Bing Blog

Nothing but good news here, ladies and gentlemen

Glass Half Full

It struck me, after my tale of the cute little piggies yesterday, how grateful some of you were in your comments for a nice upbeat story in which nobody got hurt. A welcome change from the gloom and doom was the general drift.

When you think about it, this should be no surprise. I think people are sick of all the negative stuff that washes over us every day, from the coming recession which may already be here to the pending inflation that is possibly coming along with it to the massive write downs sweeping throught the banking industry to the fact that more people seem to care about Britney Spears than about the War in Iraq.

We want to hear some good news now and then, feel that world is a bright and hopeful place, not a bottomless sump pump of murk and schweck.

The good news is that there is good news -- so much I can hardly contain it all. Let me give you some in case you need it.

Chairman Bernanke has just indicated that he intends to do whatever he can to stimulate the economy without making the same mistakes as his predecessors. I have no idea how he will do this, but then I'm not expected to. My job and yours is to feel a warm glow about his intentions and then take that jolly mood into our investment decisions. You know how much the fate of the market is determined by emotional factors. This could be just the lift we all need!

Sure, stocks have taken a beating. But anybody with even a modest little portfolio of bonds is feeling all right. Shouldn't the gutless conservatives like me who hate to gamble with our savings have a day in the sun now and then?

Think about our political process. It's going great guns. There hasn't been so much genuine fervor on both sides of the aisle in years. Young people are energized and enthused and voting their hearts and minds as never before. That's terrific for our nation. Plus, for those with an eye on local economies, this ferment -- not only the candidates but also on the issues -- will pump millions of dollars of advertising into the marketplace as voters fight over the wisdom of casino gambling, for instance, as well as who should be the CEO of the world's most powerful multi-national corporation.

And okay, it's true that the housing market is in the privy. This has of course stuck a finger in the eye of a lot of dumb entities that loaned money to people who had more dreams than cash to pay for them. Bad? Not completely. First, it's good when large institutions are punished for greed and stupidity, and their leaders are forced to depart in ignominy. Our entire ethical system is built on the concept of appropriately public disgrace, from the days of colonial Williamsburg, when they put miscreants into the stockade, to today, when TMZ, CNN and Gawker do the job.

Better still, a depressed housing market means that people who DO have a little bit of cash can now afford to move into that dream home whose price was formerly jacked up to ridiculous heights by the idiotic inflation of the market by morons weilding cheap debt. Last year, in my little California community, people were expecting to get $1.5 million dollars for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage with no property. Now these little bungalows sit there with their real estate signs hanging dementedly from one hook for months. Then they go off-sale entirely. When they return, I'll bet they're one step closer to people who might actually be able to purchase them with a little more equity.

A few days ago, Apple (AAPL) announced a whole host of new stuff, including tons of movies to be available on demand, a free upgrade of some kind for my Apple TV, and a new skinny-Minnie laptop that sounds super boffo keen. Every year, one of my happiest events is my bi-annual purchase of something I didn't have before and didn't know I needed until it was invented. Can't wait for these, either! Thanks, Uncle Steve!

Beyond that? Consider this: every downside has an upside for somebody. When stocks fall, Warren Buffet does a little dance. For him, because he's so smart, the moderation of prices represents a chance to invest in companies who are suddenly unappreciated for what they do. I hope he's looking at mine. Hey! Mr. Buffet! Over here!

Let's try to keep our heads about ourselves. As a wise man by the name of Chauncey Gardiner once observed, there will be growth in the spring. Until then, bundle up and try to enjoy the cold. I hear it's good for the circulation.

18 Comments Add Comment

If I may be so bold....

I am glad that my car inched up from 23mpg to 24 mpg the last few tanks. That means I'm only paying 42.7% more for gas than I was 2 years ago instead of that dreadful 42.9%.

I believe I have just reached nirvana. Excuse me while I sit her cross-eyed and drooling for a while...

Chauncey Gardiner a 'wise' man? Well, compared to our current president he was a genius. If the media hype has proven anything over the years, it's that things are never as bad as people think, and never as good as people hope. You can quote me on that one.


Amen! Finally, someone writes on the subject of our economy with a little common sense, and WITHOUT the gloom & doom sensationalism.

