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Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama rejects 2nd stimulus: Give recovery time

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said Saturday the $787 billion stimulus program must be given a chance to work before consideration is given to a second such jolt for the still-ailing economy.

Obama acknowledged in his weekly radio and Internet address that people are getting nervous about continuing high joblessness — the unemployment rate hit 9.5 percent in June — but said reversing payroll losses takes time. He asked Americans to be as patient as possible.

Republicans have labeled the $787 billion stimulus a failure. Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have argued that the bulk of the money from the stimulus program is still being disbursed and that it already has saved many jobs.

Obama criticized Republicans for opposing the stimulus but offering few alternatives to the worst recession since the Great Depression. And he rejected talk of a second stimulus, an idea that has been discussed by Democrats and even famed investor Warren Buffett.

"We must let it work the way it's supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity," Obama, who is visiting Ghana on Saturday, said in his recorded message.

The stimulus included $288 billion in tax cuts, dramatic increases in Medicaid spending, about $48 billion in highway and bridge construction and billions more to boost energy efficiency, shore up state budgets and improve schools.

The plan "was not designed to work in four months," Obama said. "It was designed to work over two years."

Since Obama signed the stimulus into law, the economy has lost more than 2 million jobs and the unemployment rate has climbed higher than the White House predicted it would have ever reached without the stimulus.

Some companies say stimulus money helped avoid layoffs. Independent government auditors found that stimulus aid to states helped keep teachers off unemployment lines. But overall job numbers continue to suffer.

Republicans have seized on this opportunity to criticize the president, but they have struggled to find their collective voice. At a news conference Friday, Republican lawmakers criticized the White House for spending so much, while simultaneously saying the administration wasn't spending it fast enough.

With the Obama administration now pushing for a costly overhaul of the nation's health care system, Republicans are casting Democrats as liberals on a shopping spree. In the GOP's weekly address Saturday, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican whip, accused the Democratic-controlled Congress of reckless spending and careless borrowing.

Though the Republican stimulus proposal this January had its own deficit-pushing price tag of $478 billion, Cantor and Republicans are trying to make their case against Obama as one of fiscal restraint.

"For the stimulus alone, Washington borrowed nearly $10,000 from every American household," Cantor said. "Let me ask you: Do you feel $10,000 richer today?"

In his speech, Obama twice referred to "cleaning up the wreckage" of a recession that began on President George W. Bush's watch. But with Obama's poll numbers slipping on economic issues, Republicans want to lay the economy at the president's feet.

"This is now President Obama's economy," Cantor said.

Source: Yahoo!

I was reading this news this morning and it really amazed me that President Barack Obama make such decision. The first day President Obama in the office, he was already pushing for the $787 billion stimulus which is now deemed failure by the Republican. The way he rejected the second stimulus plan means that President Obama does not back down to pressure by the Repuclicans.

I do agree that we should give some time for the economy to recover. We should all realize that though the US government has already throw out $787 billion, it will take about few years for economy to recover. We are still seeing jobless rate continue to increase, at slower pace, but that does not mean that the economy has yet to recovery, neither it means the economy is starting to recover. We are just off the worst, but there are more to come.

Many has been saying that China or Asia will lead us out of the wood, but it is very unlikely for this round because the global economy is too dependent on the United States. China or Asia as a whole only can cushion this meltdown, but to lead us out of recession, is very unlikely, but I could be wrong too.

At the same time while we are waiting for the outcome of the $787 billion stimulus plan in few months time, President Obama should gather all the economy experts to work on the second stimulus plan. This is not to say that a second stimulus plan is a must, but if the first stimulus plan did not have the expected outcome, the second one can be deployed as soon as possible without delaying.

I do hope that the US government will not have to deployed a second stimulus plan, because any implementation of the second stimulus plan will bring the States deeper into debt. What is your take towards the second stimulus plan? Do you agree in President Obama by rejecting or a second stimulus plan is a must? Let's discuss......

Monday, July 6, 2009

Are We Bear or Are we Bull?

The recent three months rally has resulted in 30% increase of most of the stocks and the bourses around the world. This three months rally has also prompted many people on whether we are still in recession mode or we are out of the woods.

Based on the volume for the past few months, I can say that most of the retailers have started playing with stocks and the three months rally is like a very energetic bull that just keep on going up without pausing.

But when we really read at all the news, we can see that jobless rate in the US and European countries continue to spike, whereas Malaysia are seeing double digit contraction in her export data. So, with all the bad news, why are we seeing the market going up for three months without pause?

The recent rally was actually drive by the commodity. Look at the crude oil price chart? It has been going from USD40 to close to USD72 in just three months. Other commodity prices are also increasing bit by bit. This commodity rally is fueled by China, who plans to absorb commodity at low price.

As we can see, again, most of us were caught off guard as we were waiting for the market to crash, but before market can crash, a catalyst stir up the market, and then retailers beginning to buy stocks at 10% higher, then 20% higher and now trapped again at the peak. Again, my philosophy to buy on and off when the price is right and not wanting to see stocks at the rock bottom works out and most of the stocks I got are gaining about 20%-40%, even when we are starting to see market to plunge.

Question now again is are we bear or are we bull? If we thought that the market recovers, the market will react the other way while the same goes to if we think that the market are still bearish, we might suddenly see a spike and then we have to continue chasing the stocks, and then suddenly find ourselves trapped at the peak.

So, if it is possible, always buy within your means, which means buying the stocks with your cash. I will continue to reload my investment on and off on strong fundamentals stocks so that if the market really recovers, then I can harvest my fruit, while if the market drops, I can be confident that the stocks will not be shaken. Fundamentals can rarely goes wrong.

So, are we bear of are we bull? You make the call.