by Larry Teren
The big news in the financial markets the other day was the lowering by Moody’s Investor Service of fifteen major banks ratings. To most of us, the news elicited a big shrug of the shoulders. After all, banks haven’t been paying out much interest to depositors for the past few years. I think the monthly interest I get on my personal checking account is at .01 (or 1/100th of a) percent. I look forward to the eight cents added to my account each month (yawn).
The current economic malaise seems to be intertwined with the real estate market. Not to help matters any, the same day that the news item was broadcast about Moody, another announcement was made by so-called economists that it will take at least ten years for real estate values to return back to what they were in 2008. Just abut the time I’m ready to retire. That’s just great. I’d like home values to return back to what they were in 1998 when I bought the lousy condominium. I can accept not making any money when I eventually sell but to take such a loss?
To be sure- there are some people apparently making money. I try following them down the street hoping that wads of currency or debit cards fall out of their pockets. Even if I intend to be honest and return the lost cash with expectations of a reward, I doubt if they would understand the protocol as so many of those with cash flow seem to be running around speaking something other than English. Which reminds me- you wanna know why most Americans don’t understand the European money crisis? Because it’s Greek to them.
I had this whole socioeconomic thing figured out believing that Hispanics have overrun this country offering to work for much less than those born here which kind of upsets the wage scale. But, then my dream of winning the Nobel Prize in Political Correctness got shattered when I heard over the radio that same day- talk about a trifecta- that the largest influx of foreigners here now are Asians and not Latino. I should have studied Chinese, Japanese, Korean or whatever instead of Spanish back in high school in the past century. But, who knew?
The fourth thing I heard about the economy on that day was to expect gas prices to continue a downward trend. The financial geniuses said something about the demand for oil was reflected in the souring economy. Okay I’ll buy that. And I’d buy a few more things if the prices went down relatively to what my condo cost in the mid 1990’s, which is about where it is now.
It just seemed like a half a year ago, some con men had everyone believing that gold would be worth more than $2000 an ounce. Now they are melting their copper pennies trying to corner the market in that alloy.
If I was enterprising, I would market Moody rings. Some of us who were around forty years ago would get the joke. In the meantime, I just hope it is sooner than later that we can call all of this fretting a mood point.