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Re-election made Wall Street pout
Wall Street throws a tantrum

 Following the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the stock market took major turns for the worse.
Henny Ray Abrams/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 11/11/2012

By Howard Owen

ON WEDNESDAY, Wall Street sulked.

Its reaction to the re-election of a president less inclined than his opponent to cozy up to plutocrats led to the Dow losing 313 points. The bleeding continued, more slowly, on Thursday and tapered off Friday.

The loss wasn't unprecedented. The first time Barack Obama was elected, the Dow fell 486 points the next session.

(Yes, there are reasons other than petulance for stocks to recede, such as the impending fiscal cliff and the economic troubles in Europe. But was it a coincidence that both times the big drop came hours after Obama was re-elected?)

The Supreme Court has decided that corporations are people (an opinion that future civilizations will no doubt ponder as they try to explain our demise, the way we marvel at tales of the Roman emperor Caligula threatening to make his horse a consul).

So if corporations truly are people, then surely Wall Street lives and breathes as well. Sure, it's thousands of people making decisions, presumably independently of each other, but the market does sometimes act as if it is a single sentient being with a mind of its own.

And what a disagreeable being it can be, demanding that we leave it alone so it can perhaps gamble us to the brink of economic apocalypse again.

The market fears that, in an Obama second term, the Dodd-Frank Act will really have some teeth. As securities attorney Andrew Stoltmann noted in an email that made the rounds after the election:

"Wall Street bet big on Romney and lost. Banks and brokerage firms are now likely to face more rules and regulations as well as the strengthening of crucial pieces of legislation like the Volcker Rule."

As if that isn't enough to make Wall Street takes its marbles and go home, Elizabeth Warren is now a U.S. senator.

Warren, architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and advocate of a stronger Volcker Rule to ensure that banks stop betting their own (our) money, said this about the Street at the Democratic National Convention:

"Wall Street CEOs--the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs--still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them."


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