12/07/2018

Trade War Fears Spook Wall Street: 'You Have A Recipe For More Downside'

Dave Boyer and S.A. Miller, The Washington Times

Stocks recovered in a late rally Thursday after nearly wiping out all gains for the year, capping a tumultuous trading day that reflected investors’ persistent jitters over the U.S. trade war with China and fears of a weakening global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 1,500 points in two days before paring Thursday’s losses to 79 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 24,948. The S&P 500 was down 0.15 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished the day up 29.83 points, or 0.42 percent.

Analysts blamed a combination of worries over President Trump’s trade war with China, low oil prices, concerns about the British parliament’s ability to approve a Brexit deal and the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive wanted by the U.S.

The president thought he had eased the concerns about tariffs last weekend, when he reached a handshake deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping for a 90-day pause in the trade war to implement specific agreements on certain exports such as oil and agricultural products.

But investors’ worries appeared to accelerate Thursday, even after Beijing belatedly gave an upbeat confirmation of the unwritten agreement with the U.S.

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In Search Of History

4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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