I think the only thing more messed up than the economy is the Obama White House.
Is this Obama Amateur Hour, or is the apparent bungling actually intentional?
All can agree that the markets are in meltdown.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average dropped another 200 points today on fresh concerns about banks and about General Motors.
In early afternoon trading, the Dow is down 201.91, or 2.94 percent, to 6,673.93, a low not seen since April 1997.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 26.09, or 3.66 percent, to 686.78. The S&P has not traded below this level since October 1996. The Nasdaq composite index fell 36.80, or 2.72 percent, to 1,316.94.
Investors are having another change of heart and are selling stocks again after a one-day burst of optimism. The major market indicators extended their slide to levels not seen in more than a decade Thursday, as investors contended with more disheartening economic data, fresh concerns about the stability of General Motors Corp., and ongoing uncertainty about the financial system.
Stocks fell across the board, with the beleaguered banking sector posting some of the steepest losses. Shares of troubled Citigroup Inc., still shaky despite receiving billions in government aid, sank below $1. General Motors, meanwhile, dropped below $2 as it warned of possible bankruptcy.
The market is also extremely anxious ahead of Friday's February Labor Department report that is likely to show the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Even some positive news, including some better-than-expected retail sales and factory orders, was not enough to stoke investor confidence.
In spite of this, Obama is plowing ahead with his vision of a socialist America.
Is there a method to his madness?
From Ben Steverman, BusinessWeek:
At least on Wall Street, the honeymoon is over for President Barack Obama.
Polls still show the President has strong popularity among the general U.S. population, and Obama continues to command power in Congress. But among investors, fairly or unfairly, there is griping that the new Obama Administration is at least partly to blame for the recent slide in stocks. Since Nov. 4, Election Day, the broad Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is off about 25%, and since Jan. 20, when Obama took office, the "500" is down 15%.
It's never easy to determine exactly why the stock market moves in a particular direction. Plenty of other factors have influenced stock prices since November. For example, the global economy has slowed further and the outlook for corporate profits has worsened.
But BusinessWeek interviewed a wide array of investment professionals, and many said the first six weeks of the Obama Administration have soured their outlook on the stock market.
...Professional investors tend to be more conservative, so it's perhaps no surprise they're concerned. "The basic agenda of Obama's Administration is going to be more leftist and less centrist than I had anticipated," says John Merrill, chief investment officer at Tanglewood Wealth Management in Houston.
The impact of Obama's proposals are easy to see in particular segments of the market. In a speech to Congress on Feb. 24, Obama pledged a "substantial down payment" on health-care reform. David Chalupnick, head of equities at First American Funds, points out that, since then, stocks in the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Providers Index (IHF) are down 16%. Health-care stocks had been a relative safe haven in the market, because medical spending tends to hold up even in recessions.
Investors aren't just expressing their political beliefs that taxes and regulations are bad for the economy. They're also making a practical calculation that they will hurt corporate bottom lines in the future. "What you're doing is lowering the profitability of these firms," says Bill Larkin of Cabot Money Management.
..."People are looking for a very quick fix," Larkin says. "It's the way the markets are. They like to have a problem resolved." Unfortunately, solutions from Obama, the Federal Reserve, or anyone else are slow in arriving. "It's going to take time," Larkin says.
...Obama and Geithner missed the chance—if they ever had such an opportunity—to "wow" the market and help restore some market confidence early in his Administration, Larkin says. So, instead, "this is going to be a long, drawn-out thing."
...The problem for investors is the long-term outlook has never looked so fuzzy. With the economy deteriorating, the credit crisis continuing, and the Obama Administration still formulating a response, few feel confident enough about the future to buy stocks. It may be quite some time before investors find a change they can believe in.
If Obama wanted to help the economy and the American people, he would back off on his ultra-liberal/socialist agenda NOW.
He would give a prime time address saying that his radical Leftist plans are on hold, that such an agenda is clearly irresponsible at this time.
He could do that, but he isn't.
One is left to assume that Obama is pleased with the market tanking and his destruction of the personal wealth of millions and millions of average working Americans.
I thought an Obama presidency would be bad, but I didn't think it would be this bad this fast.
Obama is literally bent on destroying the free market. At least it seems that way.
At the moment, I see the Obama administration as a greater imminent threat to the country than al Qaeda or Iran.
Financially speaking, Obama is wrecking my life.