How low will the dollar go?

Nov 23rd, 2004, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Oh Neil, no wonder dear old Dad drank Beer instead of opening up the faucet and having a nice cool glass of water. I had no idea. He never mentioned.

He would be worried about your Dad there though, in the laundry room was it? With sherry!!!!! Think my Dad would accuse you of elder abuse. Sherry, in his opinion, was only for the ladies to sip in the front parlor while they discussed the altar cloths and who had the next duty to starch and iron them.

But the pack of smokes, that my Dad would approve of. By the way, he was quite good at blowing smoke rings for us youngsters when we were stuck in the parlor due to bad weather or air raid warnings (had a lot of those in the San Francisco Bay Area we did - you know WWII). Do not think that had anything to do with several children in the block coming down with asthma though, that was just a coincedence.

But as our dear Marilyn said, having your Dad watch the clothes in the dryer go round and round, well what more could an old fellow ask for. Much better and more entertaining for sure than having to read Nellyanne's post, right.

And you are right Neil, when we are all in our 90's or on I don't think we will worry very much about the exchange rate anywhere in the world, especially in Umbria. Doubt we will even know what an exchange rate is much less what it is!

You take care, and don't forget, 8 glasses a day is good for the health, and I would imagine in Australia that means beer not water, right?
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 02:01 AM
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In Australia, drinking eight glasses of beer a day is the legal definition of teetotal.

Except in Queensland, where no-one could be that wimpish
flanneruk is online now  
Nov 24th, 2004, 04:39 AM
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Nelly: good post and very "appropriate". As I previously said, if the falling dollar does not affect someone's travel plans then that's wonderful- so skip the post!!!
Beatle is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 04:57 AM
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Is so much Gloom and Doom warranted?

After looking at multiple sources, here is my read on what key economic indicators are currently saying about the American economy:

Consumer Confidence - Growth

Retail Sales - Growth

Leading Economic Indicators- Growth

Manufacturing Activity- Growth

Industrial Production - Growth

Jobs Growth - Positive

Inflation (CPI) - low, little threat

Interest Rates - near 40 year lows

Home ownership - at record highs

worker productivity - high

trade deficit - high

exports - increasing

Sure, things might be better, but the sky is not falling by any measure. I'm concerned about the trade deficit, but not alarmed.

Yes, inflation and interest rates will go up a bit, but not enough to kill the recovery. And I'm thinking that foreigners will continue, like they have for decades, to invest in the US, given a bleak alternative of stagnant growth in europe.

You think we have it bad over here, then just take a quick look at how bad the major EU economies are doing right now. That low/no growth situation will eventually decrease the value of the Euro.

degas is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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Probably a bit lower. But look at unemployment decline in U.S., strong housing market, etc. German and French markets are moribund. Pressure for them to drop the Euro will probably grow.

I look at this problem from a longer term perspective. My wife and I traveled when the euro was .80 to the dollar and we will travel when it is 1.30 euro to the dollar. It averages out. For the one-time or infrequent traveler, however, this is a big problem.
Powell is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Degas: Yes the economy is hanging in there right now, but as economist Benjamin Friedman(Harvard,respected by both ends of the spectrum) says, this should be the decade of building surpluses to prepare for 2008 when the oldest of the baby boomers start collecting social security, and costs for SS, Medicare and Medicaid will at least double.- if the trend continues, our economy will not handle it and that's what concerns me about the future of foreigners investing in US.- any significant decline from them will spell disaster. How can the deficit be reduced by financing the Iraq mess and cutting taxes?- Bush Sr. made the infamous "read my lips no new taxes quote" then had the good sense to rescind that, yet the current admin. wants to "stay the course".
I hope Degas is right and I am wrong re the future of foreign investors.
Beatle is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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As to the stability of the economy: I liken it to pushing a book off the edge of a table. As long as the center of gravity is on the table, everything looks fine. When it hits the edge...

As this recalcitrant bull staggers upwards, I maintain trailing stop loss orders on everything.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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Beatle, I agree that the Social Security system is in serious trouble and needs to be fixed.

I've never based my retirment plans on receiving one cent from it - everything I get will be gravy.

Got my earnings statement the other day and it makes me sick to think how much I've paid in and been paid in for me by my employers) and how little I will eventually receive.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of paying for a couple other peoples retirement and never having individual accounts, just a big pot of money the POLs can use on pet projects!

The younger workers will eventually revolt as the ratio of workers to retirees falls further and drives up
SS taxes.
degas is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Degas: good point. I'm 9 years from being able to collect SS so who knows. I too would like to get something from SS after all I've donated, but like you, I'm not counting on it.
Have a good Thanksgiving.
Beatle is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Social Security was and is a fraud designed by FDR. It is an income transfer program not a pension or savings program. When it started there were 30 workers to a retiree. Now there are less than 3 to a retiree.

The Congress itself opted out of social security and have their own plush plan. Gasbags like Senator Byrd portray themselves as protectors of social security recipients while they are nothing more than accessories to a Ponzi swindle.

Letting young people put part of their cntribution in to personal accounts is not a bad idea, the problem being the 'system' needs all its current revenues to keep the Ponzi scheme going.

