The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

26 October 2010

How do you spell economic recovery?

Macro, micro; Austrian School, Keynesianism; supply-side, demand-side. Many methodologies, too many interpretations.

I know nothing of economics, which does not stop me from employing my own analytical process and interpretations. I merely watch for whether people spend. Easy as that. If people spend, new goods must take the place of the items purchased, which requires new orders from vendors to suppliers, up and down the food chain. Fairly simplistic, I know, but it works.

I visited London 12 1/2 months ago, and witnessed an obvious reluctance to spend; fewer people than typical were out and about, and those few did not spend. Even the tourists kept a tight fist on their wallets... In Fortnum&Mason (a high-end retailer, if ever there was one), a few hardy people (mostly tourists) shopped, but did not buy; the few who bought, purchased only an item or two.

And then my return visit to London last week. Teeming crowds of people jostled for space all up and down Regent and Oxford Streets. And elsewhere. Fortnum&Mason was elbow room-only with tourists and locals, and they spent. Oh, how they spent!

So the news that Britain's GDP grew 0.8% in Q3, twice as fast as economists had expected, is no surprise to me. Really, it is just more of the same.

Perhaps this recovery is all vapor, blown away by the mere exhalation of some fellow purportedly in the know. Then, again, perhaps not. This seems to be the nature of economic recoveries these days: vaporously thin, suddenly hyper-extended. Leave it to the know-it-alls who attempt to guide, if not manage, the economy... but who, really, know nothing at all.

Else why the surprise?
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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