World stock markets are currently in a freefall, as panicky investors seem to be doubtful that a Wall Street bailout package will be effective in placing a tourniquet on flow of red ink in the the global financial crisis. Markets in London, Paris, and Frankfurt have already nosedived more than six percent today, and the 15-percent drop in the Russian Trading System(RTS) forced officials to declare a suspension of Russian trading. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei index fell to a four-year low and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined by almost five percent.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average just fell below 10,000 for the first time in nearly four years, losing 400 points or 4% of value in the 90 minutes of trading. The commodity-heavy S&P/TSX index dropped nearly 850 points – the third straight 800-plus point loss in the past six trading sessions.
I'm watching with anxiety as our 401-k and 403-B funds continue to shrink before our eyes. I'm not ready to cash-and-dash to gold, but I'm getting more than a little antsy.
But I am still chuckling at the dark humor of the angry protester last week who unveiled the cardboard sign on the left. While I do not wish ill will on any fellow human beings, I appreciate the rage of American taxpayers, who see the Treasury bailout package as a transfer of more wealth from the middle class to wealthy bankers and opportunistic stockbrokers.
But if things get worse, the protester might just get his wish. The more this financial implosion continues, the more events in 2008 begin to resemble those of 1929.