I must say, I have not looked at the money supply for quite some time. The risk of a deflationary spiral (think of the appearance of bath water draining) is clear from the experience of the Japanese economy. However, there are numerous factors that have resulted in their economy's problems that I shall not go into now, but may save for later.
One point that I might make in regard to the recent posts is that the bankruptcy courts don't destroy cash or wealth or capital. The courts are simply the ones that pick up the pieces after that has been done by corporate managements. Bankruptcies are caused by management mistakes and misjudgements (although sometimes by competition that invents a better mousetrap) and the misallocation of capital. It was obvious to me that the whole internet/telecomm thing of the past few years was wildly overblown (though fun while it lasted). Consequently, while most portfolios are down big in the past two years, I have done OK finding the occasional Atrion or two and trading....most of the time holding around 50% cash in my portfolio. I suppose I could have played the internet game, but it was a little too much like playing a game of musical chairs--you never know when the music would stop.
Certainly, while Alan Greenspan can be blamed for taking the punchbowl away just as the party was getting started (OK--the neighbors were about to call the police), that, basically is what a Fed Chairman's job is.
What I mean is, the longer he let the party go on, the bigger the hangover (the bankruptcy boom) would be. In Greenspan's defense, by pricking the bubble when he did, he prevented a great deal more capital from being wasted in dubious internet and telecom ventures. The game now is to figure out what will lead the market in the economy inevitable upturn over the next few years. Since it is never the same thing as the previous time, it likely won't be the Internet and wireless telecommunications. But it surely will be technology related since that is where innovation and new products come from. Unless you count the newest offering from McDonald's. Unfortunately, I suspect that the Energy sector may be the next leader.
I'm sure you realize that I was being a bit simplistic and facetious when I blamed the bankruptcy courts for destroying money. They simply officiate at the funeral and incidentally, from the viewpoint of a former bank director, the ceremony is overly long. I'm surprised that you are hanging in there as long as you have with ATRI. Once health services are nationalized, and they surely will be, the exotic surgery that uses Atrion's products will be severely curtailed and the prices paid will be controlled. I'm not sure that will be an entirely bad thing since angiography and bypass procedures are being grossly overused, as numerous studies have demonstrated. But the popular press and the health industry have indocrinated the public to believe that these are esential, life-saving modalities. My own hardly infallible opinion is that health stocks are the most overpriced issues in an overvalued stock market. As for energy stocks, a bright future always seems to be around the corner, but resrves are so plentiful and so easily brought on stream that every time prices begin to rise as they did last winter, new production quickly results in a glut and a precipitous decline in energy prices and the price of energy stocks. I persist in my belief that the sun is truly rising in the east and Greater China and maybe India offer better investment prospects than most domestic companies.
I persist in my belief that the sun is truly rising in the east and Greater China and maybe India offer better investment prospects than most domestic companies. ------- would you really trust a large part of your assets into a market controlled by the red chinese?
Well, I am able to hang in there, so to speak, for a number of reasons. The prime one is that my remaining shares all represent profit. Effectively, I'm in the position I like the best: Playing with the House's money.
AS for being sure that you were being facetious, let's say I was hoping. I have found the level of sophistication on Yahoo message boards to range from the (Occasionally) amazingly informed to the (usually) amazingly poor. At least that's my viewpoint as a former bank credit officer.
I do difer with you that health care will be nationalized for a couple of reasons though. The first is that health care already is available to the poor through a variety of programs including Medicaid and the requirement that hospitals serve the indigent. More importantly, however, are recent polls that indicate that for the first time in decades, more Americans identify themselves asa Republicans than as Democrats.