Argent Quarterly Investment Commentary – January 2012
“Only in the world of government is living within your means called austerity .” – John Maudlin
We wish we could break out the champagne and caviar for a year-end celebration of good stock market returns. Unfortunately, it remains on ice, as deficit problems that have been decades in the making are simply not susceptible to a quick fix. In hindsight, the fact that most U.S. stocks ended the year fairly flat is quite remarkable when you consider all that happened: Japan suffered an earthquake and tsunami in March which precipitated a nuclear crisis of epic proportion; revolts across the Middle East toppled governments; U.S. debt was downgraded from its AAA status; European banks, stuffed full of European bonds of Southern-Euro members, teetered on the brink of insolvency; and the 2011 investment topic du jour was the status of Greek bonds. Who would have believed it!