Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right!

Text sign showing Trust Your Own Instincts - Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right!

Friday the 13th, Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. I’ll soon be home for Christmas. It was a long year, 40+ weeks on the road; several two-week international trips. I was exhausted.

We finally rolled down the runway, headed home. Suddenly the pilot reversed thrust, slamming on the breaks. I felt my seat belt straining. I heard a couple of screams in the back.

We chattered to a stop. Amazingly calm, he announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the abrupt stop. There is nothing on my instrument panel that indicated a problem. I’ve been flying for a long time; something just doesn’t feel right. I’m going to get things checked out.”

At the gate, mechanics flocked to the cockpit. The dreaded announcement came, “Ladies and gentlemen, this flight has been canceled due to mechanical difficulty.”

Getting rebooked out of Hartsfield on a Friday night is a nightmare. As passengers began bitching, the elderly woman next to me spoke up, “I’d rather be late than in a crash.” Bitching stopped. I stuck my head in the cockpit and said, “Captain, I’m a million miler and I’ll gladly fly with you anytime.”

Instincts flashing warnings?

Since the 2008 bank bailout, pundits have warned us of pending doom. Since the COVID-19 crisis, the drumbeats are getting louder. Our instruments are giving us mixed messages and hints; something just doesn’t feel right.

The St. Louis Fed tells us, “Gross domestic product (GDP), the featured measure of U.S. output, is the market value of the goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States.”

GDP Chart

With each downturn, the Fed turns on the magic money spigot and things continue to soar. The GDP presents a rosy picture.

Hoisington Investment Management’s 4th quarter review reports:

“The Economic Policy Institute notes that continuing claims for all unemployment assistance are 17 million above a year ago and that 26.1 million workers are either unemployed or had a drop in hours or pay because of the pandemic lockdowns.”

They quote economist David Rosenberg:

  • Government benefits now account for nearly 20% of total personal income
  • One in four households haven’t been able to meet their monthly bills since March
  • One in 15 homeowners are in some sort of loan forbearance relief plan
  • One in three households dipped into savings or retirement accounts over the past year
  • One in six has borrowed from a family or friend to cover bills.
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