Stock tip: invest in red ink futures!
The bean counters at Blaska Policy Werkes are counting our blessings. Preliminary data indicates that we possess fewer of those things in our account than two weeks ago. But we’re healthy — if less wealthy.
So the Squire and doyenne of the manor welcome the two, tax-free $1,200 checks that Uncle Foolish promises to send in three weeks, if the Reps in the House ever quit yammering for the C-Span cameras.
The indentured servants (working without pay) have placed a bench next to the mailbox, inviting the intrepid USPS delivery man to set a spell. Closer to the Great Day of Arrival, a can of energy drink and a Snickers bar. We encourage our neighbors here in Orchard Ridge, Madison WI, to do the same, lest the mailman weary from his labors, delaying the life-giving manna raining down from Washington upon our up-turned faces.
Indeed, we will line the sidewalks applauding the blue-suited young man along his appointed rounds as if he were a participant in the Crazylegs long-distance event.
The two checks worth $2,400 will almost make up for the subtractions the exchequer of the Werkes made in our Vanguard individual retirement account. The nest egg has shriveled — not to hummingbird size, granted, but downsized just the same. We do not want to eat our seed corn (to mix metaphors) or our metaphors, for that matter.
Our cutbacks at the Manor will cascade through the economy.
The Dow is Down again today
On March 4, the Dow Jones industrial average stood at 27,087. On March 23, it had cratered to 18,394. As of the close of business Thursday 03-26-2020, Senate approval of the $2.14 trillion stimulus buoyed the market enough to reach 22,535.
We do not always Buy Right at the Werkes but we try to buy low and sell high. But we took a gamble yesterday and moved a considerable amount of stock into short-term and mid-term treasury bonds. If stocks keep appreciating, we will have missed out. But what if the emergency relief package is no more than a subcutaneous hypodermic of short-term amphetamine that revives the patient momentarily before he collapses from lack of blood?
Who knows economics better than the Wall Street Journal?
The $2 trillion emergency relief package approved by the Senate would help stabilize the coronavirus-battered economy — but likely isn’t enough to bring it back to health.
No one illustrates the economy like the Journal. A graph on today’s page one (shown above) is a triumph of the graphic arts. Jobless claims since the beginning of the year are depicted as a mountain range of red ink — roughly a half-inch high until the past week, where it spikes a spectacular 8.25 inches from almost from the fold in the middle of the page up to the very masthead on top of the page. Unemployment claims 17 times higher than any previous one-week jump; 5.8% of the total labor force.
Indeed, the Dow was down 800 points as of 11 this a.m. And the Fed chairman says we “might” be in a recession?
The single biggest recipient of taxpayer dollars in this legislation — far in excess of $600 Billion — is government itself. This legislation may prove the biggest one-day expansion of government power ever. — Kimberley Strassel.
We own the airlines
Like it or not, my fellow conservatives, America bought into Bernie socialism. The federal government just bought a stake in our domestic airlines — $32 billion worth of ownership in exchange for direct grants. It will be years before those airlines buy back that stock from the gummint, if ever.
The 400,000 Wisconsin Retirement System annuitants are sheltered for now; they’ll get a 1.7% bump based on past performance. The fund is entirely funded by government employer and employee contributions invested the stock market. Unlike Illinois, the WRS is solvent because it reduces annuities in economic down years. So retirees can expect a hit next year — thankfully, smoothed out over five years to blunt its impact.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The economy is like the Mississippi River — you can slow it down and divert it over here or there but you cannot stop it.