The economic recovery is alleged to have started back in March. Health care reform, in one shape or another, was a given. Barak Obama was the icon of “change” in our government. What a difference a handful of months have made.
Republicans were elected governor in New Jersey and Virginia. Massachusetts fires another “shot heard ‘round the world” by electing a Republican senator to replace Ted Kennedy. The stock market, expected to be bolstered by the news, takes a swan dive. What’s up?
I can tell you in one word…uncertainty.
The market is a fickle thing; often flying in the face of news, events, predictions, etc. but seldom rising in the face of uncertainty. And there is no shortage of that at the moment.
It’s been clear to most of us — and perhaps just dawning on the idiots in Washington, D.C. — that the American public is infuriated.
The opportunity the current administration had to do something about it when George W. Bush left office has been severely squandered. In fact, the current administration seems only to have thrown gasoline on the fire by being so totally disconnected from the American people on their priorities.
While the legislative focus has been on getting a really bad health care bill through Congress, Americans are looking at things like the economy and wondering why no one appears to be doing anything about unemployment, robber-banks, failed stimulus packages and, oh yeah, scheming terrorists hell-bent on our death and destruction.
The stock market is going to be an incredibly volatile place for a while, because uncertainty is the order of the day.
No one knows what our Congress is going to do about anything anymore. While the market is usually comfortable with legislative gridlock, even that is uncertain.
The backroom dirty dealing that nearly gave us the Senate health care reform bill is still alive and well.
Even though there is now a 41 vote in the Senate.
No one is creating any real jobs — they’re just feeding us convoluted numbers. Big banks and Wall Street brokerage houses are doing what they’ve done for the past 10 years, and no one in Washington knows how to protect the consumer from continued abuse.
Speaking of protection, the administration is bringing some of the most dangerous people in the world to the United States so they don’t have to endure the tropical climate of Cuba.
We are going to give murdering jihadists the same trial as a common horse thief! What’s going to happen to us in the future? No one knows — thus uncertainty.
The market hates uncertainty.
Until and unless we get some decent leadership in this country, our financial future is likely going to resemble Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Fasten your financial seatbelt folks, and try to remember this campaign slogan for 2010. “If they’re in, they’re out!”
Al Benelli is a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner and founder of The Merlin Group, a financial advisory firm located in Trooper, PA. An engineering and business major from Penn State and St. Joseph’s Universities, Al continues his education through the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
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