Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a Small World After All

And down the stretch they come! Barack Obama and John McCain are racing toward the Presidential finish line, but the national economy is providing a headwind to John McCain while airing the sails for Barack Obama. Another day, another triple digit drop in the DOW, and as a financial professional I can tell you that there is no quick and easy fix.

I was a opponent of the bailout and I believe John McCain missed his opportunity to make a dent in the polls by aligning himself with the people and not with government. The problem with the bailout is that while it may stem some of the fear on Wall Street, it reeks of socialism and allows government to get its' greedy hands in our free market system. That is the same government that got us in this mess by pushing lending agencies to agree to mortgages with minority groups and lower income families that could not afford the debt they agreed upon. But this isn't the only issue with the market.

The market situation is a tricky one because it has become amazingly global. As a financial advisor I began seeing this in great detail over the past 5 years or so. It used to be when you bought an international fund you could be assured that the fund was truly “international,” but now with globalization everything is so linked that there is an enormous butterfly effect created when one part falters. Now we have the United State’s market struggling with the bad credit crunch, we have Europe’s markets doing likewise, we have the Asian markets struggling because without exports to the struggling US and European markets their markets will struggle. Then you have Russia who sold its soul to petroleum and becomes ever more agitated with each day the price of a barrel tumbles.

To think that we could stimulate our economy by saddling our taxpayers with$700,000,000,000 (Funny, you never see it written in numeric form – guess its too scary) of additional debt in order to bailout Wall Street may have been a bit far fetched. As Americans we have a very grandiose view of our country and we no doubt have the greatest country on the face of the earth. But, this market crisis is not just an American dilemma and it will not be solved with only an American response. The problem is that “to each his own” is governing this global crisis.

In Europe, each country is dealing with banking issues and market problems in their own way, showing very little unity. In Russia, their entire market revolves around oil and therefore if oil is sinking, then so is Russia. Russia's response very well could be aggression. Instability in oil producing areas could cause the price of oil to increase again and help Russia's flailing economy. So do not be shocked if Russia's military is on the move, or if they use their influence to create a diversion elsewhere. As for Asia they seem to be waiting on the sidelines with fingers crossed hoping that something happens to bring back their sugardaddy, the USA. The moral of the story is that it truly is a "small world after all" and while the US has applied a bandaid to its wounds (although having the government involved is like having Dr. Phil do heart surgery), the rest of the world economy is bleeding profusely.

So whether you believe Obama is the "great unifier," a liberal douche-bag, a skilled politician, or the Anti-Christ, it is befitting to know that he gets his chance to appeal to the whole world during this crisis, because its propelling him to the world's most powerful position, and it is doing so while the whole world watches.

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