Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does A Bear?

Well of course the stock market is driving me crazy, swinging wildly nearly every day, with no particular rhyme or reason. But what's maybe even more insane than the market itself, is seeing headlines like these, a mere sampling from Monday, or very recently:

Dow loses 679.95 as economy, Bernanke revive fear

Stocks fall sharply on consumer spending worries

Dow Plunges 680 Points as Recession Is Declared

Stocks slump as U.S. recession is officially called and signs point to a prolonged slowdown.

Dow falls amid fear over car makers

The Dow falls 679, fear has set in now.

Here's my point: DUH!!!!

What's different today, from yesterday??? Are enough people waking up each day from a year-long slumber to notice something? JFC, people!!! This has been going on for a LONG time!!!

Fully retired for the first time this year, dependent entirely on savings, it's been a little tough. And scary. Not to mention infuriating. I've always been pretty thrifty: my car is nearing 200K miles. Same house for twenty six years, paid off long since. Own one suit which I haven't worn in fifteen years. Travel too little. Never made anything near what most general surgeons make (owing to my career-long loyalty to a large clinic with a larger overhead), despite doing twice as much surgery as the national average. Nor have my investments been greedy or crazy (stayed out of the dot-com boom. And bust. A buy and hold sort of guy). So it's disheartening to have seen half of it disappear.

But it's literally crazogenic to be buffeted by these daily gyrations and to realize that my future is dependent on the whims of idiots, who seem to have no sense of proportion, nor to know what's going on on a daily -- let alone yearly -- basis. If I weren't so old and stupid, I'd go back to work. If the economy didn't suck so bad, maybe I could even find a job.


dodge said...

Right on, Sid.

(Where DO you find these photos, anyway? Too funny)

LenapeGirl said...

We don't look at our investments anymore. We, too, invested with "moderate risk." Not a damned thing we can do about it now. I try to remember those other investments that have held up just fine: our blessedly modest home, three fine grown children, and dear friends who have held up well through the years. I think we will make it on those!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the hard times Sid, but thank God for the Social Security!! Seriously, umm, just wondering where the cash went? Play the Ponie's much? Fell for the "Nigerian Inheritance" scam?? Surely you're more diversified than just stocks/mutual funds?

JP said...

I'm in grad school, and it's sad but true to say I'm thinking about sticking around for a PhD rather than just an M.S. The modest living stipend holds more promise than the job market in the next couple years, is my guess. That is, assuming federal funds for higher education don't take a bigger nose dive.

Anonymous said...

I think what bothers me the most is the blame-shifting -- it's now the consumers' fault for NOT spending money to revive the economy. My husband and I live frugally. We paid off all our plastic years ago and now pay the entire balance each month to avoid paying any interest on the cards. We cannot afford to completely pay off our house, but have been sending in an additional $1K each month to be applied against the principle and are now paid up to August of 2009 so that should something catastrophic occur, we will not lose our house. Other than some cash gifts to our grown kids, we aren't doing Christmas this year.

WE did not cause this recession. Wall Street and the government caused this recession. Extending credit to non-credit-worthy people caused this recession and deregulation of financial institutions caused this recession. It scares me that this is merely the beginning and people are not paying enough attention to the machinations of government and Wall Street while they empty our coffers into their own pockets and blithely endanger our children's and our children's children's futures.

montag said...

Dear Class of 65:

Right on.

American Capitalism does not merely go through cycles of Schumpeter's "creative destruction"; it seems to periodically need to scorch the earth, wipe out everyone near ground zero, then allow the wealthy to come out of their bomb shelters to pick up whatever assets they fancy for chump change.

Then the cycle begins again.

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