Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Economic Tumult

I am afraid it will get worse before it gets better.

The extremes are out there:
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A man distraught because he could not find work shot and killed his mother-in-law, his wife and three sons and then killed himself inside a home in an upscale San Fernando Valley neighborhood, police said.

Authorities said the man had an MBA in finance but appeared to have been unemployed for several months and had worked for major accounting firms, such as Price Waterhouse.
and more practical signs of the changes going on:
COLUMBIA, Missouri (AP) -- Forget about the outdated notion of thrift shops as the refuge of the working poor, the down and out or the vintage fashion hipster. In these troubled times, the powerful lure of a secondhand retail bargain is attracting a whole new breed of customer.

The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries International, the nation's two largest charitable resale organizations, report year-to-date sales increases of 6 percent to 15 percent.

The gains are even more pronounced in the private sector. In an industry trade group survey of more than 200 resale and thrift shops, nearly two-thirds of those businesses reported higher sales in 2008 compared to the previous year. The average sales increase: 35 percent.

Consumers "can't change the price of gas. They can't change the price of food. They can't make the stock market go up again," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops. "But they can control the price of clothes and furniture by being a savvy shopper."
I have been fortunate to make good choices while being in the right place at the right time. A bargain basement Fixed rate Mortgage, a new vehicle purchase at 3.90 through JP Morgan Chase, and a savvy domestic adviser in the lovely Mrs. Flash.

I am somewhat unaffected by much of what is going on in the Wall Street fortresses. I think the market is at its bottom end, where as 7500 was the bottom about this time of year in 2002, and by Christams it was up over 1000 points. You can figure that 10,000 is the bottom here (give or take a couple hundred) with the holiday boost just around the corner. By the end of the year, the market will be rebounding, the country will be ready for new leadership, and the recovery will be well underway.

But for now, we have some bumps and bruises left to treat, but know that . . . this too shall pass!


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