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When Is Good News Bad News?  When It’s the Stock Market

By Shlomo Maital   

stock market

   Love that stock market!  It goes up on bad news, down on good news.  Can we understand why?

   I belong to a panel of the German Ifo Institute, that quarterly surveys experts around the world to assess the global economic situation.   The latest report?  “world economic climate deteriorates, economic expectations less positive, inflation expectations remain low, US dollar expected to rise (it has), interest rates look set to remain stable (maybe not).”.

    The U.S. stock market has risen sharply in the past year.  But it recently declined. Why?   Good news on the American economy – U.S. job creation and GDP growth are stronger than expected.

    Run that by me again? How can good news be bad news for the stock market?

   It’s simple.   Wall St. is incurably addicted to cheap money and low interest rates, and plentiful credit.   When the economy gets stronger, it increases the likelihood that Janet Yallen and the Fed will raise interest rates, ending the era of cheap money, and denying Wall St. from its daily/weekly fix of low-interest cash, used to speculate and earn billions.  So the stock market drops, because good news for the economy is bad news for Wall St.

    Does this show a sharp conflict of interest between the general population and the moneybags who run Wall St.? 

 

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“Choose Life!” – Kayla Mueller

By Shlomo Maital  

 Kayla

   One of the most powerful and terse passages in the Bible is Deuteronomy 30:19:   “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life”.   The message is clear.  We DO have a choice.  We can see the dark side of everything,  or we can see the bright side, the ‘life’ side. 

    Kayla Jean Mueller was a 26-year-old Jewish aid worker from Arizona, held in ISIS captivity.  As a teenager in Prescott Arizona, she was voted “best smile” in her graduating year in high school.  She was always drawn toward helping the weak, the downtrodden, according to her parents.  She led marches to help Darfur, and was college president of a student-led movement to end mass atrocities.  Her story is beautifully told by Dana Harman in today’s English edition of the daily Haaretz.

     Mueller had been in Syria, as an aid worker, for one year and a day, when she was kidnapped on Aug. 4, 2013.  Earlier, she had travelled the world, volunteered in India and in Israel, and then in the West Bank. 

    President Obama recently announced that Kayla was dead. ISIS says she was killed in the Jordanian bombing raids.  In any event, ISIS is responsible.  Her family managed to keep her identity secret, hoping this would help gain her release. 

     During her 18-month captivity with ISIS, Kayla wrote a note to her parents.  Here is part of it:

     “I have been shown in darkness, light – and have learned that even in prison, one can be free.  I am grateful.  I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.”

       Kayla may be physically dead.  But her message will live forever.  Choose life, even when the forces of darkness choose death.   Choose light.  Choose to see the bright side.  Long after the murderous thugs of ISIS are dead and buried, Kayla’s message to the world will live on.    

 

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
February 2015
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