For months now, the world has been zapped periodically by mini financial panics, a sign that money people everywhere are extremely skittish. This morning, we have all the makings of a very bad day.
- Around the world, investors are selling off stocks as fast as they can and fleeing to the relative safety of bonds, or cash stuffed into a comically bulging safe. This means that everyone is very, very nervous about the “health” of the global economy. Futures indicate that the U.S. stock market will have a very shitty day today.
- Oil dropped again from its already rock bottom prices. Futures are showing it will fall to the lowest price it’s seen since 2003.
- European stocks dropped 4%. Which is a lot! In particular, European banks are now doing even worse than they were during the 2008 financial crisis.
- The US dollar is also plunging! It is “on course for its worst week since the Lehman crisis.” I’m sensing a pattern...
- Now, the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates steadily this year—which would have been a signal of a return to normalcy—is in jeopardy. Many people believe that the Fed’s eight years of easy money are directly responsible for the panic happening now, ironically. It’s a pickle.
- And of course, gold prices are soaring, because when people get scared they always buy gold, for some reason.
Why not buy something useful instead, like guns?
[Classic “Wall Street guy holding his head” photo: AP]