Magnetism in the Marketplace
The gospel reading for today tells us that the crowds are attracted to Jesus. But I have been reading too many numbers. These economic numbers are probably more disturbing than we have been told. It is almost as the bad news is being spoon feed to us because we are unable to handle it all at once.
First the numbers. Unemployment is at a comfortable 10% level but why do they say unemployment is comfortable. Yesterday, the NY Times reported “construction was started on more new homes in June than any month since November.” This unexpected 3.6% increase is considered to be a sign that the economy is improving yet mortgage foreclosures are also increasing and the recent 1 point increase in mortgage interest rate is not good. It cuts the purchasing power of a borrower by about 10%.
Second the derivatives. When that too big to fail insurance company was in the bread line we were told that swap contract problem had 5 year life and at the end of 5 years the crisis will past. It now appears that the 5 year number only applied to a class of corporate contracts and that there are several other larger categories of derivative contracts with even longer windows.
Did I tell you, church attendance has increased?
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