Some thoughts on the recent market downfall

I’m not an expert so take this any way you want to or ignore it all together.

(1) This is a crash.

A market crash is usually defined as a 20% or more drop in the market in a short period of time. It doesn’t matter that it took seven days instead of one (as in 1987) or two (like in 1927). In fact, may have taken so long because of (2).

(2) The government isn’t solely responsible for the crash, but they did help prolong it.

Most of the market volatility in the last week or so is because the government kept getting involved. The market went up when government announced the first bailout, then it fell when that fell through, then it went up when they announced another bailout, then it tanked anyway, then it went up when there was this or that rumor, then it fell when the rumor wasn’t true. That’s how the market works. I still contend, as I did in a conversation before class last night, that if the government had stayed out of it, this would have been over already. I’m not saying we would have been above 10,000, but it would at least have leveled out and we could work on recovery.

(3) Say goodbye to the free market.

The government is now involved in the market in a way it never has been before. And once the government gets in your business, they never get out.

(4) Neither of the candidates will be able to fix it.

If Obama gets in with a Democratic Congress, they will make it worse because they think only the government can fix things. If McCain gets in with a Democratic Congress, they’ll stymie anything he tries to do, but since he has little better to offer than Obama, it really doesn’t matter much anyway.

(5) Christians should be prudent but not panicky.

I know this has been said a lot recently and this line get trotted out every election year, but it’s still true: Our hope is not in Washington or Wall Street, Our hope is in the Lord who is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). We trust in a God who said, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness” (Ps. 50:12).

Meditate on this:

We should be prudent with our spending anyway (Prov. 27:23-24) and we shouldn’t seek to be rich (Prov. 23:4; 21:6; 28:8, 20, 22; 30:8-9) because riches are fleeting (Prov. 23:5; 27:24). Instead we should seek to know the Lord’s blessing (Prov. 10:22) and the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7; 2:2-6; 9:10; 15:33; 22:4; 23:17) which brings life (Prov. 19:23) and confidence (Prov. 14:26-27) and is better than wealth (Prov. 15:16) because riches will not profit when it really matters (Prov. 11:4, 28; 13:7; 15:6). Remember that the Lord’s blessing is greater than riches and comes with no sorrow (Prov. 10:22; 15:16, 17; 16:8).

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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