Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's Always the Economy, Stupid!

The British pound is exchanging 1.99 to our US dollar (that a penny shy of two to one!)
The Euro is 1.50 to one US dollar. The Canadian dollar at 1.01 is worth a penny more than us!
Even the Mexican Peso is gaining on us, at 10 cents to the US dollar - its at its highest exchange rate ever.
Back in 2002 when I was in Europe the Euro was between 90 and 95 cents to an American dollar, the British pound around 1.25-1.30 and the Peso was pennies on the dollar. Currently the Australian dollar, the Japanese Yen, the Swedish Krona, and the Swiss Franc all trending strong.
Here at home the Stock market is like riding Space Mountain and the housing market has birthed a new word-”stagflation” Why?;-Banks and home sales are imploding from loans that should have never been granted and whose legacy was to ”overstimulate” with artificial money, the checks and balances of supply and demand, buyer and seller, that normally drives the housing market which resulted in a bumper crop of overextended homeowners tumbling into foreclosure. A house of cards that has collapsed. Again-Why?-Well… where do I start.? To begin with my financial pundit buddy tells me that since 1985 the US dollar has devalued 48% because our federal reserve has been printing more money out of thin air than all predecessors back to 1913 combined. This means more US dollars chasing less supply. Now this is when the economists jump in and explain why mere mortals don’t understand this isn’t as negative as it sounds. And this is when I filter it through a lens I can understand.
So how did we get here? Ask an Econ Professor, Financial wizard, or CPA and you’ll get macroeconomics, statistical trends, and charts. When you muddle through the dizzying facts you learn there is plenty of bipartisan blame to go around. You learn that like most things stupid, it didn’t happen overnight.
I’m not a financial wizard , but I am fairly well educated, a life long learner, with a doctorate in the school of hard knocks and a PH.D in common sense and my common sense meter is off the chain!
To begin with you can’t just throw money around globally in a big way with unabated bravado and not expect to hit the wall financially sooner or later. We are hemorrhaging money in Iraq to the tune of billions a month. Bush’s Folly is as much an economic nightmare as is the rest of this war.
Add to this the slow drip of money, jobs and resources being taken from our country from outsourcing, unbalanced trade agreements, and unchecked immigration and we are becoming more anemic every day, bleeding from every orifice the life’s blood of our economy. The heart and lungs of our economy are laboring to keep us upright and the strain is getting acute.
Talk about a wakeup call! I called Bank of America’s 800 line last month on a bank matter. Their queu prompt?……… Press 1 if you are calling re: a business account –Press 2 if you are calling re: a residential account.— Press 3 if you want to wire money to Mexico. Drip Drip Drip…. (i’m not making this up!)
Coming next-The Economic Stimulus Package isn’t going to do much for us but the Chinese are gonna love it

No comments: