I remember the huge dotcom burst in 2002-2003, because I felt it in my then-stock-rich portfolio. At one time, I was sitting on more than $80,000 in options had I cashed in at the peak of the roller coaster. Ouch.
I remember those days with a bit of an ache in my side, and in listening to the news and economic outlook throughout the Bush administration, I would be forgiven for thinking that we had never really recovered economically from that situation. The stock market was hot, but it broke, and it's been limping along ever since.
As usual, listening to the media and the hubbub of coffeeshop economists leads to a radically erroneous perspective on the simple facts of how our nation is doing. The chart above, taken from a thoughtful and comprehensive article on "how we're doing" as a nation, reveals that public perception is just plain foolish.
The stock market has been accelerating significantly in the past few years and there appears to be no end in sight. Not even a Bear-Stearns situation can really rock the boat on the long term growth of stocks.
Is it simply too much to ask that we (1) refuse to allow media sensationalism to affect our economic outlook and (2) stop grousing about "the economic downturn" when we really have no idea what we're talking about?
Of course, I'm not going to stop complaining about the price of gas anytime soon; I don't care how much it costs in England. (fade out, to the tune of Money for Nothing: "I want my, I want my SUV")