Trick or Treat for Americans

October 6, 2008

Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and Foreclosures a Halloween Nightmare

Our old friend Mary Kluver of Iowa sent us this Ed Stein cartoon. If anything, matters are worse for trick or treaters this Halloween than they were last year. The financial bailout bill passed by Congress last week had no apparent effect on a nervous stock market today, with the market plunging 800 points at one time and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plummeting below 10,000 for the first time since October 2004. At one point, the DJIA fell as much as eight percent below the level it was at when President George Bush took office in January 2001. Stock shock waves are spreading throughout Asia and Europe, with a worldwide sell-off; Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index experienced its steepest intraday decline since 1987. A worldwide recession is feared. Trick or Treat takes on new meaning.

The economic meltdown is pervasive, even here in Tiny Town. Wrinkled Randy was in a local tobacco shop today and the 60-something clerk was talking about the weather and a storm front passing through tomorrow. When Wrinkled Randy said he hadn’t noticed, as he’d been watching the stock market tank, the clerk said: “Oh, don’t go there.” With tears in her eyes, she added: “I was almost ready to retire. I’ll never retire now. I lost everything. My son says, ‘Mom, just think like you never had it.’ ”

Meanwhile, our fearless lame duck leader told customers at a San Antonio, Texas lunch counter that “It’s going to take awhile to restore confidence in the financial system.” No kidding.

Read a Halloween story, or our post about the financial bailout bill just passed by Congress.

Photo credit: Ed Stein / Rocky Mountain News

Copyright ©2008

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