Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That Giant Sucking Sound

I suppose this post should be dedicated to Ross Perot, whose words inspired today's title.

Ross Perot was the last of the great third party candidates for president way back in 1992 when he intoned those fateful words as part of his closing remarks during a debate with then-president George H.W. Bush and future leader of the free world, William Jefferson Clinton. The short video clip is embedded below.

Perot was describing the flight of US jobs to Mexico and boy, was he ever right. Not only did jobs flee the land of the free to South of the border, but eventually entire factories were dismantled and shipped to China, where wages were ever cheaper.

Now, with Washington on its knees before the giant banking interests of Wall Street and begging the Chinese to keep buying our Treasury bonds, the path has come full circle. America is bankrupt, without a reliable manufacturing base, and its citizens are being sucked dry by banks, utilities (many owned by foreign corporations, thanks in no small part to Senator "Sell Out" Schumer of New York), and giant multi-national corporations which could care less whether or not anyone has a job, only whether they can pay the cable bill or shop at Wal-Mart or finance the purchase of a brand-spanking new car from one of our bailed-out auto companies.

There are no jobs, though there's money spread across the fruited plain thanks to our glorious benefactors in Washington, who seem intent on putting all Americans on the dole. There are, however, many corporations whose shares are traded publicly on Wall Street, though interest in many of them seems to be waning, or, possibly all worn out.

Trading volumes reached new levels of apathy today, especially on the NASDAQ, recording its lowest volume of the year and lowest since December 30 of last year. It was abysmal. Maybe that giant sucking sound is the sound of your 401k plan going to an early death, prior to your retirement, or the vastly underfunded pension plans of many corporations and municipalities going down the tubes in a giant "whoosh."

As for yesterday's options-inspired rally, well, that's over, pending the release of initial unemployment claims tomorrow morning.

Dow 10,415.54, +9.69 (0.09%)
NASDAQ 2,215.70, +6.26 (0.28%)
S&P 500 1,094.16, +1.62 (0.15%)
NYSE Composite 6,968.08, +8.29 (0.12%)

Advancers beat decliners by a diminishing margin at the closing bell, 3511-2875. New highs held their own against new lows, 315-86. Volume was absurdly low. The insiders will begin the process of gnawing at each other's flesh presently.

NASDAQ Volume 1,547,742,875
NYSE Volume 4,239,987,500

Oil finished lower again, down 35 cents, to $75.42, though it traded below $74 earlier in the day. Gold gained $3.10, to $1,229.70. Silver finished down 20 cents, at $18.39.

That giant sucking sound may just be the sound of traders leaving Wall Street and joining the ranks of the unemployed. The double dip is on the way.

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