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Bad News, Folks
It’s a great time, right now, to make sure you know what you’re doing with your assets. Money markets, 401K, whatever you call it. Think carefully about what is going on in the world. Most of you have already lost between 10% and 50% of your assets already this year.
Some of you have lost more. You need to take control of what you have. Personally. Today.
If you don’t understand ‘credit swaps’ and ‘derivatives’ – Go find out! You’re reading Wordout: You Aren’t Stupid! If you find something that doesn’t add up when you watch the talking heads on television, go find out what it is! Here is a great place to start. Here is another and yet another.
Get an understanding, however basic, of what exactly is happening worldwide. Everywhere. It’s not just the banks any more. It’s starting to spread into other companies… like shipping companies, for example. What happens when they can’t finance their next deliveries because those deliveries are to countries known to have economic problems? (All countries are having economic problems right about now.)
Enough Of That – Here’s The Bad News
So anyway, just think about what you’re doing with what you have. You might want to keep it a little closer than you’re used to. Just to be sure.
Gloomy figures from Japan and South Korea sparked a massive sell off on Asian markets Friday, as regional leaders agreed to set up an 80-billion-dollar fund to fight the global economic crisis.
The agreement, reached as more than 40 Asian and European countries gathered in Beijing for talks on the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, came as officials in Washington warned of a sharp rise in US unemployment.
The deal between South Korea, China, Japan and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the first major coordinated regional action since the financial turmoil erupted last month.
A spokesman for South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said the 13 leaders had pledged to work more closely on economic matters.
“(They) agreed on the need to strengthen regional cooperation and policy coordination in the face of the global financial crisis,” the spokesman said.
Despite the announcement, Asian stock markets took another hammering, as fears grew that the financial crisis was taking a heavy toll on corporate earnings in the region.
Here are a few highlights from the NYTimes:
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index plunged 9.6 percent, hitting its lowest level since May 2003. The Kospi in South Korea plummeted 10.6 percent, falling 1,000 points and heading for a total decline this year of more than 50 percent.
The Straits Times index in Singapore hit a four-year low, down 4.8 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 5.2 percent and Taiwan closed down 3.9 percent.
UPDATE:CNN Friday afternoon:
U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Friday for the week, with fears of a worldwide recession socking equities around the globe, adding to evidence that the mortgage-related credit crisis has morphed into a crisis of nightmarish proportions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 312.30 points, or 3.6%, to 8, 378.95, leaving the blue-chip index 5.3% lower for the week.
The Dow had fallen more than 500 points to a low of 8,187.48.
Still, the blue-chip average remained off an intraday low of 7,773 hit in panic selling on Oct. 10.
All of the blue-chip index’s 30 components posted declines, with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) losing gains to end 1.6% lower following its report of a small profit gain for the September quarter. .
The Dow’s decline, while steep under normal circumstances, proved far less severe than some had feared after stock futures plummeted to their daily limits in preopen trades.
So-called circuit-breakers would have kicked in, had the Dow industrials fallen 1,100 points before 2 p.m. Eastern time, freezing trading for an hour. A 2,200-point plunge before 1 p.m. would have stopped trading for two hours, and a 3,350-point drop would have shuttered trades for the rest of the day.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) dropped 31.34 points, or 3.5%, to 876.77, a level that leaves it 6.8% below last Friday’s close.
Telecommunication services, energy and industrials fronted sector declines that stretched to include all 10 of the S&P’s industry groups, with information technology the best-performing sector among them.
I am Jon. Hard times are