This Week's Business News

Value Investing

Bank of America will purchase Countrywide Financial. Countrywide is the nation’s largest pure-play mortgage lender.

This is a no-brainer for B of A. Countrywide had become so absurdly cheap it simply had to be purchased.

Along similar lines JP Morgan Chase and Washington Mutual have held preliminary merger talks, according to CNBC.

Another no-brainer.

Washington Mutual had become so ridiculously cheap it too needs to be acquired via merger or bought out for cash.

Whip-sawed

The overall stock markets were quite volatile this week.

They plunged. They shot up. The fell once again. All on heavy volume.

If you’re already retired or quite close to retirement, and you’ve been losing your breakfast each day by virtue of the wacky stock markets, well, there’s a very important question you need to ask of yourself: Why are you invested in stocks?

Asset allocation is not merely academic theory. Bonds are not merely a juiced-up baseball player. Hedge funds have nothing to do with landscaping. CDs are not merely for your iPod or even your iTaser Gun.

Liberal Democrat Media Cognitive Dissonance

The headline screams at you like a B-movie starlet in a horror flick:

Consumer Confidence Sinks to Record Low

A record low, huh? That’s astonishing, isn’t it?

Lower than during the 1990-1991 recession and banking crisis?!

Lower than in the hyper-inflation and double-digit unemployment period of the late-1970’s and early-1980’s?!

Lower than in the recession into which the country slipped during the very height of the 58,000 battle death Vietnam War?!

Lower than during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Lower than during the Great Depression????

Wow.

Someone call Dr. Kervorkian. The USA might as well grab the Hemlock and be done with it.

But if you actually read the article you’ll find that the index from which the Associated Press derived that Hoover-istic headline was created in . . . . . 2002.

2002.

Furthermore it’s not one of the two established and respected indices of consumer confidence, the Univ. of Michigan Survey or the Conference Board’s Index. It’s the RBC Cash Index, which nearly is as well established in the business community as Paris Hilton is well educated.

In other news:

Obama defeats Hillary in N.H. by 13 points.
Iraq plunges into outright civil war.
Flu pandemic erupts due to lack of flu shots.
Kerry elected president.
Howard Dean receives Dem nomination.
Falling dollar leads to global depression.
Muslim anger over Iraq leads to World War III.
Etc., etc., etc., etc.

BTW, for those of you who do understand what’s going on here, but who really don’t get why the headline of that propaganda piece is so significant, there’s something you need to know: Most people out there in TV Land don’t read news articles. They only read headlines. Another large group of people might read the headline, the byline and the first graf, but they don’t actually read the full text.

Connect . . . the . . . dots.

The Party of the Rich
Snow Falls In Iraq