By Mike Whitney
10/22/07 “ICH” — – -Friday’s bloodbath on Wall Street proved that the troubles in the credit markets have not been relieved by the Fed’s rate cuts. The Dow Jones slipped 367 points on the 20th anniversary of Black Monday, the stock market’s biggest one-day loss in history. Since Friday, Asian markets have plunged; stocks are down sharply in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. The global sell-off is a reaction to ongoing problems in the subprime market and deeper-rooted systemic issues related to the US’s structured-debt model.
The sudden downturn in the stock market provided a fitting backdrop for Treasury Secretary Paulson’s appearance at the G-7 meetings in Washington DC. Paulson has largely shrugged off the decline in housing and the growing volatility in the equities markets. As the representative for the world’s biggest economy, Paulson instructed the other nations on how best to adjust their currencies and on the dangers of “sovereign wealth funds”. No one was listening. Foreign ministers and central bankers are less receptive to the scolding of US officials. America needs to put its own house in order before it gives advice to anyone else.