Sunday Musings : Social Tears, Suicides and S&P 500

“Suicides in Singapore hit an all-time high of 487 in 2012 as more young people bogged down by stress and relationship woes took their own lives, a charity group dealing with the problem said Friday.
The tally, a 29 percent increase from the 2011 total, was boosted by an 80 percent rise in the 20-29 age bracket, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) said in a statement.” (Huffington Post)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/singapore-suicide-rate-record-high_n_3585396.html?utm_hp_ref=world

I wonder if it is anything to do with Generation Y’s ill tolerance of failure as I mentioned last week in Presenting Generation E : The Really Entitled Ones.

Or perhaps it is to do with the global problem of youth unemployment as a friend who is passing through Singapore mentioned. Elson, a young man I used to baby sit when he was 8 in Perth, Australia, was in town, in transit to San Francisco where he hopes to settle down in after pursuing a graphic animation course in a university there. He has 2 degrees already but comics are his first love and he spent the past 5 years scrimping and saving for this course.

He has travelled most of the world on budget, meeting up with his friends in the comic circuit. His take is that things in Europe are really bad and many of his friends, ordinary Europeans, facing problems in getting started out in life.

There are social tears happening right now with this weekend’s big news in US and the acquittal of a certain George Zimmerman, an American of Hispanic descent, and his killing of a certain African American boy Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida neighbourhood leading some to tweet that it is not good to be black in Florida.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/14/zimmerman-acquitted-killing-trayvon-martin

Girls have it tough in Texas too, after a stringent abortion bill was passed leading some to speculate on a rise in risky (illegal) abortions.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20130713-texas-abortion-law-may-leave-women-with-risky-choices.ece

Back to Singapore and the 80% rise in suicide amongst the young, there is nothing really much to cheer for in the widening gaps in society like China where 0.4% of Chinese households own 70% of the country’s wealth, quoting Ian Bremmer.

I wrote about Plutonomy last year (Plutonomy, Plutocracy, Plutarchy ? Pluto is Not A Planet Anymore!) and the unsustainability of the situation that appears to be escalating into a middle class generational squeeze. This appears to correlate with the age of The Fourth Turning (by Strauss and Howe).

http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/82232/neil-howe-fourth-turning-has-arrived

Troubling times indeed and as I write, “GLEE star Cory Monteith, was found dead on Saturday at a hotel in Vancouver, Canada” (Reuters).

http://news.yahoo.com/glee-star-cory-monteith-found-dead-hotel-vancouver-055621952.html

Who really has time for such reflections when we are missing out on the S&P 500 rally ?

S&P continued its rally on the backdrop of equity inflows; AMG data now shows 26 weeks of consecutive inflows, the longest since 1996. (Source Goldman)

“Twenty seven consecutive inflows is the longest stretch without a single weekly outflow since 1996, and over this period of time we have seen a fresh $73 billion in total. The inclusive of ETF figure for equities (while not what we tend to focus on) registers at +$11.8 billion, the largest inflow since January. HY bond funds continue to see outflows, albeit small, of $27.6 million… highlight that this is the seventh consecutive weekly outflow from HY, something not seen since the financial crisis Oct 2008”

Stocks are good and bonds are bad. If bonds are bad, can stocks continue to be good ?

What a Sunday !