Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Alterman: It's worth reading him for amusement, though, as Jonah Goldberg says today, Alterman sounds like he's cheering on the bad news. Anyhoo, here's how his post goes, in part, yesterday:
Oil prices are going sky high and the market had its worse [sic] day in six months, during which time it had a lot of bad days.
Let's start with oil. For the oil price news, he cites a Washington Post story, which has this to say:
The rebound in oil prices was fundamentally a backlash from the optimism of oil traders at the war's outset, analysts said. "People now perceive the war is not going as quickly as they thought," said Thomas J. Herlihy, a broker with Spectron Energy Inc. in New Caanan, Conn. Many large energy companies and financial firms stayed out of the oil market yesterday, he added. "You don't get a clear picture where the market wants to go."
First of all, a sky-high crude price of $28 and change is a bit of a laugh when you consider that, not long ago, crude was pushing $40 a barrel -- and supposedly threatening to go higher if war broke out. Second, if even the analysts in the energy industry (quoted in the story he links) don't have a clear picture on what this means, what's the point of citing it?

Next, the market: Yeah, the Dow took a 300-point hit on Monday. So what? Does Alterman want to challenge my theory (expressed here and here) of our relative cluelessness on market moves? Even if you ask the traders themselves, you'll likely hear that they suspect Monday was a profit-taking day, which an up-80 Tuesday seemed to reinforce. Besides, the market took an 800-point leap the week before, when the guesses on war were no more certain than on Monday or Tuesday. What did that mean, Eric? This is simply gloomy-gus stuff, from a guy who really seems to enjoy the gloom. He can barely contain his bladder, apparently, that it's happening on Bush's watch. (Scroll down on his post for the hilarious and oh-so-original Give-Bush-a-Slick-Willy-Style-Nickname contest. First prize is a mention in Eric's blog -- wow! Who could resist?)

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