The Economy

The stock markets are rattled. The Federal Reserve is in crisis mode. The giant investment bank, Bear Stearns, collapsed over the weekend under the weight of huge mortgage market losses. Government policy makers scrambled Sunday to come up with a $30 billion government-backed line of credit as J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to buy Bear at the fire sale price of just $2 a share. President Bush, after meeting Monday at the White House with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other members of his econ

The stock markets are rattled. The Federal Reserve is in crisis mode. The giant investment bank, Bear Stearns, collapsed over the weekend under the weight of huge mortgage market losses. Government policy makers scrambled Sunday to come up with a $30 billion government-backed line of credit as J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to buy Bear at the fire sale price of just $2 a share. President Bush, after meeting Monday at the White House with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other members of his economic team, said his administration is on top of the slumping economy. Feel better? While Wall Street and the world of high finance reeled, the economic news in the real world was no better.

In Vermont, the current president is competing with his father for the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. According to the Joint Economic Committee, rising energy costs are making it more difficult for Vermont families to stretch their household budgets. In March 2001, the average retail price per gallon of gasoline in Vermont was $1.43. As of March 11, the average price was $3.21 a gallon. Health care, college tuition, child care all cost more. Also in Vermont, mortgages in delinquency have increased from 760 in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 1,060 in the fourth quarter of 2007.

To read the complete Vermont Economic Snapshot from the Joint Economic Committee, click here.