Open Thread: Are We Facing Recession?
AP reports a sell-off in the Asian stock markets.
Asian Markets Plunge on Worries That US Is Sliding Into Recession; Hong Kong Sinks 5.4 Percent ... Asian markets plunged Wednesday on growing speculation the U.S. economy -- a vital export market -- is sliding into a recession that could lead to a global slowdown.
Investors dumped stocks after an overnight sell-off on Wall Street and on news that Citigroup Inc. had lost nearly $10 billion in the fourth quarter as it wrote down mountains of bad mortgage assets -- the latest fallout from the credit crisis. Weak U.S. retail sales figures added to the gloom.
"American financial mismanagement has brought us to this economic meltdown," said Francis Lun, a general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong. "Asian stock markets are all suffering; nobody has escaped."
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index sank 5.4 percent -- its biggest percentage drop since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- to 24,450.85. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 3.4 percent to 13,504.51 points, its lowest in more than two years.
Or are we at the bottom, living in a moment of opportunity?