The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Monday Morning Musings

06/25/2012

The weight of uncertainty is crushing.  The stock market abhors uncertainty.  I’m surprised it is not at least a  thousand points lower.  It seems spring-loaded to go up, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.  The weight of uncertainty is just too heavy.

The Supreme Court will rule this week on one-sixth of the economy.  That ruling is likely to increase uncertainty even more.

Spain this morning effectively asked for a bailout by asking all its banks to be bailed-out.  Unfortunately, Spain is too big to bailout.  So, what’s next?  More uncertainty.

There will be yet another European Summit this week.  Greece wants a two-year deferral to austerity, which is unconscionable and is probably motivated by internal politics.  Failure to make real headway this week will weigh very heavily on the market.

There is an uncertain Federal election in a few months, costing almost $2 billion.  And, all that money is likely to be wasted, if there is a European collapse.  If there is, our economy slides into another recession, and the incumbent loses, no matter how much money politicians spend.  Europe could easily determine the U.S. vote.

By the way, the market is not sanguine about the Fiscal Cliff at year-end, when the Bush income tax cuts and Obama payroll tax cuts expire, and Federal spending is severely cut.  Non-partisan think-tanks have estimated our GDP will be depressed at least 1.0-1.4%, which is huge . . . and unnecessary.

Just to add more drama, there is likely to be another debt ceiling debacle this year, adding the weight of embarrassment to the weight of uncertainty.

There is nothing new about uncertainty.  Business deals with it routinely.  However, the level of uncertainty must be near an all-time high, at least during my lifetime.

At 5 AM, futures indicated the Dow would lose about 80 points at the open.  Both Asia and Europe were down overnight.  We might be saying that frequently . . . for awhile . . . for months . . .

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