Sunday, January 07, 2007

 

2006: a banner year for stocks & profits; Bush not mentioned once

Remember how bad the economy used to be? Well, somehow Last Year, Stocks And Profits Were Off the Charts. Surprising because, as Washington Post reporter Kathleen Day notes:

“And it all happened during a lousy housing market.”

Now she never actually explains why it was a “lousy housing market”. She never notes if people who owned their homes for more than 10 minutes were losing money on the resale. Or if home builders were losing money. Or if buyers were just giving up because there were no homes for sale. Or maybe because homes were too expensive. Or maybe homes were too cheap and that’s why nobody wanted to sell. As I wrote, she never really explains her “lousy housing market” – in fact, despite the implied significance of the housing market for stocks and profits, she never again mentions the housing market in her analysis of 2006. At any rate, I suspect that if you went way back in time, say to 2004, 2006 wouldn’t seem so lousy.

Her analysis gives us this perspective:

"There was a lot of pessimism going into the year," said Stuart T. Freeman, chief equity strategist for brokerage and investment banking firm A.G. Edwards. "People were pleasantly surprised."

And then, right after reminding all that analysts got it wrong going into 2006, she notes uncritically what so-called and unidentified analysts are saying going into 2007:

But last year's grand performance increases the chances that growth in 2007 will slow, analysts say.”

All analysts say? Most analysts say? Enough analysts say so that I can write “analysts say” and later point to it as proof that any slowdown was predicted for reasons other than the new Democratic Congress? Ms. Day doesn’t say.

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