Good Question

Over at Balkinization, political scientist professor Mark Graber asks a reasonable question.

My down and dirty research indicates that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has more than doubled while President Obama has been in office.  The Dow began the day at 17,044.  When Obama took office, the Dow was at 7,949. The result is unprecedented gains for anyone slightly above middle-class or better.  Is there any reason why no one refers to the remarkable returns on investments (include 401(k)’s) as “the Obama Market?”

I think we all have our theories…..


  1. Another interesting pair of numbers would be
    What was the DOW on “W” first day in office
    What was the DOW on “W” Last day in office

  2. The general public doesn’t track the stock market reports (I do for some reason) because we are not in the income level that these figures relate to on a personal level. The less that 1% interest rate on my PNC savings account and my few small CD’s I refer to as Bush’s Market. I am aware that President Obama is unable to rectify all of the continuation of Bush’s gifts to the wealthy but I do wish some attention was being paid to this issue – for myself and others. There is now less than $10 monthly in interest from all of my PNC holdings; it goes into my savings account to pay property taxes and emergency repairs such as the $611 plumbing bill I was handed on Tuesday. In the words of the old Elvis song, “A Little Less Talk, A Little More Action” please!

  3. I keep telling ya that Obama’s reputation is a manufactured product that satisfies the market created by the GOP (grand oligarchy plot) as a response to the Bush whacking of America. In the absence of that product the actual waste products of the dubya days would lie revealed and stinkin’ in front of us and the Republican Party would consist only of Sarah Palin, the Koch Bros, Sheldon Adelson, Grover Norquist, Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, and Wayne LaPierre.

    Here’s a report about some of the latest products from the Obama’s Reputation factory run by those listed above. (Thanks to Alan)

  4. Not sure the Dow itself is good marker for “Industrial” health. When I think of Industrial, I think of companies that actually manufacture some Industrial Product.

    There are 30 companies that are included in the Dow Industrial ( among them are: American Express Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Home Depot Inc, JPMorgan Chase and Co, McDonald’s Corp, Nike Inc, The Coca-Cola Co, Travelers Companies Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc, Visa Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, and Walt Disney Co.

    I maybe missing something but I do not see any of these Companies I listed actually manufacturing an “Industrial” Product. Nike has not had a US Factory in decades. Walmart does not manufacture anything, in fact you would be hard pressed to probably find anything made in the USA in their Stores.

    As a comparison WIKI has a historical list –
    These lists of the Dow Industrial Companies through the years would seem to be a result of America’s steady De-Industrialization. The clothes I am wearing from head to toe are all made off shore. The Computer I am using was Made in China.

    That said my 401K is looking much better today than 2008. I cannot say this increase was brought about by our Industrial Strength here in the USA.

  5. The far right has definitely outpaced their opposition in that area, Pete. That’s lack of presidential leadership for you.

  6. Actually, I prefer Presidents who do, or don’t do, as is appropriate, rather than spread political lies about their opposition. Personally I can’t think of one major thing that’s not better now compared to 2008.

    Help me here. What’s worse now?

  7. Well, it has come at a cost to the retired on fixed income and the concept of saving. The stock market is still an insiders’ game in which the rest of us gamble our few dollars in the hope of beating inflation or scoring a big kill. We are pushed to the stock market because of the Fed policy that penalizes savings and rewards risk. Perhaps that is good, perhaps that produces a better America, but for the great masses of people the stock market is still a confusing place where they invest with prayer and incense, rather than fundamental knowledge; but even a thorough understanding of the market, absent a huge pile of capital and insider information still makes investing in the market a gamble. I frequently read that the conditions that produced the last great Wall Street calamity are still in place and some conditions are more “bubblish” than in 2007-2008. Yes, PBO should be given credit for enriching Wall Street and its institutional investors, for getting JP Morgan off the ledge, for saving Citibank and GM and AIG, but for main street the doldrums are still prevalent.

  8. Those gains are smoke and mirrors. Corporations are using all that interests free money to buy back their own stock. They aren’t hiring, and offshoring goes on as usual. The health of the Dow is bad news for working america, so forgive me if I’m not doing hand springs. Plus, if you aren’t withdrawing from your 401 you don’t want the stock price to be high. That means your reinvesting dividends are overpriced.

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