The financial meltdown, in a few easy steps

Specialist Mario Picone, right, watches the numbers as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average has plunged more than 530 points and is in a correction amid a global sell-off sparked by fears about China's slowing economy. Oil tumbled below $40 per barrel for the first time since the financial crisis. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Specialist Mario Picone, right, watches the numbers as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average has plunged more than 530 points and is in a correction amid a global sell-off sparked by fears about China’s slowing economy. Oil tumbled below $40 per barrel for the first time since the financial crisis. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The financial markets are melting down. Here’s why.

A couple of months ago, the Shanghai bourse began the Mother of all Corrections. Within a few weeks, it had lost 30% of its value.

This first go-round of market mayhem was greeted with pretty much of a yawn in Europe and the US. This was especially so after the government in Beijing stepped in to prop up the markets.

However, that propping up failed to calm the markets. Beijing decided to let the market work, and the sell-off commenced again.

Now, though, there is the added component of a fear of a major Chinese slow-down in its broader economy. To paraphrase that old saw: When China sneezes, the world catches a cold.

The fear of a significant downturn in the Chinese economy is spooking markets all over the world like a bump in the night spooks wild horses. Without knowing exactly what’s coming down the pike out of China, markets are in a panic.

This has nothing to do with the fundamentals of the US or European economy. This is not due to the job-killing Affordable Care Act. You can’t “blame Obama” for this. Unless you think President Obama should have somehow fixed China’s export-driven economy to make it more balanced with domestic demand. China is the world’s factory. There’s a spanner in the works, and that’s being felt all around the world.

So, fix a cup of tea, turn on the news, and wait. Unlike in 2008/2009, there really isn’t anything we can do this time.

144 Responses to “The financial meltdown, in a few easy steps”

  1. August 24, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Knock knock…..anybody home?

  2. 6 JER
    August 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

  3. August 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I think everybody is at Danny’s birthday party, playing ring around the beef bone…

  4. August 24, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    …or did COS take all y’all out to Six Flags over Somewhere to ride scary rides?

  5. 13 Dudette
    August 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Good stuff here!

  6. August 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Hey there, JER!!! You were doing a good deed, giving TOD the Las Vegas report so that we can keep an eye on POTUS’s destination with full knowledge.

  7. August 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Curiously, two days after I started tweeting about the biodigester/GTL alternative to natural-gas and oil production, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for oil, peaked and began to descend in tandem with my tweeting out points on that subject. Brent Crude, however, the global benchmark, did not peak two days after.

    Brent peaked in one.

    But this latest oil implosion is much more about the Iran deal and China. Though obviously everything that happened in 2014 had a slight impact on where the energy markets started out in the face of everything else.

  8. August 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for this Explainer, LiberalLibrarian. You always know how to clarify and shine the light on things. And Darling Dudette, I love this new initiative from Deray and friends. They are brilliant and determined and practical and tireless, along with brave, articulate, steadfast, and noble. With them and so many here and elsewhere getting up every morning and making ways out of no way, and moving forward instead of giving up and melting in despair, I can’t fall apart or give up. Campaign ZERO!!! Yes!!!

  9. August 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Dear TOD – It’s gonna happen!!!


    bbl …

    • 24 idon
      August 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Yes Bob 🙂 I believe it’s gonna happen because I’m already smiling. I’m wearing the same smile I was wearing when I read my beloved President was running that first time in 2008. This is so exciting!! I cannot wait until we can go absolutely crazy with joy.

  10. 25 Dudette
    August 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    This jackass wasted no time on his latest pronouncement. Ugh!

  11. August 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    My description of stock markets- gambling casinos run by crime bosses. Why should we let our economic future be hostage to this irrationality and criminality?

  12. 30 Dudette
    August 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Redux — nice summary of this week’s agenda and big things coming in September

  13. 31 JER
    August 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Is that you, Danny?

    • 32 Dudette
      August 24, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Awwww! 😍

    • 33 Jeff
      August 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      the far left one looks exactly like my lab Tilly.

