The 17 Things Worrying Investors This Week

This is a post by Minyanville.com.

Since the 1930’s, when Benjamin Graham created the concept of Mr. Market, investors have been trying to figure out what’s worrying the stock market at any given moment. Oddly, no one has ever kept a list of the concerns — except for me (Minyanville’s Lloyd Khaner). I’ve been managing money for the last 20 years and keeping a running tally of all the things that are bothering investors. It’s an important part of my value investment discipline, because when Mr. Market gets nervous, stocks tend to get cheaper.

As Warren Buffett says: “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”

CHINA: 1,330,044,605 people can’t be wrong.

The PIIGS: Fasten your seatbelts. It’s gonna be a long, bumpy, expensive, weird, (insert your own adjective here) freak show of a ride.

CALIFORNIA AND THE OTHER 49 STATES: Not yet as dire as “The PIIGS”. Might I suggest the classier moniker of “The Prosciuttos” for the American basket-case states?

QE II: Gobble?

U.S. ECONOMY: The “Punky Brewster” of the global economic landscape.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Only thing worse than losing your job, losing your unemployment check. At least there’s the holiday season to cheer everyone up (read: heavy sarcasm).

TAXES: Praying to the Financial Market Gods that we don’t have another TARP-like vote fiasco.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PART II: Still two years before the Pres. election and the peanut gallery is already pleading for a Hail Mary Pass to get them back in the game.

HFT: Instead of beating up these liquidity supplying traders, let’s honor them with their very own stock exchange. But wait — with no retail saps to pick-off they will never get that Day 1 opening bell tick. Perfect.

XMAS 2010: As my professor friend Nick says, “Nowadays Americans are dining off of two menus – The Million Dollar and the $0.99 Cent.” And both are pissed about it.

CURRENCIES: Poor Mr. Greenback. Does someone need a hug?

HOUSING CRISIS: Price Stabilization – Are we there yet? Just a little bit more. Are we there yet? Just a little bit more. Are we there yet? Just a little bit more….

INFLATION/DEFLATION
: Fed Chief Ben B. comes out swinging from his heels in defense of inflation promotion. Don’t punch yourself out as this one is likely to go the distance.

COMMODITIES
: Corrected but still sky high; fortunately these prices are only affecting core, basic, life-sustaining necessities and sparing our electronic gadgets and plus-sized SUVs. Whew!

INSIDER TRADING: Another black eye for Hedge Funds. I estimate that makes black eye number 6,597.

INTEREST RATES: South Korea and China slowly turning up the dial to “11”. On the other hand the U.S. has removed the dial altogether. This never ends well….

NORTH KOREA: Here we go again.

Mom: “Honey I thought you were going to raise their allowance?”
Dad: “I did. But they’re a year older and they want more now.”
Mom: “Kids nowadays!”