Bernanke, an investment banker, and a taxpayer walk into a bar in China…
Ben Bernanke, an investment banker, and a taxpayer walk into a bar in China. The bartender strolls up to Bernanke and asks him what he wants. Bernanke says, “I’ll have a beer, put it on taxpayer’s tab.” The bartender serves him and then asks the investment banker what he’s drinking. The investment banker says, “I’d like a bottle of your best champagne…you know what, make that twenty bottles for me and all of my friends here in the bar. Put it on taxpayer’s tab.” The bartender pours the drinks and then asks Mr. Taxpayer what he wants. Taxpayer says, “I’d really love a drink, but I don’t have any money left.” Bernanke turns to him and says “Don’t worry, I’ll just print more.” The Chinese bartender overhears them and says, “Wait a second, you can just print this stuff whenever you want? And it’s isn’t really backed by anything? You’re all cut off. Get out"
Ba-da-dum. Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal. What's that? That joke sucked you say? So it did. Too bad it’s based on real life and the joke's on us. This actually is the second worst joke in the world. Want to know what the worst joke ever is? All of the bogus, manipulated statistics that the government spits out at us. Take for example March’s dismal jobs report. It looked pretty bad, didn’t it? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the United States experienced a loss of 80,000 jobs last month. Well, things are a whole lot worse than that, my friends. According to an article by Alan Abelson in this week’s Barron’s, if the birth/death model that the BS, er um I mean BLS, “adjusts” the jobs number with wasn’t used to manipulate it, the U.S. would have actually reported a loss of 222,000 jobs last month. That’s right, the birth/death modification added an additional 142,000 pretend jobs to the real numbers. Pretty funny, huh? Not really.
The U.S. economy is in much worse shape than the government is leading us to believe. This is why I eliminated just about all of my exposure to consumer discretionary stocks a while ago. They may be bargains at some point, but in my opinion with consumer confidence at a twenty-five year low, the price of food and gas skyrocketing, and a mess in the jobs market that's going to get worse before it gets better, not yet. Now is not the time to buy retail stocks, unless you're talking about discount stores like Cost Co. and Wal-Mart where the strapped consumer can go to buy cheap stuff.
No position in COST or WMT