Moody Wall Street Threatens to Jump Off a Cliff
NEW YORK—After several days of wild fluctuations in the stock market, economists warned on Wednesday that Wall Street, threatening to go over a cliff, is “in one of its moods.”
The resolution of Congress’ debt ceiling negotiations was expected to stabilize markets. Instead, the Dow plunged over 500 points last Thursday, its largest drop since December 2008; on Friday, it seesawed up and down; and on Monday, it responded to the depreciation of the U.S. credit score by falling 634 points.
All of this, say experts, are signs that Wall Street is experiencing the kind of angst typical of a young country’s economy in an uncertain world.
“Wall Street can be a petulant little shit,” says New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. “It’s extremely prone to worrying anyway, and when people don’t do what it wants, it tends to bug out.” As evidence, Krugman pointed to last summer, when Congressional passage of a financial regulation bill was imminent, during which random numbers in stock prices were replaced with skulls.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strikes a more sympathetic note. “The thing with Wall Street is it thinks it’s totally misunderstood. It thinks it’s bold and unique, when it’s really just a collection of commercial neuroses we find useful for getting rich and growing our economy.”
“This is a cry for help,” says former Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. “It’s been a long road to recovery since Wall Street’s 2008 drunk driving accident, it’s worried about its brother over in Europe, and just this week it had to deal with a gun pointed at it by some lunatic in colonial breeches. I think anyone would be shaken after all that.”
The Federal Reserve has for its own part been trying to cope with Wall Street’s erratic behavior as best it can, with Bernanke telling it that we all love and care for it. Having failed at accomplishing this, plans are already in place to offer it discounts at Hot Topic.
By Doug Limey