Posted by: Doug Henwood | April 23, 2012

Obama’s stock market: pretty good (if you care about that sort of thing)

Republicans and business interests have been relentless in their whining about how B. Hussein Obama has the “job creators” cowering under a reign of terror, what with his socialist policies and hostile rhetoric. But how have the monied been voting their approval or disapproval in one of their favorite venues, the stock market?

There, Obama’s approval rating looks even higher than Gallup’s version. Obama is now in the 40th month of his reign. Compared with the same spots in other presidential terms since 1945, Obama’s stock market is the third best, beaten only by Clinton’s second term and Eisenhower’s first. (See graph, below.) Adjusting for inflation has little effect on the rankings.

Since the beginning of Obama’s term in office in January 2009, the S&P 500 is up 60%—twice the average of all the 18 presidential terms since Roosevelt’s third. (Adjusting for inflation, Obama’s score is three times the average.) These results are not particularly surprising. The 40-month average for Democratic presidents is 36%; for Republicans, 24%. Still, Obama’s 60% is nearly twice his party’s average.

Of course, stock market returns have little to do with human welfare. In fact, you could argue that the boom in corporate profits—the fundamental reason for the strength in the stock market—has come at the expense of the working class, whose wage and salary income have gone approximately nowhere over the last three years. (Since the recession ended, profits have risen at almost eight times the rate of wages; in a “normal” recovery, they’d have risen less than three times as much.) But the notion that Obama has been “bad for business” is a hard case to make—not that it will stop it from being asserted.

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Responses

  1. FYI: I’m assuming, based on the LBO-style fonts, that the above chart is your work. However, I saw it first on Kevin Drum’s Mother Jones blog:

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/04/why-wall-street-hates-president-obama

    Drum is citing a Delong post. Delong quotes you, but seems not to have attributed the chart:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/04/why-does-wall-street-dislike-obama-so-much.html

  2. Shouldn’t this be adjusted for inflation? I am a hardcore democrat, but this is lying with math, and here I had hope that this was a credible piece of information.

  3. [...] Obama’s stock market: pretty good (if you care about that sort of thing): Republicans and business interests have been relentless in their whining about how B. Hussein Obama has the “job creators” cowering under a reign of terror, what with his socialist policies and hostile rhetoric. But how have the monied been voting their approval or disapproval in one of their favorite venues, the stock market?… Obama’s stock market is the third best, beaten only by Clinton’s second term and Eisenhower’s first…. Since the beginning of Obama’s term in office in January 2009, the S&P 500 is up 60%…. Adjusting for inflation, Obama’s score is three times the average.)… The 40-month average for Democratic presidents is 36%; for Republicans, 24%. Still, Obama’s 60% is nearly twice his party’s average…. [...]

  4. [...] Henwood offers an interesting comparison of the stock market performance of U.S. presidents (1945-present) by this point in each four-year [...]

  5. Only idiots who would vote for Obama are stupid enough to interpret this as a positive issue. Besides, wouldn’t this be “Bush’s fault” if in fact it were a positive thing?

  6. Did you read the piece? “Adjusting for inflation has little effect on the rankings.”

  7. This is not surprising. I think that we operate off of short term and do not appreciate or view economics in the long term because what we vote on is what effects us today. For example, we view the stock market’s performance day to day not over the past 5 to 10 years.


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