Markets Crash, Media Hysterical, Democrats Thrilled
"McCain Loses Fox News" blared the headline at the liberal website Think Progress. And that appeared to be the least of the Republican nominee's worries. From Wall Street to Main Street, Democrats could barely contain their glee over the sudden turn of events that culminated in the crisis in the markets on Monday.
When financial writers ran out of dire adjectives to describe the serious crisis in the markets, Democratic and liberal blogs helped them out by managing to find a few more. After all, business reporters are not generally given to hyperbole, and the adjective is something of a stranger to them. Thankfully, Obama-supporting websites had access to an online thesaurus or two which they were able to comb for exactly the right apocalyptic language that would freeze the blood while getting the point across that John McCain was at fault by reason of his association with George Bush and that it was time to make sure the windows on those Wall Street skyscrapers were suicide-proofed.
New York Times columnist, blogger, and resident hysteric Paul Krugman referred to the day's 500 point stock market drop as "Black Monday." The problem with that is that 1) the name has already been taken; and 2) it is hyperbole.
The real "Black Monday" occurred on October 19, 1987, when stocks lost more than 22% of their value. Today's market "turmoil" (which is as hyperbolic as the New York Times feels like getting) resulted in a loss of 4.4% in the value of the stock market. This is serious for those of us who have invested in mutual funds (I would suggest downing a good, stiff, Glenlivet or perhaps a strawberry martini before checking your portfolio today) but hardly the kind of thing that will result in an economic collapse.
Now before I am accused of trying to minimize the situation, allow me to plead guilty of my own accord. In fact, compared to the way that Democrats have gone overboard in describing what has happened, I am indeed trying to inject a little sanity into the debate. I can only go by what respected, nominally non-partisan analysts are saying. For the most part, there seems to be general agreement that the situation is serious but that the Federal Reserve is on top of the situation. There is some disagreement whether the federal government should be stepping in with both feet, but, as far as the immediate crisis, it is being handled.