Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Economic Stimulus Update

A week ago I blogged some thoughts about the Big Economic Stimulus Give Away noting that it seemed senseless and that we shouldn't expect it to stimulate much of anything. That didn't stop the big Wall Street bank, Goldman, from issuing a list of stocks that would benefit from the "stimulus". Frankly, I wondered at the time if Goldman wasn't simply listing stocks it held that it wanted to liquidate, but decided to "stimulate" first. With the exception of WalMart (which is a no brainer because the company accounts for about 8% of retail sales in America) the list wasn't especially exciting. I suspected that they threw in Walmart as a credibility shill - it has been a good one to own. In any case, the Goldman story is just one vignette in the multi ring circus comprised by Wall Street, their buddies in Washington, and banks around the world. The following is a copy of a post on a stock analysis service I use. Thought it was a telling anecdote.

"Speaking of 'living at the expense of others' in yesterdays Digest, I received my 'rebate' check yesterday in the mail. Our kind, helpful, government was so thoughtful to present me with a little chart, which explained that I was entitled to receive $1,200 because I was married, and then an additional $600 for the two children I have. They added it up for me and proudly displayed the $1,800 rebate amount that I deserved to receive. Of course, they then proceeded to reduce my rebate because, even though my wife doesn't work and takes care of our children full time, apparently I make too much money for my family of four. MY $1,800 entitlement was reduced to $38.41. Should I put it towards my mortgage? Or perhaps put 10 gallons into my car? You make the call. I gotta get back to work, so my neighbor can go to the mall."

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