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How did we get here

October 6, 2008

The Dow index has finally broken the psychological 10,000 point barrier this morning.  I’ve been waiting for that to happen for a few weeks now.  When I started writing this post the Dow Jones Industrial Average was actually off 582 points, down to 9743.32.  A late rally looks to have brought back some of the loss to close down 369.88 at 9955.50.

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Here’s a look at where the Dow has gone in the last 12 months.  We’ve bled out about 28% of the value of the index in a year.  That can’t be good!  I’m not worried about my retirement – heck we’ve got another 35 years before that’s going to happen.  This does SUCK for folks like my parents who are recently retired.

A lot of people wonder how the hell this all happened.  I’ve been sticking my head in the sand on that one, other than to know that a lot of banks made a lot of bad loans to a lot of people who should have known better than to buy a $500,000 house when they only make $50,000 a year.

If you really want to know the precipitating events that lead up to the meltdown in the recent months head over to This American Life and listen to their show from this past weekend entitled “Another Frightening Show About the Economy”.  Alicea and I heard the first 10-15 minutes and were enthralled at the story being told in a way that a normal person can comprehend.  Just because I used to work for an investment firm doesn’t mean I understand it all!

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