      She’s getting old and I noticed when I took her for a walk the other night that she yelped and her back leg went kind of weird. Will have to take her to the vet.

  14. August 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Happy Birthday COS and Dannystix.

  15. August 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Excellent LL, I’m eternally clueless about these things, so this is *great* – thank you Mister.

  16. 36 donna dem 4 obama
    August 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Oh Oh….

    • August 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      He lost the Latino vote, now he loses the Asian vote.

    • August 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      And Jeb was suppose to be the smart Bush. Now we know why Ma Bush said for him not to run, she knew he wasn’t..

    • August 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      OMG, this guy is beyond clueless.

    • 41 Linda
      August 24, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Jeb is kind of right about this one.

      Birth tourism

      n March 2015, Federal agents conducted raids on a series of large-scale maternity tourism operations bringing thousands of Chinese women intent on giving their children American citizenship.[2][3]

      This practice is believed to be popular among women in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.[4] According to Edward Chang, a scholar of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Riverside, the practice is popular among the elite and wealthy circles of South Korea, and can cost thousands of dollars for a company to arrange the travel


      • 42 donna dem 4 obama
        August 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm

        “Anchor Babies” is an offensive slur and it generalizes all babies born to immigrants (legal or not) as somehow less than worthy. Therefore, any astute person running for Pres Of The United States would not use this terminology whether “justified” or not. He just lost the Asian American vote as well as all the other demographics in this country.

      • 44 Nena20409
        August 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

        I truly beg to differ.
        No one from Asia crosses the border to get to US……unless they were smuggled by ship.
        These women who come here to have their kids, they do go through the Immigration Dept via some form of an organized Tourism Apparatus. They are here LEGALLY. They obtained Visas. They have their kids, then they go home. None that I am aware of have applied for Benefits. They are mostly wealthy people. In order to pay $30-$50K to do this, one must be at least rich or upper class.
        The number of women doing this are Not not massive in number.

      • 45 GGail
        August 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Asian or Latino – no one deserves the slur “anchor baby”. America has allowed this to occur because someone was benefiting, now it’s become a whipping post.

        My position is to not threaten to build a wall to keep the Latino out, but ignore the thousands of dollars that Asians are paying to come here.

        Make Immigration fair for all.

    • 46 GGail
      August 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Jeb is a laugh that just keeps giving.

      Whatever we American’s do come election time, don’t let the name Bush be on the ballot.

    • 47 Sandy1110
      August 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Between Trump and Bush alone, people should be getting a wake-up call to the racism and xenophobia that infests the foundation of the GOP. Cruz, Rubio, Jindal and Christie don’t even need to contribute with their nuggets of wisdom – but they no doubt will!

  17. 48 Don
    August 24, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    President Obama saying that picking Joe Biden as his Vice President was the smartest thing he’s ever done politically is delicious on so many levels. President Obama has just dared any Democrat seeking the Presidency to say anything negative about Joe. The only thing the Clintons had to do in 2008 and 2012 was to play nice with President Obama and they couldn’t even do that, every compliment they gave President Obama was back-handed. They showed President Obama absolutely no respect, the Clintons let their attack dogs go after President Obama every chance they got. President Obama stood up at Beau Biden’s funeral and almost broke down in tears, and that is all you need to know how much President Obama cares about Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been with President Obama through thick and thin, Joe Biden has been a good soldier to President Obama. You never heard a negative word out of the Biden camp about President Obama. Today President Obama let it be known that he is ridin’ with Biden.

    • August 24, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      “Today President Obama let it be known that he is ridin’ with Biden.”

      Roger that, Don!! 🙂

    • 50 desertflower
      August 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Was at work today and ,missed everything that led you to write this…but I agree with all of it:) I pray hard that VP Biden decides to do this thing…he has been amazing as a VP and he will be an amazing President if he chooses to say yes:)

    • 51 idon
      August 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Don, I love yr post. I’m gonna read it a gazillion times because it so perfectly captures how much I love VP Biden as well as the truth about the Clintons. Thank you 🙂

    • August 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      An interesting part of the WHPB today was when some guy in the front row (haven’t seen him before) starting making this very glaring contrast between the loyalty VJB has shown to PBO and the questionable attitude of HRC toward PBO, talking about some of the specific jabs she levied toward him during her book tour. It was really pretty astute and Josh actually played along to the degree he could. Very interesting support for exactly what you’re saying.

