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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:33 PM
AR AR is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,597

Such a lack of perspective, Paul, I hardly know where to begin.

Let's start with this: Anybody in this day and age who calls an 800 point Dow drop a "haircut" probably doesn't have the ideal temperament to be an equities investor. Of course Wall Street wanted Romney to win. We knew that before the election. They're all sitting around figuring out how to circumvent regulations so they can continue to line their pockets without contributing to productivity in terms of goods and services. So they surely didn't want Obama back. Giving them Elizabeth Warren as a bonus brought them to the brink of apoplexy.

In fact at our last meeting with our financial adviser Terry and I were kidding with him about all three of us getting ready to vote against our short-term financial self-interest.

Next, anybody who attributes a short-term market move in either direction to a single cause has, by definition, done a poor analysis. The markets are now essentially world markets, and as much as Americans refuse to understand it, what happens in this country isn't the whole story.

Next, your math skills are lacking. Let's take the random number 2,000 as an example. If that number is cut in half to 1,000, that's a 50% drop. But if you're at 1,000 and it increases to 2,000 (where it started), that's a 100% increase. A 50% increase would only take it to 1,500. Didn't we learn this in high school?

So, in round numbers, it isn't wrong to say that before the recent sell-off, the Dow and S&P had made nearly 100% gains since the crash, bringing them almost back to their October 9, 2007 (not 2008) highs of 14,164.53 and 1,565.14 respectively. The percentage issue is essentially irrelevant, mostly because of the mathematical anomaly demonstrated above. The reason the overall economy hasn't done better in the face of this is essentially that large companies continue to hoard cash on their balance sheets.

Next, of course it's true that the market drop continued after Obama's inauguration, but we all know that the landslide started with the bubble burst in late 2007 that continued into 2009. The bust was squarely on Bush, and was reversed during Obama to near status quo ante before the current downturn.

Many people foolishly sold equities into the crash. Most of those who didn't, and who have invested wisely and well since then, are well ahead of the game now, despite the current "haircut."

So if it's OK with you, I'll refrain from claiming that the sky is falling just yet, I'll get my haircuts at the barber shop, and I'll continue to sleep very well at night.
The most dangerous man in society is the man who has nothing left to lose. -- Saul Bellow
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