Friday, October 10, 2008

The Next Bubble

It seems our lives are an endless string of bubbles followed by bubble burst. Why is that? I'm asking. Let me know.
Well you heard it from me first. The next bubble is going to be Higher education. A recent article in US News & World Report pointed to big increases in MBA school applications. In the 24%+ range. A lot of this is expected to continue with the latest bubble bursts as out of work people and undergrads with no job prospects want to find a place to park. Not discussed was how do you pay for this. Can we continue to rely on the easy availability of college loans? Can middle class parents pull equity from their homes to send junior to grad school? Will US colleges reduce the tuition/fees that go up year to year at a rate way above inflation? Is it really worth the $'s?
You tell me. Personally I see the whole value proposition coming into sharp focus and we will see a bubble burst. The grant money that pays for tenured professors to travel to conferences world wide and study all kinds of meaningless stuff is going to dry up significantly or least have reasonable "bang for the buck" justification. Hell, we might even see professors teaching again when they can't hire armies of teaching assistants.

1 comment:

handshake associates rem said...

Dear Editors:
>I would like to propose a few modest ideas which perhaps might help us avoid
the great "meltdown" that all the pundits are predicting. However this
supposes that the Pundits themselves are not actually trying to make good on their
>1. I am sick and tired of watching 23 year old unqualified "anchor babes"
tell us that we are facing the end of the world and that soup lines are right around
the corner. The word "clueless" comes to mind.
>2. I am sick and tired of watching political journalists and TV/radio hacks
putting forth their "wisdom" as if they had any idea as to what they were
talking about. Glen Beck are you listening?
>3. I am also sick and tired of hearing other so-called experts giving us pearls
of wisdom such as "let the market collapse" etc. etc. Nice to hear from
guys with a $1 billion of net worth in cash and now comfortably and magically "out
of the market."
>We are not going to go down as an economy or as a nation unless we listen to
the above CRAP. The medias self importance and ego tripping is the by product of
today's challenges but hardly a reason to flip out of orbit. Concern yes hysteria
>However make no mistake about the fact that expectations and citizen anxiety
do have much to say about economics and the viability of our economy. I just resent
that our media elites think it is their job to create conditions for self fullfilling
predictions. Keep predicting doom and gloom and people will react and scale down.
Keep telling a lie and some people will believe it. Surely the media knows how that
game is played out on a grand scale.
>I also resent the fact that the financial elites, who as of today have robbed
>of 50% of their life savings, are now the same talking head pundits who are
willing to further risk the livlihood of American citizens by putting the REAL ECONOMY
>at risk with their reckless and wild doomsday predictions.
>Americans in fly over country are alot tougher and more resilient than the limo
class of wall street elitists who purport to know everything. They are working every
day to make this country great even while the financiers are causing the meltdown
of $7.5 trillion of their life long savings. They are building this country and
it's capital base but NO they don't know what "a short sale" is
or a "credit default swap" or what a "securities lending collateral
call" is but guess the irony of ironies? It turns out that the financial elites
don't know what these are either; otherwise, how could they let them burn down
50% of the wealth of our equity markets?
>Here are a few things for the media editors, our regulators, and our politicians
to consider:
>1. Ditch the anchor babe idiot corps and their male equivalents. Try bringing
>more stories of what actually is working in the heartland. It is a good story
and provides a welcome perspective on how prosperous our people and country really
>2. How does a slowing economy and or slightly declining corporate profits justify
>a 50% decline in national wealth? Are we expecting GDP to decline by 50%? 94%
>Americans are working, inflation and interest rates are low. Even if the banks
>having difficulty, many companies are cash flow positive and don't even
>the banks, just like many people only borrow through their long term mortgage.
>as any indiviual citizen should not be required to pay off their mortgage all
>once, why should banks be in the position of having to value every asset at
>3. Tell Chris Cox (SEC Chairman who McCain wants to fire) to STOP short selling
in the market otherwise I will be forced to agree with John McCain. Hello, during
the last great depression was not margin trading a major problem? Also it is time
for Chris Cox to FINALLY address the $60 trillion of derivatives that financial
institutions have been playing with. These "children" have been playing
with fire way too long and now they have burned themselves BIG TIME!! Our life savings
have gone up in smoke while the big boys get paid million dollar bonuses for risking
everything on speculative bets in the short run and expecting taxpayer bailouts
in the long term.
>It is time for a massive slap down of this activity which is adversely impacting
the world's markets. Believe it when Buffet said derivatives are "weopons
of mass financial destruction". How much has the world market suffered so far.
Perhaps $12 to $15 trillion. Wake up regulators!!
>4. Paulson wants the banks to go back to lending as normal. This is like saying
"yeh boys
>I know the water is full of sharks but just jump in and please act normal."
>The hedge funds cannot wait to start shorting banks stocks right down to zero
>the current market. That is what they have been doing for the last few months!!!Is
>that good public policy?? The banks are staying liquid so that they can survive.
>4. The Hedge Funds need to be investigated to see how much of the $7.5 trillion
>that we lost ended up in their pockets due to short selling. Who is kidding
>here? How much should the average American citzen have to pay as tribute to
>so-called gate keepers. The im-balance between insider Hedge Funds vs the retail
>investor needs to be examined and re-balanced. OR savers should pull their
>money until we find financial institutions ready to act on our behalf and as
>of savings of all Americans. The game is massively rigged to protect the insiders
who make the trading gains while the quiet money MAIN STREET saver takes it on the
>5. In the meantime the government should step into the commerical paper market
>make liquidity available to the corporate world and the FED should make liquidity
>available to the bankers. The $700 billion bail out would be better spent to
warehouse toxic loans temporarily and on-selling to private sector investors with
an income and capital gains tax break to be determined. At some level of tax savings
the private sector will step in and take the risk thus saving the US taxpayer on
the downside.
>6. Finally quit trashing the MAIN STREET economy and the American worker. Our
>are strong and we are only made weak when people listen to and accept the panderings
of the media and financial elites
>Take a deep breath.
>Tom Delaney
>Avondale Estates Georgia