Just a smile. thanks for the article.

Post more pretty pictures of the desert. No words are needed, as a picture is worth a thousand words.

Great column Bing.
I wonder what it would be like if every 'guru' had to stand by their words and explain how they came to the conclusions they did when they are wrong. Perhaps there would be less professional 'guessing' and more responsible calls. The news media certainly can see the negative reactions they create. Maybe if they were more realistic with reporting instead of dramatic people could be more up beat.
Unfortunately most people do not appear to be able to think for themselves which helps create the society of dramatics and knee jerk reactions we seem to live in.
Keep up the good work,
Tom S., Florida

Amen brother! I'm living in Europe now, and no matter how much the locals love to tease me about the US economy, the eagle has no equal. The transparency of our systems, both political (yes- it's true) and economic, is a huge advantage that will enable continued wins in the long-term.

Good for you!! There ought to be MORE of your ilk out there. Thank you

"Bernanke has just indicated that he intends to do whatever he can to stimulate the economy ***without making the same mistakes as his predecessors***" ???? Bernanke needs a reality check... WE NEED GREENSPAN BACK!!!

“Bernanke has just indicated that he intends to do whatever he can to stimulate the economy ***without making the same mistakes as his predecessors***” ???? Bernanke needs a reality check… WE NEED GREENSPAN BACK!!!

Posted By Pat, Washington, D.C. : January 17, 2008 8:44 pm

Hey, stop complaining! The whole point of this post is to not focus on the bad but to be thankful for the good. Meditate with me. I will make some tea for us while we listen to "The Majestic Sounds of Nature, Vol. 17".

Bernanke is going to give a one-time stimulus to the economy? Given the offshoring of jobs to India and China, and the jobs are not coming back, this country will need many one-time stimulus. Or to paraphrase the ghost of Ronald Reagan, "There you go again, Ben." Send jobs offshore, for short term profit gains, and the American middle class becomes more dependent on government, thus expanding the size of government, something the Republicans don't want to figure out.

We can paint the world rosie and cozy, captured by enrapture etc.. when our faith is bartered down to faithlessness by our fiduciaries paint the world blue.

There are free lunches in the mansions of Saudi Arabia and the inner city missions in the ghettos. Faith is a ploy that will make think twice before you bend over!

Like I tell my daughter,
A positive attitude= A positive outcome.
Think about it.

Bing, I really like your clever blog, but even blogs should be proofread. It's Buffett (not Buffet). Seriously, if you're looking for a freelance proofreader...

After reading your column, I decided to follow Mr. Bernanke’s example and try to stimulate the economy a little on my own. So with my mission in mind, I jumped into my Sub-Sub Compact Econo-box and ran down to purchase a 65 dollar tank of gas, zipped over to the grocery store and grabbed a 4 dollar loaf of bread, hit up the local burger joint and choked down a 10 dollar burger, fries and a drink then returned home to re-group. While I sat thinking about my next move to further "stimulate" the economy with the cash I had left, the immortal words of the notorious Blackjack Dealer in "Vegas Vacation" came to mind...

"…Buy a Bullet and Rent a Gun."

I am optimistic too…

Ah Bing, a snarky positive attitude...But, that is why we luv ya.

How much is your home worth? Well, it all depends where you live.

The real estate market is still shaking. New data suggests that home prices have hit a new record low. In every new study that comes out, homeowners from Miami, to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, have seen their home value go lower every time.
Is that disappointing? Of course it is.
Should we sell? Is not a good time.
Should we stick to it? Yes, if you can.
Have we hit bottom? Nobody knows.

Banks are facing their worst foreclosure crisis.
Don’t take me wrong, it’s good if you are in the market to buy a home for yourself or if you are an investor, but if you are not, and you own a home, most likely the value of your property is down at least 15 %.

Why do banks care if you are loosing your home? By having to sell repossessed homes, banks have to literally slash their prices down. It gets very costly for them, after all, they have to pay property taxes, maintenance costs, and whatever utilities that need to be paid, all of this expenses for a house that it’s just sitting there, vacant, and the bank is getting nothing in return.

The latest study by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities, revealed the news that for 22 consecutive months home prices dropped. Only from April to May, 2009 the decline was of 0.9 %