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But Wait !!


The uncertainty of the election is gone.  You may not like the outcome, but removing uncertainty is always a good thing for the stock market.

But wait!  The markets are now obsessing over the Fiscal Cliff — with endless nuanced arguments both ways.  Again, getting it behind us is more important to the stock market than the details.  Pundits seem to think there is a one-third chance that the elected partisans will work out a deal before the deadline, a one-third chance they will work it out at the year-end deadline, and a one-third chance we’ll go over the Cliff and stay there.

The market is down 5% since the election and continues to leak slowly, like an old tire.  But, when we get closer to year-end, I expect the market will over-react and leak more rapidly next month.  My current thinking is that time will be a good time to start buying stocks again.

But wait!  Shortly afterwards, it will be time to raise the debt ceiling again.  While the Tea Party may be swayed enough by Main Street and by Wall Street to hide the fact they actually compromised on something (by hiding in the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code), they will have no place to hide on the debt ceiling vote, which is a “yes or no” vote.  I expect they will fall on their swords, get our credit downgraded again, and let loose the bears on Wall Street.  Getting this behind us should be a second buying opportunity.

But wait!  Then, the markets will begin obsessing over the European crisis.  This is important — that crisis has morphed over the last few months.  Originally, it was a pure financial crisis and had the possibility of becoming a Lehman-scale disaster.  Now, the European Central Bank has taken extraordinary steps in the style of the U.S. Federal Reserve and made it clear there will be no “Lehmans” in Europe.  This kicked the can a LONG way down the road, greatly reducing the risk of a financial crisis.  However, Europe has now settled in a double-dip recession, which appears to be more saucer-shaped than tea-cup-shaped.  This is good news.  Even better, the “boss-hog” of Europe itself, Germany, is slipping into recession itself.  Up to this point, Germany has wisely crammed badly-needed austerity down the throat of the Greeks, the Italians, and the Spanish.  But, at this point, it is necessary to push growth again, instead of austerity — to keep Germany itself out of recession.  When that happens and we get that worry behind us, there will be a third buying opportunity!

But wait!  There will be something else to worry about — there always is!

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