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5/31/2012 7:51 AM
Egoist Not Egotist
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
Over the holiday weekend my son and I chilled in Soho, New York, where there is always a cool scene, lots of good-looking people and cars. At a red light, there was a Lamborghini Murcielago whose license plate read: "Humble." Initially, my son and I chuckled at the hypocrisy or odd understanding of being humble, but then it struck. I'd been thinking about the difference between egoist and egotist for a while and this was a great way to attempt to illustrate the differences.
I realize there is a complicated philosophy and different interpretations of egoist, but for me, the thing about being an egoist is it's not about you, per se, but about each individual having a high desire to do their best for their own well-being. Seems to me this was the core feeling at the start of time when day to day survival was always in question. So maybe these days critics would call an egoist a caveman. I have no problem with that. In fact, let's tap into our inner caveman so we can take on challenges facing this nation with raw determination. I can say right now we need leaders that encourage self-determination and not this stuff about being too weak to make it alone.
I want a nation of Lamborghini drivers, not everyone taking public transportation. I'm no genius, but I must say listening to the experts pontificate day after day about solutions makes me want to scream. Is anyone in charge in Europe, and what are they waiting for to get their act together? If the Euro is a bust, then call it a bust, and let's unravel the damn thing. If they are committed to making this thing work, stop with the song and dance act—get it done.
When to Close the Barn Door?
I guarantee the powers in charge know the answer, but in Europe it's about scheduling meetings to decide if there should be future meetings.
I feel like that Gary Larsen comic strip where the renowned music conductor is shown to the room where he will spend eternity. This is cruel and unusual punishment, and procrastination makes the final decision harder to implement and more expensive.
Every time one of these guys opens his or her mouth I hear "Dueling Banjoes." Of course, if Europe had its act together this wouldn't be the main topic of the day. If half the continent hadn't succumbed to the lure of the welfare state, we could be talking global recovery not impending doom.
Not to Be Outdone
Fed monetary policy could have worked so much better if there was decisive decision making. On that score, I'm not sure we can expect it to get better.
Yesterday, New York Federal Reserve President, William Dudley made the most confusing statement on when the Fed might spring into action:
"If the economy were to slow so that we were no longer making material progress toward full employment, the downside risks to growth were to increase sharply, or if deflation risks were to climb materially, then the benefits of further accommodation would increase in my estimation and this could tilt the balance toward additional easing,"
What the heck is the Fed waiting for? If they're going to be more accommodative it has to happen sooner rather than later as that would be like closing the barn door after cows have already left. Is the Fed looking at bond yields? Is the Fed looking at recent readings on consumer confidence and housing? Is the Fed looking at the free fall in crude oil? Is the Fed concerned with the negative wealth effect that comes with a stock market that's crashing?
Yesterday, I interviewed Stephen Schork of the Schork Report on the implications of the swift freefall in crude oil prices. He mentioned a lot was the removal of geopolitical risk, supply bottlenecks, and demand destruction. I'm most interested in demand destruction in America and what that means for and about the economy. We don't want oil freefalling. Sure, cheaper gas is great except when you don't have a job, and then it's irrelevant. Stephen says the next support point is $85.00 but agrees that it doesn't have to hold. Keep in mind in 2008 the price plummeted to $40 from $140 in six months.
May has been a disaster, but it's also been a warning, and there is no need for additional signs. If those with the power ultimately plan to act, they should make that move sooner rather than later. Forget the blame game. If it's all about negative signs, there are plenty to go around. Conversely, if those powers that be were intent on letting the economy play out, the pain may be sharper but it would be over sooner.
The back and forth action of the past week could be interrupted as today was supposed to be an up session, but a slew of economic data has knocked out early enthusiasm.
* ADP- 133,000 jobs below consensus of 157,000
* Initial Jobless Claims of 383,000 an eight week high and above consensus
* Challenger & Gray 66% spike in job layoff announcements to 61,887
With tension already as thick as possible, investors will be hard pressed to make a move today until late in the session. The silver lining, albeit somewhat macabre, is that expectations are so low we could have a party on otherwise mediocre numbers tomorrow. We are watching the vote on austerity in Ireland, which is a big deal. Ireland took a giant hit, took its medicine and has healing pains, they can vote to opt out of the fiscal treaty or stay the course. I salute Ireland and hope they continue with hard choices.
