The news continues to be surprisingly good in the United States. At least, it is surprising to us. We think it ought to be bad.
But for the moment, the bulls have nothing to complain about. Thursday, the Dow hit a new high at 12,514. This is almost exactly seven years after it hit another landmark high…about 1,000 points lower. Let’s see, that makes about 140 points of gain per year. At that rate, the Dow really will reach 36,000 as forecast – in the year 2114! We can hardly wait.
Also in the news, the U.S. Federal Reserve says it is comfortable with the rate of inflation… meaning, there is very little of it. True enough. The inflation is in the asset market, and no one is complaining about that. When the prices of apartments in London or art in New York or companies in Bombay go up… who complains?
And now the National Association of Realtors even comes in with more good news: The correction in the U.S. housing market is OVER, it says. Of course, you don’t ask a barber when you need a haircut… and if you think the NAR is a disinterested analyst, well… you might just as well take your investment advice from Wall Street… or your economic outlook from the Federal Reserve.
But want more good news? Jobless claims plunged last week… the dollar is actually rising…and David Beckham – London celebrity and soccer player – is going to Los Angeles, with a $250 million contract. Who does this guy think he is – a CEO or something? Maybe a hedge fund manager. Beckham is married to another celebrity – Posh Spice. The duo, Posh and Becks, are regular grist for the British tabloid mill.
It’s all a little bit too much for us. How could a soccer player be worth so much? In America, no less. We didn’t know soccer players in the United States were worth anything…let alone a quarter of a billion dollars. And we see in the news that the Hilton heiress charges $1 million to show up at a party.
But why would anyone want her at a party at all? And why would anyone care about Posh and Becks?
Alas, we don’t have time to think about it this morning…we are rushing off to give a speech to hedge fund managers and investment bankers. Each year, St. Michaels, an Anglican church in the heart of the city, invites a speaker to address the faithful. Here’s some of what I intend to say.