It’s Wednesday and the markets are acting a tad better. I am becoming increasingly convinced, based on conversations with others, that the market’s latest downdraft through the November lows is related to Obama’s ambitious plans. Hopefully, he will look to the response of the markets for some guidance on the longer term wisdom of his plans as Clinton did in the early 90’s. Some changes are obviously needed, but you can’t turn an economy around by squelching personal incentives.
Other noteworthy events include the Fed’s announcement yesterday that they would begin to administer their Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility later this month. This should help the banking system restore some semblance of liquidity for the asset backed securities markets. It remains to be seen whether or not consumers will spend on things like cars that back such loans, but it should at least help the system in the short run and the longer run insofar as lending standards have been strengthened.
There has also been considerable talk about reinstating the up tick rule for short sellers given the severity of the markets. Jim Furey of Furey Research Partners makes a good case for this, comparing the removal of the rule to “providing a machine gun without a trigger-lock to aggressive traders everywhere.” Over the long run, companies that deserve to be worthless will still become worthless regardless of whether or not the rule is in place.
Finally, for anyone in need of some encouragement, there were two excellent articles in today’s Wall Street Journal. The first offered some helpful advice for anxious investors and the second discussed how an attitude of gratitude may be on the upswing as a positive dividend of the poor economic environment.