Main Street is at a crossroads, which means the nation is at a crossroads. After being bruised and battered, even those that have seen home values rebound and incomes that are staying ahead of the rate of inflation, there is serious doubt and hesitation.
I happen to believe Mark Twain was on to something when he said, "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure." In fact, it's truer now than ever before. One has to be ignorant about the statistics, the critics, and the overall economy, and go out there and make it happen.
President Obama bristled at the idea Putin was tough or won, and that his actions were not "a sign of Russian strength." But the fact of the matter is that Russian troops are in control of Crimea, and they didn't have to fire a shot.
I'm not a big fan of entertainment industry award shows. In fact, the last time I watched an award show of any kind, was the year Stevie Wonder set a record for his "Songs in the Key of Life" album at the Grammy’s. But, while channel surfing Sunday night, I was lucky enough to catch a part of Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech...
America is a nation that has no stomach for war and that's understandable, except many nations around the world would like to believe there is a sheriff that would come to their rescue.
By now you know the Food and Drug Administration, in conjunction with effort by First Lady Michelle Obama, proposed new food labeling. The thinking is new labels would prompt shame and embarrassment on to food companies forcing them to create healthier products.
New home sales report shook up the street because it was pretty good...all things considered. But, new home supply, while improving, is currently at a 4.7 month supply. That is significantly less than its peak, which was above its 12 months supply in 2008.
Sure, it was pretty easy for lawless tribal bands in a rural corner of the planet to spread terror and conquest, but there will be leaders in the future with a desire to rule the world. With America's military being whittled down to its lowest head-count since 1940, it's going to become even more difficult to back-up hollow threats and false red lines.
There is a (temporary) sigh of relief now that Ukraine has seen its latest strongman leader flee to parts unknown, but anxiety remains. And why not; the nation has a history of struggle with self-determination. (Actually, that comment is an understatement.)
I saw headlines last week that the world was on fire and on the brink of disaster, primarily facing citizens of Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela. The world isn't on the brink of disaster, and in fact most of the world is moving along day-by-day in an attempt to make life better.
There wasn't a lot of volume, but the market shrugged off an early indecision and rallied higher. The bias is to the upside, and despite a shaky start to the year, the long-term trend remains intact, which is very encouraging.
The Federal Reserve knows quantitative easing didn't work, and they want to exit as fast as possible without triggering widespread panic. This isn't something that can be uttered in private, or even during closed-door 'Federal Open Market Committee' meetings, but it's palpable.
Much is being made of the latest report from the Census Bureau on divorce in America. Using data from the American Community Survey, Census records show that the rate of divorce is increasing for the third straight year in 2012.
I still find it remarkable how much ground the fear-mongers cover and how they continue to chip away at things that we used to take for granted, like mild-to-tough winters. Now, these things have the feeling of an 'apocalyptic' event that can only be avoided through economic sacrifice.
In a nation bulging at the seams with $17 trillion in debt and much more in unfunded promises, one would think there would be ideas about curbing spending and reducing promises. Instead, the welfare society is the focus.
The fear industry, which goes hand in hand with the hate industry, is alive and thriving in the United States. So many people are down in the dumps and so easy to manipulate. Call it low-hanging fruit and call it big money too.
I asked everyone not to panic, but I must admit that I thought there would have been more downside pressure, even though the big clip moves always get markets to where it's going faster.
Democrats went all out over the weekend portraying the 2.5 million people that will flee full-time work as a good thing. When Congressman Ellison (D-MN) said, a mother could use a few more hours in a day to take care of her family, it made me wonder if these guys think women have any dreams beyond household chores.
I've been saying for the past five years that America, fractured by an economic shock and a follow-up crisis not seen since the late 1970s has focused on blame, rather than recovery and has settled with mediocrity as greatness.
The Sochi Winter Olympics will be the most expensive ever. There's no doubt it will go down as one of the greatest money grabs in history as Putin and his friends have pocketed billions. In the meantime the joint is a wreck- akin to a modern day Potemkin village. But it doesn't matter to the Russian strongman.
Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Monday, March 10th, 2014 | John Ransom