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August 5th, 2012
11:22 PM ET

Monday on AC360: Anderson Cooper in Wisconsin to report on shooting at Sikh temple

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper will broadcast from Wisconsin on Monday with the latest on the mass shooting at a Sikh temple. Watch at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

Women and children were busy inside the Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, preparing for their traditional Sunday feast. Religious leaders gathered in the building's holy room, ahead of the hundreds set to arrive soon for the next service's 11:30 a.m. start.

This peace was shattered, when what authorities believe was a lone gunman opened fire inside and outside the temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. By the time a police officer - after his colleague had been "ambushed" and shot multiple times - returned fire, the gunman and six others were dead, Oak Creek police Chief John Edwards said.

Read more...

August 5th, 2012
08:32 AM ET

Letters to the President #1294: 'Market value'

Reporter's Note: President Obama receives a letter from me every day.

Dear Mr. President,

Considering that this is Sunday and the stock markets are closed, I guess this is a safe time to get something off my chest without triggering a worldwide economic collapse.

To the point: I don’t think the stock market reliably tells us anything.

People always point to it when it goes up and say things like, “Oh, the market is showing confidence on the strength of the latest jobs report/trade agreement/corn harvest and/or humidity reading!” Then when it goes down, they say things like, “Investors are retreating in the wake of the latest bank bailouts/home sales report/burger toppings at Wendys and/or running of the bulls!”

Sometimes there appears to be some logic at work, but most of the time I find analyses of the market’s behavior to be the worst kind of Monday morning quarterbacking. Economists look at the result and then try to dream up a reason. If science were really at work, one might expect them…a tad more often…to accurately tell us ahead of time what the market was going to do.

All of that makes me suspect the market is just what it appears to be: A financial free-for-all of folks trying to guess where to bet their money in hopes of doubling it. It’s like Vegas without the free buffets and stage shows, and the logic of many investors is about as sound as the “systems” that octogenarian gamblers from Iowa bring to the roulette wheel.

Look, if market behavior actually made sense, do you think we’d be surprised as often as we are?

Frankly I’d be thrilled if politicians and media folks, no matter their political bent, would simply report what the market does each day and stay away from the Three Blind Mice analysis. Because if they really knew what the market was going to do…and why…my guess is they’d all be making their money that way instead of going to the office each day.

I hope all is well with you. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom