After selling off 2.9% on Wednesday, the S&P 500 dived another 3.2% Thursday. The Dow industrial average is testing a 52-week low.
Wednesday’s drop came after the Fed unveiled its new plan for reviving the economy and as President Obama hit the road to sell his new but unimproved $447 billion stimulus.
Thursday’s “unexpected” news was that the four-week moving average for jobless claims — a labor-market bellwether — rose to 421,000. Any number north of 400,000 is considered recession territory.
Since this president took office, U.S. businesses have shed 3.3 million jobs. We are still 6.9 million below our peak employment reached in January 2008. Ordinarily, more than two years after a recession has ended, well over a million jobs have been added to payrolls.
By any meaningful measure, then, our president has followed the least-successful economic policies of any U.S. leader since World War II. As recession seems ever more possible, the IMF warns of a U.S. “lost decade.”
Whether it’s jobs, economic growth, energy prices, incomes, regulation, weak foreign policy, or the quality of our lives and the nation’s social fabric, America’s current course looks questionable at best.