Fourth quarter results, oddly, are bringing home to investors how good last year was. This is utterly unclear from management comments, but companies are handily beating earnings numbers, and it's not just because they've managed to bring expectations down. The economy grew fairly solidly last year. Cars are rolling off lots. Interest rates are daring people to borrow. Housing is hotter than "Joe Millionaire."While the bears still appear to rule Wall Street, we have a fundamentally sound economy; yet the Democrats lining up for the 2004 presidential run are hinting, loudly, that they will run on Bush's economic failure. Once the politics blow over, this will go into the history books as being a rather painless correction, given all the money that was lost in the bubble. Yeah, it was hard on the people who bought MicroStrategy at 185 or employees at Enron whose retirement portfolios were, unwisely, allocated at about 90% company stock. Beyond that, this has so far been the little recession that couldn't.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Economy, Again: From today's WSJ: