When the news of the Boston Marathon bombings hit, it brought back vivid reminders to Americans. Certainly we did not know at the time if we were facing a massive threat of the scope of the 9-11 tragedy. For those watching the economy and the markets, it was also an important reminder that whatever the prognosticators say, all bets are off if there is an intervening variable. That variable could be a terrorist attack or a super-storm or some other major event such as a tiny country in Europe going bankrupt. Yes, it is a reminder of how vulnerable we are. There is no way of completely protecting ourselves and our economy from all threats — man made or from larger forces such as Mother Nature.
It is also a reminder of how resilient our nation and economy can be. The day of the Boston Marathon, civilians ran toward the explosions to help others. They could not have known that these were not just the first salvos. Similarly, some five and one-half years ago, our economy faced a huge calamity. The government stepped in and took actions to stabilize the damage–not just one President–but two Presidents, the Federal Reserve Board and Congress. We might debate now how effective these actions were, but we can’t debate the fact that the economy has made a significant recovery as it has limped along. Our country has faced threats from its inception and we have always been resilient as we have become a world leader. This week’s employment report is important and its release will be watched by millions. However, if it is the second disappointing report in a row, we know we have the resiliency to recover. From this viewpoint, we hope it is not disappointing as resiliency is important, but proof of recovery is even better medicine.