Congress beat the February 20 deadline and had the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ready for the Presidentâ€™s signature on February 17, 2009. The bill was signed into law this afternoon while President Obama was in Denver, CO. $787 billion! If you write it out it looks like $787,000,000,000,000.00. Surprisingly, there is some disagreement as to whether itâ€™s 12 zeroes or 9 zeroes… the consensus is that an American billion has 12 zeroes.
Thatâ€™s a lot of money.
The disturbing thing is that with the signing of the stimulus bill, the stock market reacted in a very negative, almost hostile way. It dropped. No. It plunged. The DJIA bottomed today at 7,552.60 (-297.81); NASDAQ ended up at 1,470.66 (-63.70); and the S&P settled at 789.17 (-37.67). I have to wonder why? So far, major events that usually produce a positive reaction on the market have done exactly the opposite since Obama has come on the scene. I hope the trend changes quicklyâ€¦
Earlier today, I posted a video on the signing of the bill and a second one on the presidentâ€™s newly established website, Recovery.gov. The website tells of how “the economic crisis has touched all of us, regardless of the states where we live or the industries in which we work — whether it’s health care or education, real estate or construction, technology or manufacturing.” It also encourages us to tell our stories of how the economic crisis and the recovery program are affecting us.
When I looked at the stock market, I realized that today, February 17, 2009, the Recovery Act cleaned me out. What was left of my retirement fund disappeared as the Dow did an Olympic quality dive.
I think Iâ€™ll go off and count zeroesâ€¦ mine and ours.