Date: October 17, 2013

Idiocy in DC

I don’t even want to begin to count the hours wasted in DC on the shutdown and debt ceiling let alone what it did to innocent Americans, our economy and our focus as a nation. Yet our elected officials are celebrating like they won the World Series?!?! What an embarrassing mess.

White House staffers were quoted as saying they were “winning”. Speaker Boehner said they “fought the good fight”. I am glad our elected officials in DC treated this debacle as either a game or a war. How ridiculous that these are people who are supposed to be representing the electorate and serve OUR best interests, not theirs.

And in the end, all the country got was a 3-4 month reprieve before this starts again. The GOP better look long and hard before attempting this nonsense without a real plan. I said this when the government first shutdown and now I am even more convinced. If the republicans had simply raised the debt ceiling through the next election without conditions, they could have dug their little heels in on almost any of the other issues without being demonized. Obama could no longer be Chicken Little with his scare tactics and maybe, just maybe, the two parties could have reached some kind of Reagan/O’Neill compromise.

As we approach the next joke of a deadline, it will be interesting to see how the GOP position themselves since they lost what little credibility they had left when they caved in and received nothing in return this week.

I have written about scenarios like this before regarding the markets and except for the time I was wrong in 2011, it usually pays to ignore the nonsense in DC and the chest puffing on TV. In this instance as with the fiscal cliff and sequestration, I felt very strongly that the markets would ignore the news. One of the confirming reasons was because all of the media interviews I have done focused solely on the negative outcome, even going so far as to doubt the bullish case. That’s unusual. 

Stocks and bonds continue to act very well and there should much more to come this year and into next. I have been salivating to buy treasury and quality corporate bonds and I think the bottom has been hammered in for the rest of 2013. For full disclosure we are long and have been long high yield bonds for some time.


Paul Schatz, President, Heritage Capital