And You Thought 1931 Was Bad

Delightful analysis, via Floyd Norris Saturday column:

“Even after Friday’s large stock market rally, only 10 of the stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500, the premier American stock index, are higher than they were at the end of 2007, and the index itself is down almost as far as it was in the worst year it ever experienced, at the height of the Great Depression.

Although the accompanying charts focus on the United States, similar things can be said in most markets. Only a handful of European stocks are up this year, and within the once buoyant Chinese and Indian stock markets, there are almost no stocks showing gains.

There has, in other words, been nowhere to hide from the collapse of 2008.

The ubiquity of the problems reflects how integrated the international financial system has become, as well as the fact that most of the world is now in recession or getting close to it.

Moreover, many asset prices were pumped up in years past by excessive debt, and are now falling as many investors choose to, or are forced to, reduce their borrowing.

Standard & Poor’s has been keeping statistics on the breadth of the 500 stocks in the index only since 1980. Until now, 2001 was the worst year on record in that regard, when just 131 of them rose. But unless there is a substantial year-end rally, that figure could be 10 times the one for 2008.”


And here is your Sunday morning chart porn:



And You Thought 1931 Was Bad for the Market
NYT, November 21, 2008

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