Monday, March 02, 2009

The Lost Decade

Actually, it's worse that that. Today, the Dow dropped below 7,000 for the first time since 1997. The government's current spending spree and talk of massive legislation is only adding to market uncertainty, spooking investors, and making things worse. Obama's constant pessimism isn't helping matters.

More on this here.

1 comment:

thinking said...

First, the main driver of the market plunge has been the underlying economic data, which has been horrific, and was a foregone conclusion from the economic fundamentals stretching back to last year.

What's driving the market down are numbers like the contraction of GDP, rising unemployment, terrible corporate earnings reports, and of course, the continued problems with many large financial companies, such as AIG.

One problem we've had these past several years is that we try to have govt by Dow Jones, where we watch each day and over react by reading into it way too much in the way of immediate psychology. In doing so we've become hostage to short sighted economic know, the ones that tend to create bubbles rather than lasting economic growth.

As for Obama's constant pessimism, I don't understand that comment. Anyone who watched his joint address to Congress cannot accuse him of that. In fact, polling data found just the opposite reaction among the vast majority of the population.

Obama's message is that of a mature leader: he recognizes the depth of the problems and does not attempt to hide that from the people. He offers active solutions, acknowledging that while any attempt may be imperfect, to do nothing would be catastrophic. And finally, he gives us the encouragement that we can work through this and come out even stronger and better.

He cannot hide the problems from the people. He cannot pretend this will be easy. He cannot sit by and do nothing or very little.

An analogy: when my sister was diagnosed with cancer a few years back, her doctors in no way attempted to sugarcoat the seriousness of that. They laid out a plan for action that would be painful, with no guarantee of success. But they did offer her the hope that if the drastic steps were taken, she could overcome the disease. Fortunately, right now she's doing just fine. So I'm very glad that her doctors were pessimistic in the same way Obama is accused of being pessimistic.