Monday, January 21, 2008

World Markets Tank

The chickens have come home to roost. Unfortunately those that created the mess are laughing all the way to the bank.
Stocks fell sharply worldwide Monday following declines on Wall Street last week amid investor pessimism over the U.S. government's stimulus plan to prevent a recession.

U.S. markets were closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but were primed to open Tuesday's session with steep declines, according to futures trading.

Futures don't correlate exactly to the underlying indexes, but are nonetheless a good indicator of stock index direction. As of 11:30 a.m. ET, March contracts on the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite all pointed to declines of over 4 percent at Tuesday's open.

The downbeat mood from last week's U.S. market declines isn't limited to the United States, with markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas tumbling Monday.

Britain's benchmark FTSE-100 slumped 5.5 percent to 5,578.20, France's CAC-40 Index tumbled 6.8 percent to 4,744.15, and Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 plunged 7.2 percent to 6,790.19.

In Asia, India's benchmark stock index tumbled 7.4 percent, while Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng index plummeted 5.5 percent to 23,818.86, its biggest percentage drop since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Canadian stocks fell as well, with the S&P/TSX composite index on the Toronto Stock Exchange down 4 percent in early afternoon trading. In Brazil, stocks plunged 6.9 percent on the main index of Sao Paulo's Bovespa exchange.

Investors dumped shares because they were skeptical that an economic stimulus plan President Bush announced Friday would shore up the economy that has been battered by problems in its housing and credit markets. The plan, which requires approval by Congress, calls for about $145 billion worth of tax relief to encourage consumer spending.
Why would the world be skeptical about the ideas put forth by President Bush? Could it be that they realize that he is an intellectual midget that has destroyed our country and that due to the lack of oversight by a Republican Congress, our economic problems threaten to hurt millions around the world. This is the legacy of the trickle down theory. The rich have gathered an even greater share of the worlds wealth while those in the middle have struggled to keep their heads above water. Those at the bottom are drowning.

How can anyone look at what has happened in the financial markets and not demand more regulation? This idea that industry will police itself has lead to our current mess. Citibank, Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Mortgage have all paid executives that created this mess millions while their employees have lost their jobs.
Is this what we want for our country?

Most middle class Americans are seeing drastic reductions in their 401(k) accounts while also seeing the value of their homes plummet. In almost all cases these are the two largest assets for most families. How could we possibly avoid a recession with statistics like that? If we elect another Republican who believes in these types of economic principles we may very well wake up one day and be bankrupt. If you think that can never happen here then you are sadly mistaken.

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