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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is This Market Volatility the End of Capitalism?

Are we witnessing the end of capitalism? Has it ever been this bad?

Do these charts show the end of capitalism? I guess that depends on how you look at things.

The first chart tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1920-1940, when the average went from a high of 380.33 in 1929, to a low of 42.84 in 1932. The Dow Jones would have to drop below 2000 in the current market to replicate the drop experienced during the Depression.

The second chart covers 1960-1980, and again the volatility is dramatic. From a high of 1051.79 in 1973, the market dropped to 577.60 in 1975, almost a 50 percent drop. There were dramatic drops in 1970 and 1978, as well.

Volatility is part of our markets. Anyone who thinks we are going through the worst economic times since the Depression simply hasn't studied history. And anyone who says that we are witnessing the end of capitalism either ignores the resilience of our economic system, or is engaging in wishful thinking.

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