Monday, January 7, 2008

Wall Street Review

Sorry for the lack of blogging last week; I was away at the AALS Conference of law professors.

As the trading year begins for 2008, I thought I'd do a brief check-in on Wall Street. Our illustrious president, you will recall, has spent years promoting the "ownership society," featuring, among other things, "Expanding Ownership of Retirement Assets." The message, I take it, is that we're all supposed to keep an eye on our investment portfolios and thank the Republicans for their business-friendly policies that will pump up our returns.

The result? Well, as I write, the S&P 500 index is at 1414 and the Nasdaq Composite index is at 2498. On the day President Bush took office, they were at 1342 and 2770, respectively. Thus, under our business-friendly, owernship-society, Republican President, the S&P is up 5.3% over seven years and the Nasdaq is down 9.8%.

Meanwhile, under the presidency of those left-wing, business-hating, over-regulating, squash-the-economy Democrats, the S&P 500 went up 208.5% and the Nasdaq went up 297.6%, from 1993-2001. And yes, there was some tech bubble in those figures, but, if you will recall, the bubble burst in March 2000, so those are really the post-bubble totals.

Sheesh. All that work by Republicans to make the rich richer, and those of us in S&P 500 index funds would have done far better with T-bills. And that's over seven years. Seven years of investments going nowhere, and we haven't even seen the full fallout of the housing bubble burst. Could we bring back the Democrats, please?

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