• As I sift through the various economic reports America has to offer on a monthly basis, I am filled with a unique, awkward kind of happiness.  Looking at the numbers and smiling is kind of like being happy that your friend isn’t on fire anymore.  You think “great, my buddy’s not burning anymore” right before you realize “man, my buddy’s pretty badly burnt regardless.”  A morbid sense of compa­rable relief.  Case and point, our country lost 36,000 jobs in February, which the markets referred to as a “positive” jobs report.  I guess “less negative” is all we can find to celebrate over these days.  Any excuse to crack a sixer of Pabst Blue Ribbon- I get it.

    The fact of the matter is that a therapy composed of emergency stimulus and historically loose fiscal and monetary policy has brought our economy back from an economic cardiac arrest that could have critically wounded the American economy and our global competitiveness.  Whether or not the meas­ures implemented by our past and current administrations were the proverbial “lesser of two evils” we will never know.

    Long story short: it wasn’t pretty, but it’s what we did.  Love it or hate it, you can’t argue the fact that ‘it’ and it’s repercussions will define a generation.  As such, we will have to navigate various side-effects over the coming months and years.  Lemme give you an example:

    We have a new battle brewing between mortgage insurance companies and the mortgage lenders whom they insure.  It seems that the unprecedented number of loan defaults (because people can’t af­ford their mortgages or are upside-down and don’t care anymore) and corresponding insurance claims (because that is what mortgage insurance companies insure against) is causing MI companies to deny more claims than they normally do.  Like, 25% of them as opposed to the historical average of 7%.  They conjecture that these lenders misrepresented the loans in the 1st place and that they consequently don’t have to pay the claims.

    Call me crazy, but isn’t this a conversation we should have had BEFORE we issued the insurance pol­icy on the mortgage loan?  But what the hell do I know anyway.

    Well, of course both sides have hired an army of lawyers that they equipped with pitchforks and brief­cases of money to battle for their respective causes.  This is a still-progressing story, but I think we can all guess how it will end: badly.

    This is just one of many examples of how we as a country are not out of the woods quite yet.  Lots of folks are waiting with bated breath for the much-hyped end of the recession.  News flash kids: it isn’t going to come riding a white horse to the trumpets of angels like many of us would want.  It’s going to slowly and erratically grind towards incrementally more positive data one step at a tim.

    That’s where having a team of financial professionals comes into play.  With all the volatility out there, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with people you trust who have information you need to help guide your family’s financial trajectory.  So, if you see a news headline or have a water cooler conversation that raises questions, give me a call and we’ll talk about it.  That’s what I’m here for.

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