As you no doubt are aware by now, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down H.R. 3997 — the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (bailout bill) today by a vote of 205 for and 228 against, with 1 not voting.
If you are curious as to how your Representative voted, there is a complete bailout bill roll call here. It lists yes and no votes by last name.
If you don’t know your Representatives last name, you can find it at the House of Representatives web site (whose servers appears to be completely overwhelmed as the page load times stretch to several minutes) or at Congress.org (significantly faster response, and a very cool site for those with an interest in politics).
The stock market took a pounding on news of the vote, with the Dow dropping 777 points. At least is wasn’t 666 points…
This was the largest point drop in the history of the Dow Jones index, beating the 684 point drop on September 17, 2001 — the first day the markets were open after the 9/11 attacks. On a percentage basis, the 6.98% drop was the 18th worst on record. on “Black Monday”, October 19, 1987 the Dow Jones indexed dropped by 22.61 percent.
Approximately $1,200,000,000,000 (that’s 1.2 trillion dollars) in market value was erased.
The Los Angeles Times had this to say in an editorial run on October 20, 1987. Sage advice then worth repeating now:
Panic is a dangerous element of economics. By definition, it lacks a rational base. The hysteria can feed itself. That was evident in what transpired on Friday and again on Monday. The result can be damaging beyond the market itself. But the damage can be controlled and limited. The stock market remains an effective tool for those seriously concerned with buying shares of on-going, profitable enterprises. It remains a dangerous place, more dangerous than most realized until Monday, for those playing for short-term gains and goals only marginally related to the ownership of successful enterprises.