There’s lots of angst over the partial government shutdown, and the market again is doing the expected: being volatile.
And there’s upset on the right — certain members of Congress want to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It should be at least mentioned that PPACA has been legislated, and so Congress is trying to unring a bell that has already rung. In fact, the bell is now ringing in full sway — enrollments have begun in preparation for the Jan. 1 launch date.
While even Warren Buffett now has second thoughts about PPACA, it is what it is and — if it turns out to be a disaster for the poor, as has been reported in the New York Times and elsewhere — it could eventually fall of its own weight. But I suspect, when it comes to Obamacare, we will have to wait and see.
As to angst, in my lifetime there have been, in no particular order, a World War; nuclear explosions (lots); presidential assassination attempts; a presidential assassination; the Korean War; the Vietnam Conflict; the Cold War; the War on Terrorism (with sub-parts); the creation of the personal computer, the cellular telephone and tablet computing (to say nothing of the transistor, necessary for the foregoing three); about 30 percent of all U.S. presidencies (good, bad and sometimes indifferent); and lots more. The Republic survives! It will survive the current angst, which is small potatoes in the greater scheme of things.
If you, like me, are deeply involved in the subject of investing, it may be better to keep your eye on corporate profits and P/E ratios, read Barron’s and/or the Wall Street Journal and maybe check Popular Mechanics and Popular Science from time to time (to see what’s on the drawing board) instead of paying attention to what the folks in Washington are doing.
My FPA chapter had its first ever symposium last week. The meeting went well. An economist from First Trust, Strider Elass, said it was likely that stocks still had another 20 percent headroom to run. He was generally bullish. That does not mean that the always-looking-for-negativity news announcers won’t scare the pants off us several times a week, but it does mean that corporate profits are solid, profits are high and, generally, business is good. And, yes, we are in an oil boom.