The Corner

A Dow Unworthy of FDR

Who knows? Maybe the Dow will rally tomorrow, and here’s hoping it does. But so far the markets have greeted Obama’s program with a resounding thud. I have never thought that Obama’s rhetorical tone was making much difference one way or the other, that he was “talking down the markets.” The problems are much deeper than that. Indeed, after his resounding pledge of recovery last week in his quasi-SOTU, markets have continued to slide. Obama’s debut is quite different from FDR’s. FDR took office in the midst of a total meltdown of the banking system and acted boldly to arrest it. In March 1933, the Dow was at 52. It climbed 75 percent in the first 100 days. By December 1, 1933 it was 99. Obama is temporizing with his financial crisis in favor of moving quickly on his big spending plans, and watching the Dow trip steadily downward by the day. It’s as if FDR skipped the bank holiday and focused first on passing the CCC. The last day before Obama was inaugurated, the Dow was at 8,281. Today, it closed at 6,763. Two political points: 1) Every day the markets continue to slide, it makes it harder on Obama to blame the mess on President Bush and forswear any responsibility himself; 2) if I were Eric Cantor or John Boehner, I’d be talking about a “real recovery package” every day– payroll and corporate tax cuts, regulatory reforms for the financial and auto industries, relief for small business. None of it is going to pass, of course, but it will dispel the idea that they aren’t for anything and show they are zealous about trying to check the economy’s downward slide.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

U.S.

Political Theatrics

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including all you whippersnappers under the age of 50), I’m writing this from somewhere over the Atlantic. At least I hope that’s ... Read More
World

The Real Reasons American Evangelicals Support Israel

It never fails. Whenever a Republican president makes a controversial or contentious move to support Israel -- such as moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, or yesterday’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights -- you’ll see various “explainers” and other stories that purport ... Read More
White House

Mueller Report Delivered to Attorney General

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday evening delivered a report to attorney general William Barr detailing his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Barr will now be tasked with deciding what information from the report ... Read More