By David Glenn Cox
I have mentioned Wall Street hilarity before but yesterday took the cake. Ostensibly stockbrokers and Wall Street analysts are considered to be these button-down three-piece suit types up to their elbows in charts and graphs. This outdated representation is a sort of an 1890s Barbershop quartet fanciful nostalgic version of when Mom and dad were young and dating. Interest rates are at historic lows and interest rates have been kept artificially low because otherwise the system would collapse under its own weight. Just by that little tid-bit alone it would seem the entire economic system is in trouble, but not on Wall Street!
Because of low interest rates, storing money in banks is just a less labor-intensive way of burying it in fruit jars in the back yard. Wall Street is the only game in town. There are a limited number of quality stocks. The big boys and girls of this world the Googles and the Teslas. There is an almost unlimited supply of cash from all around the world looking for a place to go. Like selling acid at a Grateful Dead concert you just can’t count the money fast enough. Wall Street received a stock tip and the markets exploded in orgasmic pleasure. A Chinese newspaper had published an article which said, Now is a good time to buy stocks.
Wall Street suspects the Chinese government was about to do something wonderous like buying container ships of American farm produce or machinery. They suspect the package under the tree is a new baseball glove or a Ferrari. Unconcerned that it might be church shoes and trusting that there is even a package there at all. Because it is a controlled press nothing can be published without approval. Ergo, it must be true. Its code, the government is telling all with the ears to hear, “Now, is a good time to buy stocks.” It must be true; it must be! Or a totalitarian government just wants people to buy stocks.
In Stalin’s Russia, if you read editorials about the dangers of alcohol and how something must be done about it. It meant the potato crop had failed and there would be a vodka shortage. Limits on the amount of vodka you could purchase were only put there for your own good. We cut the chocolate ration because you’re getting fat Winston. This Alice Through the Looking Glass interpretation of the news. Maybe it means exactly what it says it means or maybe it means the exact opposite of what it says it means. Now is a good time to buy stocks. Buy everything, as much as you can!
We talk much about Washington on Denial, but they appear almost studious when compared with the New York crew on the Fiesta deck. Maybe it escaped their attention, the rising infection rates and massive unemployment. The major US consumer products companies in serious trouble. The rise of Internet shopping is the decline of corporate Real Estate. Did you know that two-thirds of all wealth in the United States is in Real Estate? That wealth is mortgaged and collateralized, your twenty-five-million-dollar shopping center just sold for nine million dollars. A bloodbath in housing, a blood bath for corporate earnings and a blood bath in corporate bankruptcies but hey, did you see the article? The one in that Chinese Newspaper?
A White House fiasco of the highest order as the Cheeto takes this holiday weekend as an opportunity to do his best George Wallace impersonation. The Congress has skipped town for two weeks with a table filled with work. Nothing important really, just a second stimulus package for millions of Americans about to be evicted. Unemployed Americans and their families standing in line at the food bank, but I guess it can wait. This is the calm before the storm. That point near the end of the Victorian era, a world vanished into vague recollections of servants and house maids. The era of pretending it is still as it once was dashed by the blood of World War One. Government in neutral wincing and waiting for the anticipated thunderclap of November when the guillotine falls and the Cheeto becomes just another snack food under criminal indictment.
A White House in wonderland as the emperor displays his new fall wardrobe. Hate is in and swastikas are very slimming. Black is the new black as Kanye West announces his attempt to steal eight or nine votes from Joe Biden. Oh, the desperation and this is only July. Quick quiz, who was the only Black entertainer who attached himself to Donald Trump? The same one that now wants to run against him in November because? Trump is playing checkers while the world plays basketball. 404 this website cannot be found.
The US economy balanced on the nose of a trained seal based on what a foreign newspaper in a totalitarian state said. Honey, that’s desperation. That is the point in the cartoon where the airplane crashes to earth magically stopping at the last second and making a safe landing. The only thing we have to fear is… reality itself! Those brutal facts are floating in the punch bowl. Lacking leadership, we are in a land of suck. Has Wall Street managed to detach itself from the domestic economy becoming the Sun King’s pleasure palace? The final separation papers between the untermunchin and Marie Antoinette? Or is this the last dance at the Fuhrer bunker, the last hurrah. Go ahead and take it with you or we’re only going to throw it out.
“Stocks could fall 40% in a collapse mimicking the Great Depression, famed economist Gary Shilling says” – Business Insider, July 6, 2020