Monday, October 06, 2008

The Second Deep Thought for a Monday

Migraine is more controllable than the financial situation right now:

U.S. Stocks Decline, Dow Industrial Average Falls Below 10,000

By Elizabeth Stanton

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks dropped, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average below 10,000 for the first time in four years, after bank bailouts in Europe widened and commodities producers slid on concern global growth is slowing.

Equities fell worldwide, erasing more than $2 trillion in market value. Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. sank more than 5 percent after the German government led a bailout of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG and BNP Paribas SA bought parts of Belgium's Fortis. Chevron Corp. lost 3.2 percent as oil declined to the lowest since February. The Dow rose 430 points from its intraday low on speculation the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates to unfreeze credit markets.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index tumbled 42.34 points, or 3.9 percent, to 1,056.89, the lowest since November 2003. The Dow retreated 369.88, or 3.6 percent, to 9,955.50 and earlier fell as much as 800 points for its biggest loss since October 1987. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surged to a record high of 58.24.

``It's a financial panic, total dislocation in the financial industry across the board,'' said Ralph Shive, chief investment officer at 1st Source Corp. Investment Advisors in South Bend, Indiana, which manages $3 billion.

I recommend J.K. Galbraith's little book The Great Crash 1929, because it gives a very good idea about the steps which were taken (and not taken) at that time and which of those steps made things much, much worse. We can learn from that, even though the economies then and now are quite different.