Today is the nastiest downdraft yet in this volatile month. Last week, I discussed some of the causes. But aside from all the playerz on The Street losing (or winning), many average Americans’ fears can be explained by a conversation I had yesterday. “It’s taken us all this time to rebuild our savings (from the…More
Category: Stock market
Regular readers know that I adhere to the axiom that nobody really knows what causes sudden, big moves in the stock market, short of war or another obvious shock. If one sticks to “greed” and “fear,” that’s about as accurate as it gets. Still, as I write, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more…More
In fits and starts, stocks continue to extend last year’s rally, even if some valuations don’t make sense. The bond market is troubled, worried. Trading is oddly quiet and plenty of bad bets have been made. Economist Nouriel Roubini calls it a “schizophrenia” facing investors. He has also been concerned about the beginning…More
The Nasdaq suffered its worst selloff since 2011 on Thursday. It’s down again today. There are a few exceptions: Microsoft is doing OK. But most tech stocks are selling off. As I write, Amazon.com shares are down 1.8 percent. The situation is not limited to tech — markets worldwide suffered a severe collapse overnight — but…More
How can it be that the five-year bull market — the Obama rally, if you will — coincides with a national effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and a robust campaign in Seattle for $15? Many shares on Wall Street are at record highs, yet inequality is at Gilded Age levels….More
The stock market is moving into official correction territory. Outflows from emerging market equity funds are in “panic” mode, as the Wall Street Journal puts it. Tapering by the Federal Reserve and more attractive interest rates at home are hammering countries from Brazil and Turkey to India and Argentina. So are domestic economic and political…More
So much for the “economy will improve in 2014 (really!)” stories. The stock market is struggling to avoid another big sell-off today. But bargain hunters are facing the downdraft of jitters over emerging markets. As their stock markets crash and fear gathers about Chinese manufacturing and debt, it will be more difficult to continue the…More
A reader writes, under the heading: “Care to explain the reasons for the dramatic rise in the stock market indices since 1/01/13?:
Low federal minimum wage? Low minimum wage affects only a very, very small segment of all people employed in this country, and even smaller portion of the number of people casting votes for president in 2012.
Leftist’s goal is something close to equality of outcomes. Not mathematical equality, but something closer to equality of outcomes.
Are you aware of any instances where machines are being yarded-out in order to make room for more employees? Higher minimum wage advocates are complaining about symptoms, paying no attention to causes of inequality. The pickle that the (so-called) machinists are in vividly demonstrates what higher wage costs do; drive employment away. The desire for higher profits on the part of shareholders is a given, and not easily satisfied.
The pickle that the City of Detroit is in can be attributed to a few things, higher employment costs being one of them, street gangs and unbelievable violent crime rates being others. “Rent-seeking” in Detroit was and probably still is rampant. Want to be elected in Detroit? Promise a fat pension, then face no consequences when unable to deliver 30 years down the road.
The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation will not be required to help.
How do you like long dead liberal politicians now?
The assembly line, improved upon by Henry Ford, cut unit labor required to build an automobile by about 90%.
Cutting recruitment and training costs more than made up for increases in hourly labor rates. H. Ford was not a shining example of an altruist.
Twitter, the social-network outfit that made 140 characters famous and turned millions of us into tweeps who tweet (I’m @jontalton), is preparing for its initial public offering. Its prospectus, made public on Thursday, revealed that it has been steadily losing money, has yet to turn a profit, and has seen user growth slow since…More
This week the National Institute on Retirement Security released a report showing that 90 percent of working-age households aren’t saving enough for retirement. About 45 percent have nothing saved. The result is a retirement savings gap between $6.8 trillion and $14 trillion. For those near retirement, the median retirement account balance is $12,000, and for all households it totals $3,000.
The findings confirm that the American Dream of retiring comfortably after a lifetime of work will be impossible for many. Based on 401(k)–type account and IRA balances alone, some 92 percent of working households do not meet conservative retirement savings targets for their age and income. Even when counting their entire net worth, 65 percent still fall short.
This is not exactly new-news. The baby boomers were the first generation to be forced into 401(k)s instead of pensions, and all too often they were given little schooling about the mechanics or stakes of this dramatic change. The new benefits were hostage to the stock market and the participants were completely on their own. Company matching contributions became more rare. In addition, changes in the economy such as globalization and the decimation of unions left huge portions of the workforce without any job-related retirement benefits at all, even as overall wages were stagnating. Much wealth was lost in the housing crash. This squeeze is worse for younger workers facing lower wages and high college debt. To make matter worse, politicians keep wanting to cut “entitlements,” including Social Security that is essential to senior citizens (it would be better to call them what they are: Earned benefits). And if we’re expected to work until we die, there have to be jobs and employers willing to hire older workers.
In a heavily unequal America, the top 20 percent or so will do fine. What about you? (Honor system: Answer if you are not retired already, having benefited from the middle class at its zenith).
Read on for some of the important stories you might have missed.More