Friday, October 09, 2015

DOW breaks 17000!

Well, that was fast.

Martin Luther King, Jr, paraphrasing Unitarian minister Theodore Parker, said "The arc of the Moral Universe is long, but it bends towards Justice."* The arc of Modern Wall Street is much, much shorter, but it too bends upwards towards a higher rate of return.

I mean, why the recovery, and so quickly? Greece is still as much a mess as it was back when we dipped into the 15000s a few weeks back. China's stock market is just a wobbly. Saudi Arabian investments are being reduced as they keep their oil prices low enough to close down the Dakota Oil Shale operations (successfully, as there are fleets of mobile homes now available on the cheap out there). Austerity hawks still circle despite the proven failure of that approach. Congress is just as dysfunctional, and all these lefty operations on the West Coast are raising wages and reaping low unemployment rates. Yet now we're back.

I believe, inherently, that we have trained certain markets to move inevitability, but not smoothly, upwards. The market is overheated because we are willing it to be, and the rise of various tech or housing or stock bubbles are a feature, not a bug, in the system. We talk about corrections, but until that point where we pitch ourselves into a full-bore, we-cannot-ignore-it, mile-wide-steamroller of a recession, the trend line is inevitably upwards.

My own gut check for economic health, by the way, is my commute. The worse it is, the better things are in general. And for the past week, traffic has really, really sucked, for reasons I cannot fully fathom. I think it may be tied with the shortening days, such that people who are used to rising with the first light suddenly are confronted with the fact that this first light is much later in the day. I may be tied to the return of school, which regiments when children have to get out the door, and as such puts an addition timer on the adults. But I do think that it is because we have crossed a threshold where the infrastructure itself is taxed by the increased load of the employed, who all, apparently want to get on the road at the same time I do.

But that's a just a theory. In the meantime, the DOW has restored itself, until the next correction.

More later,

* What Theodore Parker did say, nesting his semicolons neatly, was: "I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sigh; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure its bends towards justice." which is a darn sight better than the current attitude of "Past behavior does not guarantee future performance"