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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

 
Dow Hits 13,000 under Class Warfare President

by David Atkins

I guess good times are here again on Wall Street:

U.S. stocks closed at multi-year highs, as investors weighed a small pullback in oil prices and improving consumer confidence against a worse-than-expected drop in durable goods orders.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 19, 2008, after narrowly missing that finish line for the past several trading days. The DJIA added 24 points, or 0.2%. While the 13,000 level is not considered technically significant, it is a psychological milestone.

I personally detest the use of stock indices as a measure of economic health. In an age where the top 1% who own the vast majority of stock investments are so utterly disconnected from the rest of us, cheering the rise of the Dow is about as useful as cheering discounted prices on yachts. Sure, a rising market helps 401Ks (for what that's worth) and can sometimes be a predictor of lagging employment increases--though given our increasingly jobless recoveries, the latter is less and less true. But generally speaking, a healthier stock market doesn't mean a whole lot to the rest of us. In fact, I think one of the most baneful legacies the Clinton Administration left us was a national obsession with stock market indices as the key measure of our national prosperity, when they used to be the more appropriate concern of the dull business section on page 4 of your newspaper.

Still, Wall Street has a nice psychological gain to cheer about today.

Not that it will matter, of course. Our neoliberal president who has done essentially everything the Bond Lords asked for, will still get smeared from now through November as a radical class warrior because he once dared to hurt their widdle feelings by calling them fat cats that one time.

The funny thing is that these financial genius Masters of the Universe will try in a fit of pique to get a Republican president elected, who will in turn without question escalate a war with Iran, creating oil shocks that will crash the economy again, devastating most of their portfolios (though a few profiteers will make out like bandits.)

These guys may be quantitative mavens with a sociopathic talent for manipulating their fellow man, but geniuses they aren't. They're trying to kill their golden goose because it once honked at them the wrong way.


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