Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dow Down 6th Straight Session; Bummer for 5% of Population

Consider this salient factoid (and question its validity): Five percent of the US population owns 82% of all common stock.

So, with that in mind, who - besides the employees of the major corporate entities in this country (a big number) - cares?

It might be worth suggesting that a 5-10-15-20% pullback in stocks would be a healthy development, bringing down the elite to more moderate levels.

This is sophistry, of course. A diminution in the relative income or net worth of the wealthiest amongst us would surely trickle down to those not quite rich, the middle class and eventually the bottom income levels.

Yes. Those nearest the gutter would be dragged down into it and die. Others would take their places. Those in the middle would become less fortunate (say goodbye to paying U of Michigan $52,000 a year for tuition, room and board). Those in the upper tiers would eat strip steaks instead of filet mignon and the top five percent would drive their Mercedes or Lexus or Maserati a little less often.

This is all very relative; the deciding factors being, most prominently, not how much you're worth or how much you make, but what you can be productive with, what your knowledge and skills are and how much you spend.

Wall Street is a very cockeyed place, full of people who think they know better how to manage other people's money than those people themselves. For an alternative perspective, go to a farm, where a person's value is derived from utility, rather than fantasy.

Dow 14,897.55, -105.44 (0.70%)
NASDAQ 3,599.79, -13.80 (0.38%)
S&P 500 1,642.80, -9.55 (0.58%)
NYSE Composite 9,339.37, -82.19 (0.87%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,401,692,625
NYSE Volume 3,306,747,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1871-4677
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 83-178
WTI crude oil: 103.85, -1.26
Gold: 1,370.10, -2.50
Silver: 22.96, -0.108

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