The Economy Sure Looks Headed for a Fall

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It’s not just e-commerce that’s partying like it’s 1999. The stock market is doing it too:

Those looking for reason to worry don’t have to search far. There’s a potential war with North Korea and ongoing drama in Washington D.C. But stepping aside from politics, the market has tended to drop when just about everyone thinks the good times will never end. Some people think we’re hitting “peak giddiness” now. Consider these stats:

63 percent of Americans believe the stock market will be higher a year from now…This is the highest level ever recorded by the survey…60 percent of market experts are bullish and only 15 percent are bearish…The P/E ratio, a widely watched gauge of how expensive the market is, has topped 21 for the Dow…It was 20 heading into the 1987 crash.

Venture capital looks giddy. The stock market looks giddy. Housing prices look giddy. I’m cautious by nature, so maybe it’s best to ignore me. And on the positive side, we don’t have a huge debt bubble right now that could turn a recession into a great recession. But even an ordinary recession would be painful. Color me one of the worriers.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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