The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 777 points today at 10,365… 223 points below where it stood the day President George W. Bush took office. That’s a 2.1% drop over Bush’s 7 years, 9 months in office, for an annualized return of -0.27% making him the first president to produce a negative annualized return since Herbert Hoover. (By comparison, the DJIA produced annualized returns of about 28% during President Bill Clinton’s eight years in office.)
And compared to the other major market indices, the DJIA looks good. The S&P 500 fell 8% today, and is now down about 21% over the Bush administration, while the NASDAQ Composite fell another 9%, for a stunning 40% decline during the Bush years. To put that in perspective, a $100 investment in an index fund tracking the NASDAQ would now be worth only $48.50 in inflation adjusted dollars.
Remember, it was the Bush administration who declared a crisis that required an immediate bailout, it was Bush who put forth the original proposal, it was Bush who joined with Democrats on a bipartisan compromise, and it was Bush who ultimately failed to bring his House caucus with him. Oh… and it was Bush’s failed economic policies and disregard for regulation that laid the groundwork for this mess.
So much for the “CEO president.”
I’ve edited the DJIA numbers to reflect the actual close; apparently it was dropping so fast at the buzzer it took a while for the ticker to catch up with the trades.