      I’m also thinking of FLOTUS and how she might be seeing this. She’s on record as saying it’s time for a woman president but I can’t imagine she wouldn’t be very, very thrilled to see Dr. Jill and POTUS Joe in the WH in 2017 now that speculation is peaking.

      • 53 Vicki
        August 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        Agree 100% with all these opinions.

        Both Clintons were poisonous towards PBO and VPB every chance they got.
        Do you recall the “PBO is going to replace Biden and make Hillary VP?” this was a Clinton partisans campaign as 2012 neared. Worked just as well as the first time they campaigned against VPBiden saying the VP should be HRC, in 2008.

        Not even subtle—-Chelsea’s pregnancy announced on the day the ACA reached the 8 million signup goal. The media has played along with the Clintons every time.

        This is the payback phase.

        It began on the day of Hillary’s announcement of her presidential run when Bill de Blasio declined to endorse her.
        Poof!! went the New! Progressive! Brooklyn-based, hip! candidate. I wrote on TOD then what I am saying now. It was over.

        I hear Howard Dean behind me on the TV still batting hard for Hill. Slamming Biden. Good luck with that, Howard the corporate sellout.

        • August 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm

          I absolutely remember the viciousness of the rumor that PBO was considering replacing VJB with HRC. It doesn’t get more below the belt than that. PBO must have been steamed. I have no doubt where those rumors came from. There really is no low to which they won’t stoop.

    • 55 kid kanga
      August 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      please please let me get on board this train, can’t wait to get ridin’ with Biden.

  18. August 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Danny you share a birthday with a Panda!

  19. August 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    LL, thanks so much for this explanation. It cleared my mind, and eased some anxiety.

  20. August 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

  21. August 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Very interesting unpacking of some possible strategic thinking:

    • 63 Vicki
      August 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      meta—I tried to access that article and register and failed. I’ll try again.

    • 67 vcprezofan2
      August 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Hope he’s correect about the bit that VPJoe doesn’t really have to say anything public until October 12.

      // ………………………..

      Under a “Biden doesn’t run” scenario keep a close eye on former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, especially when we get to South Carolina, the third in the nation primary.

      But right now, tonight, your reporter with a track record on such affairs is hearing from the best of sources that Biden is “getting closer” to announcing his 2016 campaign. And yet Biden doesn’t have to say anything in public until October 12.

      The more he does not speak, the more powerful he becomes. And the more turmoil, uncertainty and flailing about will come from the current so-called frontrunner.

      Meanwhile, let’s all go out and get the Iran Deal passed, because nuclear war would be a real buzzkill to deal with when we have such an interesting US presidential contest to play out if such thermo-nuclear horror can be prevented.


  22. 71 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Au ⭐ to Nancie. Congrats 😉

  23. 72 57andfemale
    August 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Now I’m starving but I don’t feel like eating my leftover salad. Someone took Kathy’s homemade sandwich out of the fridge. We’ve never had a problem like this, but there’s a new girl……..

    • 73 57andfemale
      August 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      oops! Thought I instant messaging a friend! I’ve been up most of the night. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The sociopathic boss came back from vacation and I needed to get his insane deadlines met.

      • 74 Dudette
        August 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        This is your resident night owl speaking: Sleep is important! 😴😄

        • 75 57andfemale
          August 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

          I’ve been an insomniac since I was a little girl, but I usually get more sleep than this. I worked until 3:00 a.m., closed my eyes for an hour, had a short nightmare about the Sociopathic Boss, and got up and made coffee. Every once in awhile I get a good night’s sleep and the world is a wonderful, different place……..

  24. 77 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Lately, the ‘odds’ predictors are more accurate than the Pollsters.

  25. August 24, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I see the right wing haters trying to blame the Stock Market on President Obama. I’m just waiting for them to start.

