25 years ago the Berlin Wall came down. It was a historic day in 1989 and re-opened the European door between East and West, reuniting the German nation. The wall had been in place since 1961. There was a thawing of global relations as the Cold War came to an end. Sort of. It was considered a victory for Capitalism and a defeat for Communism. The Soviet Union crumbled. Eastern Block nations had a steep learning curve to adapt to western ways. Germany was at the center of the conflict. Germany is still at the center of West and East.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had the wall built to help preserve the Soviet empire. As we know today, it was far more fragile than anyone in the West realized. In fact the Berlin Wall has been referred to as the cap that kept the Soviet volcano from erupting. It finally gave, and it had an impact the world over. The United States became the lone Super Power. That’s still the case 25 years later.
Today, the global landscape is as complicated as ever. Russian President Vladimir Putin was an officer in the KGB in 1989 when the wall came down. Some of the activities in 2014 along the Ukrainian border have struck nerves of a re-cooling period in Easter Europe. Germany still finds itself caught in a number of troubling issues. For one, Germany is by far the largest and strongest economic nation in Europe, which comes with responsibilities. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the go-to person for Putin’s diplomatic discussions with the West. Merkel has also had to contend with her German countrymen and women who are less than pleased with how other European nations are behaving economically. She has a tough job. Europe has been struggling for a while, and if not for an aggressive European Central Bank, the European economy and its stock markets would be in much worse shape.
Back on this side of the Atlantic, things continue to chug along in the spirit of progress. The results from the midterm election are expected to bring change, or maybe more of the same. Americans haven’t been too pleased with Washington for a while, and the Market keeps moving forward. Despite all of the troubling and complicated issues around the world, the Bull Market continues its ascent. New highs were reached again this week. Investor confidence is still quite low, which has actually had a positive impact for stocks since the crisis.
But there’s plenty of reason for investor optimism. In addition to solid corporate earnings, low interest rates and cheaper gas, our Bedell Frazier family just got bigger. Hudson James Harris, a 6 pound, 15 ounce baby boy was born today to Mike and Haley Harris. He’ll no doubt be spending the weekend not dwelling on the complications around the world, but rather seeing the remarkable opportunity that the future holds. With his mommy and daddy’s genes, this kid is going places.
Have a great weekend. We’ll be back dark and early on Monday.
By: Mike Frazier