Dodged a bullet

The Dow was down 800 today at one point, then rallied to close down about 125. This could be the beginnings of a bottom. That would most definitely be a good thing.

The G7 meets this weekend in DC to come up with a coordinated worldwide plan to end the financial crisis and unfreeze the dangerously locked-up credit markets. This is another good thing.

I just listened to Doug Henwood’s latest “Behind the News” podcast (on iTunes.) He’s an economist, and analyst with sufficient expertise that he frequently gets quoted in the lofty realms of Alan Abelson’s column in Barrons.

He also edits the excellent Left Business Observer and moderates the LBO-Talk listserv, a central place for lefties and socialists of all stripes to hang out and talk.

On the podcast he refutes what some on the left are saying -  let the financial system fail, then we can build a better world. He says people who say that do not understand finance or economics. There was 25% unemployment in the Great Depression. For those who say they want that he says, “that’s not socialism, that’s nihilism.”

As for the Naomi Klein’s who insist it’s all a conspiracy, he says, yes, Paulson et al did try to grab billions (and now probably won’t be able to because it will be a recapitalization and not buying junk at inflated prices) but the crisis is real. Too real.

The left can play a huge role here, and advance its causes as well. But cheering for millions to be unemployed or saying the entire thing is a monstrous hoax will only be self-defeating.