Friday, February 20, 2009

Voting with their wallets

Interesting summary of market movement from Powerline reader Bill Otis:

McCain's bounce had evaporated, and Obama re-took his lead in the polls, in mid- to late-September. At that time (September 19, specifically), the Dow Jones stood at 11,388.

By the end of September, as Obama's lead widened and solidified, the Dow had fallen to 10,325.

It continued its slide through October. The day after the election, it dropped 486 points to 9139.

By inauguration day, when reality could not be finessed any longer, it had fallen to 7949.

In the month since the inauguration, it has continued to drop, and is now at 7530 [Ed.: Now 7466.]. This is the lowest it has been in 12 years, lower by a considerable measure than it was in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 (when the denizens of Wall Street had to fear not just for their portfolios, but for their physical survival).

To sum it up, the market has lost a third of its value in a scant four months -- the four months in which it became clear that Obama would become, and then did become, President.

While it would just be mindlessly partisan to claim that the decline is entirely due to Obama's ascension on the one hand, so would it be mindlessly partisan to deny that a significant portion of the decline is a reaction to Obama's ascension and fear of what he has and might do on the other.

Because, of course, the stock market is not so much as a snapshot of current economic conditions as an anticipation of the future.

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