I’ve read three economic books so far all printed in different years from 1997 to present and they all have their own version of what will happen when the baby boomer wave hitting the age of 65 will start around 2008. All books agree it could cause major turmoil in our healthcare system, social security, economy, and most of all for us traders the stock market reaction. Basically in a nutshell we have to pay for all these elders, or at least the ones that want to stop working, unlike my parents in their 70’s still working just normal jobs. My parents are basically living proof if you don’t save you are basically going to work until you die, unless of course I can change things which I am trying to do. Don’t get me wrong my parents have retirement income and tiny social security payments but I want to earn enough to set them free finally, even if they want to keep working.
2 good books on this subject are Boomernomics and Alan Greenspan’s “the age of turbulence”.
“the worst that can happen” thinkers
Here is a quote from an article I read today that supports what Alan Greenspan said in his book just 2 years prior:
“the boomers’ retirement could cause stock prices to fall 40% to 50%”
“Even if boomers want to sell, Dr. Siegel argues, there will be plenty of younger and newly wealthy people in China, India and other emergent countries who will be ready to buy all the securities that the boomers want to dump.”
“The Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security spending, absent changes, will grow from about 4% to 6% of the U.S. economy in the next 25 years, while Medicare and Medicaid will grow from 4% to 8%. By 2050, programs for the elderly are likely to eat up as big a share of the economy as the entire government does today — forcing working Americans to face a possible 50% increase in their taxes.”
“David Walker, the U.S. comptroller general, thinks failure to come to grips with that fundamental fiscal problem could hold the seeds of the U.S.’s demise. “The Roman Republic fell for many reasons,” he has said, “but three reasons are worth remembering: declining moral and political civility at home, an overconfident and overextended military in foreign lands, and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.”” – Alan Murray, WSJ
More recession thoughts:
“Kasriel said that if banks have to report more losses due to bad bets on subprime mortgages, they will be unwilling, or unable, to make large loans to businesses and consumers.”
“So even if the Fed keeps cutting interest rates, the impact of the cuts may be “less potent” than rate cuts in previous recessions since consumers and businesses may not be able to borrow enough to keep spending. That could make this recession more like the one in 1991-92 than the relatively short and mild recession of 2001.”
“Historically, and not surprisingly, recessions accompanied by declines in consumer spending tend to be more severe. And people are going to be constrained from spending by the declines in housing,” Kasriel said. – Chris Isidore, CNN Money
“the upside” thinkers
Quote from an article about rate cuts that backs the statement about financial stocks rebounding first – think about it. If homes are bought again and mortgages are taken out, at 52 week lows, hitting 200DMA lines, with low PEGs and low PE’s these should be first to rise:
“Rate cuts are designed to stimulate borrowing and, in turn, business activity and the overall economy. They also will eventually boost profit margins for banks and other lenders, which have been working to lower costs and raise cash levels through layoffs and stock sales after having lost billions of dollars to bad mortgages and mortgage-related investments. Those companies — including Citigroup Inc., Washington Mutual Inc. and Merrill Lynch — were the big winners Wednesday.”
“What has happened is the Fed is flooding the system with liquidity and eventually we should see some traction in the economy. And stocks tend to respond first,” said Steve Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co.” – Madlen Read, AP Business Writer
So this brings me to the fact that home prices from my research looking and interested in buying in many different states prices have already fallen a good 15-20% which backs up the current economist. We also continue to see major layoffs and “restructuring” financial statements in big companies. We also know from lower earnings and screaming “slower growth economy” fears that companies Price to Earnings (PE) growth will be lowered which will lower stock prices. Even though financial stocks have major downtrend lines, lots of debt and bad loans, it does seem since they are down the most and have already took on the pain they would be most likely to move up first. You can’t pound a stone into the ground. Currently financial stocks have been flat on the ground dead and with the rate cuts they gained around 5-15% in the past week. Will this break a major downtrend? Time will only tell us and then make our own decision to buy or wait…
Todays big swing I think at least for the short term will make stocks rally. But if you watch big stocks BIDU and GOOG they dropped! Really tells a lot about the market including RIMM and buddy AAPL. These big tech stocks didn’t go with the flow and they are actual profit machines.
So I’ve been reading Alan Greenspan’s The Age of Turbulence. I’m currently at page 85. This book is one roller coaster of non-stop financial-economic thought process. Your eyes may get droopy so I’d drink some caffiene with this bad boy. Mr. Greenspan’s book first part it describes about him and how he got started, his story. In that respect it is easy to read because its like a colorful story, but I hear it gets worse. I think soon I will start reading less about his life and his life love of economics, but instead GNP and crazy economics thoughts since this is the “special asian edition”. I’m actually pretty good at keep financial books somewhat stimulating, but he talks about in his book how he thought “Relative Theory on Economics” is super interested and I’ve got that book and its one hardcore of a mess of “blah”. Economic’s must be genius to read certain books that are extremely boring on some very bland subjects. Alan Greenspan likes to think of himself as an introvert and charting/numbers guy. I suppose I can see that in predicting with economic theories and supply/demand graphs. So far all right. This book is a mammoth over 500 pages. It would be awesome if I could finish the book in 2 weeks which is my goal.
check it out at your local library.