Divorced From Reality

 | Nov 21, 2011 | 3:54 PM EST
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They aren't part of the real world. That's how I feel about the Super Committee lawmakers and Europe's politicians and central bankers. Neither group seems to care a whit about stock markets or credit.

In Europe, they just think about inflation. They still haven't rolled back the second rate hike. Can you imagine trying to do business with 17 different governments and a central bank that speaks of a binary world between slowdown and hyperinflation when the truth is that the options are a severe recession/depression or inflation? The risks and rewards are diametrically opposed to reality. The future of the European Union and the euro is in the balance and the bureaucrats debate some sort of eurobond safety net that can swing into action only after the private investors in banks are wiped out.

Meanwhile, federal unemployed benefits and the incentives to go back to work are going away courtesy of congressional squabbling to make the president or congress look bad. In the real world, no one cares about this stuff. Just in Washington, where all that matters is getting elected. I wonder if anyone cares about peoples' savings. That seems like an irrelevance to Washington. Both parties are to blame.

Without real action, and left to their own devices, Europe will certainly crash under the weight of the $40 trillion in obligations. We will most likely be brought down with it for a severe hit that you can ride out in the best of the best and the companies that have the most yield that can pay it.

But let's understand each other: If something doesn't occur, we are way too high. Every index. And some of our banks are going to be called into question as viable entities once again.

So much ground lost. So much good squandered. And the politicians in Washington don't care enough, and the bureaucrats in Europe are oblivious to all but the worries of a euro weakened by printing money.

More cash raised? Why not for the nimble, for those with the higher-dividend-yield stocks that can pay for those dividends? It's still the best place to be. But it is a really bad best place unless they wake up, and fast, either here or over there.

Right now, neither seems likely.

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