Continuing the less-than-stellar reporting of the financial sector, this AP story has the attention-grabbing headline "Stocks are on track for their worst year since 1937," without really explaining what that means. "Stocks are on track for their worst year since 1937," announces the story (hence the headline), without detailing how or in what ways. Ah well, context really doesn't matter, does it?
GM, the story says, is at its 1950 price, which kind of makes sense given the product that company makes. Ford, another rusted-out industrial-era giant, is tanking too. Which leads to a real problem, even beyond the $25 billion these two welfare kings (along with Chrysler) have already gotten from the feds. It's no secret that the Big 2.5 (sorry, Chrysler, the truth can be so hurtful) are dying to unload their pension and health-care liabilities onto the American taxpayer. Current and future conditions make it likely that they'll get their wish.
Look for a new 'roided-up stimulus package too:
"We have to prop up consumption," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview.
The new proposal would be far greater than the $60 billion stimulus package that the House passed in September, Frank said. The Senate has not acted on the earlier bill, which was dwarfed in attention and scope by the sums being pledged to Wall Street companies and commercial banks.
And look for a new drop in the Dow, too. President Bush is going to speak about the market today, and that always seems to take a couple hundred (thousand) points off the index, doesn't it? The AP suggests various factors are to blame for yesterday's big dip (electronic trading, late-day execution of trades) but a humongous chunk has got to be related to the evolving plans of the Bush admin to first push a useless bailout through Congress and then announce plans to nationalize banks via direct purchase of equity. If I could only get out of this damn wheelchair (but I can't, I can't!), maybe I'd be moving into cash or gold coins hawked by G. Gordon Liddy too.