The swindle is tremendous. For example, if you are over 65 and have children under 18 the children get half of your social security until they reach 18. And the wizards and solons in Congress are not part of the fraudulent rip-off.

If you agree copy my post and send it to your local Ted Kennedy or Richard Durbin.
Powell is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Hi all,

Social Security 0was originally instituted by Otto Von Bismark (a liberal?) in Germany.

It is not a pension plan, it is a safety net. It was designed to provide for the widows and orphans of ordinary workers. It still does that - and provides for a small pension.

> the Social Security system is in serious trouble and needs to be fixed.

It is not in any more trouble than it has ever been, and the same fixes that have worked in the past will work in the future. The sky is not flling.

>I've never based my retirment plans on receiving one cent from it - everything I get will be gravy.

A good idea.

> makes me sick to think how much I've paid in and been paid in for me by my employers) and how little I will eventually receive.

Are you certain of that? I calculate my SS income as being the payments from an annuity worth about $600,000 - and I retired early.

>... I'm tired of paying for a couple other peoples retirement ...

How about other people's schools, roads, police, fire protection, airports, bridges, dams, garbage collection, parks, rivers, ports, lighthouses, cleanup of toxic waste sites, .........?
ira is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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ira - =D>
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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- retirement planning should be a personal resposnsibility.

- SS should not be a massive income transfer program that is mostly smoke and mirrors. If the government wants to HELP low income or disabled people, then they should do it via general revenues and not SS.

- SS should not be structured so a fella can pay all his life and then die a month after he starts drawing it and the payments stop all together and no cash value is passed on to his heirs.

Compare what you receive now to what would have happened if your payments and your employers payments had been put in a private account and it had earned 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 percent over 40 years. The magic of compound interest is amazing.
degas is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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My understanding of Social Security is that it's more like auto insurance than life insurance: everyone in the pool pays at the same rate (which is a greater or lesser amount depending on the value of the vehicle and other risk factors), and you get your money out in proportion to how much you need and when. You might become disabled tomorrow, or you might live into the next century. Everyone is covered.

Turning over SS to be managed by individuals would, in my opinion, be catastrophic. Far too many people know far too little about finance to turn them loose with their retirement funds. Because when they went broke, the taxpayer would pick up the tab. It would be like funding gamblers in Las Vegas. Or allowing Savings & Loans to invest in anything they wanted to, with a government guarantee. Oh, wait - they tried that.

But I would endorse allowing people above a certain level of income to be exempt from SSI altogether, with some form of mandatory self-directed IRA taking its place.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Opinion....society needs to decide what its role allow those who can build up the biggest pile to do so...via tax cuts,etc...or society's role is to take care of ALL of its own, which means priorities are on programs that provide a GOOD minimum of care for all...there seems by too many people of "what's in it for me" and the role of government get smaller and smaller. Sorry, but I happen to beleive that a healthy, well educated, well employed citizenry is more important than another aircraft carrier. Leaving political persuasions aside, ask yourself, who takes better care (health,education, retirement, standard of living) of its people, France or USA? Yes, they are definitely taxed more, and have less Donald Trumps, but I think we need to look at what morality we follow that says the American dream is to become rich, forget about the 'give me your poor..'
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:51 AM
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I am quite confident that the euro will top out the first week in May, as we are returning from Germany around the last week of April!
mitdoac is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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This so called safety net is an expensive farce that should have ended with the Great Depression.

If this money was put in the stock market, EVERYBODY would be much better off with the exception of the crooks in Congress. If you are afraid that the individual can't invest it right, then put it automatically into a basket of index funds (fixed income, value, G&I, growth) and re-invest the returns.

The insurance portion of SS could be handled apart from the retirement feature.
hansikday is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Degas--I never in all me years have seen such a piece of nonsense as your long list of rosy economic predictions devoid of a single source except your undefinied "various sources." Even the news media, the church or the government would not dare to attempt to pass that off as respectable!
nellyanne is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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Michel_Paris, SS doesn't provide very cash much to most people, only a couple hundred bucks a month or less.

However, far too many people think it will take care of them and never save another dime for retirement. I think that figure is over 50% of Americans.

Its really wasted capitial that does not generate a positive return and it doesn't get a chance for compounding interest to kick in. To add insult to injury, Congress skims money from the pile to spend on pet projects of dubious value.
hansikday is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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In Canada, we have a separate non-government (as much as that can happen!) controlled agency that invests money taken off our paycheques into bonds, stock market, real-estate, venture capital funds,etc..Lately, the government has been allowing the agency to move from being bonds only to shares and other financial instruments. Still forced to invest 70% into Canadian securities.
We also have equivalent of IRAs that allow us to choose to invest money, with tax breaks at the front and taxation at the end.
How do you force people to save? Financial education is teh craps and people worry about financial advisers (with reason). Two solutions: mandatory eduction in high schools, independent AUDITED agency that takes tax dollars and invests for SS payments, no dipping by politicians, taxes adjusted so that projected payouts provide an amount that allows basic standard of living. IF you want more than the 'basic' you save some dollars in IRAs, 401-ks,etc..
Michel_Paris is offline  

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