Nobody seems to call it that, however. Big business continues to grouse about the
Obama beats Reagan and trails only Clinton among postwar presidents in many partial-term measures, too. At day 2,000 of his term, as was calculated by Russ Britt of MarketWatch in July, the stock market had gained 142%; for Reagan it was up about 88% and for Clinton 176% at the same stage.
The booby prize belongs to
In many ways, of course, this is a misleading exercise. Presidents have much less influence over the economy, not to mention the stock market, than they're typically given credit for. But since they're invariably blamed by the opposition party for market slumps that occur on their watch, it's only proper to ask why this president, in particular, isn't getting credit for a substantial Bull Run on his.
Occasionally a commentator will begrudgingly award Obama props for the economy's performance, even in conservative publications, but on the whole he seems to get poor marks for economic stewardship.
Consider this curious piece by Daniel Gross in the Daily Beast: Gross says most of the credit for the stock market should go to the
More to the point, the stock market run-up in some ways underscores the structural problems of the U.S. economy, which really demand more attention from policymakers in the White House. Those gains have been concentrated among the upper echelons of the income pyramid, very much at the expense of the working class. (Don't tell me that "workers are shareholders too" -- the effect on their wealth and income from pension fund holdings is minuscule compared to the ground they lost through wage stagnation.)
One of the most persistent phenomenons in American history is that Big Business never recognizes when it's getting a break. In 1934, when
Wall Street should remember FDR "with gratitude," wrote an infuriated progressive in the New Republic. But he knew that wouldn't happen -- the stock exchange, he predicted, "will turn upon Roosevelt with fury." So it did, even though FDR did more than any other individual to save Wall Street from extinction.
The pattern still holds today.