When a Liberal Democrat, who supported Obama before the election, is saying this in week 6 of his presidency, you know things are bad, really bad, out there.
TheStreet.com | Jim Cramer | Mar. 5, 2009
Jim Cramer: Look at the incredible decline in the stock market, in all indices, since the inauguration of the president, with the drop accelerating when the budget plan came to light because of the massive fear and indecision the document sowed: Raising taxes on the eve of what could be a second Great Depression, destroying the profits in healthcare companies (one of the few areas still robust in the economy), tinkering with the mortgage deduction at a time when U.S. house price depreciation is behind much of the world’s morass and certainly the devastation affecting our banks, and pushing an aggressive cap and trade program that could raise the price of energy for millions of people.
The market’s the effect; much of what the president is fighting for is the cause. The market’s signal can’t be ignored. It’s too palpable, too predictive to be ignored, despite the prattle that the market’s predicted far more recessions than we have.
Gibbs went on to say, “If you turn on a certain program, it’s geared to a very small audience. No offense to my good friends or friend at CNBC, but the president has to look out for the broader economy and the broader population.”
How much I wish it were true right now that stocks played less of a role in peoples’ lives. But stocks, along with housing, are our principal forms of wealth in this country. Only the people who have lifetime tenure, insured solid pensions and rent homes but own no stocks personally are unaffected. Sure that’s a lot of people, but believe me, they aspire to have homes and portfolios. If we only want to help those who have no wealth to destroy, we are not helping the majority of Americans; we are not helping the broader population.
You can argue, of course, that Obama inherited one of the worst hands in the world. I had been a relentless critic of the Bush administration’s “stewardship” of the economy, calling repeatedly for changes to avert the disaster that I saw coming, although perhaps Gibbs hasn’t seen my CNBC meltdown. Seemed pretty prescient to me.
I, like everyone else, have made less authoritative and wrong statements in the past, but that rant still stands as something that I am sure everyone in the Bush administrations’ Treasury and Fed listened to. My calls to sell 20% of your stocks in September at Dow 11,000 and then all of your stock if you need the money for the next five years at Dow 10,000 in October, might have eluded Gibbs, too.
. . . more