Author Archive for DJ Durant

Mr. Durant is a member of a Financial Services firm in Clive, Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Siena College in Loudonville, NY and an MBA from Ashland University in Ashland, OH.

Chickens and the Roost

Yes, the chickens are coming home to roost.  All of a sudden, the man who had all the answers three years ago has none.  He was calm, cool and collected.  He convinced the American citizenry that he could solve all of the country’s problems, and that it was critical that we abandon the “failed policies of the last eight years”.

We are 17 months away from the next presidential election and the economy is definitely slowing.  Aggregate demand for goods and services is weakening.  And unless President Obama changes course on legislation enacted in the last two years, we are likely to enter yet another recession.  He won’t, though, and it will prove to be his undoing.

Conservative pundits and Republican presidential candidates are licking …


Obama’s Economy

Every once in a while, and in the case of several of the Wall Street Journal’s editoral staff, there is clarity.  Today’s column by Daniel Henniger provides such clarity.

Here’s the link:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745304576359570364488858.html

Rock on!…


Supply and Da Man

First of all, a wonderful Memorial Day to you all.  I pray that your travels, picnics, barbeques and parties would be safe and fun.  And let’s remember our fallen heroes, who without them and their ultimate sacrifice, we wouldn’t have the freedom to enjoy what we do.

The economic calendar of last week revealed what appears to be a slowing economy.  First, the analysis.

  • Durable goods orders, a highly volatile statistic, were down significantly, reflecting slower orders for cars, airplanes, refrigerators and washing machines.
  • The second estimate of  Q1 GDP growth was anemic at 1.8%.  3% would be healthy and would suggest an economy growing fast enough to grow our employment base.
  • Having said that, initial jobless claims rose to 424,000, which again suggest a

Supply and Da Man

U.S. markets closed off today, while foreign markets ended generally positive.  A bright spot in the US economy was the release of new home sales, which were estimated to be up 7.3% in April, to 323,000 new homes sold.  This represents the fourth month in a row of increasing new home sales, but we’re coming off a dismal low. In 2005, 1.4 million new homes were sold.

The housing market reflects a classic supply/demand equation.  The supply of housing far outstrips demand, and with a glut of foreclosed homes still in the market, the housing market is unlikely to return to 2005 levels for several years.

The markets seemed to be more concerned with the nation of Greece’s ability to service it’s debt.  Keep in …


Wisconsin: Not Just Cheeseheads After All

Who would have thought that the state with the first Socialist governor and subsequent Socialist Party candidate for President, Robert LaFollette, would be the first state to actively attempt to bring the public employee unions under control?  What’s next?  Vermont goes Conservative?

So much of life can be equated to the supply and demand theory of economics.  That is, there’s unlimited demand for things, but always a limited supply and when demand outstrips supply, there’s friction.  This concept can be applied to the present fiscal situation that Wisconsin, and all states for that matter, face.  They are out of money.  Tax revenues, that is, supply, have outstripped the demand for services.  The public unions, in fact all unions, have been feeding at the trough of …


A New Year, A New Congress

Out with the old, in with the new, goes the standard cliche every year about this time.  No, this is not a reference to Nancy Pelosi’s age, although incoming House Speaker John Boehner is 9 years younger.  Speaker Boehner does represent a new attitude and the resulting optimism is being reflected in the markets and the broader economy.

Consider:

  • Retail sales, Christmas sales, were up significantly over 2009
  • Consumer and business confidence for November and December have inched higher
  • Jobless numbers are moving downward, evidenced by today’s ADP employment report that suggested 297,000 new private sector jobs were created in December (this is a big number!)

This is not a coincidence.  This is, however a direct result of increased optimism in the country due to …


The Big Spanking

Our grandchildren were over last weekend–two boys ages 5 and 3.  At one point the 3-year-old was telling me about being disobedient and how Daddy had to give him a big spanking.  Now I know my son and I’m sure that he was providing gentle discipline, but the point wasn’t lost and can be applied to last week’s election.

Much has been made of the Republican’s gains in the House and Senate, and their effective control of Congress.  This was clearly a repudiation of the Obama, Reid, and Pelosi policies of economic stagnation.  Make no mistake about it, this was about the economy.  The Democrats insistence on spending taxpayer’s money ineffectively, squandering it, actually, passing huge and unpopular bills, and their complete lack of caring …


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The Labor Department reported this morning that nonfarm payrolls fell by 131,000 in the month of July.  Even more discouraging was that June’s revised payroll number was revised downward to a negative 221,000.  This is huge.  Initial jobless claims estimates released Thursday was 479,000, and was an increase from the previous week’s 460,000.  The two statistics, nonfarm payrolls and initial jobless claims, are suggesting the same thing–employers are not hiring, and are, in fact, laying off workers, and we may very well be headed into a “double dip” recession.

That’s the report.  Here’s the analysis.  As suggested some months ago, the past predicts the future.  As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun.  There will be no new net growth in …


Administrative Delusion

Yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, President Barack Obama was being interviewed by Harry Smith.  This seems to be this President’s primary function.  I can just see his job description now–Item 1, must interview with the media incessantly.  Never mind running the country.  We’ll leave that to Pelosi and Reid.  And, who can blame him?  It’s more attractive to meet with adherents to your policies, glowing supporters and people who will fawn over you than with the other 80%, the rabble, the people who just don’t get it.  Bring on The View!  They love me!  Everyone must love me too!

Anyway, Mr. Smith asked the President if he thought the criticism leveled at him and his administration was “undeserved”.  “Yes”, the President replied, “it is undeserved”.  …


The Case Against Financial Institutions Regulation (and other sundry items)

The news events of the last few months have certainly put the Obama Administration in a peculiar position.  The Gulf crisis notwithstanding, most of these events have been created by this president and his staff.

Team Obama went the the G20 Summit in Toronto this weekend to chide the other 19 nations to continue to stimulate their economy through Keynsian economic principles.  “Not so fast”, said the other countries.  “We have to make choices, and right now, we choose fiscal solvency and prudence”.  What a concept!

Passage of the Financial Institutions Reform package was always tenuous, at best, but the death of Senator Robert Byrd over the weekend makes passage more difficult.  One less Democratic vote means that it’s more likely that Republicans can filibuster …


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