Financial stocks plummeted tonight as the markets reacted with horror to the Obama Administration's economic rescue plans.
Or lack thereof, that is.
Even as the Senate passed the $838 billion economic stimulus bill by 61-37 votes in favour, New York financial stocks fell by more than 5.75 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 4.62 per cent to close at 7,888.88 points.
The Nasdaq fell 4.2 per cent and the S&P 500 4.91 per cent, as investors expressed their scepticism that the White House can revive the banking system.
The collapse in confidence came after Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, spoke about the long-awaited second phase of America’s financial bailout.
And the problem was the lack of detail.
I heard one CNN analyst say sarcastically that "Wall Street doesn't like what Geithner said", thus the plunge. He seems to have forgotten that there are peoples' pensions and futures tied up in some of those falling stocks (as much as Wall Street has rightfully become a pariah).
I'm still quite fascinated by the fact that absolutely no one seems to know what our economies really need right now in order to recover. This could be a time of breaking the status quo mold - the usual swing from neoliberalism to neoconism (or a mixture of both) and back ad nauseam - to try something bold and promising. It's not like there's a shortage of ideas out there. But the powers that be operate in a very narrow field of vision and influence thanks to the constrained thinking found at IMF, World Bank and in the G20, G8 and among whoever those secret participants are in the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership cabal meetings.
Obama stated during Monday nite's press conference that he is following a "pragmatic" (read 'centrist) agenda while millions of his supporters had hoped that other 'p' word would come into play: "progressive".
So here we go - trying things that worked back in the days of the Great Depression and expecting them to work this time around as well.
Got a shovel?
If it'll make you yanks feel any better, you should know that our minority Conservative government's plans are about as clear as mud as well. (But we do get to blame that on the fact that they are official conservatives i.e. Bush boot-licking Republican-lite types).
(h/t Marisacat for the Times story)