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The Bottom Line


Cut to the chase, my brother, speak on it!


The take on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

Rich Get Richer(er)

According to David Wessel in the Wall Street Journal, the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances says Americans in the 90th percentile of net worth - in other words, those with bigger balance sheets than 90% of American families - had net worth of $831,600 in 2004, nearly nine times the $93,100 held by the family at the statistical middle. That is 62 times the net worth of families at the 25th percentile.

  • Bottom Line: "If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now." - Jack Handey

Rich Get Richer(er) and Sell Their Homes

According to the Danielle DiMartino in the Dallas Morning News, the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finance (yes, same survey as the one above), reveals that those between 55 and 64 saw the most dramatic increase in net worth. "We're talking about the people who were already in a home when the boom began and have counted their winnings in the form of fat capital gains," she writes. "The wealthiest of Americans are net sellers of homes."
  • Bottom Line: If you're selling when they're buying, you'll be laughing when they're crying.

Hey There, Big Spender

The single market, a key pillar of the European Union since its foundation, is in danger, writes Mario Monti, former EU commissioner for the internal market and competition, in the Financial Times. "The euro, meant to be the crowning achievement of the single market, looks increasingly like a currency in search of its market."

A Euro Note

A Robert Rauschenberg "Combine"

Nice Work, If You Can Get It

According to Time Magazine, buried in the huge budget-reconciliation bill are a few paragraphs that accomplish an extraordinary feat. They roll back the price of a barrel of crude oil to what it sold for two years ago, all for the benefit of a small group of the politically well connected who will walk away with billions of dollars in tax subsidies from the marketing of a dubious concoction of synthetic fuel.
  • Bottom Line: It's not looting if someone just gives it to you.

I Wish Mom Had Made Me Stick With Those Piano Lessons

Playing the Market is a recent experimental music recording by Emerald Suspension. The project features audio compositions based on patterns found in the stock market and in economic data," the web site says. ""Bulls and Bears of the World" includes percussion parts inspired by the historical price patterns of various global stock markets. The melody represents the returns of the aggregation of the world stock markets. Audio samples of bulls and bears are inserted at the appropriate points in time to represent notable global stock price increases and decreases."
  • Bottom Line: Deeply weird, needs more cowbell.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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