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Goodbye Bush, Farewell My (Now Foreclosed) House

If Obama is ushered in a new era in American Politics, his predecessor hits a career lowdown.

Former president George Bush won’t be able to escape his critics until he ages even more. With a report card marred by snags from the Middle East invasion to the financial crisis, Bush is undoubtedly leaving his post far from the image that he once had back in 2000. The biggest setback that will haunt him and tarnish our country’s financial history is his overconfidence in the liberty of American markets. Had he not allowed banks and borrowers to abuse the credit system, we could have abated the financial pandemic. Had he not relaxed his anti-regulatory policies, we could have a stronger lending system and yes, your neighbor wouldn’t have moved out of his home last year.

Yesterday’s inauguration speech may have stirred everybody’s longing for a change in American governance but it wasn’t enough to get the stock market moving in the same direction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 4 percent to 7,949.09 while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has plunged by 5.2 percent to 805.22.

That shows investors aren’t easily swayed by the developments in White House anymore. But we can’t blame it on Obama. The current administration knows that it has inherited an economic turmoil that shamelessly spread to other economies around the globe. He should brace himself for a series of heavy criticisms if his stimulus plans fail to rehabilitate the economy. After all, the public is impatient to see change and they need results – even in the short run.

Looking back, Bush had weak judgments. Sadly, it can’t be easily repaired. The recession would swell throughout the year and no one should be expecting massive overhauls from the programs that Obama has in store for us. The effect of Bush’s lack of accountability in today’s market distress is a travesty for American society. In fact, there’s nothing good to remember about the real estate market for the past eight years when home prices have fluctuated but suddenly plummeted. Yale economist Robert Schiller has tracked housing prices since 1890 and came up with a very interesting illustration. This same graph was plotted using a roller coaster as seen on this video:

If you’re wondering why the ride ends up too high, it’s because the data ends in 2006. If re-plotted, you’d find a good resemblance in housing values tumbling down and Bush’s infamous fall from his Segway.

Obama and his team are in for a wilder ride than this. No doubt about it.

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