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I've seen yet, thank you. I can see I should have studied economics. Well, it's not too late.

One point resonates with me, the psychological tipping point when the shopper leaves the queue is an aspect that can be affected to a certain extent. (Store management could hand out candy to waiting shoppers, that's exactly what we do and yes, it works.) I have already noted that the fall in oil prices has taken place largely after the notion that the situation in Iraq has settled down somewhat. Into this chaotic mix, lets toss in Obama's election, and the possibility of, if not a new direction, then perhaps a shifting emphasis in US policies, both foreign and domestic.

I withdrew all my money from the equity markets years ago, thinking that the market was in bubble-mode when the Dow Industrials hit 10,000, I hadn't been watching the financial news, but, of course, lately I've tuned into CNBC, where Mark Haines regularly dismisses the news, good or bad, as having any effect on the market.

Of course, handing out candy only goes so far, and the messages coming out of the US establishment from the White House on down have been pretty much just that for the last 7 years.

Right now on CNBC, there's some guy named Harrison who's telling us that retail numbers are going to be "disastrous" this year (his word), and that the consumer is scared. Likely this is an overstatement, and what we see here (with a characteristic overreaction in the markets) is a long-overdue tightening of belts in an overheated economy fueled by cheap money, unrealistic expectations, and too much free-market ideology being bandied about.

But like I say, I'm not an economist.

Very good diary, Rec'd and hotlisted. Thanks again.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Dec 15th, 2008 at 07:07:19 AM EST

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