Ask an expert: Is the economy getting better?

MSN Money's Anthony Mirhaydari discusses the true state of the economy.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 19, 2012 3:27PM
Economic data have been conflicting, and depending on whom you ask, the economy is either improving or worsening.

In this video, MSN Money's Anthony Mirhaydari discusses how Main Street is looking at one set of data that points to the economy getting better, while Wall Street and CEOs are looking at another set that points the opposite direction.

Households are looking at factors that concern and affect them, such as housing, unemployment and the jobs picture in general, as well as income.

MedioImages CorbisCEOs, on the other hand, are far more concerned about the still looming fiscal cliff, the yet unresolved sovereign debt in Europe and the slowing growth in China, among other issues, such as slowing durable goods orders and low investor confidence.

Mirhaydari further explains how one group has been more historically right than the other because of its access to more timely information.

What should investors do? What's a good defensive strategy? Mirhaydari offers a short idea and an investment idea.

The discussion about the election and its effects on the current trading environment continues over at MSN Money's Facebook community.

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Nov 19, 2012 3:50PM
Any expert that says it is is clueless.  After you factor out QE I, II and III, with a 58% increase in M2 money supply the last 3 years, there is almost ZERO improvement.

Let last weeks unemployment claims bear that out...  423,000, is roughly where we started.

We have increased our  debt from 10.2 to 16 trillion, printing 58% more money, done nothing to help unemployment and worst of all increased government from 17% to 26% of GDP...

We have clearly made things worse.  We cannot hide behind the printing press forever.   We have devalued the dollar, crushed the middle class and made the future far tougher....

I don't need an expert to tell me how much better  things are.   Socialism is destroying America.
Nov 19, 2012 4:48PM
simple answer, it is still bad and getting slightly worse. I cant even imagin how bad it will be if they go to carbon credits and when the epa goes after coal more and the gas producers. everyones energy costs are going up up up  leaving less for the people to spend on goods and services   this leaves a hole even deeper than we have now.  we have the wrong president to fix these problems and lead the country into a happy future
Nov 19, 2012 5:54PM

CEO's are interviewed and say economy is bad. MEDIA TELLS YOU consumers think economy is good. See the difference? The cheer leaders are all out today telling you the economy is turning around and they have the politicians looking like family at a Thanksgiving family get together, all warm and fuzzy, ready for compromise. I doubt the media scoop on the consumer will pan out any time soon.

Nov 19, 2012 6:11PM

Here is your proof to the state of our economy in small business for Cali...


google...cslb...then hit check a hit business name... enter any name you like/even your own!


This is the list for ALL contractors in our state! Residential,Commercial,Civil and Private!


Go on! Flip thru some pages!! 2 out of 3 ARE OUT OF BUSINESS!!


Theres your economy right there! Hey Obummer I got my shovel, now where are the jobs!?!

Nov 19, 2012 7:14PM
It is bette for big business.  It is worse for Americans.
Nov 20, 2012 11:12AM

                                                             Between a rock and a hard spot

The United States federal government will spend 3.8 trillion in 2012; it will take in 2.5 trillion, which leave a debt of 1.3 trillion. To balance this budget Americans will have to raise taxes by 50% or cut spending by 35%, or a combination of the two. Plus we must start making payments on our 17 trillion dollar federal debt. If we raise tax sufficiently to reduce the 2012 debt, the American people will revolt. Congress will not cut spending by 35% because they will have to cut the programs of the vested interest groups that keep them in power. If we don’t start paying on the federal debt lenders will question whether we are going to pay our debts, and interest rate will increase as the risk of not getting paid rises. If interest rate on treasuries goes to 5%, it will add another 650 billion to our federal budget. On top of this the federal government has about 147 trillion in unfunded liabilities. With the reelection of Obama it is obvious the American people have no understanding of our economic condition. With Obama wanting a tax increase of 1.6 trillion over 10 years and congresses wellness to negotiate on this should tell us that our leadership doesn’t have a clue either. We are going bankrupt and there is nothing we can do about it!!!

Bankruptcy does some good things; it gets rid of the debt, it redistributes the wealth, it reevaluates the assets, gets rid of bad management and obsolete ideas and America can start over again.

