First, let me start by apologizing. My website was partially down so the shopping cart was not working. It is working properly now.
This morning in the newsletter I used that term "reptilian fear" to describe what many of us that had been around in 1987 were feeling Monday. In my head, sure, I knew that the Dow dropped 4.5% and while big it is not the end of the world. But say 500 points and I recall vividly watching the market fall on my Tradecenter tick chart. (If any of you were Tradecenter customers or employees, let me know).
As a wet-behind-the-ears product manager I was in awe of what was happening. Now, I just kick myself for not being short this market enough. Talk about a paradigm shift.
Here's where I am going with this. Back then, I left my office in lower New York City with my tie loosened and coat over my shoulder. After leaving the subway, I walked in to the local dry cleaner to pick up my suits and said something to the effect that the day was a disaster.
The dry cleaner, and I want to say his name was Morty but is was not, blasted me. Apparently, Wall Street was not Main Street and the world was just fine. It was just Wall Street that was fubar (not his word).
Me, being so green in the business, thought about it and he was right. The pizza shop sold pizza. The Chinese food delivery guys were all over the place bringing meals to yuppies and real people alike. Shirts got pressed and garbage was picked up from the side of the street. Although my industry was reeling, life picked itself up and marched on.
But can we truly say that today? The latest Wall Street debacle has left thousands upon thousands of people out of jobs, out of homes and just plain out of luck. And I am not just talking about high priced white collar buckets of greed who cooked up derivatives and subprime and CEO rewards for effing it all up. Yes, prices in the Hamptons have backed down so Muffy will have to eat her caviar at home.
Remember back to the late 1990s when everything was just wonderful? Then a little thing like the Russian Debt Crisis comes around to spank the markets a bit. Well, check out this pic of the Russian market (ETF) today, keeping in mind that they were raking in the rubles thanks to being a major oil exporter for a long, long time.
If you think the credit crisis is over or nearly over, Mr. Paulson and all you financial company CEOs, think again. Russia is in a free fall - again.
And don't think China is going to pull as all out of it.
This is a weekly chart of the Shanghai market (not the FXI ETF which is more like Hong Kong) and it shows more than a 2/3 loss of value over the past year. My view is that the symmetry of the rise and fall takes it down to 1800.
So, when I see a 500 point drop in the Dow I put it into real world terms. Sure, it was not a big percentage deal but it underscores the real problems we have out there. And for those of you who still think the economy is OK, the stock market has not turned up yet so any recovery in the economy is at least nine months away (the market anticipates the economy by that much)
What a feeling of helplessness for most of us who own a house knowing that if we had to sell we couldn't. I am fortunate not to have a single boss (I have many in the form of customers) so at least I don't fear that my company is going out of business or I'll get laid off.
Now, to do something about the heating bill, the electric bill, the phone bill, the tax bill, the mortgage bill, the auto lease bill, the cable bill, the gasoline bill, the tuition bill, the ..............