The news from the Federal Reserve that it expects of maintain the Stimulus at $85 billion a month in bond purchases should have been great news for the markets, yet they headed slightly lower. The fact that there was no mention of the sequester was a bonus. The damper was I believe the news that Senator Paul is prepared to veto the appointment of Ms Janet Yellen to head the Fed. It seems the tea-party Republicans have been having a crack at bringing down the government for the last three and a half years, and they are trying to give it another go. Ultimately, it seems that good common sense will prevail in the good of the nation, and Ms Yellen may yet take control of the spigot and give everyone some punch for the New Year. At least the majority of analysts at CNBC hold that view, and people are expecting the markets to strengthen further : will the DOW test 16,000 before the year-end?
The housing figures were disappointing, but you cannot blame the individual homebuyers. The air of uncertainity created by the previously on-going sequesteration cuts, then the partial government shutdown, then the delay in agreement on the debt ceiling raise, must have compounded to weigh down sentiment. Yet it seems the hedge funds have purchased lot of housing stock, and put it into the rental sector, and house prices have been buoyed up. This may be good for the hedge funds, but for the individual homebuyers it means having to begrudgingly pay rent instead of a mortgage, but a roof is a roof anyhow, and thank God for investors who have the wherewithal to buy and rent them out.
Once the air is clear, and assuming the punchbowl is replenished, hopefully until the end of 2014, then housing Recovery should gain some stability. For the individual homebuyers, it will be a great point to join in in the party.
Under Mr Obama and the Fed's accommodative policies, Wall Street has done well, now reaching for a record high. Money has been invested in equities, turned to working capital for the corporations, income for investors, and built up a substantial cushion for the pension pots and investments. So far, it has been a good reservoir of capital, and providing confidence is maintained, will continue to be so.
What maintains the house should be good for everybody. Of course one or two senators may not care much. I hope they will not inflict a lot of pain on the system as a whole by sticking to their guns too rigidly. The climate is one for accommodative policies of co-operation, so that the world may avoid another recession soon after the longest one in recent history is hardly over. Just for the sake of humanity, they have to rethink the consequences of their stance.
Obamacare is a great idea if it were like the National Health Service in Britain; but it seems the way Medicaid is being expanded to cater for the people who were previously without cover is placing substantial burdens on the system. Quite a lot of people are having to pay much more then they did previously in order for additional people to get cover. This just does not seem fair. Perhaps a parallel stand-alone system of walk-in centres could be sponsored by the government to cover people who did not previously have cover, so that those who were happy with Medicaid could possibly be happy with them once again. As I have remarked previously in my column, the NHS in Britain evolved for 40 years from the Poor Laws of 1907 to Royal Charter in 1947. Such a grandoise system cannot evolve in a short few years, and the teething troubles with the glitch in the computers may be the least of the problems.
All things being equal, 30th November is not far away, for people to see how Obamacare is rolled out.
I would have suggested even more patience so that a balanced, truly Affordable Health Care may evolve for the United States.