Business News Update

Cause + Effect

Forbes Magazine recently released its annual survey of the best cities across the nation for job seekers and the gainfully employed.

The top-10:

Salt Lake City, Utah
Raleigh, North Carolina
Phoenix, Arizona
Jacksonville, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Austin, Texas
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wichita, Kansas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Placing that list into political perspective:

Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ pro-business politicos
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Pro-business state that’s conservative on the issues
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature

Business Politics

Speaking of business and of politics, it goes without saying the topic of insurance has become a major kitchen table item in Louisiana since 2005. Therefore it was not at all surprising — in addition to Bobby Jindal’s easy victory — to view the results of Louisiana’s open race for insurance commissioner:

51% – Donelon – GOP
36% – Crowley – Democrat
14% – Other Republicans

Totals:

65% – GOP
35% – Democrat

When the public gets a severe reality check and there’s no full incumbent people tend to wake up from their comas and vote Republican. If on the other hand you’ve got an open political contest and it’s okay to be spoiled brats or lost in the fog then Democrats tend to thrive.

Stock Markets

Wall St. has been manic-depressive over the past couple of weeks.

Speaking of the stock markets and of manic-depression, back in year 2000 Vanguard’s S&P 500 Index was trading at or around $140 per share. Stock market investors at that time were euphoric. They cheerfully were buying up shares.

In August 2002, however, the 500 Index fund had plunged to around $75 per share. Investors were gloomy. The economy was bad. Enron and Worldcom dominated the headlines. Many investors sold their shares in a panic.

In July 2007, however, the fund traded at $143 per share. Investors were euphoric. They cheerfully bought shares. There had been a rocket ride upwards for the S&P 500, virtually with no detours, since early-2003.

In August 2007, however, the fund dropped to $130 per share. Investors were gloomy. The media’s so-called “mortgage tsunami” had struck. Many investors sold their shares in a panic.

Today (EST) the fund closed at $139.72 per share.

Morals of the story:

– Price matters.
– Being a stock market Lemming ain’t a bed of roses.

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