Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why the FOMC Didn't Hike Rates; Tweet this. Or Don't.

I'm not going to win a Pulitzer Prize for this, but the reason the Fed did nothing again today is pretty simple.

1. The economy is being kept afloat by money being shoveled to banks, via nearly no interest loans, and people, via what the government likes to call "transfer payments," which are the usual, unemployment checks, social security checks, military and other federal retirement checks, disability checks, welfare checks.

2. The middle class pays most of their bills. They pay mortgages, taxes, utilities and they pay for necessities such as food, fuel, etc. Can anybody begrudge them the occasional splurge for a new shirt, car or iPad?

3. Private sector employment is becoming a myth and the more the government tries to tax every aspect of employment, the worse it's going to get. Private businesses must cut every imaginable corner just to stay in business.

Conclusion: the economy is still on the ropes. "Recovery" is an absolute joke. We are, as a nation, still scraping along the bottom. Public confidence in government is low and waning. Politicians grandstand for votes. Wall Street is still nothing more than a big casino. The Fed knows all of this and much more. They're scared to death. Eventually, the banks must give back all the money they stole from the middle class or the nation will never recover, probably splintering into a kind of new age Europe, which may, in fact, be the best thing that can happen.

Here's a plan: Expect the worst; enjoy what you have; don't pay retail for anything (including taxes; if you can get a deal on utilities, let me know how).

Dow 11,045.27, +53.28 (0.48%)
NASDAQ 2,471.73, +0.26 (0.01%)
S&P 500 1,191.36, +7.65 (0.65%)
NYSE Composite 7,499.72, +36.63 (0.49%)

Advancing issues, as expected, beat decliners, 3659-2857; there were 244 new highs (the lowest number in a month, at least) and just 48 new lows. Volume was solid.

NYSE Volume 7,046,415,500
NASDAQ Volume 2,728,942,500

Oil gained 78 cents, to $83.22. CNN Money ran a headline touting, Oil rises on Fed rate decision as if the two are somehow co-aligned. Maybe they are, but one has to really stretch imagination to figure out how that is.

Gold added $9.60, to $1,171.30, while silver fell a penny, to $18.11.

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