"consumer, business confidence both weaken"
for the past couple weeks the bulls have been out kicking the dow up an easy +500 points, (+800 if you go back 30 days), and the only thing remarkable about that is that the bears had spent the last couple weeks before that dropping it -600, and it's not really clear what, if anything, is fundamentally different, and the long-term average is a decent illustration of the point. we're going nowhere.
let's face it--we're still bankrupt as a nation, pouring good trillions after bad down the three-holed sewer of un-winnable foreign armed conflict, socialist corporate bailouts and political pork, aka "stimulus", and unworkable, indecipherable "health care" programs that, in the end, benefit only big pharma and the doctors who stand to prescribe from their catalog to an ever-widening pool of people, and are completely confusing (and of questionable overall value) to most folks. (i can just see the medicare questionnaire now: "tell me, has your confidence been strengthening or weakening lately?") did anyone catch jon stewart's montage of congressional news, intermixing the "this actual piece of real legislation that was just rejected" news stories with video from the capitol hill floor of them approving things like the "10th anniversary of the national book festival"?
here's the actual list, verbatim from the daily show:
* 9/23: - failed to move forward on repealing don't ask don't tell
* 9/14: + commended the university of southern california trojan men's tennis team
* 7/30: - failed to give health care coverage to 9-11 first-responders sickened by dust at ground zero
* 9/22: + acted to issue a multinational species conservation fund symposium stamp
* 7/30: - failed to get the small business bill past a procedural vote
* 9/16: + recognized the 10th anniversary of the national book festival
* 7/14: - failed to pass the defense supplemental bill before breaking for the july 4th holiday
* 9/22: + commemorated the 75th anniversary of the blue ridge parkway
* 7/08: - failed to extend jobless benefits to 2.1 million unemployed americans before taking their summer break.
yep, there's a pattern.
i'm figuring, if you stick a polling thermometer up the collective american poop shoot, all you're ever going to read these days is "we're in the shit", and until 1 out of 7 americans are moved back even to the poverty line, and until the vast millions of people who have been out of work for years can find some, that reading ain't gonna change.
too bad the financial news is written and reported about and for the top 1% of americans who own fully 42% of everything in this country. (the bottom 4 out of 5 americans, one of whom is likely to be beneath the poverty threshold, altogether barely own 15% of the wealth in this country--that's right, 80% of the people get barely 15% of the stuff, while the top 1% has essentially three times that much.
or, put another way, 2 out of 100 of us owns just about as much as the other 98 combined, and if you think those 2 are in any way hurting right now in this economy, you haven't been paying attention. it's the other 98 of us who are getting screwed. (actually, it's the bottom 80, and, speaking for the 18 of us with decent-paying jobs, alimony notwithstanding, we're still holding heads above water for now, but it's trending the wrong way, and it's only a matter of time until national insolvency knocks the pegs out from under us, too).
or, put another way--that 1.5 TRILLION of your and my dollars that we gave to those big banks cuz they said we had to? six of 'em hold 60% of the entire US GDP, and, instead of failing and fire-saling those assets back to the people who paid for them, they're operating with the full faith and tax capacity of the american public behind them, and we're never gonna see even a nickel. seriously--do you think those banks are going to be paying the taxes that pay back those trillions to the treasury? nope, that's on us. just us. meaning, the banks stole 1.5 trillion, and then held us up for another 1.5 trillion of our lunch money to pay it back, and we went for it.
short answer is that the headline, that "consumer, business confidence both weaken", has to be a boldfaced lie--zero confidence cannot weaken.