What do we make of these rapid ups and downs of the stock market lately? I got up this morning to the news that the market had gone down 250 points and by the end of the day the worriers had come back in and the market regained what it lost. A few weeks ago a 900 point drop in thirty minutes or something like that? What on earth is going on in there? It seems like there is a fearfulness that is creating an instability that is unsettling.
So why am I writing about a mystery like high finance? Because the whole financial thing makes me cranky. The banks began giving loans on houses to anyone with a pulse, giving even larger loans than they could afford, taking advantage of the greed of the average schmoe who thought that the market was never going down. Well, guess what schmoes, it went down, and the banks knew it would and played us all for suckers. Yes, all of us are getting the shaft now with property values tanking, loss of taxes revenue, loss of jobs, loss of industry due to loss of spending.
So now we’re cutting government at a level unseen in my lifetime. There aren’t any taxes and so people are going unemployed. I bet they’re all pretty cranky too, and fearful. The next ones to be fearful will be he huge retirement systems who depend on the investments of the little guys employed by government, who are now unemployed, and who may come calling for some of their retirement money from their account. If enough f these people start to take out their money, I would think it could cause retirement system problems.
I wrote a year or so back that I figured we hadn’t fallen to the bottom of the economic dust heap yet, we’d just stopped on a ledge part way down the cliff. I’m not sure I’m right any more, but I could be. Hope I am not. But I still see tons of houses in foreclosure, and with the unemployment there are bound to be more coming.
I see the nervousness on Wall Street as evidence that not all is well. The rats begin to jump off the ship when anyone sneezes economically overseas, all is not well, yet.