It’s the Economy, Stupid!


“It’s the Economy, Stupid”, was purportedly scrawled upon a blackboard at Bill Clinton’s 1992 election campaign headquarters. It was true then, it is still true today. I am taking time today to commemorate the anniversary of last year’s financial meltdown. If you all recall, last year at this time this country was in the heat of another Presidential campaign. As a backdrop to this campaign was the biggest economic downturn freefall in the world since the Great Depression. At one point, a year ago, some pundit had joked that if the Dow Jones index continued at its current pace, it would hit zero in just a matter of weeks. There was real fear in this country, just one year ago. Do you remember it?

Anne and I had not spoken to our stock broker since before last year’s crash. Thursday night we met with him for the first time in years. Our IRA accounts have rebounded about 50% of the way from the beginning of this year’s low, from their high at the end of 2007. That still leaves us with losses, albeit just paper losses, but still substantial losses from our all time high. We were heavily invested in stocks. This investment strategy led us quickly down last year’s rollercoaster, but it also quickly led us, at least partway, backup this year‘s. The long and short of this story is that we decided to rebalance our investments. We are no longer so heavily invested in stocks, but have now diversified into other investment vehicles. Wiser, but poorer we slough on.

Pictured above is Carpobrotus edulis, a creeping, mat-forming succulent species. It is more commonly known as the Ice Plant. It is an invasive species in the United States that had originated from South Africa. It is quite prevalent in the Monterey, California area. The picture of it with today’s post is from this Spring, when I was last out there. Today’s header is from this summer. It shows the Soo Locks Boat Tour boat rounding Round Island. I wonder if Pete was on this cruise?

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