Do you remember back at the beginning of 2009 when the world was collapsing? It was damn near the end of everything. The stock market was shooting down and many large banks were near collapse. There was talk that businesses would not be able to get funding to make payroll. And like many people in times of crisis, I looked for advice from mostly anonymous people on internet message boards. What I found was pretty disheartening; the AMG tea leaves were pretty much pointed towards the end of America as we know it. Here are some examples.
Beth O’Connor in February, 2009:
I talked to one very good friend today who has lost a bundle in the stock market. He was so incredibly optemistic today over Obamas address I thought he would burst. I asked if he knew as we spoke the market was down another 160…he said yes, but we are at the bottom and it’s going to get better. He said that confidence had been restored and people were ready to invest and buy again.I bet him 5 bucks that by December we would see double digit unemployment and the dow we be around 5000 probably less. Gosh, I hope I have to pay him.
You’re in luck, Beth! You were only 5,000 points off. I hope you’ve ponied up the 5 bucks.
Roger Ek in March, 2009:
The price of the Dow and Gold crossed at 34 in 1931.
The price of the Dow and gold grossed at 800 in 1981.
I predict the price of the Dow and gold will cross at 4200 this year.
4200?? God damn, Roger, tell us what you really think. Well, the Dow is at 10,000 and Gold is at 1,000 so I guess you were close, in cosmic terms. I hope you’re buying all the gold you can right now, because I’d love to hear about how you lose it all in the next couple years.
Oh, and in case you think that Roger was being a tad bit on the pessimistic side, he makes clear that his predictions were less extreme than those being broadcast on a certain news organization:
The distance from 14,000 to 4,200 is 9,800 points. We have come down 70% of the way from 14,000 to 4,200. Only 30% more to go. Yesterday a pundit on Fox Business Network said the Dow would bottom around 3,800. I’m more optimistic than that.
Man, if I got all my advice from the Fox Business Network I’d be, like, a hundredaire by now.
This sort of extreme negativity wasn’t just limited to obvious nuts like Roger Ek. See Economike in March, 2009:
Since it became apparent last summer that Obama would be elected, the United States has lost half its wealth.
I guess if you equate the stock market with the nation’s wealth, that would be true. It is also true, then, that since Obama was inaugurated the wealth of the United States has increased about 25%, and is up some 60% off the low. I know this because Economike tells us all the time. I mean, he likes to give Obama a fair shake. Not an ideological bone in his body. I feel so lucky to have such an unbiased professional view of the nation’s economy available, free of charge, on AMG.
So how does one explain the vast difference between economic predictions on AMG in early 2009 and the reality of where we are? Gosh, I don’t know. I’d give Obama credit if credit were due, but I can’t think of anything he did to stimulate the economy or shore up banks.