Every day as the world crumbles, the same corrupted names come to the top of the list. Again and again, the fines are levied, the wrists are slapped and business continues as usual. From Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley and from J.P. Morgan to Bank of America, it’s always the same.
As so now we arrive in September. After an August that may go down in history as one of near terminal boredom, the fireworks are about to go off again.
Governments and central banks have pushed many decisions off to this month with hints and promises through the summer of being ready to come to the rescue if needed.
Fed Chairman Bernanke did so again recently, but increased the level of assurances enough so expectations are high for action from its Federal Open Market Committee meeting this month. Economic reports in the eurozone continue to weaken, putting still more pressure on officials to act. Moody’s has put the European Union’s triple-A credit rating on a negative outlook. The number of unemployed workers has surged to a record 18 million, or 11.3 percent, and both consumer and business confidence is at a three-year low.
Officials are back from their vacations and this is the month of various meetings in Europe that are also supposed to finally come up with meaningful solutions.
But European stock markets are uncertain and still waiting. Unknown is what kind of fiscal agreements Spain and others will have to agree to in order to have access to the program. Spain has said it will not take the required next step of requesting a bailout until it knows the details of what will be involved.
Will central banks end the summer’s uncertainties with positive actions that will disrupt the history of September being rough on investors? We’ll soon know.
Nick Massey is a financial columnist for The Edmond (Okla.) Sun.