The Dow has lost almost 300 points in two weeks, after a monster rally all spring and summer. Now what?
Caution ahead. The jobless rate will remain uncomfortably high. Regional banks are failing. The big banks are reeling in credit. Businesses are coping with a new normal that means less credit for them to expand and hire. What should you be doing right now?
If you have your job: keep investing in your 401 (k), especially if you have a company match. Keep investing in the 529 for college. Concentrate on your job and doing well there. If you don’t have a job, expect an extension of unemployment benefits and remember that so many people are out of work, the stigma is vanishing. In short, we are living in historic times and the only thing certain is uncertainty.
Alan Greenspan, the former fed chief who presided over a historic period of stock market prosperity, says “we are in a recovery.” On ABC’s This Week, he said this quarter the economy could well grow 3 percent. That is a dramatic improvement from two years of treacherous recession. But the jobless rate will surpass 10 percent and could linger there before finally coming back down. His great concern is the 5.4 million Americans out of work for longer than 6 months. He worries the broader economy will suffer with so much idle talent.
The longer people are out of work, they can lose their skills or not keep up with new skills on the job. “What makes an economy great is a combination of the capital assets of the economy and the people who run it,” Greenspan said. ”And if you erode the human skills that are involved there, there is a real and in one sense an irretrievable loss.” For months we have been focused on the kitchen table tragedies of job loss. But the Maestro gives us something new and potentially troubling to think about.
The Supreme Court starts its new term this morning. Justice Sonia Sotomayor will make her debut on the bench and there are also some critical cases on the docket to talk about.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, author of the best-selling book "The Nine, spoke with John Roberts on CNN's "American Morning" Monday.
John Roberts: So what impact do you think Justice Sonia Sotomayor is going to have on the court and how do you think she'll be different than Souter was?
Jeffrey Toobin: Initially, probably not that much. I think she'll probably vote very much the way Souter did. She seems to be a moderate liberal, he was a moderate liberal. But over time there certainly could be an influence. You know, the liberal block of the court has been pretty old in recent years. Justice Stevens is 89 years old, Justice Ginsburg is 76. The fact that there is this injection of new blood that she's only in her mid-50s. Justice Stevens likely to leave, likely to be replaced by President Obama with another liberal, that could generate some force on the liberal side even though they are basically outnumbered.
Roberts: Hard to think that someone in their mid-50s could be considered new blood.
Toobin: Your name sake, the Chief Justice Roberts, I loved the way they always talked about him, he's so young, so young. Good for us.
Roberts: People obviously will be looking for rookie mistakes to be made, but she's got 17 years on the bench, she proved herself when they had that rare September hearing on the Hilary Clinton movie, that she's not just going to just sit back and let the other ones take the lead she jumped in there and asked a lot of questions.
It's been one year since former President Bush signed the troubled asset relief program. We're a year past the crisis and many economists believe the troubled asset relief program did help to prevent a total meltdown in financial markets. Investor confidence is stabilized but banks are still failing and the latest unemployment numbers are staggering. Tell us what you think.
You won’t believe your eyes when you see Dr. Gupta’s “Postcard from Norway: Day 2.”
He continues to chase the most fascinating medical stories around the world. Right now, he’s on assignment in a city just north of the Arctic circle. The doctors there are among the world’s leading experts on treating hypothermia. So Gupta puts their skills to the test.
We see him dip off a boat into 40 degree waters. Within just seconds, Gupta becomes noticeably short of breath and explains the painful experience he felt as the hypothermia began to set in and he waited…and waited…for the helicopter to rescue him from those frigid waters…