Washington is an island drowning in its own self-interest, surrounded by a hurting and unhappy nation of deeply patriotic citizens who hunger for shared national purpose but find our politics to be sickening, insulting and corrupted.
Listening to "financial astrologers" causes investors to jump in and out of the markets, usually at the wrong times. It's great for the securities industry. It's terrible for investors, most of whom would be better off if they never invested.
The purpose of finance is to allocate capital efficiently. We'd better ensure the next generation of leaders in finance have learned that efficiency means so much more than a narrow focus on profit maximization.
In response to the worst stock market crash in the nation's history, lawmakers in 1934 made a bold and inspiring decision to require full disclosure from publicly listed companies. It was the centerpiece of the SEC.
Media coverage of the 2008 crash often focuses on investors close to retirement age. Here's the under-reported story: The lifetime record of these close-to-retirement investors actually is considerably better than those of other age groups.
The government's seizure of stakes in nine banks was designed to finally return the credit markets to some semblance of normal, so consumers and businesses can get access to money again. Unfortunately, we're still waiting.