Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The Dow lost a mere 504 points yesterday. That's almost exactly the same amount it dropped on Black Monday in 1987, but it's actually much less serious. The Black Monday drop represented 22% of the Dow's value; yesterday's drop was less than 5%.

What's interesting is the trend of stocks over the whole Bush administration. The Dow closed at at 10,917 yesterday. On January 20, 2001, it closed at 10,587. It's up a whopping 3.1% over the 7.66 years of the Bush administration. Remember, the historical average is for the index to go up about 10.5% per year. If you put $100 in an index fund, it should have slightly more than doubled over this period -- you should have about $215. Instead, you're stuck at $103.10.

Actually, it's worse than that. Your money probably isn't in the Dow -- I don't know of a lot of Dow Index funds. Probably it's in an S&P index fund. The S&P closed at 1192.69 yesterday. That's down 11.2% from the close of 1342.54 on January 20, 2001. And the NASDAQ is down 21.3% over the same period.

Thank goodness for those business-friendly, economy-promoting Republicans! Do you know what happened to the indexes during the Clinton administration? The Dow was up a mere 225%, the S&P 208%, the NASDAQ, 297%. And that's after the tech bubble burst (remember, the burst occurred in March, 2000, while Clinton was still in office).

Oh, I know the President doesn't really deserve full blame or credit for what happens in the markets. But you know the Republicans would be touting their economic policies to the skies if things were going well, so they have to get some blame for what's going badly. And the failure of regulation bears some blame for the credit crisis.

Here are those numbers again in a convenient table:

Markets during the Bush Administration, 1/20/01 to date:

Dow +3.1%
S&P -11.2%
NASDAQ -21.3%

Markets during the Clinton Administration, 1/20/93 - 1/20/01:

Dow +225.2%
S&P +208.5%
NASDAQ +297.6%

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