January 1st, 2016 10:12 AM
As 2015 wrapped up so did a year in the financial markets. A year in which many of us would rather forget. The DOW Jones Industrial Average finished the year down -2.23% and the S&P 500 finished down -.72%.
We saw a great deal of volatility throughout the year. Oil finished the year below $38 per barrel and lost over 38% of its value due to large supply, and little demand.
There were massive financial problems in Greece where ATM machines were empty, and banks were closed. Once banks reopened, there were limits to how much money people could withdraw.
China’s financial markets were an area of concern all year long and worries that China could see a 2008 type event is still on the table.
It wasn’t particularly a good year for investors and the volatility will likely continue.
In 2016 we will likely see oil prices continue to fall and scare investors every other week. As long as middle east oil is flooding the market the downward pressure on oil will continue.
Violence in the middle east could continue to escalate and we are likely to see global tensions rise even more as Turkey and Russia try to show their dominance in the region. Not to mention Obamas buring desire to see President Assad leave who is untimely supported by Vladimir Putin.
The United States national debt will continue to grow until we get a change in leadership. Congress recently passed their 2016 budget and unfortunately it exceeds previous year’s spending. Some Republican candidates have talked about reducing our national debt through wasteful spending cuts but we have yet to hear how Hillary would reduce our debt or if she would even try.
Medical premiums are already starting to increase for 2016. If the Affordable Care Act worked, why would premiums be going up so soon after the law was passed? Funny, I thought we would save $2500 a year. This doesn’t make much sense if premiums continue to rise.
Can you think of any positive financial news over the next year? How about this? Can you think of negative points that I didn’t mention that might make things worse in 2016? It can’t be a good sign when you can think of so many negatives and no positives. Here are some more.
- Median family income is down.
- Money printing and financial market manipulations continue.
- Number of home owners is going down.
- Labor force participation rate is down.
- We have a new student loan crisis brewing and a ton of entitled millennials who want everything including college for free..
- Food stamps and welfare programs are at an all-time high.
The United States anemic growth is not enough to fix all these problems. Furthermore, Obama is in the fourth quarter and has reached the point in his term where presidents tend to do whatever they feel like doing before the door hits them in the butt on the way out.
What does Obama have in store for us in 2016. We have already heard talks about executive actions on guns and GITMO, but what about our economy?
In 2008, our economy was Americas number one concern. Since the “Shovel Ready Jobs” were not so “Shovel Ready”, the economy and jobs continue to be the top concern for Americans almost 8 years later. Printing more money doesn’t fix an economy, it stops the bleeding. It’s a tourniquet in a situation where surgery is needed.
You know, if your blood stops flowing properly, you are more likely to develop a life ending blood clot. The big question is, is it already too late to get our financial markets flowing again and do any of the Washington D.C. politicians care?