Nov 21, 2012 12:52AM
Recovery in the longer term can result only from good paying jobs since 70% of our econmy is consumer spending. Fake short term jobs resulting from stimuus and low paying low skilled service jobs will not get it done. steady manufacturing jobs that make tangible products for domestic and foreign markets have to be revived. Income from these jobs will bring back the economy-not income taxes.
Nov 20, 2012 11:04AM
What constitutes expertise? Having a column on msn? This is a kid with a degree or two and little to no exposure to natural cycles. He has zero aptitude in sub-economics and uses charts in virtual uncharted territory (thus, is lost but won't admit it).
Here... let me throw my two cents worth of expertise in your hat, Anthony... we are well overdue for a stock market collapse. It's gatekeepers are the global financial sectors and banks, both of which are over-extended imperiled and without new fuel. Literally half of the world has pulled out of the mainstream- many without choice- and began a movement to counter inflation by forcing excessive supply that forces new supply to fail before it lands on our shores. Gross margins are non-existent so all sorts of businesses either cook the books or resort to gambling in offset. The consumer has become survival oriented. The consumer is either a working stiff unable to cover his/her living expenses and relax for more than 5 minutes, or no longer exists in data tracking or statistics (meaning no data is valid). The impending dividend bonanza should tip us over the edge for good. You may have your stocks on qualification day but the odds of seeing redemption isn't in your favor. Further, shorts could easily drain dividend capital before redemption day. I had warned repeatedly about the continuance of banks, the Fed and Wall Street instead of jobs recovery. That wasn't a doom and gloom prediction, it was reality. Without the girth of employed people generating revenues, we could cut costs to zero and still lose. The pariah haven't won but they have chewed completely through the ropes holding us up.

Tell me, Tony... what will you do once paper and button pushing venues are destroyed? You may have college education but if you have no exposure to Hard Knocks. What is your Plan B?

Nov 21, 2012 5:44PM
buckle up theirs a rough ride ahead
Nov 20, 2012 10:54AM

Several CEOs are doomy and gloomy....Because they are only looking to get everything their way..


American Consumer Sentiment is very good..

Housing starts very interesting...

Administration and Congress are in talks....Which all have wanted (the smart people).

The Rich are worried about paying more...NOW, They will have to INVEST to get the write-offs.


I don't know, I see several WINNING combinations around me; I really don't need "paid" experts to tell me how things are going... 

Nov 20, 2012 10:38AM
I never put much stock into what a long term street analyst says. The best description I can think of is that the longer you remain a Wall Street employee the more the cloud of the industry seems to impair your judgement.  The Maria effect is where if you want to be heard, invited, and accepted the more perma bull you must become.  Never say anything negative and always push a positive influence that the market is permanently in growth territory.  For those who have no clue this is acceptable.  For those who know better it is insulting and appears fraudulent. I give these cats the proffesional tap for hanging out and trying to make a place and a living in an indusrty that is excceded only by politicians for shady motivations and misleading information.  Much like politicians these folks are in it for themselves and for naive newbys a place to lose a lot of money quickly if they put even a tad bit of stock in what information seems to be prevelant, accepted, and comes from an employed analyst.
Nov 20, 2012 3:59PM

KMMCPA.....Still I agree with the guys attitude...About how he/we can make it....


And far as CEOs....You must be one of their Accountants..??


Hostess Corporation....Is the latest proof and Agendas that CEOs have today..Don't cry a river for me about many of the bastards just "not being" greedy..At least not in this Country.

I don't get paid to post here, and can call them as I see them...

When we made profits or were faced with heavier taxes.....We invested here on the Farm/Ranch, better or newer equipment and live stock..A couple times more land or buildings

Same with a Commercial business, my wife ran in the city for 20 years..Money begets money.

And we had one accountant like you...

Nov 20, 2012 10:41AM

A person mention how things are much better; Maybe near where he lives and his family is in much better shape then it has been for a long time....


You should be applauding this scenario...Instead you give him 6 thumbs down..


Is all of America turning into Morons ??

Nov 20, 2012 7:58AM
Hi, go out on the edge of any town, you will see, carpenters building, men putting up siding, guys pouring cement for new side walks, ask any contractor he will tell you the housing market is coming back, the CEOs are just greedy as usual, my family I have need had it so good !
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