Reading the Tea Leaves

Peter Kilander peterk at
Sat Jul 11 09:15:37 PDT 1998

In Saturday's New York Times (July 11th) there's an article titled "The Rumors Grow: Rubin Will Leave." The writer says, "In fact, his aides try to dissuade reporters from writing about the rumors of his departure at all, for fear that the articles alone could uncork the Dow." Hmm. Maybe that's why the article is on page A8? One of the Secretary's Cabinet colleagues predicts "the week after the midterm elections."

Hypothetically speaking, say I have a friend who has a 401k plan and is planning to change jobs and companies between now and then. Would one advise him or her to pull the money out, subjecting it to a tax penalty, or put it in the new job's 401k thereby avoiding the tax?

Back to the Rubin article. I found the following paragraph particularly interesting. "'Mr. Rubin has become the market,' one top Japanese diplomat complained the other day during a visit to Washington, arguing that the Secretary's thumbs up or down on Japan's latest economic contortions was the only signal investors were looking for." I thought the beauty of the free market is that it's free of ignorant government prognostications. Hmm.

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