US Economic Recovery: Tiger Woods Offers Us A Sign Of Hope…

| April 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

If I said I was an avid golfer, it’d be an understatement.  Let me paint a picture for you…

While playing a round of golf on Sunday, I was actually listening to the radio coverage of the final round of The Masters.  No, really… I was.

And let me tell you, the 2011 Masters is one we’ll surely remember.  It was filled with gut wrenching ups and downs.  And the final two hours on Sunday were sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat madness.  It was anyone’s tournament to win.

Now, we may not remember the winner (what’s his name again?).  Ok, I can’t disrespect a birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie finish.  Charl Schwartzel rose to the occasion and played one of the greatest finishes ever recorded in Augusta, GA.  But I think we’ll remember the 75th playing of the Masters for another reason…

A sign of hope emerged.  And I’ll explain how this relates to our economy in just a minute…

But first, even if you don’t follow golf, you know the name Tiger Woods.  Sadly, you may have only heard of him for his extremely public infidelity and divorce.

But I’d be willing to bet you at least know he’s the greatest golfer still actively playing on the PGA Tour.  And if you do follow the game, you’d know he has been struggling to play well since his public ordeal in late 2009.

For fans, golf has been a strange place without Tiger atop of each and every leaderboard.

But, after a solid three days of golf, signs of hope began to emerge for long-time Tiger Woods fans.  There he was, playing in the Masters, in the final round, and in the mix for another win.  What more could you ask for as a golfer and a fan?

Despite Tiger’s personal issues, I still find myself rooting for him when he’s on the golf course.  Why?

I’ve been pressed to answer this question by those around me who can only focus on the failures in his personal life.  And I think I’ve figured it out…

I am an eternal optimist.  I want successful people to become even more successful and shine even brighter.  Because it gives me hope.  It’s more fuel for my personal fire to succeed at everything I set out to accomplish.  I want to see others overcome great hurdles, so I may believe in myself.

I honestly can’t root for failure.  Somehow, I didn’t get that gene.

So there I sat hoping beyond hope that a champion could rise from the complete and utter meltdown we witnessed over the past 18 months.

As Tiger fired great shot after great shot on Sunday afternoon, I started believing Tiger had found his old self.  Or, he’d finally morphed into a new self and will once again dominate the world of golf…

And that got me thinking about another struggling champion… the USA.

Can the US economy and the US Dollar make a comeback?

These entities are, or have been, “champions” in their own right.  Our economy and the US Dollar resemble, with uncanny relation, Tiger Woods own microcosm.

Think about it…

The US economy has been the number one economy in the world as long as I’ve been alive.  But now it’s faltering badly.  Our economy is struggling to grow jobs and our unemployment rate remains high, at 8.8%.

To make matters worse, the national debt has skyrocketed to a staggering $14.2 trillion!  And our GDP is only $14.7 trillion.  It’s been projected that our debt will soon grow beyond 100% of GDP if we don’t change our government spending habits quickly.

We’re posting double and triple bogeys left and right (I couldn’t avoid the golf reference).

In addition, we continue to see a sizeable trade deficit in the US.  In 2010, the US consumed $1.9 trillion in imports while exporting only $1.27 trillion.  But what’s truly amazing is we’ve kept a trade deficit with a deeply suppressed dollar!

And speaking of the US Dollar, it continues to decline toward decade lows.  The Dollar Index is trading around $75.  Our fabled greenback was once the number one safe haven in uncertain times.

Now, it’s simply not the case…

There’s no doubt, our streak of dominance is being challenged.  But can we turn the corner on our indiscretions?  Can we, just as Tiger Woods did this weekend, show signs of hope?

Being the eternal optimist, I say yes!  But we need strong leadership in place capable of getting in front of issues faster.  In addition, we need the right plans in place for us to be successful.

And while we can debate if all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, let’s just save that argument for another day…

I see many signs of hope emerging.

Unemployment is slowly turning the corner, down to 8.8% from 10%.  And today we learned that job postings are at their highest level in over two years!

Consumer confidence and retail sales numbers are higher than a year ago.  And we all know the almighty consumer drives our economy.

That being said, we still have a long way to go with reducing our debt.  Our housing market still needs to recover.  And our US Dollar will need to strengthen.

But for now, I’m enjoying the signs of hope.  Sitting on the edge of my seat to see what happens next.

And just like watching Tiger Woods in The Masters, I’m hopeful of a comeback.  I’m hopeful America can find its way to the top of the leaderboard once again…

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Category: Bonds

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