Quantum Politics in the Mystery Spot

Kevin Clark is a Senior Vice-President with Raymond James and Associates, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief.

Kevin Clark is a Senior Vice-President with Raymond James and Associates, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief.

Investor vertigo is on the rise as the disparate Washington policy solutions have spun most people into neutral position as the daily sensation of movement intensifies. We just want the spinning to stop. After all, it’s all fun and games until someone falls and gets hurt.

It’s a most uncomfortable feeling — the dizziness, and ultimately, sensing the room move around you. Yes, investors are caught in a most unusual market vortex.

The good news is that we do have vertigo; meaning, we’re still here, and the Mayan calendar was wrong, giving us more time to turn things around. You see, it’s always about our perspective — how we view the facts before us. But, the facts are not always clear, as sometimes up is down allowing gravity to be suspended, and common sense seems to drift away.

It reminds me of visiting the Mystery Spot in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where they say “you experience the unusual sensations that occur within its boundaries.” I think Washington has become the new Mystery Spot as quantum politics seems beyond our sensory perception.

In December of 2008, the world was truly spinning. That September, financial titans collapsed, and our government created the greatest bailout in history in order to stabilize our broken economy. Christmas would be a time of high anxiety accompanied by emotional exhaustion we had not experienced in decades.

History has shown that Christmas of 2008 would be the eye of the storm, as shortly after the first of the year our economy would be plunged into a near death spiral with talk of nationalizing the banks, crashing markets, and for many, hopes and dreams being obliterated right before their eyes. The Great Recession had visited America, bringing with it cautiousness our economy had not known for a very long time and would become a stubborn trait of investors today.

Unlike 2008, this Christmas, we’re dealing with a self-imposed crisis. The fiscal cliff was well-intentioned, but politicians should have known better than to try to force a decision on a future Congress.  This lack of clarity has become the proverbial lump of coal for every investor stocking. Of course, we should keep in mind what Henry Kissinger had to say: “a diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure.” Maybe as the pressure builds our lump of coal becomes that diamond in the rough. It’s Christmas, and a little magic in the air always seems possible.

Even though it’s December, springtime for the American spirit has begun. I see hope leading to dreams, resulting in innovative solutions to many complex issues. That, after all, is what makes us uniquely American. The American spirit is hardwired in the entrepreneurial genetic code of free people. As a nation, we never give up, and we always look forward. Enjoy Christmas, reflect on family and friends, and don’t be afraid to hope and dream.

The Great Economic Train Wreck: When America Went off The Rails, by Kevin Clark — excerpt dated December 23, 2009

Three years later, I feel the same. I refuse to give up on America, believing our best days are still before us. With the magic of Christmas in the air, I believe next year holds great promise for economic prosperity as pent-up demand could finally break loose. Of course, as I do every year, I also believe the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series. Patience my friends, there is always next year.


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