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Potholes take center stage

 

Can you count the number of potholes you hit or narrowly avoid every day?  Do they make your blood boil, teeth clench and trigger a choice euphemism or two during your commute?   Unless the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) receives a $302 billion injection of funds this year, it could get a lot worse. read more…

A shift in leadership

 

Throw out the new, embrace the old, not something you see often on Wall Street. But as technology stocks and other high flyers continue to get trounced, utilities and other oldies but goodies are doing quite well. read more…

Inequality in the housing market

 

 

“You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?”

George Bailey, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

 

The most expensive home ever sold in America occurred over the weekend in “The Hamptons,” Long Island’s playground for the one percent. Just a week before that a Greenwich, CT estate sold for $120 million. At the same time, the percentage of America’s first-time home buyers is at its lowest level since 2008. What does that say about homeownership in the United States? read more…

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Congressional Farm Bill is a disgrace

There were times in the past when farmers needed the government’s protection. There may even be a limited need for it today, despite the good times many in agriculture have enjoyed in recent years. However, nothing can justify the travesty that congress has offered the taxpayer in its new five year plan for agriculture. read more…

Political Posturing Ahead

 

The markets have spent most of this year focusing on concrete things like the economy, jobs, the Fed’s stimulus program and corporate earnings. However, we are entering that time of year when our dysfunctional political parties may once again roil the markets in an attempt to justify their miserable existence. read more…

Food Stamps and the Farm Bill

 

The decision by congress to pass a version of the new farm bill which excludes the food stamp program caused a fair amount of concern throughout America last week. Unless a compromise is reached with the Senate by September, it will mean that a lot of people, especially children, are going to go hungry in the months ahead.  read more…

Nothing is Simple

 

The biggest risk to the markets this week was Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony before congress. Despite worries that he would say something that would send the markets into a tail spin, he did nothing of the sort. When it comes to the Fed, Wall Street may be its own worst enemy, and here’s why. read more…

Do you believe?

It may well be the most-hated stock market rally in recent history. Every time we hit a new high, as we did this week, investors brace for the next pull back. When the declines do occur however, they are shallow and soon recover. What is that telling you? read more…

Game Changer

 

This week’s gain in non-farm payroll jobs was good news for the economy.  Employment data revealed the country created 195,000 new jobs, just a hair’s breadth away from the 200,000 jobs a month we need to sustain an accelerating economy. So why isn’t the stock market celebrating? read more…

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About Bill

Bill Schmick was born in a blue-collar neighborhood of Philadelphia, just a few blocks north of “Rocky Balboa” territory where most of his Catholic schoolmates grew up to be either cops or criminals. He narrowly escaped both professions by volunteering to fight in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine... Read More

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