1. It’s Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
2. It’s the 74th anniversary of the sinking of the U.S. Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 in the Solomon Islands.
The boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer, instantly killing two of the 13 crew members.
The commander was Lt. John F. Kennedy, who led the remainder of his crew to safety on a deserted island. Eventually, with the help of Australians and Solomon Islanders, Kennedy and the survivors were rescued.
It was a story that we heard a lot about in the days when Kennedy was President. There are some who claim it was gussied up a little to help the aspiring politician.
And, of course, how can it compare courage-wise to his 10th successor avoiding sexually transmitted diseases in New York’s Studio 54 era?
3. Ara Parseghian, who died this morning at age 94, achieved his greatest success as a football coach at Notre Dame, winning the 1973 national championship.
But, of course, we Northwesterners mourn him as one of the school’s greatest coaches, compiling a winning record (!!!) and even a No. 1 ranking at one point in 1962.
4. It’s hard to believe the stock market has done as well as it has since Trump’s election nearly nine months ago.
Conventional wisdom says the instability in what has been the world’s most powerful nation should be a detriment to investment, not a boon. With this administration, who knows what the hell is going to happen?
And yet, this morning, the Dow Jones industrial average reached the 22,000 mark for the first time.
As the Times’ Landon Thomas Jr. helpfully points out, two things are fueling the surge.
One is the idea that Trump is going to cut taxes.
Cutting taxes seems like an absurd idea at a time when the stock market’s booming. Corporate profits are strong, so a tax cut for business just seems like pure greed.
But that’s what these investors seem to be cheering.
The other spark is a weak dollar. That makes investing in the U.S. more attractive overseas, since other nations’ currencies can buy more than they did before.
As is always a case with a long boom, some question whether it can ever end. What’s to stop markets from going up ad infinitum?
And the Trump administration is going to provide it.
A trade war with China? A war war with North Korea or Iran? Pissing off the Europeans enough that they ignore this country and look for development elsewhere? Turning back to oil and coal instead of developing alternatives that have been sparking growth even before this year?
Anyone who holds investments – especially those of us with the title “retired” – cheers higher markets. But when they go down, it hurts. Big time.
It’ll happen – the question is when.