On Thursday, one day after American stock markets plummeted in the face of mounting bank losses, soaring oil prices and record lows for the US dollar, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a gloomy economic forecast in testimony before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.
Bernanke admitted that the US housing slump and the credit crisis resulting from soaring defaults of subprime mortages had worsened since credit markets froze last August, and predicted that US economic growth would fall sharply in the fourth quarter of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.
He said the housing crisis would worsen in the coming months, as millions of homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages faced sharply higher interest payments when new rates kicked in, and hinted that the crisis on Wall Street could spiral into a full-blown recession.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Index fell 360.92 points, wiping out all the gains since the Fed’s half-point interest rate cut on September 18. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped by 44.65, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 76.42 points. The rout on Wall Street was precipitated by a series of developments underscoring the depths of the financial crisis.
Gee, I wonder what that cancer eating away at the heart of America could be? I WONDER. And I wonder WHAT CAUSED IT?
I just can't figure these things out for myself. So I better turn on Rush^H^H^H^H FOX News, and uncritically believe everything... it's so much easier than thinking for myself!