Top Ten Signs the U.S. Economy is Healthy
1. Almost all mortgages are not in default.
2. Almost all workers in the labor force who care to work are not unemployed.
3. The largest percentage ever of American household units own their own homes.
4. The stock market, in both absolute terms (the number on the Dow) and relative terms (the relationship of price to earnings), reflects optimism and an extraordinary, robust level of profits.
5. The spread between the interest rate paid on risk-free Treasury issues and on the Merrill Lynch master junk-bond index is far, far less than it was in the dark days of the tech meltdown from 2000 to 2002. This is a sign of less than horrific fear about high-risk debt.
6. For all but the least qualified buyers, mortgage money is plentiful, and in fact the potential borrower is bombarded with offers.
7. Hotels are full.
8. Airplanes are full.
9. Casinos in Las Vegas are jam-packed.
10. There is still a long waiting list for Bentleys in Beverly Hills.
~From Ben Stein's article in today's NY Times Business Section, "The Gloomsayers Should Look Up"