Monday, July 7, 2008

A Dumb Economics/Financial Question

I follow the economy pretty regularly, though I have no formal training in it. I like to learn about the world of finance, without delving deep into complex formulas and numbers. Call me a minor league financial fan, if you will. Not quite ready for the big leagues, but definitely way more advanced than tee ball.

So here's my dumb question:

In a market like the one we're facing today, where virtually every sector is losing money... WHO is making money?

I don't think anybody would argue with the fact that the industries of housing, banking, retail, manufacturing, and so on are struggling right now, both in America and in many other countries. On the flip side, energy companies have done well and perhaps a few other sectors.

But ultimately, it seems like a LOT of money has been lost all across the stock market and in the housing market and elsewhere, and I'm not quite grasping as to where it's all going. Consumers are getting squeezed by higher prices all over the place (read: inflation), companies are starting to cut back on employment and production it seems, houses still are not selling all that well, savings rates are low so holding money in a safe account doesn't reap big rewards, and on and on.

So I ask again, WHO is on the other side of the transaction, making money right now? Average John and Suzy homeowner, stock investor, employer, and consumer sure aren't making money... so where does it all go???

-Curious in Jersey

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