Irrational Exuberance

Irrational Exuberance

In 1996, when the then Federal Reserve Chair, Alan Greenspan coined the phrase “Irrational Exuberance”, it troubled folks but also incorrectly forecast a precipitous drop in the markets.  It took another three years. 

It doesn’t take a Federal Reserve Chair to see it again, and it will not take three more years for the markets to drop like a lead balloon.  In fact, it’s hard to believe that any serious investor watching Donald Trump’s early moves, especially those decimating key international trade pacts, would not immediately bail out and take refuge in insured cash accounts, and perhaps some gold and diamonds too.

We surely are fooling ourselves, believing that lower corporate taxes and fewer restrictions will boost the economy and lead us all down the road to riches.  Cooler heads can look beyond the hype and realize that constraints on manufacturing lower cost goods abroad and on selling worldwide thanks to multinational trade agreements represent the bulwarks of our 21 Century economy.  Withdrawing inside our borders will kill our economy.

We are decidedly blinded by irrational exuberance.

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Heads in the Sand

Heads in the Sand

We all, everyone of us, have our heads in the sands.  Most of those who voted for Trump have yet to realize what they have wrought.  But they will.  The rest know now, but are unable to face the reality of it all. 

In fact, we are all trying with every fiber in our hearts to ignore the catastrophe that is about to happen.  It’s like an entire people in a sleep walk.  And that’s in the United States.  Beyond our borders, the populations of our allies are stunned too, contemplating the end of the world order as we know it.

And then John Lewis says the obvious, Trump put him down, and there is silence again.  We are a people in line, awaiting our turn in the crematoria.  We are too stunned and too afraid.  Too afraid even to think of parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren. 

We have brought this about ourselves.  We are not bold, daring and willing to put ourselves on the line – to confront the monster.  We have convinced ourselves, because it is the easiest thing to do, that there is nothing that we can do. We the people – the population at large and our leaders – are hiding behind a veil of silence. And, that very silence has drowned John Lewis. 

And, there is no other voice, and the silence is deafening.

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Image: Courtesy: Huffington Post

If Ever There Was A Time ...

If Ever There Was A Time ...

Donald Trump will be president in a matter of days, regardless of what Russia may have on him.  He may be impeached in a matter of days too, but that is less certain. 

But, whatever the days ahead may have in store for us, under any of many scenarios, the news ain’t good.  Not good for the country, not good for its people, not good for the confidence we all share that the sun will come up in the morning and set in the evening, and certainly not good for the markets. Even the most optimistic among us must accept that the political, social and economic pillars we have rested on for centuries have become dangerously unmoored.   Any and all things, positions, and people we have taken for granted are up for grabs.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that we are on our own.  Listening to familiar gurus is of little help – they know no more than we.

So what are our absolutely next steps:

  1. Stay optimistic.  It is hard to believe that the country won’t have wherewithal, the fodder, and the good sense to impeach Trumputin in the early weeks and months.
  2. Retain relationships with all.  This will be over and, as a nation, we will move forward again.
  3. And don’t be a fool and assume that we will get out of this unscathed.

Thus, act in your own interests and take commonsensical steps to protect yourself in this tumultuous period:

  1. put aside an emergency fund
  2. reduce you exposure to markets that will reverse themselves
  3. regardless of how much or little money you have, be prudent and strategic by putting most of it in FDIC and NCUA-insured savings and CDs

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