Alfred E. Neuman had it right in the July 1955 issue of Mad Magazine, right? Al, wherever you may be now, please rest easy about the stock market. While the economy is a bit less in the doldrums, but suffering nonetheless, the stock market is better, as it often is when Democrats are presidents.
And, although volatility is projected, many of the pundits I follow — these are investment pundits; not journalists or TV news readers/announcers – feel pretty positive about 2010 being a good market year overall. Keep in mind, Al, that we are about to experience the May-November effect, which may slow things down a bit.
I was at Borders Saturday and Sunday. I took along the Berkshire Hathaway annual report — whereas Berkshire had about 500,000 shareholders before the BNSF acquisition, Mr. Buffett now estimates that there are 565,000 of us. Last year, pre-BNSF, there were about 35,000 attendees at the Woodstock for Capitalists in Omaha; each year seems to increase by about 5,000 or so people. I wonder how many will attend this year? I make my reservations about one year in advance. And now, instead of sitting in the uncomfortably small Qwest Center seats, I look for one of the overflow areas and watch the Warren and Charlie Show on a big-screen TV. This allows me access, too, to the three DQ Dilly Bars I consume each year.
At Borders, I also found what seems an excellent book: 13 Bankers, by Simon Johnson and James Kwak. Yes, it’s about the Great Debacle (GD), but it also offers an historical perspective, returning to the Jeffersonian agricultural ideal vs. Alexander Hamilton’s central bank/government regulation approach. There is another GD book due out next week and already reviewed by Barron’s; it’s called The End of Wall Street, by the respected financial journalist, Roger Lowenstein and it’s said to be a hummer.