A Viral Market Meltdown V: Back to Basics!

My first post on this blog was on September 17, 2008, a week into the 2008 crisis, and I honestly did not expect to be posting for long, anticipating that after a few posts, that crisis would be behind us, and that we could go back to our lives. That of course turned out not to be the case, as the crisis not only extended for months, but left its imprint on almost everything market or economy related for the next decade. Almost twelve years later, and six weeks into another market crisis, I have a sense of deja vu, as the days of volatility stretch into weeks, and each week brings new surprises. Unlike my four previous updates, this one will describe a week of market recovery, at least in sum, but like the previous weeks, the increase in market values came with wide swings, and continued uncertainty and volatility. It was also a week that saw governments around the world rush to pass rescue packages designed to get both individuals and businesses through a period where the global economic machine has been shut down. These bailouts, in addition to being many times larger than prior bailouts, have also reignited debates about what governments should be demanding in return. In the United States, a central issue that is being argued is how much stock buybacks done by companies in the last decade are contributing to the pain that companies are facing, and whether there need to be restrictions on (Read more...)