The Walter Cronkite Bedore Year In-Review
This is Walter Cronkite Bedore with the Marketplace year in-review of the top economic stories from the year 2000.
Unbridled optimism and blind greed drove Wall Street to record high levels in the spring of 2000 but the fall saw the markets tumble and with it, the NASDAQ went out of whack, the DOW had a cow, and the S/P suck-ee , as many dotcom stocks land in the dotcom dumpster.
Firestone and Ford play rollover ne ner ne ner, each blaming each other for deaths caused by faulty tires blowing out on top heavy SUV's.
The U.S. normalized trade relations with China. U.S. labor and environmental groups e-mailed and faxed their fierce opposition to this action across the nation using products made with Chinese components.
Californians suffer a bad case of gas and electric prices. "Re-regulate" and "laissez faire, don't go there" are the battle cries of hacked off consumers who see monthly utility bills double and triple due to less government interference.
In the year 2000 the airline industry stunk like a week old fish.
The year 2000 saw AOL and Time-Warner attempt the biggest merger of all time. Proponents say the combination of the two company's content and delivery system will fully realize the potential of the Internet. Critics say "E-mail and 57 cable channels of un-watchable horse pucky do not, an industrial revolution, make."
In the biggest anti-trust case ever Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson tells Microsoft it is they who have performed an illegal operation and have to cut and paste themselves into 2 or maybe even 3 different companies, fulfilling the biblical prophecy that the devil will appear to you in many guises.
The tobacco industry was hit with a 144.8 billion dollar judgment by a Florida jury. A hacking, wheezing, phlegm expectorating industry spokesman said "Americans love known carcinogens and it's our right to deliver them directly to the soft, pink unprotected tissue of their life giving lungs." Many experts believe the tobacco industry will find a more sympathetic ear in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court than they did in Florida.
Economists, speaking between the lines to President elect Bush, claim "We can scare ourselves into a recession with negative talk about the economy." The President elect asks advisors what that means and then says "The tax cut is still on," which between the lines means "When you're rich and handed a $50,000 tax refund a recession is not that big a deal. In other words, "I'm dancin' with and writin' checks to them that brung me." In a sign of tough times to come for the President-elect protestors carry signs around the White house saying "Our new President can't read this sign."
Early in the year 2000 Alan Greenspan and the Fed fear inflation will hit the nation and jack interest rates, but by years end see no red ahead, expansion dead, investors who fled and an economy sinking like lead. Vague promises of a rate reduction in January, leave consumers a reason to be optimistic, perhaps very.
And that's the way it was, the year 2000 in review, in Los Angeles I am Walter Cronkite Bedore for Marketplace.