John Markman, Market Watch:
The stock market loves President Barack Obama. With all its cheating heart, and all its mercenary soul.
Despite his threats to soak the wealthy for more taxes, despite Fed Chairman’s attack on savers, despite even his threat to kill special treatment for dividends, institutional investors have thrown themselves at Obama’s feet as they have not done in the first term of any president in the past century.
You could look it up. The S&P 500 has gained 76% since his inauguration in January 2009, while the Nasdaq 100 is up 128%.
Compare that to the S&P 500’s 13% decline and the Nasdaq 100’s 45% wipeout in the first term of his predecessor, George W. Bush; or the mere 25% gain in the first term of conservative icon Ronald Reagan; or even the 60% gain in the halcyon early 1990s in the first term of Bill Clinton.
The staggering advance of the market is probably one of Obama’s greatest accomplishments, and yet, in a rich irony, political sensitivities prevent him from bragging about it.
The beauty part is that this was not a coincidence, beginner’s luck or a historical fluke.
The administration and the Federal Reserve run by his appointed chairman, Ben Bernanke, have systematically stuffed big banks’ pockets with cash in an unending rescue effort, slashed interest rates to the lowest levels of the past 300 years, diverted senior citizens’ savings to revive the moribund residential construction industry and showered drug makers and insurers with fresh sources of revenue from his health care overhaul.
Are you listening now pragmatic Republican progressives? Adaptability may be the human race’s most valuable asset but clearly it’s also it’s most delusional liability.