After leveling off, market resumes downward plummeting while Obama addresses nation, "a familiar air of indecision"
Boy, talk about the press turning on Obama. Dana Milbank, a liberal columnist for the Washington Post, may often be quite snide, but this piece seemed an unusually bitter attack on Obama. Personally, I wonder how much of the renewed drop during and following Obama's speech was due to him signally through talk of more taxes that he is unwilling to cut spending (note how he keeps talking of increasing taxes).
A familiar air of indecision preceded President Obama’s pep talk to the nation.
The first draft of his schedule for Monday contained no plans to comment on the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. Then the White House announced that he would speak at 1 p.m. A second update changed that to 1:30. At 1:52, Obama walked into the State Dining Room to read his statement. Judging from the market reaction, he should have stuck with his original instinct.
“No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a AAA country,” Obama said, as if comforting a child who had been teased by the class bully.
When he began his speech (and as cable news channels displayed for viewers), the Dow Jones industrials stood at 11,035. As he talked, the average fell below 11,000 for the first time in nine months, en route to a 635-point drop for the day, the worst since the 2008 crash. . . .
From the WSJ's Political Diary:
The president missed the 1:45 deadline as well. When he finally began to speak a few minutes later, it was clear that he had no news to offer. And while he didn't engage in a direct attack on S&P, as Mr. Geithner had done, he did quote Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett in suggesting that S&P had made a poor decision. Did no one at the White House or Treasury realize that Berkshire is a major investor in Moody's, the main competitor to S&P? As Mr. Obama spoke, stock indexes hit fresh lows for the day. His declarations that there's not much discretionary spending left to cut and that "tax reform" to him still means raising taxes on rich people did nothing to slow the rout. . . .
UPDATE: In contrast to Obama, look at what happens in the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron -- who cut short a holiday in Italy to deal with the crisis -- recalled Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate on the riots and looting that have spread from the deprived London neighborhood of Tottenham to districts across the capital, and the cities of Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol. . . .
UPDATE: Other Democrats turning on Obama.
“The president has shown himself unwilling to just dig in on a position,” said Dee Dee Myers, who was Bill Clinton’s White House press secretary. “He’s for jobs. I’ve heard him say that. He’s for being the grown-up in the room. But beyond that, I’m not actually sure what his bottom line is.” . . .