The Big Market Move…Nice, but…

It was encouraging today to see the stock market surge on several positive items in the news. So it’s the Dow’s best day since March 2009. That’s a good thing. the central banks intervened to help banks hit by the Europe debt crisis, and the Chinese Bank reduced their reserve requirement. This is all well and good if you’re a big trader or a bank, and certainly does affect all of us indirectly.

The other item was that the ADP employment report found an increase of 206,000 jobs, the most since last December. That affects a hell of a lot more people directly. What I’m waiting to see is the headline that employment has dropped to the lowest level since 2007, or that middle class wages have increased by as much as the top 1%’s income has. THOSE headlines would truly affect everybody in America in a positive way. If you believe in Santa, ask him for these! Even if you don’t, an almost 500 point move by the Dow is a nice (hopeful) start to a Santa rally.


An Ancestor Reaching Out?

Thanksgiving being a family time primarily, the mind runs to family things. Sometimes moments occur in life that are inexplicable, but you still can’t help but ponder them from time to time. In my case, there are both a king and a pirate way back in the dusty distant past of my family history. Perhaps this means I’m a small fraction of a percent royal scoundrel, and have been called worse in my time! Now, I’ve never had a moment in my life that made me think of anything some regal king or chieftain did way back in the day, but with regards to the pirate, I have.

Having been on several cruises, I realized after a few sailings that I always gravitated to the top deck at the stern of the ship every single time we sailed out of port, or into one. After while, it occurred to me that that’s exactly where the wheel would have been on a sailing ship…such as a pirate might have commanded. Could this be something burned into my DNA, or just a wild imagining? No one can say, of course…that’s what makes it inexplicable…but it’s still one of those things one rolls around in one’s head from time to time as you ponder, “I wonder if…”

Running up the Jolly Roger, a salty Thanksgiving to you!


Old Age & Treachery Over Youth & Skill?

Years ago, while working with my father (who, probably unlike yours was diagnosed with a serious mental illness…yet kept working and functioning up to a point), I began to notice that every time I outsold him, he would write across the top of the weekly planner on the desk in Sharpie. He would always pen the following: “Old age and treachery will overcome youth, skill, and enthusiasm.”  It became my mission to make sure that didn’t happen.

Although not in the ‘old age’ category, I am close enough to be able to see it now, and I still disagree with this. In fact, by merely dropping the ‘youth’ portion, I have found that the latter elements can serve anyone quite nicely in their quest for success…both personal success, and in contributing to the success of the common good and our country.

Keep sharpening your skills and acquiring new ones, and whatever others may do to try to knock you down, DON’T lose your enthusiasm!


Occupy Moves to a Bank

This afternoon in San Francisco, the Occupy SF folks moved into the lobby of Bank of America in the financial district. As this is written, there have been about a half dozen arrests. The occupiers are primarily peaceful, chanting and ‘om-ing.’ They did pitch a tent inside. This brings up a couple of thoughts. First, with the police raids and clearing of Occupy camps around the country, then the returning of the movement folks, one group that is profiting off the whole movement so far is merchants who sell tents!

Here’s another thought: A couple weeks ago, there was a internet-driven push (which actually started back in 2009, but took a while to really take hold) encouraging people to move from the big banks to smaller locally owned banks or credit unions. The protests of the Occupy people get publicity, and I get that, but instead of ‘taking over’ the lobby of a bank, wouldn’t it do more to alter the big banks’ behavior if all those occupy folks went out and each got several people they know to withdraw all their funds from those big banks and move them to smaller ones and credit unions? Just a thought.