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They Did It

The MSM is obsessed with coverage of the stimulus signing. But they should be worried by the massive panic — and I do not use that word lightly — gripping the financial markets. The New York Times explains:

Financial gloom was everywhere on Tuesday.

Markets from Hong Kong to Stockholm to London staggered lower. On Wall Street, the Dow came within sight of its lowest levels in more than a decade. Financial shares were battered. And rattled investors clamored to buy rainy-day investments like gold and Treasury debt.

It was a global wave of selling spurred by rising worries about how banks, automakers — entire countries — would fare in a deepening recession.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 235 points as losses in General Motors, Bank of America and American Express dragged the blue chips lower. The only Dow stock in positive territory was Wal-Mart, which rose after reporting better-than-expected profits.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index slid 3.7 percent to drop below 800, which analysts said was an important trading threshold. Crude oil closed down $2.58 to $34.93 a barrel.

[. . .]

“If we get substantially below 800 then look out below,” said Marc Groz, chief investment officer at Topos, a hedge fund in Greenwich, Conn.

Analysts said investors were still nervous about the Treasury Department’s plans to shore up the financial system and help remove billions of dollars in troubled mortgage-related assets from the balance sheets of major banks.

“The administration is great at floating the rumors, but we need concrete plans to back that up,” said Ryan Larson, head equity trader at Voyageur Asset Management. “Without any further concreted details, the market’s really left to wonder. And in this environment, they wonder the worst-case scenario.”

Maybe the duo of Geithner and the president succeeded in finally freaking everyone out.



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