A Terrible 5 Years, So What’s Up with the Dow?
Today chief executives worry, companies hoard cash, uncertain fragility and fragile regulation haunt our banking system, and recession continues, with gas prices up, GDP growth down, unemployment up, government debt and size up and political leadership not showing the ability to come to grips with any of it.
Yet the Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday matched a level not seen since October 2007, a few months before the current crisis showed up. Believers in the efficiency of stock markets will take this as a sign of good times ahead, believing that markets reveal better than anything else the truth about business fundamentals. Skeptics will plan to cite this as the first sign of a bubble. Some highlights, then and now:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: then 14164; now 14164
Regular Gallon of Gas: then $2.75; now $3.73
GDP Growth: then +2.5%; now +1.6%
US Unemployed: then 6.7 million; now 13.2 million
Americans On Food Stamps: then 26.9 million; now 47.69 million
Size of Federal Reserve (assets): then $890 billion; now $3.01 trillion
US Debt as % GDP: then ~38%; now 74.2%
US Deficit: then $97 billion; now $975 billion
US Government Debt: then $9 trillion; now $16.43 trillion
US Household Debt: then $13.5 trillion; now 12.87 trillion (the only bit of good news listed yet)
Consumer Confidence: then 99.5; now 69.6
US Credit Rating: then AAA; now AA+
Hat Tip: Whitney Tilson, at Value Investor Insight Newsletter, who in turn credits Zero Hedge as the source.