World economy defies gloomy headlines
Contrary to what you'll see in the news, the economic recovery abroad is heating up.
While working out this week, I saw a headline that the European Union is basically "doubling" its growth projections, with the economy putting on a big move after the doldrums of the past few months.
That came right on the heels of China's reporting 13% growth -- that's right, 13% growth -- and I am marveling at all the people who said China was finished, as we saw from the Baltic Freight (which became the Baltic Fright) and the tepid oil futures. Plus, hadn't copper just peaked?
China and Europe are much better than expected. The economic recovery overseas seems to be heating up, and that doesn't include already strong countries such as India and Brazil.
But what's the lead story in The Wall Street Journal? "Waning recovery fuels uncertainty," blares the headline. The synopsis? "The global recovery is still on track, but it's looking increasingly likely to be a long slog for much of the developed world."
Now, I know in a world where people get their economic news from the Web and TV and radio as well as newspapers, maybe the cacophony dilutes this lead story. But it is still The Journal, the paper of record, and I can only think if I am an investor trying to make heads or tails of the thing if we could get Europe doubling its growth rate and China coming in well above trend, yet the paper of record says that things are looking weak and bad, I just want to throw my hands up and say, "No, thank you."
If you throw in the misinformation about Basel from last week -- that it would cause capital raises for many of our banks -- you only heighten the confusion. (I know KBW is saying that there needs to be capital raised by Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), but I think that's going to prove incorrect. Nonetheless, the rest of the post-TARP banks are already in the clear.) JPMorgan (JPM) comes out smelling like a rose on this one, by the way, and should be bought.
I rail about this nonsense because I am trying to make some sense of things, some sense of why things "feel better" as I said Friday here and on my show, about why the market's got a better tone.
The answer, of course, as demonstrated by China and the EU, is that things are better, but you just don't know it because the major source of news says things are worse. In a world driven by news, not facts, this alleged "conundrum" will be there all day.
For the record, I think this is as bad as saying "the Cowboys crushed the Redskins" or "the Eagles upset Green Bay."
You'd laugh at both headlines. Laugh at this one, too.
At the time of publication, Jim Cramer owned shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan.
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