|i think we will get a just above neutral number that will be revised downward later. It is a must to tweak confidence, and tweaking numbers is a world wide phenomenon, from accounting to students grades, just make it look good, we have no real use for the truth, it will not keep us in our current positions of power.|
David Huber on 5/31/2012 9:49:06 AM
|Charles, I'm a little confused about your comments on oil this morning. Are you saying the 2008 drop in the price of oil was a "reason" for the economic crisis? I was always under the impression that the price decrease was a "result" of the economic slowdown and reduced demand. Also, I always thought that it was the high oil prices (in combination with the housing downturn) that "triggered" the recession.|
Joseph Fratolill on 5/31/2012 10:07:42 AM
Jim on 5/31/2012 10:15:22 AM
|The job profile the market is seeking is changing, and is becoming biased toward self-starting, self-motivated, disciplined producers. The important number is the one indicating the number of "workers" (small letters) who have dropped out of the work force, clearly not in the category above.|
z on 5/31/2012 10:45:11 AM
|It was an interesting cartoon in today's column. It spurred some thought about what we as a nation have become in our thinking, much along the lines of what you have been writing.|
So we stick a great leader (maestro) in a room of hick banjo players as eternal punishment. But was he really a great leader or just a guy put in front of a bunch of great players? (Most of the CEOs today are not great leaders, but mediocre guys who inherited a great organization that will flourish as long as they don't screw it up). If in the cartoon, the maestro is really a great leader, what would we see the next time the door is opened to his room? Would we see him rolling on the floor with hands over ears in agony? Or would we see him smiling with baton in hand as he transformed dueling banjos into a symphony of multi-part harmony, utilizing the strengths of each artist to the fullest. Would he be in hell or would he be in the heaven of creating his greatest work in showing others the light within him?
We just finished a primary election in Texas with massive automated phone campaigning flooding our answering machines, and not a single word said that revealed any true leadership in any of the candidates. It all seemed to be one liar fighting against another liar. Have we as a nation so lost sight of what a true leader is that we can't see anything clearly? I also got a "survey" from Demon-crat Pelosi yesterday where she was doing her best to instill class hatred and warfare through the most outrageous lies as a means to bolster her own power base. She is truly a traitor to this country and I wish we still had enough of our constitution left to oust her from Congress in disgrace.
A great maestro will take whatever he has in front of him and use it to make wonderful inspired music. I wish we had someone like that to vote for this November.
Bob G on 5/31/2012 10:56:25 AM
|There will be no new jobs for the forseeable future...|
computers, new advanced software and robots connected to computers are replacing humans on the factory floor and in the office workplace...it's called TechnoCreep...now TechnoSprint.
Larry Loganbill on 5/31/2012 11:19:50 AM
|If Scott Walker wins in Wisconsin tomorrow that will be a good sign for jobs ahead. What he's done in Wisconsin works. If the Democrats win, it will be a victory for the entitlement society and a sad day for the unemployed. The irony is that a Walker victory may help Obama win in November by improving the employment outlook. The more the Dems get their way, the better it is for Romney in the fall.|
Dennis Howard on 5/31/2012 11:21:59 AM
|These Jobless #'s mean nothing. They are always "revised" upward later in the week and never down. The administration is juggling the books and we will never know the true numbers.|
harold wells on 5/31/2012 11:27:46 AM
|The president botched the job !|
he spent weeks twisting arms about the health care issue instead of spending time concentrating on growth in small businesses.
I closed my business last year, to get healthy. That's the legacy
Obama has in healthcare
bb on 5/31/2012 11:38:56 AM
|Take the chocolate off the boil. Reduce the flame to a simmer. Stir the pot slowly until you've produced a winner.|
Add a little this. Take a little that.
Finally give it a little nudge. Then, wait a month to see if what you've really made is fudge.
George on 5/31/2012 11:44:15 AM
|Hi Charles, just to prove it isn't just US governments and their agencies that cock up just about everything they touch. Check out today"s National Post for an article about a hospital who arranged to locate a Tim Hortons in their lobby. The plan was to make $300,000 a year an absolute no-brainer in almost any location. Timmy's is a religion in Canada for coffee and donuts, not even sure you have a nation wide equivalent in your great country. Krispy Creme perhaps. Anyway the result?.....annual losses of $200,000. Why.....they paid the union hospital wage of $28 per hour. Most Tim Hortons pay $10 to $12. As the kids might say.."well, duh?" (you could do an article on this!|
Robert Turnbull on 5/31/2012 12:46:02 PM
|Guessing jobs number will be dismal. On a brighter note, that's a terrific shot of one great Italian car -- nice background, too. Lamborghini lines are perfect and, unlike Ferraris, they aren't always expected to be red.|
Patricia Flynn on 5/31/2012 2:51:53 PM
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