Diamonds and Dogs
With Winter Weather Comes a FreezeWith Winter Weather Comes a Freeze
The White House proposed putting a freeze on federal civilian employee wages this week in the first post-election act of partisan politics. Although a freeze is a step in the right direction, it will barely make a dent in the cost of government. Consider that civilian government employees now approach 2.1 million people, the highest level of federal employment in 18 years. Also consider that studies have shown that the cost of these employees is nearly double that of the private sector. Finally, since 1992, what with the acceptance of the internet and personal computing, private sector productivity has exploded while simultaneously government employment has exploded, something seems amiss. Even if it is baby steps, addressing the cost of government may become unfrozen.
November markets closed a bit lower for the month but December exploded up 2% out of the gate as dollars continue to flow and the recent action in Europe settles down, at least for the near term. Look for a strong month of December as money finds its way from bonds to stocks, tax loss selling is over, and future GDP estimates climb higher&