A recent Bloomberg survey found that Americans have grown gloomier about both the economy and the nation's overall direction over the past three months even as the US shows signs of moving from recession to recovery. The Bloomberg survey found that nearly a year into Obama's presidency, only 32% of poll respondents believe the country is headed in the right direction, down from 40% in September.
Many forecasters were surprised at the Bloomberg survey since several reports show the economy is improving, such as the Index of Leading Economic Indicators that has now risen for six consecutive months. I have a theory that the latest worsening of the mood of the country is correlated with the increasing likelihood that Congress will pass a sweeping healthcare reform bill. Surveys show that 50-60% of Americans are opposed to the healthcare reform bills in Congress.
This week, I will give you the details from the Bloomberg survey. We will also focus on the economy with a look at the latest reports, along with the Fed's latest 'Beige Book' and its assessment of the economy. In particular, we will look at the fact that lending to consumers and small business continues to decline. This is a real and growing problem. This should be an interesting letter, so let's get started.