The markets rebounded strongly this week, bouncing off a 10% drop in the previous weeks. Is it a signal of renewed economic vigor? Or is it a dead cat bounce? This week we take a look at problems at the edge of the economy which threaten to derail not only the recent robust growth (at least in the statistics) but also the markets. And we start with a personal story which I think will help us understand the current situation. Stay with me here.
Last Thursday, we sat down for a massive Thanksgiving dinner at my 21st floor apartment in Dallas. All seven kids, my 90-year-old mother, and an assortment of friends and relatives (about 15 of us) started to work on a 16-pound prime rib, 18-pound turkey, and massive amounts of potatoes, mushrooms, and lots more. Grace was said, the wine was poured, and we were feeling good about life.
And then about 15 minutes into the meal, the fire alarm went off, telling us to evacuate. This was annoying, as it seemed like we have had a false alarm at least once every few weeks in the past few months. So, we did what we have done in the past and ignored the alarm. After all, this is a modern structure (only 4 years old) with fire sprinklers everywhere. We assumed that someone had a grease fire in their kitchen that would quickly be put out.