October 19, 1987, reporters shouting at the president:
Q. Mr. President, are we headed for another great crash?
Q. What about the stock market?
Q. Are we headed for another great crash?
Q. Stock market.
The President. Oh, the stock market. Well, I only have one thing to say: I think everyone is a little puzzled, and I don't know what meaning it might have because all the business indices are up. There is nothing wrong with the economy, though.
The President. What?
Q. Panic, how -- --
The President. Maybe some people seeing a chance to grab a profit, I don't know. But I do know this: More people are working than ever before in history. Our productivity is up. So is our manufacturing product up. There is no runaway inflation, as there has been in the past. So, as I say, I don't think anyone should panic because all the economic indicators are solid.
Ok, this was just plain stupid. Of course the Dow Jones fell 22.6% in one day, and to suggest that it wasn't all going to hell was ridiculous.
But markets are about confidence. And Reagan, unlike our current leaders, was all about confidence (not to be confused with arrogance and bravado, by the way). And, so, because he said it, it was true. The market went back up, and 1987 ended with a positive market.
Today, without further comment:
Obama and McCain Issue Joint Statement on the Economy
As agreed upon and promised earlier in the day, rival Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), have issued a joint statement on the economy, below:
"The American people are facing a moment of economic crisis. No matter how this began, we all have a responsibility to work through it and restore confidence in our economy. The jobs, savings, and prosperity of the American people are at stake.
"Now is a time to come together - Democrats and Republicans - in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail.
This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country."
The statement was distributed by the Obama campaign, along with the following note:
Speaking for himself, Senator Obama outlined the following principles that he calls on Senator McCain to support:
I believe that several core principles should guide this legislation.
First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency.
Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers.
Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis.
Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street.
Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.
This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem - this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution.