Not to dwell on the past, but Bloomberg estimates that $30 trillion was erased from public equity markets worldwide last year. And Tunisia was the only market out of 69 in MSCI Inc. indexes that increased in 2008. 28 national benchmarks lost more than half their value, led by the 67% drop in Russia's Micex index, a 66% drop in China's CSI 300 Index and a 52% decline in India's Sensex Index. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index posted the smallest decline among the word's 20 largest markets falling 31%, and on a bright point - I believe that the TSX was second with a decline of 35% on an absolute basis.
"If there is something positive this early in January 2009," says Jacoline Loewen, author of Money Magnet and partner at Loewen & Partners, "It would be that the market continues to welcome actions taken by President elect Barack Obama who will be sworn in on Tuesday January 20."
Obama's stimulus package appears to be a mix between spending (to appeal to Democrats) and tax cuts (to appeal to Republicans). The funny thing about putting together such a large package is that it's really hard to find $800 billion worth of stuff to spend on that will be immediately stimulative to the economy; hence another reason perhaps that Mr. Obama is leaning more towards tax cuts.