Stock markets tumbled Wednesday, said Justin Fox in Time online, with the Dow dropping 7.8 percent and the S&P 500 down 9 percent. Well, “these are volatile times, and in volatile times you’ll get days like this.” This time the drop is due to recession fears driven by dour earnings, which is still "kinda scary," but at least it's not last week's all-out “financial-system panic.”
“If we’re lucky, the panic phase of this crisis may be over,” said Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post, but “we are in a bear market and will be for some time.” What that means for most consumers is “a temporary reduction in our standard of living,” as we adjust to the bursting of our “bubble economy.” It won’t be pleasant, and it won’t be quick.
If you listen to the talking heads, said David Callaway in MarketWatch, you’ll hear “an overwhelming rush to describe where we’re going in the worst possible terms.” Will it really be that bad? Three months ago analysts were predicting $300 barrels of oil; oil’s now at $75. Are we “overshooting in our dire predictions”? Nobody knows.
For that reason, you should resist the urge to jump into the market, said BreakingViews.com’s Ian Campbell and Robert Cyran in The New York Times. “With major markets back at the levels of 1999, stocks may look like a bargain. They’re probably not.” There’s farther to fall, and if large funds get skittish, “the recent punishing slides may not be the last.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2014
- Stop calling the GOP the party of new ideas
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week