Well, it's the last trading day of 2020 -- quite the year! We'll bid it a fond farewell in the upcoming close to our lengthy year-end letter.
Asian equities leaned green overnight, with 10 of the 16 markets we track closing higher.
9 of the 19 European bourses we follow are closed this morning, of the 10 that are open 9 are presently trading lower.
U.S. major averages are leaning just barely red to start the session: Dow's down 33 points (0.11%), SP500's flat, Nasdaq's down 0.04%, Russell 2000's down 0.19%.
The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is down 0.83%. VXN (Nasdaq i.v.) is down 0.30%.
Oil futures are down 0.45%, gold's up 0.26%, silver's down 0.59%, copper futures are down 0.70% and the ag complex is up 0.75%.
The 10-year treasury is up (yield down) and the dollar is up 0.19%.
Led by ag commodities, banks, oil services, financials and gold, but dragged by Eurozone equities, base metals, silver, emerging market equities and energy, our core portfolio is off 0.08% as I type.
Economically-impacting trends and events of the past few decades seem to have offered the powers that be ample opportunities to quell the essential powers of capitalism.
A number of years ago (during I'm now thinking a less-mellow time of my life) I was inspired by my oldest son's (a college freshman at the time, clients know him as Nick) econ class experience to vent my then "frustration" on paper.
In it, however, I did come full circle and recognized that to some, or perhaps to a great, degree, we all may very well be products of our environment.
Here it is in its entirety, and, please, no offense to you wonderful college professor clients (and subscribers) who we're most proud to work with!
The essay shows up as Day 31 in the little daily devotional I published back in 2013:
Note first: There's an all-too-common belief in today's society that capitalism is actually the culprit that explains the ever-growing division among today's haves and have nots.
On that I sincerely beg to differ: Quite the opposite, in my view, in fact.
You see, while indeed capitalism is anything but perfect, it is a system where recklessness and foolhardiness fall prey to smart, efficient, market forces.
These past few decades we've seen far too much of the direct opposite; government bailing out often-politically-connected failed enterprises whose just demises would've otherwise unleashed resources (including human) to be utilized in a far more productive, opportunity-producing, and, thus, society-benefiting manner.
The measure of one’s intellect is no match for one’s predisposition.