Does Obama’s Success Depend on the Dow?

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Sat, Mar 7 - 6:50 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
Comments: 6
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It’s been interesting lately. For some reason pundits have decided that the one measure of the job someone is doing happens to be the Dow. Which is kind of silly. Even as a measure of the economy, I’m not sure how much credence we should lend the Dow. After all, it is a reflection about how Wall Street feels. And, quite frankly, I’m wondering if Wall Street is a little upset that instead of focusing mainly on big firms, Obama seems determined to do something for the middle class as well. Sure, he’s still throwing money at the banks. But in smaller amounts, and he’s tossing a few bones to the rest of us as well.

Another thing the stock market doesn’t like right now: The acknowledgment that things aren’t going to magically get better immediately. Obama has been saying this for quite some time. Perhaps the reason his approval rating is relatively high amongst the rest of us (60%) is due to the fact that the man is actually telling it like it is. There is no quick fix to our economic problems. But Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that. Wall Street wants to hear that government coffers will continue to be open the big guys, and that loads of taxpayer money will be at their disposal to try to turn things around quickly.

Helping forestall foreclosure and putting money into infrastructure and into education will help things in the long term. Sadly, Wall Street is all about the short term. Wall Street doesn’t care about the long term. Obama at least seems to be trying (whether you think he’s right or not) to do what he thinks is best for the long term. So maybe it’s not the end of the world that Wall Street doesn’t approve.

I think Jon Stewart is spot on.

What do you think? Should Obama be judged by the performance of the Dow?

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  • http://www.oblivousinvestor.com ObliviousInvestor

    “Even as a measure of the economy, I’m not sure how much credence we should lend the Dow.”

    Agreed. As compared to things like unemployment, GDP, and inflation, stock market indexes (especially the Dow) are pretty poor measures of economic well-being.

    Instead, it seems to me that stock indexes measure how the investing public feels about our economic well-being.

  • http://www.badeconomyjobs.com Ace

    Wall Street got 2 trillion+ dollars, they should be jumping for joy. The Dow is a pretty weak indicator and frankly, it had to correct itself anyway. Maybe it was all the loss of finance jobs that did it.

  • http://www.onemint.com Manshu

    I think the street is reacting more to Sec. Geithner than it is to Obama. Markets anywhere in the world hate uncertainty and vagueness, which is what we are getting from Geithner again and again. I don’t think it is so much to do with Obama as it is to do with Geithner. Of course, people at Fox don’t want to say that.

  • Miranda Marquit

    Thanks for weighing in Oblivious, Ace and Manshu! I think you all make excellent points. There are a number of measures more “in tune” with the economy than the Dow. Additionally, it is hard to feel bad for Wall Street when most of the $11 trillion set aside for economic stimulus is going to Wall Street (waaaaay more than $2 trillion +). And, I think there is something in the statement that maybe the market just doesn’t like Geithner’s vague remarks.

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  • Jim

    The stock market tends to be a leading indicator of where the economy is headed and overall economic sentiment. Obama certainly started out scaring the heck out of the investor class in this country and helped drive stock prices down. No question about it. His teleprompter had trouble switching out of campaign mode and into govern mode, but has slowly started to change from doom and gloom to optimism. There’s occasional evidence this is happening, followed by more backsliding. No one who lived through the 1970′s wants to head back there again, but the resemblances are eerie.

    All presidents are judged by the economy, like it not. And quite frankly the blame game is growing old. It’s too early to call Obama a disaster, but he’s not off to good start, and he hasn’t even enacted some of his stupider ideas yet. I feel sorry for the young people in this country; they are the ones getting screwed and don’t even realize it.