A number of commentators have asserted a causal relationship between Obama’s presidency and the stock market’s decline in the past couple of months — that the market has plunged because of Obama’s plans (see a short compilation here). But wait a minute — with today’s gains, the markets are now about where they were when Obama was inaugurated (the S&P 500 is up 2% since then, the Dow is down 2% since then). For all those who were so sure that the market was down because of Obama, I’d be interested to know how they explain the upswing. I’m not holding out hope, though, that they will say either that the downswing and the upswing were caused by Obama or, more sensibly, that they were wrong to be so confident about the cause of the downswing. (Of course, the reverse could also be true — people who donwplayed the causal connection might now trumpet the upswing. But I hope they won’t be so foolish.)
Fun note: since Michael Boskin’s article “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow” appeared on March 6, 2009, the markets are up almost 20%. Time will tell (and I’m not holding my breath, given the unpredictability of the markets), but it may be that Boskin’s pessimistic message was a perfect (reverse) signal — the exact time to buy.