Stock market delirium: Wall Street hearts Geithner

Investors dance a jig to the tune of Paul Krugman's despair. The Dow jumps almost 500 points.

Published March 23, 2009 8:18PM (EDT)

What conclusions can we derive from the stock market's best day since President Barack Obama was inaugurated? (The major stock indexes all rose by an impressive 7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 497 points.)

1) Investors really, really are enthusiastic about Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's plan to subsidize gambling on toxic mortgage-backed securities.

2) Tim Geithner can move markets. Paul Krugman cannot. The sound of left-wing "despair?" Cha-ching!

3) CNBC's analysts will no doubt devote the next 24 hours to unrelenting hosannas of praise for the president's leadership. The market has delivered its latest report card. A+ for Obama! I know I personally will be looking for the Karl Rove editorial tomorrow morning explaining how the White House has restored Wall Street's confidence in the new administration.

You can choose for yourself whether to vomit or cheer. By any logical standard, the future remains as uncertain now as it did before trading began this morning. But I don't think I'm alone in being surprised at such a rapturous huzzah from Wall Street to Geithner. If nothing else, we'll sure have a lot to talk about as this week rolls on.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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