  26. 79 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

  27. 86 Allison
    August 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

  28. 91 JER
    August 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

  29. 92 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  30. 94 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 4:54 pm

  31. 96 Allison
    August 24, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  32. 99 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    He is supposed to be The Smart Bush?

  33. August 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    This will not end well.

  34. 110 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Excellent post LL.
    Computer trading makes these Gyrations possible.

  35. 113 donna dem 4 obama
    August 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

  36. 114 Nena20409
    August 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    August 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm


  38. August 24, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Some more context. Just posted this comment over on TPV.

    If Beijing can no longer sustain what have been unsustainable growth rates to provide employment for millions entering the work force every year, I think we’ll soon see China enter one of its myriad periods of instability. The last one was from the fall of the Qing Dynasty until the Maoist takeover. Any student of Chinese history will know that China has been wracked by periods of disunity. The Party’s only claim to the loyalty of the Chinese is its ability to provide an economic windfall. If that goes by the wayside, 1989 will look like a minor disturbance.

    • 120 57andfemale
      August 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, LL. I’m no expert but a bit of a student of Chinese history (it intersects with my job, in a weird way).

    • 121 Vicki
      August 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you, Liberal Librarian, for your post above and this follow up comment.
      China overbuilt houses that stay empty, railroads twice the amount that commuters need, made a small class super-rich and now are in deep doo-doo.

      The Donald understands nothing about China.

    • August 24, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      wow….this is INCREDIBLE!

  39. 123 99ts
    August 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks LL – always seems to me the cycle comes around again. In a global economy we are impacted by global events. This has always been the case in Australia – the US because of size, has often stayed above such issues – but China and Europe are also large economies on the world scene & the growth over the last few years has been large. Downturns/corrections never happen at the right time, but this will pass.

  40. 124 JER
    August 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

  41. 127 donna dem 4 obama
    August 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm

  42. 128 jacquelineoboomer
    August 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    You may have seen the short piece on PBS World from this fine gentleman.

    The end of his narrative was, “There are four stages to the actor’s career: ‘Who is Wendell Pierce?’ ‘Get me Wendell Pierce.’ ‘Get me a young Wendell Pierce.’ And then ‘Who is Wendell Pierce?’ And I’m prepared for the ‘Who is Wendell Pierce?’ because I’ll be able to answer that for myself.”

    Good advice for all of us, actor or not.

  43. August 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    More like probably begged. The Al Giordano piece I linked above pretty much makes the case in so many words that HRC’s flailing campaign is a big worry for PBO.

    • 130 nospin
      August 24, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      “HRC’s flailing campaign is a big worry for PBO.”

      PBO has a lot of problems to worry about but I doubt that HRC’s campaign is one of them.

  44. 131 JER
    August 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    The President Arrives Nevada. Click here ► ► http://www.fox5vegas.com/category/273649/livestream2

  45. 134 jacquelineoboomer
    August 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I haven’t finished the linked article, yet, but what I’ve read so far is excellent.


  46. August 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    And so the specialist is praying, as he works in his job at the wall street casino..

  47. August 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

  48. August 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm

  49. August 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

  50. August 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm

  51. 143 japa21
    August 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Great post LL. Yes, this will be a ride for a little while, but it won’t be anything like 2008. Wait a couple weeks, month at the most, and much of this current loss will be recovered. If not, my plans to retire 4/30/16 may have to be changed a little.

    I still have mixed feelings about Joe running. I think he would be the best candidate in terms of how he would be president, although I’ll pick any of the Dems running, including Webb (ugh) over any of the GOP in the race. One thing about both Biden and Clinton is that I think both grew a lot working for PBO. Biden, I think, more than Clinton, but both to some degree, so I am not as alarmed about a Clinton presidency as some. And although I do think Sanders would be a better president than any of the GOP, I don’t think he would be a very good one. In fact, I see Sanders presidency as being a prelude to a Republican winning in 2020, whereas I don’t see that happening with either Biden or Clinton.

    I do know that if Biden runs, he is getting my vote in the primary.

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