Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Who Cares About Wall Street Numbers Anyway?

Obama On Stock Market: The 'Fits And Starts' Are A Normal Reaction

President Barack Obama compared the stock market Tuesday to the daily tracking polls used during campaigns, saying that paying too close attention to how Wall Street "bobs up and down" could lead to bad long-term policy. "What I'm looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market, but the long-term ability of the United States ... to regain its footing," Obama said after meeting in the Oval Office with visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He said the developments he follows most closely are whether lending is flowing more freely, businesses are investing and the unemployed are going back to work.


Why the hell would the general public care what happens to Wall Street numbers on a daily basis? The market is so easily manipulated by pump and dump schemes and irrational bouts of both exuberance and pessimism that it's very hard to understand why the news media focuses on those numbers so much.

What is good for GM is not necessarily what is good for you and I. What is good for Wall Street is even less important to Main Street.

We are going to have to seek out a whole new set of indicators for what is happening in the economy. And we are going to have to find a set of numbers less easily manipulated than the current way the unemployment rate is tracked.