Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Roundup

Stocks plunged after the Senate approved the bailout legislation, and the same event occurred following the approval by the House. Prior to the passing of the bailout, stocks were up 313 points. By the end of the day they were down 157 points. The fact is that even though stocks are driven in part by public opinion, the passing of bailout legislation does not immediately provide credit. There still needs to be a process of buying up of bad debt (with taxpayer money) and turning around the financial institutions that will receive this aid. This legislation will not provide a quick-fix as it has promised, because the financial crisis is so far-reaching that this interventionism will not solve the problems that have been in creation for years. Though people praise the passing of the bailout, there are still many, many problems to be dealt with. Payrolls were down 159,000* (meaning, after all the jobs added and those removed, there was a net loss of 159,000 positions) positions. Unemployment is at 6.1%, as well as unemployment including those who are working part-time who would rather be working full time is at 11%. Every day you hear about new aspects of the financial crisis, and this is not something that will go away easily.

As a finance major and econ minor, I want to step away from politics for a moment to talk about what I think is one of the most essential aspects of our careers and our future: retirement savings. I have been reading a lot of articles about those who are working into their 70s or later just to get by because they have no retirement savings. I have heard some startling statistics about how much people have saved for retirement when they are well into their fifties, and it is not that much. There is only a small fraction of people who actually have saved and built a retirement fund that allows them to experience the same quality of life through retirement as they do when they are in their working years. What has happened to America, and the hope of prosperity? The mindset is credit, credit, credit, debt, debt, debt. I personally believe that we need a change of mindset where our priorities rest with living within our means and not taking on insurmountable debt. This is one reason I am so interested in finance. The question of how can we save and live a life that will give us sustainability and the certainty of a retirement that is comfortable and available. As prices rise, market uncertainty is higher than ever, we need to have a plan that involves savings and consideration of worst-case scenarios. As the number of people reaching traditional “retirement age” increases, and the number of people not being able to retire due to lack of savings increases, it will be a big issue in the future. I just wanted to touch on that point as it surely will be a huge issue in the coming years with the financial crisis wrecking havoc on 401k’s and other investments.

I also want to put on Ron Paul’s response following the passage of the bailout.



In other news Al Franken has taken a big lead over Norm Coleman according to a recent poll. Al Franken was polling at 43 percent, while Norm Coleman polled at 34 and Dean Barkley at 18. Franken also had a fundraiser at the U of M with guest Al Gore, as well as citing his opposition to the bailout bill and Norm Coleman’s support of Bush economic policies. He will be at my school, The University of St. Thomas, on Wednesday afternoon. I'm not sure when/if Coleman or Dean Barkley will be making a visit.

My favorite candidate in any election this fall, BJ Lawson, is having a ‘money bomb’ on May 7th. Anyone who is not familiar with what a money bomb is, it is basically a fundraising tactic where the campaign tries to get as many donations in one day as possible. It doesn’t matter if people can only donate five dollars; their goal is to get as many individuals to contribute as possible. Ron Paul set fundraising records when in December he raised more than $6 million in BJ Lawson is endorsed by Ron Paul, and he recently sent out this email to supporters:

Dear Friend,
A lot of folks have begun calling B.J. Lawson the next Ron Paul. The comparison is very flattering. . . for me.
For those who are not yet familiar, B.J. Lawson is a wonderful young candidate running for Congress in North Carolina's Fourth Congressional District. B.J. is a medical doctor, family man, Constitutionalist and a fierce defender of individual freedom. We need B.J. Lawson in Congress to stand beside me in the fight for liberty, and against the corporate socialism that has overtaken our economy!
B.J. is running against an entrenched big government liberal who voted for the $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street and has a long history of voting for huge spending, raiding your social security trust fund for pet projects, and even voted for the Patriot Act.
A recent poll shows B.J. Lawson within striking distance in this election, but he needs your help!
B.J. needs $250,000, right away, to run the campaign he needs to take this race right down the the wire. I know that if we band together, we can help him get the money he needs.
I am asking you, as a fellow Defender of Liberty, to mark the four week countdown to this November's election and join with me and donate to B.J. Lawson's campaign this Tuesday, October 7th. I know times are tough, but that is all the more reason why we need to send a message and help B.J. Lawson.
Contributions can be made at http://www.lawsonforcongress.com
This one-day "Money Bomb" could be what it takes to propel the next Ron Paul into Congress. I hope you will join me to support B.J. Lawson with your on-line contribution this Tuesday, October 7th.
Sincerely,
Ron Paul


Check out a great BJ Lawson video that premiered at the Rally for the Republic:




As far as the VP debate a few nights ago it really did not do much for me. Basically it was a restatement of statements and talking points that were present in the Presidential debate. It was the most viewed Vice Presidential debate in history, though, which is quite impressive. But all in all there is not much to comment on as each candidate made restatements of points that were already known. Nevertheless, if you want to watch all or part of it you can see the video here.

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