February 20, 2009
markets dropped a little over 1% again today on Wall Street's fears of bank
nationalization... i. e., the threat that taxpayers won't rescue bank investors.
to close at 1,441,.
and the S&P
to end at 770.
up a trifle at $38.94
a barrel, and gold topped
the $1,000 mark to
close at $1,002.20.
to end at 49.30.
It was a roller coaster ride today, with the market indices ending close to
where they began. Among today's articles are: Volcker:
Crisis May be Even Worse than Depression, Soros
Sees No Bottom for World Financial "Collapse".These experts say
that there's no hint of a bottom anywhere in sight.
Dr. Nouriel Roubini is more optimistic, positing that 2009
will be a recession year, but implying that 2010 will be better. Nowhere
Near End of Crisis: Dr. Doom.
Some of the other articles are decidedly more optimistic,
arguing that now is the time to buy, buy, buy:
another 20% Drop
Don't Panic, This Decline Is
No Patience, Some Hope. . . Looking
for a Bottom
One interesting tidbit: Bernard Madoff
didn't buy stocks. Not the first one. All the blue chip stocks that he
reported to his investors were in his portfolio weren't.
Paul Krugman's epistles include Permanent
Link to Glorifying the Gilded Age in which takes issue with conservatives
who want to let the economy heal itself the way it did in the "good, old
days". As an example of what really happened in the "good, old
days", he cites the Panic of 1873 that lasted until 1879.
Link to Against stupidity …, he quotes a discourse by Representative
Boehner of Ohio in which Boehner demands to know why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
are to be "rewarded with $200 billion in taxpayer dollars without first
reforming these housing entities that were at the hear of the economic
meltdown?" Apparently, Representative Boehner doesn't know that Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac have already been reformed, and are now owned by the taxpayers.
Stop the Pain? Dr. Krugman points out that the measures enacted so far will
slow the rate of decline, but no one seems to have any idea about just what
besides normal wear and tear over a period of years will bring about a recovery.
What's going to get the world's economies rolling again?