Click HERE and HERE for the last two posts. Message of the second (more recent) one: Gold miners represent good relative value in what remains a generally overvalued financial marketplace. Message of the first one: financial stocks are pointing downward, and that has tended to be a poor portent for the economy.
I also want to comment politically. It is not clear what is motivating Barack Obama. He is maintaining a large military presence in Afghanistan. Do the polls tell him that a partial withdrawal, to a troop level that exceeds the level it was at when he took office, will win him votes?
Economically, not long ago the Senate rejected the Ryan plan with about 40 votes in favor. But it rejected the President's budget with no votes in favor.
It's not clear to me that this president is a leader. With FDR, it was clear that he (at least in posture and headline actions) favored the common man, who was a poor man in those days. With Mr. Obama, he favors the poor- but he also favors the rich, and he has turned out to be far more corporation-friendly than almost anyone expected. So he favors everyone. But he and the country are only what they are. And there are no tall aliens with the ability to serve man by making the deserts fertile. So, choices must be made. This business of trying to please all, which in my field of interest, finance, I correlate to pleasing both the stock and bond markets, simply is not working. It worked for Lula of Brazil, but that followed a prolonged period of hyperinflation. There was public and private support for conservative, growth-oriented policies. And who knows what Lula swept under the rug to get to 70+% approval ratings?
Unfortunately I am getting an LBJ-Carter feeling of a failed president. LBJ and BHO are both guns-and-butter-oriented. Both led the economy into big-time price inflation as the central bank obediently helped to monetize the resulting deficits. But no one would mistake LBJ for other than a leader. Mr. Carter, who may have been well-meaning, ended up looking unfocused and indecisive, and chose (was "forced" to) move to the right giving near-hyperinflation toward the end of his tenure. The world is not ending, and as I have noted recently, a number of headlines are overly histrionic. So what is "priced in" in the markets is impossible to know, especially given the vast amount of money the Fed has printed that has been seeping into the real economy. We do not need a QE3 for lots and lots of price inflation to occur.
Got gold? (And shares of gold miners?)