USA Today is reporting that if there ever was a symbol of investors' lack of confidence in the government's ability to stem the financial crisis, it was the Dow Jones industrials plunging below 7000 Monday and closing at levels not seen since April 1997.
Stocks are in free fall. Investors are in panic mode. The government's numerous bailout attempts — including its latest gambit to prop up insurer American International Group — have failed to restore hope.
Meanwhile the head of the Trends Research Institute Gerald Celente said Monday that “The Greatest Depression,” which was well underway before Wall Street or Washington would acknowledge it, is upon us.
"The global financial markets are collapsing.
"The global financial system, built on endless supplies of cheap money, rampant speculation, fraud, greed, and delusion is terminally ill and will not be coaxed into remission by stimulus packages nor restored to health by government buyouts and bailouts."
Celente says he expects to see more bank failures, runs on banks and bank holidays as the crisis worsens and governments take draconian measures to prevent total economic collapse and public panic."
"It's a bloodbath, pure and simple," says Scott Black, president and portfolio manager at Delphi Management told USA Today. "This is a vote of no confidence in the Obama administration. It doesn't matter what you own, everything is going down. It is a total capitulation. People are just terrorized and are throwing in the towel."
Wealth is being destroyed on Wall Street at a rate not seen since the 1930s. The gains from the 2002-07 bull market are gone. A big chunk of the huge profits from the 1990s dot-com stock boom have been wiped out. In all, after Monday's 300-point drop to 6763, more than 7,400 Dow points, or 52.3%, have disappeared since the October 2007 peak, the biggest-ever point drop.
All that pain is calling into question the buy-and-hold strategy that once was sacred on Wall Street. And it's leading analysts to wonder if a generation of investors, many of whom have seen their retirement nest eggs lose more than half their value, will bail out of stocks for good. Some analysts say stocks, which posted zero gains for the 10-year period ended in October, are setting up for a second "lost decade."
Frank Cappiello, chairman of Montgomery Bros. Cappiello in Baltimore said "This is frightful — I've never seen a bear market without a rally. No one wants to step up to the plate. We're going to have a whole generation without enough to retire on."
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