Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 512 points, the largest single-day selloff since the events of September 18, 2008 caused wide-spread financial panic and near-economic collapse. But the big difference is that there was no run on the banks – it was just the stock market itself.
On September 18, 2008, within hours, there was a draw down on money market accounts that totaled $550 billion, but if it hit $5 trillion, the U.S. Economy and the World’s Economy would have collapsed. That didn’t happen – nothing even close to it – on Thursday.
Thinking we were close to it was and is the mistake CNN, MSNBC, and (well, I don’t watch Fox News much, but probably them too) other media outlets have made in talking about the stock changes on August 4th, 2011.
Today, as this is written, the Dow is up 69.48 points on 11,452.55 in active trading volume. And while much has been made of the 512 point loss, the Dow is still within the 11,000 range, and rose out of it’s place below red line.
The rebound is reportedly due to a better-than-expected jobs report, where the U.S. added 117,000 jobs, where only 75,000 job were expected – that’s almost double. Additionally, the European Central Bank agreeing to buy Spanish and Italian debt served to insure better availability of money and a faster velocity of money transfers in those countries – in other words, they’re better able to maintain economic growth.
The overall reason for this exciting set of changes are fears of economies stretched to weakness due to rampant, Worldwide, corporate outsourcing. The simple fact is we have too many market economies for the overall level of economic output the World’s combined industrial economies currently produce. If a company wants cheap labor, it sets up shop somewhere else in the World other than the place of its home headquarters.
This has been a 30-year process, first it was invisible to an America with a jobs-at-home surplus that lasted until the late 1980s. But the seeds of change were seen in the transfer of manufacturing jobs from “Snowbelt” to “Sunbelt” in the early 80s, and that followed some base communications jobs (call centers) going from Sunbelt to the Asia / Pacific Rim, most notably India.
That is but one example of the process; pick an industry and one finds examples of this in all of them – even airplanes and airframe construction. The bottom line is we, to some degree, are all Greece – the place jobs used to be, but with a high standard of living and high costs.
The choice we have to make is this: do we pull back and allow the World’s course to destroy the American economy as we know it. Or do we say we’re going to spend what it takes to maintain all that we built when more wealth was here and we had a credit system that supported it?
Now, we have roads and infrastructure we built with that money, now crumbling. In cities like Las Vegas, we have giant 70 story structure that sit unfinished, and frankly a structural danger to the immediate society around them.
We have to make a choice, and right now, we’re not making the right ones. We must spend – but in a way that provides immediate impact.