became a debtor nation under Republican leadership. I am totally behind our President for the changes we had hoped for. He will succeed if we get behind him as this is still our country. The voices against him are the ones who created all of our mess. Get behind him or you will lose your country for good. There, now I have said it!

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Private Healthcare versus the Public Option: What's the simple argument?

I thought I should post something today on the healthcare debate that was unique. With all the debate and arguments made that were trying to trash the Public Option being included in the final Bill in the Senate, no one has made the most obvious reason why the Government is the answer to this problem and NOT the Private health Insurance companies. You see the Republican argument to kill the Public Option is that we shouldn't have Government in the business of providing Insurance to Americans, the uninsured should let the free market solve the problem. let me state what's wrong with that argument in plain, clear language. They haven't solved the problem the past 150 plus years so why will they start now? I don't see anything wrong with buying Private Health Insurance, as many can afford it, but, there are many who can't, and what should their fate be?

When I was young, my Mom worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) in Massachusetts as a Claims processor. My son-in-law works for BSBS of VT and I have consulted to many of the BCBS plans as a Consultant to them. There wasn't the problem then with worrying about coverage by the Health Insurance companies in those days. In those days the BCBS company and Association was a Not-For-Profit business. But they watched some of their competitors making more salary and bonuses and eventually it caught them too. The Free Enterprise system became the biggest attraction and draw to these companies' executives in the 1980's and many began to look for ways to make money and they drifted away from their core mission and noble cause and, many say, became just like any other Health insurer.

You see the main difference is philosophical between Democrats, who favor Government involvement, and the Republicans, who favor small Government. The result of the Free market economy can be seen clearly for what it is, a Boom or Bust cycle. That's what has happened to our economy since my parents were born in the early 1900's, and that is what always happens in Free markets. They create boom and bust cycles and big bubbles. Right now we are going through a boom cycle for the Insurers and that is why they are fighting this so forcefully. But when they get into trouble, watch who asks for a bailout by government. Americans health care can not be left to Boom or Bust cycles. We need a healthcare system that is more constant and consistent and helps all equally, irrespective of the financial resources of the individual. Quality Healthcare should be a right for all our citizens and the Government is the only guarantor for the long haul, just like it protects us from enemies abroad who would wish to change our way of life.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Stock Market outlook to year end.

I thought it was time I updated my charts on the progress of the Dow and the S&P 500, as it has been a while since I had. Above, are 3 year charts of both of these Indexes. You will notice that we clearly broke above the 3 year red downtrend line and are now in no man's land, between the Blue and the red line. We do have resistance on both of these charts noted by the Blue lines, which in my view will keep us restricted until well after the end of year into earnings season in January. These Blue lines show where there was previous support in a declining trend, which now are new resistance levels in an uptrending market. If you are of the belief that things are on the long way back up, then you should see a break above these Blue lines, after we see the 4th quarter earnings data reported through until about mid February, when 2/3 of the companies earnings will have been reported.

If on the other hand, you believe that we have run up too far, then during this same timeframe you should see the market stay below the Blue line and most likely fall below the red line.

The real question is this, will the stock market reflect the real economy of Main Street or will it continue to disconnect? I think it can disconnect for only so long as some brave soul will eventually say and be heard, The Emperor has no clothes!. In this case it would need to be the U.S. economy is going to take a good 5 to 10 years to recover and the stock market will be stuck flat, waiting for it to catch up to the hype reflected in stocks. Honestly, I have no clue what is going to happen as we see the next big wave of bubbles burst, Commercial Real Estate.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

The November Unemployment rate comes down for the first time in a long time.

The Unemployment rate for November came in at 10.0% a change from 10.2% in October. This is the first time it has been down any in a long time. Non Farm payrolls were down 11,000 jobs.

Before the announcement the Futures showed the Dow up 25 and now it is up 130 points in pre market. The Nasdaq looks good as well as it is up 25 points now in premarket.


The Dow closed up 22 points but was as high as 148 points higher, earlier in the day.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I support President Obama's decision regarding Afghanistan. Do you?

I listened to President Obama last night giving his rationale for adding more troops in Iraq. While I wish we weren't there I do support the President and his strategy. He gave this process a good chance to evaluate all options and I am convinced he chose the least worst decision. We must allow this to play out as the General's have put together their best thinking. We took over Afghanistan in a very short period, so I am hopeful we can do it again, thanks to our brave and committed soldiers and their families. I hope both NATO and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai lives up to our expectations here or this won't work.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mini Poll summary for November

I asked the same question I have been asking for over 8 months: "How long do you believe this recession will last?" The responses for November showed an increasing trend to a longer period of time than the first few months I asked the question. There were 56% of those responding who see us going into a Depression (28%), or see it will take longer than the choices I have provided (14%) or until 2012 (14%). The most frequent choice seemed to be that we are going to go into a Depression. There were 43 people who voted in the November Poll. We start all over again now for the month of December so please vote and only once in a month. Thanks. I will be putting together a chart of the results for the year in the beginning of January for 2009.

Here's the breakdown by choice.

1 End 2009 16%
2 Mid 2010 16%
3 End 2010 5%
4 Mid 2011 2%
5 End 2011 5%
6 Mid 2012 2%
7 End 2012 12%
8 Much longer 14%
9 Depression 28%

Here's a look at all the data:
Data for December, then January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September and November:

2009 39%, 42%, 34%, 33%, 29%, 18%, 9%, 16%, 9%, 11%, 16%
2010 30%, 23%, 16%, 21%, 48%, 34%, 23%, 19%, 16%, 19%, 21%
2011 20%, 17%, 20%, 6%, 8%, 8%, 12%, 9%, 2%, 12%, 7%
2012 0%, 0%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 26%, 29%, 33%, 46%, 11%, 12%
Much Longer than the choices you have provided 0%, 0%, 10%, 12%, 0%, 11%, 14%, 12%, 11%, 39%, 14%
Depression 12%, 19%, 18%, 24%, 13%, 4%, 14%, 10%, 18%, 8%, 28%*

* November was the highest month showing concern for a Depression. It is not conducive to a positive holiday Shopping year and increased Retail Sales.

Unemployment numbers coming out for the month of November on Friday. Mist experts and pundants belueve it will drop from 10.2% to 10.0% for November. We shall see.

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