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Stimulation Fails to Deliver Rise

I couldn’t help but be struck on Tuesday by the headline feeds coming from the New Mexico Business Weekly:

Consumer Confidence Index plunges

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 25 in February from a revised reading of 37.4 in January.

Target profit drops 41% in Q4

Target Corp.’s profit plunged 41 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 as consumers cut spending amid what CEO Gregg Steinhafel called “unprecedented economic conditions.” (TGT)

BofA’s Lewis: We don’t need ‘further assistance’

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis has tried to assure employees that the bank won’t be nationalized. (BAC)

Thain ordered to answer questions

A New York judge has ordered former Merrill Lynch, Co. Chief Executive John Thain to provide information about executives who received nearly $4 billion in bonuses. (BAC)

Home Depot net income falls to $2.3B

The Home Depot Inc.’s profit dropped nearly 50 percent in 2008, hurt by more than $1 billion in charges and a dip in consumer demand. (HD)

Macy’s profit down, but beats outlook

Macy’s Inc. reported its fourth-quarter profit dropped by almost 60 percent, to $310 million, but still beat post-expense projections by 4 cents a share. (M)Mind you, all of those headlines showed up in one day. With the exception of $4 billion pocketed by Merrill Lynch executives, it sure doesn’t seem like the $1.5 trillion the feds are dumping into the economy are having any positive impact.

If you ask me, all we’ve done is postpone the inevitable. Actually, I take that back. We’ve undoubtably made it worse.