Hello. Not much to report from home. Got together last night with the neighbors for dinner. Mandy made some really good chicken tacos for Kate and me.
Well, the economy seems to be rebounding somewhat, with the stock market making gains and corporations once again reporting some measurable profits (unemployment continues to be a problem, but most of the stuff I've read seems to indicate that job growth won't pick up until the economy improves for a while and companies see a more extended pattern of economic improvement).
I was talking a bit about the economy with my dad when he was in town this weekend, though, and he pointed out that we really haven't seen much in the way of new regulations or system controls put into place that could prevent an economic collapse from occurring again. There have been some constraints and conditions placed upon the companies that took advantage of the bailout/TARP money, but those regulatory measures seem like they were really only connected to the bailout money. As far as I know, there haven't been many checks or safeguards put in place to protect against the sort of reckless borrowing and lending practices (on home loans, personal private loans, and within the financial industry itself) which helped to contribute to the recent downturn in the first place. Money was pumped back into the financial sector to prop the banks back up (and to provide money for more lending), but it just seems like we haven't seen much repair in terms of the underlying structural defects which caused the system to falter in the first place.
Which, to my admittedly financially illiterate self, makes me wonder if we haven't just kind of used the stimulus money to create some new form of bubble type of situation (people want to keep making money, so the stock market is flowing again, but does the whole thing continue to rest on a bedrock of bad loans and extremely questionable lending practices?).
I don't know. I could be completely wrong about all of this stuff. But this recovery has left me nervous. It just seems like we took a patient with some kind of serious disease, gave that patient some medication to ease their symptoms and pain, and then walked away and declared the patient cured.
Anyway, I don't know much about the economy, but when The Admiral expressed these concerns to me, they made a lot of sense, and they actually fell in line with warnings/complaints from an economist who I'd heard on NPR about a week ago (I don't remember the guy's name- I was driving in my car when I heard the story).
Sooo.... I'm enjoying watching my stocks climb (I have a few, but just a small amount), but I'm keeping my finger on the sell button.
Man, I don't have much today. Hope you guys are doing alright.