Our Opinion: Wall Street must stop scaring itself


So, when Americans were celebrating low fuel oil prices and gasoline under $2 a gallon at the pump they were supposed to be in mourning because this scared Wall Street. Can there be no good financial news?

The US stock market stabilized itself late last week after a nasty three-week stretch that gouged chunks out of retirement accounts for no apparent plausible reason. This was Wall Street in Chicken Little mode, so fearing a market decline that it panics itself into creating one.

Those low fuel oil prices are supposed to indicate an unanticipated slowdown in industrial growth, but there are no other indicators of this coming to pass. Much is made of China's economic problems and their impact on the world but China's economy isn't collapsing it is simply growing at a slower rate. There were inevitable limits to that nation's phenomenal growth and they may have been reached.

That the stock market rallied late last week even though no economic circumstances had changed suggests that Wall Street managed to get a grip on itself and shake off its group hysteria. Or maybe everyone took a look at the low unemployment rate, the most recent promising jobs report, and the absence of the inflation that inflation watchdogs have been warning about for seven years. We'll see today.

Wall Street's greatest fear is fear itself. And Americans' greatest economic fear may be that Wall Street will scare itself into another needless mess that adversely impacts all of us.


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