May 3, 2010

Anger Clouds Financial Judgement

Polls suggest that there are many Americans who are so blinded by rage that they are missing the opportunity to invest in what is beginning to look like an economic recovery. Unfortunately, those Americans won't be able to pay for their retirements out of that rage.

The S&P 500 has risen 42.5% since Obama took office, propelled upward in part by a $787 billion stimulus program and a bailout of Wall Street, and stock prices remain attractive relative to earnings growth forecasts. But a March 2010 Bloomberg national poll found that Americans believe the economy has gotten worse, by "an almost 2-to-1 margin" since March 2009. Yet facts are stubborn things and all that anger may be keeping politically disgruntled investors out of stocks at a time when rejoining the market could help them replenish retirement funds decimated by the S&P 500's 40% fall between its October 2007 peak and January 2009.

There may be many reasons for the mismatch between the public mood and the state of the economy and the markets. One might be that a group of politicians is hoping to channel the public's rage over the financial crisis against the administration that appears to be cleaning it up. In so doing, they may be hoping to regain the political power they lost after pushing the policies that caused that financial crisis. Another reason could be more benign: Employment takes a long time to pick up after a recession ends, and until the job market comes back strong, the public stays in a bad mood.

See full article from DailyFinance:


  1. Hi Ken,
    I don't think it's anger that's preventing people from investing ... it's fear: fear that the market still isn't stable enough or fear that their job might go away.

  2. I agree with Marty... people who were losers in the last economic event lost money and wealth that they will never replace and don't hope to. Of course this leads to resentment as those who seemed to have caused the collapse are also poised to reclaim all they have lost and some.

  3. Teabaggers and news coverage of teabaggers fuels pessimism which extends recessions.


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