Today's "get it into perspective" statistic: The Dow fell 42% in the month of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Since the end of August 2008, the Dow has now fallen 11%.
Today's bonus "get it into perspective" statistic: If 12 Representatives in the US House had voted "yea" instead of "nay", the vote on the bail-out would have got through.
We appear to have shifted from a economic crisis to a crisis centred on politics. Specifically, it is centred on the breathtaking implosion of the Republican party in the the US.
Imagine a reasonably popular mid-term President A of Party A on reasonable terms with his own party and with the Treasury secretary appointed by President A and the head of the Federal Reserve appointed during Party A's term of office. A package to sort out the banking mess would have got through Congress with no problems.
But look at what happened yesterday. Bush is not a lame duck President. He has now become a Dead Man Walking.
Yesterday, President Bush's Bill, although passionately urged upon congress by a respected Treasury Secretary Paulson and an equally respected Chair of the Federal Reserve Bernanke (both Republican appointees), was only supported by 33% of his own party in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the Republican Presidential nominee is unable to do anything except make things worse.
That is just a stagegring breakdown of leadership in the Republican party. A complete dislocation between leadership and party. And all it needed for 12 carrots to be offered or 12 arms to be twisted!
And throw into the mix John
A note about Nancy Pelosi. As Rep Franks bluntly put it, 12 Republicans thought she hurt their feelings so didn't vote for what was best for America - because she hurt their feelings. Franks offered to speak "uncharacteristically nicely" to those 12 if it would make them do what is best for America.