Monday, March 2, 2009


The sight of kids in snowsuits today, trailing their snow saucers all over the neighborhood gave me the warm and fuzzies, but the news from further downtown did not.  I had predicted a Dow in the 6-7,000 range several months ago, but I was hoping to be proven wrong.  And I still may be, since the prospect of a fall below 6,000 seems very real to all of us today.

No one knows where the market slide will bottom out, and as I watch this metric tank and try to figure out whether the time to buy has arrived, I am also seeing a lot of bottoming out in other spheres, especially among friends losing jobs and friends with substance abuse problems engaging in increasingly risky behaviors to distract themselves from the fear.

However, what really troubles me today is the news from Eastern Europe, starting with today's front page story in the NYT about Ukraine.  Besides the financial consequences of the Catastrophe, I had wondered whether the social/political order would start to fray here and elsewhere---and we're seeing exactly that in countries fomerly part of the Soviet bloc.   Obama's decisive action and frankness about where we are, what needs to be done, and the consequences is refreshing by comparison to European leaders who are unable to speak with one voice or take action on behalf of the European Community as a whole.  Countries are pulling inward and looking out for themselves and their citizens rather than cooperating on an intracontinental scale (as of yet).  A re-emboldened Russia entering the breach is not a healthy prospect.

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