A Welcome Mat for a New Year

2010, we are so eagerly awaiting your arrival!

Although, to be fair to 2009, it could have been worse. A year ago, it seemed like it was going to be ‘way worse. Remember last December?

It was miserable.

The economy was teetering on the brink of collapse. Real estate values went “splat!” The banking industry got a $700 billion bailout, back when that seemed like an incredibly huge amount of money.

General Motors and Chrysler were on their deathbeds, the manufacturing sector was in the tank, and nobody seemed to be in charge of anything.

One year later, everything isn’t coming up roses yet, by any means. But the panic, at least, is now over.

And it had been a Panic! In November 2008, the Dow lost 27% in two-and-a-half weeks; and was down 23% for the quarter. Twenty-three percent in three months.

The New Year started off badly; the economy began hemorrhaging 650,000 workers a month, and the Dow bottomed out at 6547 in March.

Looking around today, in December 2009, it appears as if the storm has passed, and that we’re somewhere in the rebuilding phase. The Dow is back over 10,000; the GDP contractions are easing, and Seattle real estate values stabilized over the summer.

Consumer confidence is returning, WaMu and Safeco may be memories, but the banks are starting to repay TARP. The auto industry is struggling, as is Boeing, but at least they can sing, “I’m Still Here.”

We’re not exactly partyin’ like it’s 1999. But there’s some decent reasons to think that you, 2010, will be better than 2009. We should surely hope so.

Here’s to the year, 2010!

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