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Now contrast that with Europe, where the European Central Bank inspires no confidence whatsoever. The ECB hasn't even taken back its second rate boost from last year. Unlike the U.S. Fed, in which there are many voices but only one matters, we are given to believe that many people matter in the ECB, and that they don't agree on much at all.
Really, why should there be any confidence? You have some people signaling that the euro should be broken up. Others love it. Some want bonds printed by the ECB. Others think that's preposterous. You have banks in Europe that would have been shuttered in the U.S. years ago because of their reckless lending. The U.S. has standards, at least. Europe has nothing -- no real rules at all.
All that means no one really knows what's going on. That produces a situation in which you don't want to put money to work, because you are afraid it will be instantly for naught. It would be better to go buy U.S. Treasuries.
The U.S. is not perfect here. We have tons of flaws. But when you compare us to Europe, it's night and day. I would fear having any investment confiscated over there. I would fear an imminent outbreak of class warfare.
Here we just debate the merits of private equity, and even then, we don't reach many conclusions of any gravitas.
In short, it doesn't really matter at this point how well a company is doing in Europe. The fact that it is in Europe means it is subject to these inanities -- and, in the end, that's all that really counts.
Commodity Stocks Trying to Bottom
Posted at 7:16 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 29
The charts are saying that oil is trying to make a stand here.
Chart after chart shows that the stocks are trying to find their footing after a huge decline that seems to be about oil going to $85 and natural gas not going above $3.
But now Iran's thumbing its nose at the world and is even backing Syria -- is there anything bad they aren't connected with -- and there are signs that Brent can't get below $105 despite the stronger dollar.
Oil's real important here. We don't have enough domestic stocks to mount a rally. You can only take General Mills(GIS) and Bristol Myers(BMY) and Bed, Bath & Beyond(BBY) so far, as they have run a great deal as alternatives to Europe.