News - Terror in France
There was a terror attack today in Paris. Several people were killed by heavily armed attackers as they stormed into a newspaper office. There is chilling video of a police officer being killed out on the street. This is the new reality we live in. I think the era of large terrorist attacks may be dying down, but we have a new era of lone or small group attacks just beginning. This attack in Paris is now one of several across the western world. We have the attack in Canada and the one in Australia. How do you protect against these seemingly random attacks? Do we need to have armed security at every office building and every retail location? Maybe we all need to look at ow Israel does security? Yes, they still have attacks in Israel, but they seem to have minimized them as much as possible. The reality is that we are at war across the globe and no western society is safe. Wait till there is an attack of this sort in a major U.S. city. It is not a matter of if, but of when.
On the other hand, how many people were murdered in the U.S. this past week? There are over 1000 homicides in the U.S. every month, so last week there were about 250 people killed in the U.S. (over 35 a day). But most murders are not so dramatic and caught on video. That does not change the fact that the world is in a religious war that will go on for many more years, if not indefinitely.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Stocks were down considerably yesterday. So far stocks have been down for the first two trading days of 2015 (and are down thus far today). The big news though has been oil, which is still falling. Oil is now bellow $50 and still falling! Lower oil prices is good news for those of us who do a lot of driving (and anyone else who needs a break in gas prices), but the sudden collapse is not good for the rest of the economy. Just today US steel announced that it is idling two steel plants and might be laying off hundreds of workers all because of the fall in oil prices. Yes, oil was too high, but the high prices were driving a boom in everything related to the oil business (and many other sectors of our economy as well), which included a lot of great paying jobs. Now the layoffs and idling will begin, which will spread across the economy and cause a recession. The last thing we need right now is a recession. If the price of oil stays below $50 for any prolonged period of time (six or more months) things will get ugly. I think these down days on the stock markets will not be our last.