In his column today John Kay of the Financial Times (subscription only) cuts through all the crap about the stock market and gets down to bare bones.
The level of the stock market is a measure of national self-congratulation. It tells you how much you think your children and grandchildren owe you. . . .The American "baby boom" generation astride the world is not only running an empire on its own behalf today; it's colonizing the future as well. Whether government debt, current account deficits, climate change, or ecological unsustainability, I fear the baby boomers are the most profligate bunch of bums, cheats and wastrels the world has ever known.
As the myth of the new economy has dissolved, however, two new illusions have emerged: not only are the businesses we have created worth more to future generations than we had previously supposed, the houses we have built are also worth far more. Better still, the beneficial effects of tax cuts on productivity and growth are so large that not only are George W. Bush's friends better off today but everyone, including the federal government itself, will be better off in future.
Yes, I know, spoken like a true thankless member of Generation X.