From the Pundit
I got one of those mailings from Randi Rhodes, one of the Air America pundits for the Left. Sometimes I find her a bit shrill, but then again, she’s shrill for my side, so I give her a lot of latitude.
She knows as well as anyone else when she makes a particularly choice ‘zinger’, and she included a few of them on the email. Wish I had been listening (via the Internet) when she delivered these in particular:
On FEMA (the US’s Federal Emergency Management Agency) “They shut the morgue down at 11 AM in spite of a 300-body backlog. I guess they’re just afraid that the morticians will put ‘Cause of Death: FEMA’ on the death certificates.”
On Harriet Miers, Bush’s Nominee to the US Supreme Court: “It’s worse than cronyism, he nominated a groupie!”
On the Polls: “64% of Americans believe aliens have contacted humans; 39% believe in George Bush.”
It’s fascinating to me to watch the US continue to circle the drain. It’s true that the dollar has momentarily stopped it’s precipitous decent. On the other hand, the US Stock market has decided to do a big ol’ Swan Dive these past weeks, taking what I had left there down with it.
From the Investment Expert
I was fascinated to see an article in New York Magazine by an investment advisor and cofounder of theStreet.com James Cramer, who calmly suggests what stocks and other investments to use as a hedge toward the economic melt-down that Bush’s spending (and lack of the taxes to pay for that spending) policies will have caused. His article starts out with almost cheery, clear-eyed pessimism:
The Gold Parachute
Or, how to stop worrying and save yourself from the president’s profligate spending and stubborn insistence on no new taxes.
It’s dawning on Wall Street that George W. Bush may be the first president since Lyndon B. Johnson who believes that we can have a guns-and-butter federal spending policy without creating a serious inflation spiral, if not outright government bankruptcy. At least LBJ, to his credit, believed that there were limits to profligacy and that taxes had to be raised. Not President Bush. He’s making Johnson look like a fiscal conservative, what with his insistence on waging a war in Iraq that’s costing $177 million a day and rebuilding New Orleans by taking on a monstrous load of federal debt.
For the longest time, because Bush is a Republican, we on Wall Street simply didn’t believe that he could be a reckless spender. We knew only two paradigms: You either spent less and cut taxes or you spent more and raised taxes. Both courses at least presumed some sacrifice at some time. Not Bush’s plan. He’s gone on both the biggest spending binge and the lowest taxation course in U.S. history, which, alas, will produce gigantic liabilities down the road. Of course, he’ll be back on the ranch by the time his successor will have to deal with his inflation and currency debasement. Our only hope that financial disaster won’t strike sooner lies with the Chinese, who actually fund our deficit by buying our Treasuries’ $242 billion worth, or 12 percent of all foreign holdings. If the Chinese decide to be good communists and stop buying our bonds, the Feds will have to raise rates to attract new investors and the reaper will be at our doorstep with interest rates more akin to those of South than North America. Right now, it’s not a problem. But in a year or two or maybe less, I perceive that the government will throw a bond auction and nobody will show, including the Chinese, until rates shoot up dramatically.
What if that happens? What if our fiscally clueless president really does keep spending at a rate that far exceeds what our government can take in at these low tax rates? What happens if the president’s acolytes and the Pollyannas in Treasury keep believing that we can grow our way, fairy-tale-like, out of this jam? You can bet that when you cash out your nest egg of nice U.S.-based mutual funds and solid common stocks, your dollars will fit nicely into a wheelbarrow designed specifically to cart worthless currency to the bank.
Or you can take matters into your own hands and build a portfolio around these five imminent-Bush-disaster stocks. Be the first on your block to immunize yourself against what may turn out to be the most financially reckless president in history with these anti-inflation equities designed to profit from our president’s unbelievably foolish Panglossian profligacy.
He then goes on to provide those five stocks that make up parts of the Bush-disaster-proof portfolio. At the time I write this, you can read the article in it’s entirety at New York Magazine’s Web Site. As you might guess, it includes stocks in minerals, oil, and yup, the Fording Canadian Coal Trust. It’s almost as if someone could use that old beer ad: “With Bush (beer), Head for the Mountains!”
Funny, but I seem to remember describing the Bush Administration as a catastrophe somewhere…Oh right. The description of this very blog, at the right. Fancy that.