Puckered! But what happened in 2008?

If you owned anything, odds are you’re puckered. The very well off are hoarding gold – the metal and not the paper. Anyone with money anywhere is sitting on it trying to figure out how to keep it from diminishing further in value. The upside is that the personal debt is dropping to 50 year lows but that means consumer demand for stuff is also dropping and commercial volume is dropping.

Fidelity Investor’s Publications took a look at the Top 10 Surprises of 2008, A year of turmoil and volatility by Dirk Hofschire (January 09, 2009). There was nowhere to hide as most valuations reached multi-year lows. The market boiled with a volatility of a violence that created uncertainty. The landscape changed as core Wall Street institutions dropped out or were bought out. Prices were all over the map with a YoY CPI increase at a two decade high in August followed by the monthly biggest drop of the post war era. Oil slumped nearly 70% from the summer highs. The lightning speed of these changes left anyone watching with mouth agape and the wind sucked right out of them.

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